Schenectady Community Action Program.

Families in Schenectady New York that need help can try contacting SCAP, or the Schenectady Community Action Program. The non-profit is focused on assisting the less fortunate, seniors, elderly, and disabled in the community.

Several programs are offered, however they are focused on needs such as housing, education, Head Start, and employment. Another goal is to reduce homelessness in the community, so funds for paying rent, security deposits, or energy bills may be available from time to time.

Career Readiness and Employment resources from SCAP can help reduce the cycle of poverty by helping clients help themselves. This is very important when people from the region are faced with economic, financial, educational or social need.

The Schenectady Community Action Program Career Readiness Program, also called Displaced Homemaker Program, is just one of many services available as part of it. SCAP currently operates two Displaced Homemaker Program Centers in the area. Staff work with clients to help them gain experience, the soft and technical skills, develop a network, and acquire other skills that are needed in order to land gainful employment with a decent wage.

The non-profit will coordinate job search assistance, classroom training, resume review and other support. It is all targeted to help individuals learn the skills they need to gain employment and succeed in the central and eastern New York state workplace. Phone number is (518) 374-9181.

Schenectady Community Action Permanent Housing Program is for a small number of homeless families in which a member of the household has a substance abuse issue or is suffering from some type of mental health condition. Clients will be provided with stable, permanent housing, case management, as well as other social supportive services. Also get help in parenting and life skills, advocacy, and even funds to help pay rent or a subsidy.




Permanent housing program participants are able to maintain their housing or apartments while they work toward long-term goals. Staff from the non-profit partner with families in their own homes to realize and achieve their goals, such as continued education, employment, and reunification of a family. (518) 374-9181.

Transitional housing in Schenectady is available at the Sojourn House. It focuses on homeless pregnant women and also housing homeless women with children. Families that use the site will also work with Sojourn staff to secure a permanent residence for themselves and their children. Also get information on rental assistance and other resources such as section 8 vouchers in New York.

Those who use the Schenectady New York transitional housing programs will also be provided with all the free meals and personal care items they need. Women can also benefit from supportive services such as career counseling, ongoing case management, crisis intervention, instruction in parenting and life skills, day care, and Head Start for eligible children.

Emergency rent assistance and Homelessness Intervention/Prevention is available from SCAP. The non-profit community action agency provides services to families and people from the community who are facing eviction or are homeless. Case managers can assist individuals and families by locating permanent, affordable housing or working to resolve landlord/tenant issues. Staff will also partner with the Schenectady County Eviction Task Force to resolve systemic problems with housing issues.

On occasion, funding or grants may be available from programs such as the Homeless Prevention Rapid Re-housing Program. SCAP can provide financial assistance and services to qualified Schenectady County New York  residents. If and when funding is available, they may be able to help with mediating disputes between tenant and landlord, disbursing cash assistance for rental and paying utility bills, or offer funds for paying security deposits and even ongoing rental and utility subsidies.

SCAP also provides other community services to help those in need. Get help in applying for government benefits and public assistance. Staff from SCAP can provide information on and help people apply for Unemployment Insurance, public assistance, Social Security, Medicaid, Disability, SNAP Food Stamps and other government programs. Partner with a case manager on working through the bureaucracy and red tape to apply for and secure public and cash assistance. This will assist people when they need it during temporary periods of crisis.





Partnerships are in place between Schenectady Community Action Program, Bethesda House, Catholic Charities, the Jewish community and other charities. They formed the Community Crisis Network, which is a crisis support group.

These churches and charities provide short term support for an emergency fund that is used when community resources are unavailable. This can help when families lack affordable shelter, food, prescription medicine and other basic needs. The Community Crisis Network works to fill gaps in services and to help the poor and low income.

The region VITA Income Tax Preparation is for low- and moderate-income individuals and seniors. SCAP coordinates free income tax preparation services for them at a number of centers. Work with a professional to ensure you get standard deductions and to see if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Head Start is an extensive pre-school education and social service program for children ages 3 to 5 years old in Schenectady. The curriculum focuses on the child's health, educational, social and emotional needs. The program prepares them for kindergarten, enriches a child's learning experiences and sets them up for continued success in school and even during summer breaks. Parents of the student can take advantage of family and social support services.




Some of the Head Start services include free meals, nutrition, health care and mental health information, parent involvement and support services. Free meals and snacks are provided on-site to children. Also, limited transportation is available in certain parts of Schenectady to the centers and classrooms. The locations of the program are below, and call (518) 377-8539 for more details.

  • Yates Early Childhood Learning Center Head Start, Yates Village, Van Vranken Avenue, Schenectady, New York 12308
  • Bigelow Avenue location is at 100 Bigelow Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12304
  • Glen Worden School Head Start Center, 30 Warden Road, Scotia, NY 12302
  • Bellevue Head Start Center, 2000 Broadway, Schenectady, New York 12306

For more information, call Schenectady Community Action Program, 913 Albany Street, Schenectady, NY 12307. Call 518-374-9181.


By Jon McNamara

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