The Action Center programs.
Jefferson County Colorado residents can turn to the Action Center. The non-profit community action agency helps families meet basic needs throughout the course of the year. Some emergency aid may be offered too.
Whether it is shelter, short term housing food, or utility bill assistance, staff from the agency may have information and referrals for you. They do their best to get people on the path to self-sufficiency and stability.
The Action Center runs a food pantry that offers up to a five day worth of free groceries, food, canned goods and groceries to a household up to six times annually. The main goal of the Jefferson County food pantry assistance program is to provide a nutritionally balanced supply of food to those that need it.
The Action Center can help seniors in receiving a special food box once a month. This is really a federal government funded assistance program that provides a variety of food items that includes, but is not limited to, juice, cereal, dry milk, cheese, and canned goods.
The community action agency is also in general a food distribution site, which has partnered with the Food Bank of the Rockies, and is a sponsor of this and other programs. Seniors and the elderly need to register and confirm eligibility at the Action Center prior to participation. In order to qualify, a client must be 60 years of age or older, meet the income level requirements, be a full time resident of Jefferson County and provide a photo ID as well as any other needed documentation.
New and used clothing for men, teens, women, children and infants is available from the Clothing Bank. Clients of the community action agency may shop and use the site every 30 days for their entire household. Clients may choose over 10 articles of clothing each visit for a total of 60 items per family, however it does depend on donations and available supply. The center offers a variety of clothing, including winter coats, shoes, new underwear, hats and professional work attire. There are limits on some items, for example, jeans and the winter coats.
Free or low cost household items such as pans, pots, forks, spoons, blankets, small electronic items (radios), sheets, etc. are provided to the people of the community. The inventory changes daily or weekly based on donations. All household items need to be requested through staff from the Action Center.
Individuals from Jefferson County Colorado and the region who require transportation assistance may be provided with a ride or transportation in the form of free bus tokens. This service is limited to just one round trip up to eight times a year, so use it wisely. In addition, the bus tokens are provided for specific transportation needs such as employment-related services or training; attending medical visits; appointments for social services; or maybe attending school or job training related activities.
Emergency homeless shelter is for qualified families, couples, children and single adults. Clients may stay in the program for up to 45 days. During this stay they will also be able to work with Case Managers to obtain a job, develop goals, save money and work toward self-sufficiency. Also, during their stay, they are expected to be going to school, working, or looking for work while in the program. Clients that are showing diligent work toward short and long term goals and the development of a transition plan will help individuals who use the shelter prepare for a long term, stable housing situation.
During the stay, each day, shelter clients will be able to receive a free breakfast and dinner. They can even choose to pack a lunch to take with them when they leave the site. During the day, the shelter is closed and clients are expected to be out looking for work in the county and/or accessing other non-profit community resources.
Seasonal services for back to school and holidays are offered. The Action Center offers low income families a variety of seasonal services. The agency will help clients with limited budgets and income to avoid making a difficult decision such as deciding between paying a bill, buying toys at Christmas or purchasing school supplies for their children.
Free Thanksgiving Food Boxes will usually be offered on the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday in November. The boxes may contain some or all of the following. A full dinner, turkey, bread, and toppings for their household. Families that qualify will also be given a certificate toward the purchase of a ham or turkey from their local grocer.
The Santa Shop Toys is for parents and legal guardians of children from newborn to under 13 years of age. They are allowed to shop for gifts and toys that ensure they have a positive, happy holiday season. Items are limited, depend on donations and based on size of family and income as well as the age of children.
During the late summer, school supplies are offered. It is usually a week or two before school begins. Through this other seasonal program, clients can receive a free bag of school supplies containing most of the essential items, clothing, and books their child needs. Backpacks are given out too, but only one per family. Applicants will need ID, proof of the child age, income, and more.
Housing and financial assistance from the center
The Tenant-Landlord Mediation and Counseling Program is a free housing information helpline for tenants and landlords. This is available throughout the county and the State of Colorado. The helpline is staffed by action center volunteers. Callers to the counseling number can get answers common rental housing questions, receive referrals and be directed to rental and other housing resources.
Financial assistance for rent and other costs may be available on a one off. The aid may be available from the non-profit Action Center in order to prevent people from being evicted from their apartment or home. This program is very limited in funding and not offered every day. Due to this, in some cases the Lakewood Colorado center may request the funds to be repaid so it is issued in the form of a loan. Call 303.237.7704 for intake.
Limited utility and heating bill assistance may be offered. For details, the Action Center Utility Assistance information line is 720-407-6674. The customer needs proof of hardship, needs to be overdue, have applied for LEAP and other aid, explored programs from Salvation Army or Catholic Charities, and meet other conditions. Note that during the cold winter months, the applicant must have applied for LEAP and have an acceptance or denial letter from them.
Also note that the program is offered only once per lifetime. So applicants can’t have received utility bill assistance from the Action Center in the past. As noted, the number is 720-407-6674.
Information on medical bill assistance is offered. The clients of this Action Center program will be educated about health related issues and offered referrals to appropriate medical providers by their Health Care Navigators. They also help clients managing their own health and learning about services, such as government benefits. Clients of the community action agency are informed about a range of services including education, nutrition, programs for the uninsured, referrals and they can apply for financial assistance with selected prescriptions.
All of Jefferson County is supported by the Action Center. The staff are dedicated to helping the less fortunate. The office is 8755 W. 14th Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80215-4863, call 303-237-7704.