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Westchester Community Action Agency Opportunity assistance programs.

Resources from the Westchester Community Opportunity are focused on the poor, low income, and struggling in the county. Assistance is also for nearby Putnam and Rockland Counties. Much of the aid is offered in partnership with local social service agencies or charities. The amount and type of assistance available from the non-profit community action agency touches upon a number of needs, such as food, clothing, eviction prevention services, energy bills, and more.

The agency operates from a few different locations in Westchester County. The goal is to strengthen the community over the long term from assisting with school items and clothing, employment and job training, and other self-sufficiency.

Food and financial help from WCAAO

Free Food is available Westchester Community Opportunity, and it is often available in partnership with local businesses. What may be offered can be ready to eat meals that are surpluses from places like Fresh Market and other retailers or restaurants. In addition, a bi-monthly food distribution is available for all income qualified, registered families. They may receive items such as dry goods, canned goods, fruits and vegetables.

Basic needs can be met. They include some or all of the following. There may be free clothes along with work attire or books and education supplies. The job is to help with employment and related needs.

Housing programs range from eviction prevention, transitional housing, and information on rental assistance, including section 8. The homeless or those looking for a new apartment in the expensive Westchester County market can get help in locating a permanent home and learn about programs for paying first months rent or a security deposits. The community action agency mostly offers referrals with these needs. As an example, find rental assistance in Westchester County.

Other everyday, basic needs such as back to school clothing, supplies or gently used clothing and furniture may be offered. Some people may receive a voucher for free clothing, while others can acquire goods at a low price. The WestCOP community action agency works with other non-profits, such as the Salvation Army in Westchester, on many of these basic needs. Holiday toys and Christmas goods may be offered too.




The New Rochelle CAP is a key partner of WestCOP. Most of the staff from the branch is focused on housing issues and meeting the needs of the low income and seniors. The non-profit is committed to offering housing development, energy conservation, transitional housing, senior nutrition, rental assistance, child care referral, outreach, information & referral, food bank, general case management, and utility bill assistance programs. The demand for help in New Rochelle is very high, and only some applications can be fulfilled.

Veterans from the Westchester County region can get assistance from SSCF. The focus is on the homeless or veterans facing imminent eviction from their home or apartment. It addresses those with a disability, mental illness, or other challenges as well. The main goal of the SSVF Program is to promote housing stability among very low-income and/or poor Veteran families who reside in or are transitioning to permanent housing.

Some of what is included as part of SSVF is help in locating or paying the rent or deposits on a new affordable home. This is combined with basic needs, such as food, clothing, and medical care. Case managers from community action also work with clients on breaking a cycle of homelessness, and this will be services such as job training and financial literacy.

Westchester Community Opportunity helps with transportation too. Many lower income families struggle to pay for commuting costs in the region. The non-profit will try to direct them to grant programs, free or discounted bus fare, or loan programs including Ways to Work auto loans.

Educational and child care programs

Employment and job training will include government resources such as WIA and referrals to local one stop job centers. These can help people looking for new skills or just the currently unemployed. There can be information on job opportunities in all counties too, including Westchester as well as nearby spots like Rockland.





Head Start is part of what Westchester Community Opportunity Assistance Program administers. It is available in Putnam County too.

Over 20 different centers are part of child development. They offer part-day care or six hour Head Start, Universal Pre-Kindergarten, full day child care, therapeutic classrooms, information on voucher programs and after-school services.

The Head Start and Early Head Start programs offer clients with full scale comprehensive child development services for children from birth to five years of age. The agency will offer social competence and school readiness as well.

Parents of the child can get help as well, as they are key to the child’s overall well being. They can be put into place to purse goals they have, can become involved in all aspects of the Head Start program, and be referred to resources such as job training. There are a wide range of community agencies that work with WestCOP on this.

Child care needs can be coordinated as part of the after school program. This is mainly for working families who need support with after school needs.

Locations of community action - WestCOP

There are several offices of the Westchester Community Action Opportunity Program, and they cover cities such as New Rochelle, Greenburgh, White Plains, Peekskill and more. The main office is at 2 Westchester Plaza, Elmsford, New York 10523. Dial 914.592.5600 for information.

Rockland County - 17 W. Broad Street, Haverstraw, NY 10927, Phone: (845)728-0688 or another office is at 94 N. Main Street, Spring Valley, New York 10977, call (845) 262-1987.

Putnam County center is at 121 Main St., Brewster, New York 10509. Telephone - 845.278.8021

By Jon McNamara

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