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Wright County Community Action agency assistance programs.

The non-profit Wright County Community Action Agency provides help to the working poor, low income, and unemployed. Applicants need to be on the path to self-sufficiency in order to get assistance (including financial help) from the charity, but as resources allow, everything from food to housing is offered.

Some of the programs are offered directly by the agency, and others are available from government benefits or public aid. Some of the main focuses on the agency are on preventing hunger and homelessness, so food and help for housing are available.

Free food, hygiene supplies, and household goods

A free Food Shelf is the only emergency pantry available to Wright County families who are faced with hunger. Groceries as well as other items may be passed out. Clients of the center can't have access to any other food shelf services or government benefits in their immediate area.

The pantry is located at the Family Service Center in Waverly, and the non-profit food Shelf provides a supply of groceries and canned goods to families as well as senior citizens throughout the county. Once this immediate emergency need is met, other WCCA programs assist trying to solve other, more long-term needs (such as employment and education) to ensure that basic needs are met well into the future.

Applications for WIC - Women, Infants and Children are offered, and this is a federally-funded nutrition program serving females who are pregnant, infants, or new moms. Applications from Wright County Community Action Agency can furnish vouchers that can be exchanged for supplemental groceries, such as vegetables, milk, fresh fruit, whole grains, infant food, iron fortified cereals, formula and more. Other WIC services include a one-on-one nutrition assessment, counseling, and access to community services.

The free Clothing Center is located at the Wright County Community Action Family Service Center in Waverly. Each year, the site provides essential clothing for work or school and household items to low-income residents.




Financial assistance along with counseling or referrals

Mortgage help and foreclosure prevention provides advice and education to homeowners in regard to the foreclosure process. Clients can get information on the terms of their mortgages, and their current financial circumstances. Other prevention services include exploring all available options, such as loan loss mitigation and modifications.

The objective is to ensure that participants from Wright County Minnesota are prepared to remain current with their mortgage payments well into the future. While some times state or government grants (or cash assistance programs are offered) it is generally counseling. To make this happen, there are a number of foreclosure counselors that will assist each participant with developing and following a household budget.

Transitional Housing as well as information on low income apartments is available in Wright County as well as the city of buffalo MN. They are have more information on section 8 HUD housing. These resources can provide scattered-site housing to the working poor as well as homeless individuals and families in Wright County. Any housing aid is combined with supportive services to assist them in their efforts to move toward self-sufficiency. Or learn more on section 8 HCV program.

As part of this WCCA solution, after signing a lease, the participant pays a percentage of his or her income as rent. This is backed up with limited financial assistance from the state of Minnesota and services provided by the community action agency that include information and referrals as well as ongoing budgeting assistance.

WCCA is the Wright County administrator for heating bill help from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. This federal funded resource assists income eligible households and senior citizens that are struggling with paying for their home heating and energy bills.





LIHEAP provides financial assistance as well as grants for paying a portion of bills for heating oil, natural gas, propane, and electricity. Assistance with utility or preventing a termination of service is also available to those who qualify. Eligibility for any federal assistance in Wright County is based on income, household size, and actual heating costs over a twelve-month period.

Wright County Community Action  programs are available to assist low to moderate income households in conserving energy. There is also help for budgeting for heating expenses and resolving shut off issues.

One such program is the free Weatherization service, which provides energy-efficient, money-saving measures to the homes of financially disadvantaged residents. This is focused primarily on senior citizens as well as the disabled or families with children. Whenever possible, Weatherization coordinates with other programs to provide a more comprehensive set of services to meet the housing needs of participating households. Or read more on Minnesota Weatherization home improvement.

Home repair loans can also help keep people safe and healthy. WCCA offers a variety of products to pay for major home repair, and the loans are both county and community based. If needed, case managers from the non-profit also assist the homeowner in determining the scope of needed repair work and selecting contractors to do the repairs. Once work is completed, WCCA accompanies the homeowner on an inspection of the outcome.

Eligibility for one of these low cost loans is determined according to asset and income guidelines, and whether or not property taxes are kept current. Also, deferred loans carrying no or low interest are available to qualifying clients, but the money does need to be repaid when the house is sold or transferred.

Community Action of Write County money management programs

The goal of Family Budgeting from Wright County Community Action is to provide the tools and skills needed to people so they can financially independent and self-sufficient. Family Budgeting services from counselors provide individualized guidance in creating a reasonable budget, advice on saving, learning to track spending, and also guidance on setting financial goals. Or learn more on low income budgeting plans.

Free tax preparation services are coordinated by community action. This is for state of Minnesota as well as federal income and property taxes. Advice and support is available to elderly and economically disadvantaged residents of Wright County.

As part of this process, trained and certified WCCA tax preparers ensure that clients receive any credits to which they are entitled, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is reduces the financial burdens on economically disadvantaged working families. The intent is to allow them to meet essential expenses while working toward self-sufficiency. EITC credits from the federal government are intended for families who work but do not earn enough income. It has the effect of reducing the income tax burdens on economically disadvantaged families so they may meet essential expenses while striving to become self-sufficient.





Head Start really does provide children aged under the age of 6 with support. There is education, food, and other services focused on developmental needs. Head Start supports emotional growth and development for the youth from income-eligible Wright families, and also for age-eligible children with special needs. Program activities promote education, nutrition, health and socialization. Educational activities focus on growth and development in literacy, math, language, science, social functioning, physical skills, overall learning abilities, and more.

Apply or get information to WCCA programs

Many other services, details on government grants, and assistance programs are offered. The main location of Wright County Community Action is at 130 West Division St., Maple Lake, MN 55358. Call 320-963-6500 for information.

By Jon McNamara


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