Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency assistance programs.

With a focus on meeting basic needs, the Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency provides support to low income families and the less fortunate. The non-profit addresses needs such as housing, food, nutrition, and may have grants for paying utility bills.

Another goal of the SEICAA community action agency is on helping individuals find employment and gain stability in their lives. Case managers can also address issues such as credit or debt counseling as well financial literacy. Numerous services are administered by the agency for the unemployed and those facing poverty. Assistance is available across the counties of Bingham, Bannock, Bear Lake, Franklin, Caribou Oneida, and Power.

Using government funds, SEICAA staff distribute a number of fuel funds to residents who need help paying their heating and utility bills within southeastern Idaho. This financial aid ranges from LIHEAP to utility customer donations to corporate giving of money generated from community/agency fundraisers. Fuel funds are very limited and will only be awarded on a case-by-case basis. Participants must meet guidelines to receive benefits from this grant.

In addition to what is referenced above, another option offered is sometimes referred to as Energy Assistance. Income eligible applicants apply every year for a one time per year cash payment to help pay their winter heating bill. Determining eligibility is based on factors including consumption amount, household income, how many household members and the county and part of Idaho they live in location.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a government grant created to help with home heating bills. The service is to provide a one time payment per year during the heating season for eligible households.

For those from Idaho who for whatever reasons never completed high school, SEICAA offers them a chance to get a GED (General Education Diploma). Many studies show that having a GED increases employment opportunities and allows those who have them to pursue higher education.

With this service individuals are given the opportunity to both train for and also obtain their GED by providing free personalized tutoring and help with the cost of testing. This can lead to increased future employment prospects and income.




First time homebuyers may benefit from SEICAA’s Homebuyer Essentials Financial Literacy Program. This course was designed to teach participants the fundamentals of financial management and address any monetary challenges they may be facing. It will prepare them for homeownership, with an intense focus on retention as well as home maintenance. SEICAA achieves this goal through a multiple step program, including Credit Repair and Money Management (Budgeting), First Time and Homebuyer Homebuyer Education, and also debt reduction and help in applying for loans.

Assistance for veterans is available from Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency. This is for military veterans who are homeless, behind on their rent payments or have an emergency of needing shelter. SEICAA uses a case manager whose focus is primarily on the homeless or unemployed veteran population in counties such as Bannock and Franklin to help them to become self-sufficient.

Some obstacles that veterans or their families may face are such things as mental illness, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, addiction and isolation. The case manager from the non-profit community action agency has been trained to recognize these various issues and work with them by referrals to other services. This may include counseling or any medical help that they may need. The program is there to help veteran’s to become self-reliant.

Advice from the Family Development program can coordinate one-on-one case management by nationally certified staff. It is offered across Idaho. The Family Development Program’s main purpose is to focus on the entire household. The resources available are centered on goals that help families in the service territory to become more self-sufficient. The basics of this program is to provide budget counseling, employment prospects, goal setting, job training, and to provide educational opportunities for participating families.

Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency offers Information and Referral services that are available to help individuals find the many community resources and agency services that are out there.  Agency staff search for the best match for participants, whether it is a government benefit or private assistance. They do this by making phone calls and/or through written contacts to link people with right services to meet their needs.

Providing food assistance is a key goal of SEICAA . The community action agency has a mission to provide nutritional education and emergency food or grocery assistance for low-income individuals living in southeastern Idaho. This is done through a number of different services. Examples are as follows.

  • Food Boxes - Groceries and canned goods have been donated by multiple community food drives, churches and even private parties. The free food boxes are distributed on weekdays throughout the region based on individual need.
  • USDA Commodities – Donated food from the federal government and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is distributed to southeastern Idaho households that are income eligible.
  • Market Salvage - Agency staff collect surplus canned and perishable food from local area businesses, such as restaurants, that choose to donate daily. The items are then sorted and distributed weekly to qualified low income individuals and community social service agencies.
  • Nutrition Education - Individuals are provided with a current education and recipes that enhance multiple food preparation techniques and ways to make food last with budgets.





Another option is Meals on Wheels. This is also known as a home delivery service. It can provide free or low cost nutritious meals to homebound seniors and/or handicapped persons. This essential service offers much more than just those meals though. The case managers and volunteers from the agency also provide a connection with the outside world. This may be things such as a daily “check-in” to ensures that participants safe and doing well and even a visit around the holidays.

This program from SEICAA provides the essential food and supplies to so many people in counties such as Franklin, Caribou, and Oneida that it takes many helpful and caring volunteers to do so. Whether seniors or a disabled individual is living on a limited fixed incomes or recovering from hospitalization, Meals on Wheels clients receive the adequate nutrition they need and companionship or a visit from a friendly face.

Other benefits include weekend or holiday meals are also available, they will contain 1/3 RDA Daily Nutritional Requirements, Meals are offered for eligible Medicaid participants, and the food is also subsidized.

Free personal hygiene products are available with such items as shampoo, soap, deodorant, dental care products, shaving supplies and feminine hygiene items for income-eligible and working poor individuals. These items are obtained through donations from the community and grants. All collected items are distributed on a limited basis to those who need them.

Low cost apartments are in the area, such as Bingham County. The non-profit Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency is one of the many community action organizations that operates a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO). Available through key partners such as Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Idaho Housing and Finance (IHFA),, USDA Rural Development, and other funding entities, SEICAA continues to provide safe and affordable low income housing for families.

SEICAA also offers homeowners a free energy conservation / Weatherization Program to provide various conservation services to those households that are income eligible within Southeastern Idaho. This service is available to those applicants who qualify for help year round.

Both renters and home buyers are welcome to apply for this program. The Weatherization Program assists to increase energy efficiency of older home in Bannock, Bear Lake, and Franklin by preventing heat loss and air filtration.




As a result of this program, modification are made to improve energy efficiency which may include addition of insulation, repairs to broken windows, free caulking and weather-stripping to windows and doorways. Energy Conservation Education and tips on saving money on bills is also provided to those who participate.

There are several offices of the community action agency in the region. The main offices are as follows.

  • Bannock County, 825 E. Bridger, Pocatello, Idaho, dial (208) 233-7348
  • Bear Lake County, 680 4th N., Suite #3, Montpelier, ID, main phone number is (208) 847-1462
  • Bingham County center is at 206 S. Spruce, Blackfoot, ID, main phone (208) 785-1583
  • Caribou County Southeastern Idaho Community Action Agency office is at 159 E. 2nd S., Soda Springs, ID, (208) 547-4257
  • Franklin County, 16 S. 1st Street, Preston, Idaho, main phone (208) 852-1515
  • Oneida County, 175 S. 300 E., Malad, ID, dial (208) 766-2737
  • Power County office is at 505 N. Oregon Trail, American Falls, ID, dial (208) 226-7330


By Jon McNamara

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