Tazwood Community Services assistance programs.

Emergency assistance is available throughout Tazewell County. There is a network of social service programs, medical clinics, food pantries and other charitable agencies that staff from the non-profit community action agency can refer people too. Not only can Tazwood Community Services often provide more information on these programs, but they also administer some of their own aid to the less fortunate.

The team at Tazwood Community Services seeks monetary donations from the community to help clients who cannot find the assistance they need within the network of other local charitable agencies. The staff also help families understand the local resources available to them that can best serve the unique needs of each person.

Weatherization work is performed by a local conservation contractor at no charge to the participant, and all work is inspected upon completion. The Tazwood Community Services energy conservation program offers income-eligible homeowners, landlords, or even rental tenants the opportunity to make their homes more comfortable. For rental properties, the program requires a three-party agreement between Community Services as well as the landlord.

In order to qualify, the Tazewell County based home must be in such a condition that it can be effectively weatherized. This will be done using materials that meet federal standards and adhere to cost limitations imposed by federal government or state of Illinois regulations.

Conservation is effective in providing energy-efficient measures that reduce consumption and lower utility bills. The Weatherization services can include insulating attic, walls, and foundation; eliminating points of air infiltration; tuning up a HVAC unit; testing and repair or replacement of furnace and water heater; and other minor home repairs, as needed. It also covers any health and safety needs.

Assistance with home heating costs is available to low-income families and the working poor. The staff at Tazwood Community Services have information on options available, including the federal government-run Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Receive applications to this during the fall months for receiving a grant for heating or gas bills.





Along with regular LIHEAP assistance for paying heating, propane or gas bills, those at risk of disconnection may qualify for Crisis Assistance from Tazwood Community Services. Program benefits include short-term fuel assistance and account credits for bills that are past due in addition to referrals to family development resources.

Through a comprehensive, holistic approach to personal and financial development, Transforming Lives from Tazwood Community Services works with low-income, at-risk families to help root their lives. It offers them support through job and home stability. For clients in the larger Tazewell County community, there is 1 to 1 coaching and mentoring available to support them on their journey to independence.

Tazwood Community Services also coordinates a number of Community Education Programs around budgeting, employment, and even tax preparation from VITA. There is also personalized coaching and mentoring to participating families to help them transform their lives and reestablish independence. Through an established rapport and trust between the client and their mentor, private issues and circumstances are addressed that may be the barriers that are causing instability in their lives.

Tazwood Community Services budgeting and “smart money” workshops help clients get their finances in order. Participants will learn how to save their income, budget for their bills, and improve credit scores. Some sessions held by the community action agency also address purchasing a first home and avoiding predatory or payday lenders in the community.

This can also lead to referrals to VITA, which is a service that offers free income tax preparation. This particular program will also have an emphasis on ensuring access to the savings that many low income families can get from the Earned Income Tax Credit, and that is included as part of this program.





Tazwood Community Services Homelessness Prevention and Financial Crisis support - Prospective clients need to be aware that funding is limited and the demand is very high. The goal of this funding is to prevent a loss of housing. An eligibility assessment will take place. There will be put into place proper procedures (when to set up an appointment, how to apply) and the community action agency is allocated funding. This money is provided to each applicant. The amount of money paid out changes due to available resources or certain requirements of the funding entities.

Federal government grants are available which are used to pay late rent. Other uses of the Tazwood Community Services program may be for costs associated with an impending eviction, security deposits, first month’s rent and utilities for low-income, at-risk clients. This support in Tazewell County, which may sometimes come in the form of a loan, is only able to help a small number of tenants. In turn, referrals are made to other local agencies and organizations who may be able to help as well.

Not only may the community action agency offer the services above, but there is also information on food pantries, clinics, and other government grant programs. The Tazwood Community Services is focused on helping the less fortunate from their office at 2109 S Main St, Morton, IL 61550. Call (309) 266-9941.




By Jon McNamara

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