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West Central Wisconsin CAA assistance programs.

Residents in the western part of Wisconsin can contact their local non-profit community action agency, West Central Wisconsin CAA, or West CAP, for help. They process applications for numerous assistance programs, can provide referrals, case management and other aid. While some short term support may be offered in an emergency for rent or utility bills, the goal is to help clients gain self-sufficiency.

Assistance is available in the counties of Chippawa, Barron, Polk, St. Croix, Pierce, Pepin, and Dunn. There are also a few West CAP offices to call for help, as indicated below. While resources are limited, case management and other support may be available to those that qualify.

Weatherization program will improve the energy efficiency of the Wisconsin housing stock. It is a energy conservation program for low/moderate income people from all counties covered by West CAP. While you need to apply at County Energy Assistance Offices, the community action agency is a great resource for more information and referrals. Weatherization is available to people who own their home or rent. The improvements and work can be done on homes, duplexes, mobile homes, condos and even apartment buildings. Crews and contractors that are part of West Central Wisconsin CAA do the prescribed weatherization work and conduct final testing.

Improvements frequently undertaken include adding insulation, air sealing, improvements to the heating system, compact fluorescent light bulbs, installation of water saving devices, replacement of inefficient refrigerators and freezers, and at times installation of ventilation fans to improve interior air quality. The places to apply or call are below.

  • Barron County - phone 715-537-5691
  • Chippewa County energy office is at 715-726-7840
  • Dunn County - Call 715-232-1116
  • Pepin County - 715-672-8941
  • Pierce County residents should dial 715-273-6788
  • Polk County - 715-485-8480
  • St. Croix County - Call 715-265-4271




The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program is administered by West CAP. It offers low income qualified households with heating bill assistance, emergency services, non-heat electric assistance, and furnace repairs if needed. Funds are limited and offered first come and served with a focus on seniors and households with children or disabled members.

Foreclosure Intervention provides homeowners in western and central Wisconsin with individual housing counseling and offers workshops in counties such as Chippawa and Polk. The services are arranged at no cost to the household. The Housing Counselors from the community action agency and its partner organization may assist individuals in the home loan workout plan process with your bank/lender/servicer.

Some of the assistance available includes hints and tips when working with your lender or servicer, budgeting and determining affordability, definition of foreclosure terms, and Loss Mitigation options.

One time, emergency rent or utility bill assistance from West CAP’s is also a possibility. The non-profit may have rent, utility, and transitional housing programs for qualified residents of Dunn, Pepin, Barron, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix counties. A separate service may be operated in Chippewa county.

The aid is disbursed under the Homeless Prevention Program. The non-profit provides short-term rental assistance to qualified families and individuals experiencing homelessness or people facing imminent eviction. The types of rental and housing assistance available are funds for paying security deposit, first month’s, or even back rent.

West CAP also tries to provide one-time, emergency utility bill assistance to individuals and families that are in jeopardy of disconnection of their power. The non-profit will try to coordinate up to one month of past due utility help or provide for a minimum delivery of fuel oil or propane.

Transitional Housing Programs are mainly from the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) programs as well as the federal government HUD Supportive Housing Program (SHP). These resources can help at-risk and homeless families and individuals. When possible, clients can even be directed to more long-term rent assistance and case management in order to live in safe and secure housing, increase skills and/or income, and also gain more control over decisions that affect their lives.

Participants in these transitional housing programs will receive financial assistance for rent and security deposit expenses. They will also receive in-home consultation with a West Central Wisconsin CAA case manager. All participants will also be assisted in developing a housing stabilization plan and receive case management such as budgeting classes, income and employment opportunities, Child Care, and more.

The Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers is another option. It is federally government funded program with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). It can offer partial rent assistance to persons in finding and paying for decent, safe, and affordable housing in St. Croix, Pierce, and Dunn counties. Households that take place in Section 8 will be required to pay 30% of their income towards rent and the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pays the balance of it.





JumpStart Car Program will ensure reliable transportation is available so qualified individuals can get a better job, find daycare for your child, attend job training and the medical services you need. This car program is for eligible residents in Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Wisconsin. The program will try to help low-income families in buying a reliable car for their job or employment training. Call 800-606-9227 for an application. A number of conditions will need to be met by applicants.

Food assistance is offered from pantries as well as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Resources from WEST CAP work to improve the health of low income adults age 60 years or older, children, and the less fortunate by supplementing their diets with nutritious foods.

The Food Access and Resources program supports a network of local soup kitchens, pantries, charities and shelters. The agency works to provide emergency food assistance for low-income families, the unemployed, and needy. There are a couple dozen community-based food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens in west central Wisconsin that people can turn to for direct, emergency food assistance. West CAP also operates their own local food pantry at 823 Main Street, Boyceville.

Recipients who qualify may receive an assortment of cereals, meat, canned goods, frozen foods, fruit and vegetables, as well an assortment of personal care items. The package was designed to meet the family’s nutritional needs for a period of up to 5 days.

Vouchers are offered for the Senior Farmers’ Market. The elderly and senior citizens in the area will be provided them so they can purchase fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs, if needed. All items will be bought from local, certified farmers. The vouchers are provided to those that qualify and are the result of a grant from USDA Food and Nutrition Service and are also brought to the region by a partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and local charities.

Family Table is more of an educational program. It offers the low income and families facing poverty with an eight-week meal preparation and nutrition education session. The goal of Family Table goal is to help families gain skills, knowledge, and confidence to create cost-effective, healthy, and even tasty meals.

Adult Literacy can help people that want to improve their literacy skills for job related or personal goals. Tutors that are arranged by West CAP will also work with people who have learning disabilities or are learning English as a second language. Some of the skills and classes cover topics such as basic English language speaking, writing and reading. Basic math skills are also taught if needed.




Many people from the region want to enter post-secondary education or enroll into job training but do not have the needed English language skills to succeed. Some others want to earn a GED, but need the one-on-one tutoring that the technical colleges cannot provide. So these services can help learners enter the competitive Wisconsin job market.

The West CAP / West Central Wisconsin community action offices are below.

Main center is at 525 2nd St., P.O. Box 308, Glenwood City, Wisconsin 54013. Call 800-606-9227
Ideal Auto is located at 315 Misty Lane, P.O. Box 308, Glenwood City, WI  54013. Telephone number is 800-606-9227
Weatherization is run from 319 Misty Lane, Glenwood City, WI  54013. Call 800-606-9227
A partner agency is the Menomonie Office & Dunn County Housing Authority, 1421 Stout Road      Menomonie, WI  54751, call (715) 235-4511


By Jon McNamara


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