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Union Snyder Community Action Agency assistance programs

The Union-Snyder Community Action Agency of Pennsylvania assists low-income and working poor individuals and families. Programs will help them move towards self-sufficiency, provide food, help for paying bills, and other support. The USCAA is funded by local, state, and federal government dollars. Using this money, they pay for additional services in the areas of employment, food and nutrition, housing, as well as transportation.

If the non-profit can’t help you, then information about and referrals to various community resources and services is also easily available through the Union-Snyder Office of Human Resources. The main address is 713 Bridge Street, Suite 10, Selinsgrove, PA 17870, Phone Number - (570) 374-0181.

Food assistance programs are overseen by USCAA. The non-profit recognizes the difficulties people may experience in purchasing nutritious food or groceries as prices continue to rise and incomes stagnate. As a result, USCAA oversees several food pantries and related resources located in Snyder and Union Counties Pennsylvania. The applicants income level needs to meet certain U.S. Department of Agriculture low income guidelines.

The Snyder County food banks include Five Barley Loaves Food Pantry. This is located at in Beaver Springs, Pennsylvania 17812. Another location is the St. Paul’s UCC Church, Corner of Market and Mill Streets, Selinsgrove, PA 17870.

Union County location is at Lewisburg Food Pantry, First Baptist Church, Corner of Third and St. Louis Streets, Lewisburg, PA 17837. Another site is the Mifflinburg Food Pantry, and this is for people living in western Union County. Address is 279 Market Street, Mifflinburg, PA 17844.

Energy and heating bill assistance includes programs that are run in collaboration with PPL Electric Utilities, federal government LIHEAP, the USCAA offers the E-PowerWise Program and the Easy Savings Kit.

Save money from the Easy Savings Kit. It can offer free CFLs bulbs, kitchen and bathroom aerators, extra caulking, a high-efficiency showerhead, digital thermometer, and other energy-efficient items. The free Easy Savings Kit can save people up to $400 per year on their utility bills. (570) 374-0181.




Direct financial aid is offered by Union-Snyder Community Action Agency. Households that need assistance to pay heating and utility bills, such as an electric bill or a natural gas bill, or are in need of purchasing fuel can seek help from the community action agency. USCAA works closely with energy companies as well as the UGI Penn Natural Gas Customer Assistance Programs. If the family meets low income levels and is eligible, customers who have limited income can obtain reduced monthly utility payments and are able to work with the companies to erase any debt that is owed. Other option is to apply for grants from the federally funded low income energy assistance program, or LIHEAP. Call (570) 374-0181 for details.

Case Management and Family Self-Sufficiency is arranged by the Community Action Agency. Staff will help individuals with setting goals to achieve success in becoming self-sufficient and paying the bills and rent on their own in the future. The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is managed through the Housing Authority for those on Section 8 housing. The organization works with CAA that operates the Case Management portion of this program.

Case Management support is part of the Home Buyer’s Program that is offered by Resources for Housing, Inc. In order to participate in the Home Buyer’s Program, individuals must be eligible according to income guidelines.

Those families who qualify to participate in the USCAA Home Buyer’s Program will have the
opportunity to improve their credit rating over three years. By completing the free program and with improved credit ratings, individuals can obtain a low-interest mortgage.

Rental and housing assistance is offered to those in a crisis. It can help with evictions or provide security deposits for individuals that are in a shelter or temporary housing. Union-Snyder Community Action Agency can provide emergency rental and/or security deposit assistance to those income qualified individuals or families that qualify.

For those from the community who do not qualify for help, USCAA will provide a referral to another local non-profit agency, church, or charity. Call (570) 374-0181 or 1-877-497-1257.

The Supportive Housing Program is for the currently homeless. In order to qualify for the SHP program, applicants must reside in either Snyder or Union county Pennsylvania, be homeless according to HUD (Housing and Urban Development) guidelines, and meet self-sufficiency and interview requirements. Funds may be issued for a securit deposit or first months rent.

Once they are enrolled in the SHP program, participants must complete several activities over the course of a year including attend life skills sessions, working with a case manager, meet with an employment specialist, adhere to their lease agreement, and volunteer several hours per month at a selected location.





Referrals and information can help clients with locating the right agency or social service in the community. The Union-Snyder CAA provides free information on resources, government benefits and services available to individuals and families. One example of where information can be kept is the Family Resource Guide that was created in partnership with the Integrated Family Services Council.

Help for Transportation is available from the Self-sufficiency Transportation Employment, otherwise known as STEP. The non-profit understands that the path to self-sufficiency and higher incomes is possible with reliable transportation. The program can arrange for Help with car repairs, access to USTA, providing rides to child care, payments for car insurance, and even low cost loans for the purchase of a car. Many conditions are in place include the applicant needs to be working, show a pattern of self-sufficiency, agree to case management and more. Call 1-877-497-1257.

The USCAA offers two components as part of its Employment and Work Ready Programs. There is the Outreach Services Component and also the Supported Work Component. In addition, USCAA provides services under the Supported Engagement Program. Individuals interested in participating in these job programs need to obtain a referral through their local county social service assistance office.

The Outreach Services Component of the Work Ready Program helps individuals and other clients that are enrolled in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to overcome any challenges and issues that may be stopping them from complying with federal government work requirements. During home visits, a case manager from the non-profit community action agency partners with the TANF eligible individuals to enable TANF cash assistance benefits to continue or be restored.

The Supported Work Component of the Work Ready Program helps support people who are ineligible for federal government benefits under SSI or who may have other limitations making them unable to be fully employed. The client will be assigned a case manager, and this Supported Work Component participants learn about job development, educational services and they will also have a job readiness coach help them to become hired and maintain employment. Individuals must be participating in the TANF program to be eligible.

Union-Snyder Office of Human Resources Supported Engagement Program will help individuals both locate and keep full time, unsubsidized employment for a minimum of 20 hours per week. Those individuals in SEP face particularly difficult challenges in obtaining and keeping a job including pay for childcare, housing, rental costs, or transportation expenses.

Families Learning Together is a Family Development program. This offers individuals and their children from Union and Snyder County the opportunity to participate in interactive literacy activities to improve reading and understanding. The community action early childhood education classes will prepare pre-K kids for school. There are also parenting classes so that you can learn how to become a better parent, and adult education classes to help clients achieve their own goals.

Several area non-profit organizations are involved in the education and job programs including Americorps, the Nurse Family Partnership, the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata, both Snyder County Children and Youth and the Union County Children and Youth, the Middlecreek Area Community Center, and several others.

By Jon McNamara











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