Stark County Community Action Agency financial assistance programs.

When struggling, the Stark County non-profit Community Action Agency may be able to help. Specialists at the organization work with the less fortunate, poor, and low income. Clients can get referrals and be directed to programs that can help them with paying their rent, heating bills, food, and provide for other basic needs.

Residents of Stark County Ohio will need to complete the proper intake process. This includes an assessment, setting goals for self-reliance, and more. This needs to be done before they can get food, emergency funds for paying rent or bills, and other aid. Most of this is overseen by Certified Family Development Specialists. The main locations are as follows.

Main office 1366 Market Ave N, Canton, OH 44714.
Canton HEAP Site, 1370 Market Avenue North, Canton, OH  44714
Alliance HEAP Site, Olde Theater Group Apts., 247 East Main Street
Massillon HEAP Site, 315 6th Street N.E.

Funds for utilities, rent, and housing needs

The Ohio Home Weatherization Assistance Program is available from SCCAA. It is a U.S. Department of Energy-funded resources that will improve the home’s overall energy efficiency and reduce consumption of electricity. It is for Stark County Ohio’s low-income and working poor households. Weatherization, known as HWAP for short, is involved in providing weatherproofing and free energy efficiency measures.

Stark County Community Action Agency will conduct an audit, heating system inspection, add extra attic and side wall insulation, or an electric baseload analysis. There are highly trained and certified staff that do the work on the home.

The rent and utility bill assistance is part of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, or EF&S. This is a federal government funded program, which provides free groceries, food and/or shelter assistance to low-income families during a crisis situation.




EF&S was created to be a supplemental food and shelter/rent assistance program that is designed to work in combination with other charities and non-profits. Those applying for help with rent need to be facing eviction or if they seek funds for a security deposit, they need to be homeless. In some cases the agency may offer the assistance in the form of a loan for paying housing costs. Some money may be for utility or heating bills too.

HEAP, or the Home Energy Assistance Program from Stark County Community Action Agency, is federally funded. Money also comes from the Ohio Department of Development, Office of Community Service. The government grant program assists low income and poor families by offering them short-term help for paying the high costs of heating and even cooling bills.

In a crisis, there is the Emergency Component/E-HEAP. The emergency component runs during the winter months and it assists households whose primary and/or necessary secondary energy source is threatened to be disconnected or has been disconnected. The non-profit community action agency can also help families in Stark County that have run out of fuel or heating oil. There are also funds or loans to pay for furnace repairs.

All year long, the Regular HEAP Program provides a one-time cash benefit that is applied as a direct credit to your main source of heat or given to your utility company. The amount paid out from HEAP depends on many factors, such as government allotments, your income, and total family members.

Only during the summer, and it is very limited, but there is also an OHIO HEAP Summer Crisis Program. This Stark County Community Action Agency resource provides electric-only utility assistance to households with an elderly member or someone that is sick. They need to provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a member’s health.

Training and employment in Stark County

Case management includes goal setting. Social workers and specialists review your request for help. They will assess the needs of those seeking assistance to assure that they are able and willing to work with the agency to establish goals for their progression toward self-sufficiency.





Education and job training services in Stark County includes the ABE - Adult Basic Education. The classes and workshops emphasize reading, math and language for those adults needing to brush up on and gain new skills.

Employment and Job Readiness Skills Training includes computers (per below) and more. These will focus on helping clients gain skills needed to secure gainful employment in the competitive Ohio job market. Sessions include GED, STNA, or ABE training. Among other things, learn how to create job-specific resume and cover letter, along with the ability to apply transferable skills to a new job. Candidates of the agency will also be able to receive referrals to current openings. Case managers provide tips and offer help obtain interviews and assist with securing placement.

Teens and Youth Employment Services take place during the summer. SCCAA provides younger Stark residents with access to work opportunities for high school youth. Among other resources, students of the agency are provided with an opportunity to work at local employments or job sites. They can learn about employability skills, career planning and encouraged toward post-secondary education. Students of the agency interact with one another and professional coaches who assist them in addressing issues.

GED Preparation and Computer Training are also offered. Participants of these sessions follow a customized program of educational courses tailored to their individual strengths and weaknesses. With a focus on preparation for the State of Ohio GED test as well as gaining new skills for Excel, Word, and other applications, this program helps many residents.

For referrals to programs across the greater Stark County region, both from community action or other agencies, dial 330-491-9997 for information.



By Jon McNamara

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