Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency.

The community action agency for the greater Scranton and Lackawanna Pennsylvania region is the Human Development Agency. The organization works with qualified low income clients to address needs such as housing, utilities and nutrition. They also focus on children and seniors and offer resources such as Head Start.

The main child development programs are Head Start and Early Head Start. They are fully comprehensive and are involved in serving children in low-income families. The main objective of the programs is preparing those children for school. The Head Start program is implemented by Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the state’s Head Start Bureau, the Pennsylvania Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), and ACF - Administration for Children and Families.

Head Start provides help and guidance to eligible children by ensuring healthy development through high quality and fully comprehensive services. Government certified agencies such as Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency offer a range of individualized services in the areas of education, free medical care and early childhood development.

Some of those specific services include dental, free health check ups, and mental health support. Or children can receive nutrition and parent involvement. In addition, the entire range of Head Start services concerning developmental, ethnic and linguistic heritage and experience of each child and his/her family is provided.

Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency provides resources to community programs and schools through the Early Head Start program. The purpose is addressing needs of eligible clients and truly helping very young children and infants. The local programs funded through Early Head Start provide intensive, continuous and comprehensive social services to low income pregnant women. Services are also for very young children and their families.

Job search and employment assistance from WIA - the Workforce Investment Act provides employment and training services to people in need throughout the county and state. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has established a so called One-Stop system of service delivery. The sites are known across the nation as “CareerLink” Centers. The Lackawanna County CareerLink is based at 135 Franklin Avenue, downtown Scranton.




The non-profit Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency, Inc. has been appointed as the primary Fiscal Agent for all Workforce Investment Act Activities. Eligible clients for the services are low-income adults, the unemployed, dislocated workers, seniors, in-school and out of school youth, and teenagers. Qualified individuals can utilize the following types of services:

  • On-The-Job Training (OJT) Positions
  • GED/Remedial Instruction and training
  • Assessment of Skills and Abilities from specialists
  • Support from Referrals and Rapid Response Activities
  • Employment Training from Basic Computer Workshops
  • Customized Job Training Activities
  • Work Experience with Lackawanna employers
  • Individualized Case Management/Counseling

More employment services are from Work Ready. This is a program designed to provide pre-placement job services to participants of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. In addition, it provides intensive case management. Funds can help parents pay for and deal with day care issues, mental health services, and transportation. Self-sufficiency is in focus. Preparing participants for transition into a job placement program or employment is the primary goal of Work Ready program.

Financial programs from the community action agency in Lackawanna

EARN, also known as Employment Advancement and Retention Network, is another program designed to provide job placement and job retention services to TANF Participants. The government funded resource coordinates intensive case management and psychological services to eligible applicants. Lackawanna County Assistance Office and the Lackawanna County CareerLink are the partners of the program.





Eligible working poor clients can use the services of Weatherization Assistance program that provides weatherization and furnace services. Eligible clients are those who meet roughly about 200% of government poverty guidelines.

Some of the free weatherization measures include air sealing, extra weather stripping, caulking, attic insulation and venting, sidewall insulation, window repairs and energy education. Furnace measures include repair, replacement and furnace cleaning & tune-up are part of it too.

Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency provides personalized monthly utility payment amounts via the Customer Assistance Program (CAP). It is run in partnership with heating and energy companies in Pennsylvania. Financial help is based on gross income, total energy usage at the property and household size. The main objective of the CAP Program is to arrange a reduced Payment Plan. It is focused on UGI-Penn Natural Gas customers who are eligible.

The customer needs to apply for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) as the part of the customer agreement with UGI-PNG. Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency provides assistance with LIHEAP application to UGI-PNG customers. Case managers also forward the application to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare for processing.

Low-income residents of Lackawanna County are eligible for the TEFAP - Emergency Food Assistance Program. The resource uses mass distributions to distribute government food and commodities on a constant basis via local pantries. Over 20 sites throughout the county participate in a the distribution of the items. All low-income residents of Lackawanna County and nearby towns are eligible to receive free groceries at the distribution sites on the announced available dates.




Other utility help is from PPL Electric Utilities and their E-Powerwise Program. It educates families on energy saving and provide tips and advice on installing energy saving products in their homes. By installing the items that are found in your Kit, which are simple home upgrades, you can begin reducing your energy use. Importantly, it can help people save money immediately without having to wait for outside assistance.

The primary Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency office is as follows. Address is 321 Spruce Street; 1st Floor, Scranton, PA 18503. Call  (570) 963-6836.

By Jon McNamara

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