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United Services Community Action Agency assistance programs - The Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City.

Low income families and the unemployed can contact the Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City, which was formally known as the United Services Community Action Agency. The non-profit runs programs for the low income, unemployed, and poor in Clay, Jackson, and Platte County Missouri. They can provide financial assistance (often by referral) and also longer term employment and educational services.

The regional Kansas City community action agency is a poverty fighting group. They combine short term help, including government grants for utilities, housing and more, with case management. As employment, budgeting, financial literacy and similar factors are all key to improving finances.

Kansas City Community Action Agency financial resources

LIHEAP energy assistance is for the low income that pay a high percentage of their income for their utility and heating bills. Federal government and state of Missouri funds go to provide for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It was created to assist those low income families that are struggling, with an emphasis on seniors and the disabled. The Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City works closely with the Department of Social Services and other Kansas City non-profits on administering the program.

There is a one-time-a-year cash grant/payment that pays utility companies on behalf of the participant to help offset the high cost of winter natural gas, electric and heating bills. This program is available from October to March of each year, or until funding is used up, which usually happens.

The second part of Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is ECIP, or the crisis program. This will help families in Jackson and Clay with energy utility shut off notices. Applicants for this ECIP program need to have their heating/cooling service threatened for disconnection or shut off. Or they can’t currently have power right now. There may occasionally be funds offered for paying cooling bills during the summer months. Read more on Crisis LIHEAP energy bill assistance.




Housing assistance may be available, when funding allows, as part of the CSBG (Community Service Block Grant). It is a key focus of non-profit United Services Community Action Agency / USCAA. Assistance is for those facing eviction or that may be currently homeless. What may be available includes funds for paying rent, security deposits, and clients can also take part in a case management approach to help gain self-sufficiency.

As part of this, the Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City will also refer clients to legal aid and/or free mediation services. In the counties, including Jackson, Platte, and Clay, there are pro-bono attorneys, who can negotiate payment plans with banks or landlords or represent tenants in housing court. They also assist with applications to section 8 housing choice vouchers in Missouri, SSI disability, public housing and other services. More on free attorneys in Missouri near you.

Holiday programs include Christmas Stores in Platte County Missouri and parts of Kansas City. It can provide seniors with a free food voucher, gifts, clothing, and presents. Children from low income families may receive gifts, toys, and other goods as well. The United Services Community Action Agency runs these holiday programs in partnership with churches and regional non-profits.

Another holiday program in Jackson and Clay Counties is known as Red Bags. A group known as the Christmas Families organization partners with the community action agency to help families and children in need in the low income disadvantage areas of Kansas City. Children may be given shoes, clothing, bedding, toys, dolls, and more.





Life skills, budgeting, financial literacy and employment assistance

Employment Assistance / Job Readiness is the name given to a workshop that can help people find a job in the greater Kansas City area. Both currently unemployed and so called under-employed low-income people may be able to get help in today’s ever evolving job market. Get help in overcoming employment barriers and solutions, set career goals, get advice and support on completing an application and interview techniques, access databases of employers and more.

Many employers in Kansas City try to be flexible around work conditions. They may offer part time, contract, freelance or work from home jobs. Case workers will refer clients to these programs, employers as well as local companies. Or find freelance contract jobs to work from home.

Youth can enroll into the P.A.V.E. the Way (Project Assets and Values in Education) project. It is offered for low-income and poor young people. It will help them reach beyond their current circumstances and put themselves in a better position to succeed over the long term. There are different phases that help with personal development, work readiness, skill development, career options and also a Leadership Development Institute. They are created to help unite young people with adults who are interested in mentoring and providing support.

Family Assistance and case management focuses on assisting those facing poverty, the homeless and low-income individuals and families to become self-sufficient. Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City( formerly called) United Services Community Action Agency staff will help individuals increase their access to resources through the use of social support and advocacy that may be provided by the assigned case manager. The client learns through these case management approaches how to become more self sufficient.

What may be provided includes financial assistance to obtain housing; help in finding and maintaining employment; financial education and budgeting help; details on temporary and permanent housing; emergency assistance such as food, clothing and personal hygiene items. That is some of the support that can be arranged by USCAA during the case management process.

Life Skills classes is another option. This is help in the form of a workshop and it too leads to self-sufficiency. Some of what may be covered by the Life Skills workshop includes Building Strong Families, Income Management, Budgeting, Effective Communication, Dressing for Success , Nutrition, Work Ethics, Stress Management, Problem Resolution, and Resource Networking.

Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City locations

There are several offices that focus on Kansas City as well as nearby counties. They are noted below. Clients can get referrals, guidance and support from the community action agency.





Jackson County sites, Central (Administrative Office), 6323 Manchester Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri 64133, call (816) 358-6868. A second office is at Eastern Hawthorne Place Apartments, 16995 E. Dover Lane, Independence, Missouri 64056, (816) 994-2100.

Clay County, Excelsior Springs, 108 South Thompson Ave, Excelsior Springs, Missouri 64024, Phone (816) 630-0037. A second Clay County site can be found at Northland Englewood Baptist Church, 1900 NE Englewood Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64118, call (816) 459-9615.

Platte County, 412 Aller Avenue, Tracy, Missouri 64079, call (816) 858-5153.

By Jon McNamara













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