Financial aid from Regional Economic Community Action.

Programs that are administered by Regional Economic Community Action are targeted at low income families in the greater Orange County New York region. The focus is on seniors, households with young children as well as the disabled. The non-profit works with clients to address basic needs (such as housing, food, and employment) as well as longer term challenges. Some of the primary resources administered are below, however call the agency for more details.

There are several Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs. The main components offered are noted below. The main office of the Nutrition Assistance Program is operated at 40 Smith Street, Middletown, NY 10940. Call (845) 342-3978.

  • Emergency Food Bank will offer a few days supply of free groceries, meals, and food to needy families in Orange County. For those that qualify, the pantry can only be used at most once every 3 months. Case managers may also referrals to other charities and social services. Or they can get help applying for WIC or SNAP food stamps.
  • Holiday support is offered from Regional Economic Community Action. A free Thanksgiving Food Basket as well as some Christmas meals may be passed out or served too.
  • Perishable items are offered, such as breads, cakes, and pastries. This is done in partnership with bakeries and grocery stores in the county.

Utility bill assistance can include applications for HEAP as well as the Energy Conservation / weatherization programs. For those that qualify for help, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal Weatherization Program can help some homeowners or tenants save up to 20% on their monthly utility bills. Those savings can help families pay for other basic needs, such as rent or medications. Many seniors and individuals with a disability can take priority when they apply.

The program helps working poor and low-income individuals and families by reducing their energy bills. Another benefit is that it will also improve the safety of their homes. It works by offering them access to modifications, repairs or replacement of appliances or even a furnace.





Regional Economic Community Action will have contractors that can help with the following. Measures include attic insulation and repair, side wall insulation, repairs to broken doors and windows, caulking and weather-stripping, heating system improvements or replacement, showerheads, smoke, installation of energy efficient lighting and free carbon monoxide detectors. While more limited, weatherization (WAP) may pay for hot water tank repair and pipe insulation as well as the replacement of inefficient refrigerators or freezers.

Rental subsidies and supportive housing can help with both preventing homelessness and more importantly get participants back to self-sufficiency. Case managers from RECAP are an important part of the process to achieve this goal, and they can help clients apply for emergency loans or some other source of funds.

For those that need housing assistance, they will need to meet regularly with their case manager. During these sessions, they will discuss updates, set goals, and measure progress to stability. The underemployed from Orange County and the Unemployed maintain structured daily activities including job training as well as employment workshops. Sessions also touch upon family care and financial education.

Social workers from Regional Economic Community Action support participants through difficulties such as public benefits navigation, finding clothes for a job interview, or replacing vital documents, such as a drivers license. Participants are encouraged to further their education through English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, Adult Basic Education (ABE), and also GED - General Equivalency Diploma.

Parole Reentry is for ex-prisoners and inmates. RECAP provides them access to comprehensive case management. This will, among other things, assist offenders in acquiring the life skills needed to succeed in the community and become law-abiding citizens. The main office is at 280 Broadway, Newburgh, New York 12550. Call the reentry service at (845) 568-3500.

Assistance may be offered for the purchase of rehabilitated homes in Orange county New York. Resources are coordinated by Office of Community Development, RECAP, the Greater Newburgh Habitat for Humanity, and also Rural Development Advisory Corporation. For those that qualify for a grant that is part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, they may be provided up to $60,000 to pay for closing and other home buying costs.





Head Start from Western Orange County and RECAP is a federal government funded program for preschool children ages 3-5. They need to be from low-income families. The goal of the community action agency and local schools is to prepare children from struggling families for success in school through our comprehensive family program.

Health, nutritional and developmental concerns are addressed as part of Head Start. The varied experiences and workshops provided by the program support the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of each child. Students are able to gain access to programs to help with their awareness, skills, and confidence necessary to succeed in their present environment.

Another service from Head Start and the Regional Economic Community Action is for parents. The non-profit offers the lower income parent the opportunity to develop. They can get help applying for public benefits, employment, and more.

RECAP is located at 40 Smith Street, Middletown, NY 10940, (845) 342-3978. A second community action center is headquartered at 119 East Main Street in Middletown. Phone (845) 342-3978.



By Jon McNamara

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