Springfield Partners for Community Action Agency programs.

Helping families overcome poverty is the goal of Partners for Community Action. The non-profit administers financial assistance programs and other support across the city of Springfield as well as the county of Hampden. Resources range from housing, emergency eviction help, to support for veterans and seniors.

The community action agency also coordinates credit and foreclosure counseling for both homeowners and others in the region. This is one of the key services available to help families find stability in their finances.

Financial assistance for paying utility and heating bills is offered in an emergency. This is even offered for more moderate income families or those that did not qualify for LIHEAP Fuel Assistance in Massachusetts. It is intended to be short term support and funds are offered on a one-time basis.

Participants will need to attend a workshop on household budgeting as well as on conserving energy. In addition, any payments from Springfield Partners for Community Action will be made directly to your energy company. Phone number is (413) 263-6500.

An Eviction Clinic is for tenants that are preparing for the Hampden County Housing Court hearing. Clients can get free counseling, advice, and support. It is for those facing homelessness, people behind on their rent, and families that are at risk of being evicted from their apartments or homes.

Landlord and tenant mediation can also be organized. In addition, tenants can be enrolled into financial counseling or financial literacy classes if they would like. The Eviction Clinic is held every Wednesday, from 5 pm to 6:30 pm, at 721 State St., Second Floor.

Weatherization is a free conservation program that has been operated by the community action agency. Some homeowners have saved more than $400 per year on their heating and utility bills.

Auditors that work with Springfield Partners will conduct an in-home inspection of your residence and also provide a heating system analysis. This will determine which free energy-saving and conservation measures are needed. Insured and licensed contractors perform the work, including Caulking, to seal cracks, additional weather-stripping for doors and windows, adding wall and attic insulation, and air sealing measures. Dial (413) 263-6500.




Free or low cost Credit Counseling organized by Springfield Partners for Community Action provides one-on-one guidance to Hampden residents seeking to improve, establish, or repair their credit. There are also workshops organized. An onsite, certified counselor will help determine your credit rating. They will work with consumers on reducing debt and help identify ways to build or rebuild credit scores.

Foreclosure help is offered from the state of Massachusetts HomeCorps Borrower Recovery Initiative. This is also offered in partnership with the Attorney General's Office as well as the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP).

The main goal of the Initiative is to prevent homelessness and foreclosures in the county. However aid is also offered for those that have already lost their home. Components of HomeCorps include information and referral to free legal assistance, home loan modification assistance, Relocation and housing search assistance, Financial Literacy and Credit Counseling, Homelessness prevention assistance, and maybe even direct financial support.

In addition to the foreclosure assistance mentioned, there is other Housing Counseling. The agency is a federal government HUD-Certified Counseling agency. Topic covered include Displacement and housing relocation assistance, Post-purchase counseling, to help people stay in their homes, Predatory loan lending counseling, and free education to potential first-time homebuyers.

Self-Sufficiency is available from Job Readiness Programs and other resources. The goal of the case managers and staff from Community Action Agency of Hampden County is to prevent a cycle of homelessness and assist those with overcoming poverty.

As part of this process, an intake and assessment meeting will need to occur with Job Readiness Coordinators. At the meeting, the clients and the case manager will assess your needs and provide the individuals with the best tools to help get you where you want to be.

The non-profit will be conducting workshops that pertain to self-sufficiency, job readiness and career development. It will help with resume development and cover letters, Career development skills, and referrals to job training/placement services. In some cases, transportation, such as a free bus pass, is made available.





Financial Literacy and credit counseling workshops help people of all income levels reduce debt, establish household budgets, create savings accounts, and maintain and build good credit scores. There are multiple sessions held, including coverage for Spanish-language residents of Hampden County. This is also partly paid for by Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services.

Comprehensive Outreach is available for veterans and their families. Springfield Partners for Community Action works to address their health care, government benefits, and organize memorial services if needed.

Staff also work with local non-profits and veterans? programs to ensure that all services are coordinated and accessible. Receive assistance filing disability claims, Referrals for Preventive Services, emergency rent and utility bill help, guidance on accessing veterans programs including education benefits, and outreach.

SSVF - Supportive Services for Veteran Families is offered in partnership with the organization known as Soldier On. Together they assist veterans and their families in western Massachusetts, including Hampden County. Get help or grants to pay for housing needs and preventing homelessness, some financial assistance for rent or security deposits, employment assistance, and appropriate referrals.

Individual Development Accounts, IDAs, are matched savings accounts.  If the client saves money, the agency will offer a partial matching grant, within program limits. The money can be used to Start or Capitalize a Business, buy a Home, or maybe pay for college.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance as well as Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) offers free assistance to low-income taxpayers, including seniors. They can get their state of Massachusetts and federal taxes completed and filed for free, with no cost to them. Also get questions about Internal Revenue Service (IRS) procedures answered.




The clinic and VITA program also provides educational seminars and one counseling to all low-income individuals. Also, staff will ensure that people receive their Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and education credits, if applicable.

New Beginnings Childcare Center is for students under the age of 5. Springfield Partners for Community Action runs an affordable, fully licensed center at 721 State Street. Payments can be in the form of a voucher, use of a Sliding scale, and/or ECC Subsidized slots. (413) 263-6500.

Springfield Partners for Community Action supports all of Hampden County from their office at 721 State Street, Springfield, MA 01109. Call 413-263-6500.


By Jon McNamara

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