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Great Lakes Community Action Partnership assistance programs.

One of the leading non-profits in the region is Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, which was formerly known as WSOS Community Action Commission. The organizations provides coverage to the low income, seniors, and disabled in Sandusky, Wood, Ottawa, Lucas and Seneca Counties in Ohio.

Dozens of programs are available, and if they do not have what you need, then ask for referrals. Financial aid may be offered for paying rent or heating bills. Other housing aid is foreclosure counseling. Or if you need a new or better job, look into the GLCAP education and employment programs. Some of the community action agencies main solutions are below.

Energy bills and housing programs from GLCAP Community Action

The resources from the Housing Assistance program are extensive. It provides an array of services for homeless, people facing eviction or pending homeless individuals and/or families. These services include short term rental assistance, intensive case management, and social supportive services.

The suite of utility conservation programs aim to educate participants on energy consumption and saving measures that can help lower utility bills. Trained inspectors from GLCAP Community Action conduct free energy audits and inspect homes or apartments to identify heating inefficiencies. The staff work closely with income qualified residents to reduce their consumption and lower their utility bills.

Mortgage assistance is offered in areas such as Lucas County from the free Foreclosure Prevention program. It offers relevant counseling and advice to homeowners who are facing foreclosure. People can learn about government mortgage programs, create a budget, and get help with understanding the Ohio laws and regulations on foreclosure.

The Home Buyer Assistance program provides down payment and closing costs assistance for qualified first time home buyers. Specialists from GLCAP also offer HUD approved home-ownership counseling services in order to prepare and educate participants for home-ownership.

The Home Rehabilitation/Repairs offers eligible homeowners in Wood and Sandusky County regions assistance by way of grants or deferred loans. The money issued is to be used towards building repairs and rehabilitation.




TRIPS General Public Transportation Program provides curb-to-curb public transportation assistance for eligible residents of Sandusky County. Residents can avail themselves of low fare rides for employment, medical and shopping purposes. This can be done provided rides are scheduled 24 hours in advance. If and when needed, wheelchair accessible vehicles are offered based on availability. Residents can also request for a Passenger Care Attendant (PCA) that can assist with door-through-door service for elderly, seniors and disabled passengers.

Home Weatherization is a program that provides free home weatherization measures to eligible very low income residents Lucan and Wood County. Federal government grants are used to pay for a complete home inspection to determine insulation needs and address any health and safety issues.

Temporary support from the GLCAP Shelter and Transitional Housing program provides the homeless with up to 24 months of rental assistance. This resource is not permanent and is only intended to help those who need assistance to find and pay for housing on their own. Eligible participants receive short term rental assistance, home visits, budgeting advice, goal setting plans and referrals to other agencies.

Long term support is from the Permanent Supportive Housing program. As funding allows, it provides much longer term rental assistance to disabled, homeless individuals who need assistance to find and pay for housing. In addition to rental assistance, eligible individuals receive assistance with debt reduction services, goal setting and referrals to other local non-profit agencies.

Senior Services are offered from Case managers. Staff from SOS provide a range of services to people 60 years of age and older. Regular services include free nutritional lunches, medical assessments, checkups and educational activities at senior centers in Toledo and other Ohio cities. Special events include hot breakfast and evening dinners. Transportation is available for all of these events. Homebound seniors also receive delivered meals.

In addition to the services above, Meals-on-Wheels for Homebound Seniors operates in the community with local charities and churches. This program provides nutritional lunches to qualifying homebound seniors 60 years of age, their spouses and the disabled  that reside in Sandusky County. More information about the program can be obtained at phone number (419) 334-6894.





Several different Utility Bill Assistance Programs provides emergency financial assistance for paying electric and heating bills. WSOS Community Action Commission runs this in Seneca, Sandusky and other Ohio counties. Grants are for households threatened with a utility shut off, already disconnected, that are out of heating oil, or having less than a ten day fuel supply.

EHEAP, or the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program, provides utility assistance for electric and heating bills. Those that receive priority are households threatened with a utility shut off. Many local families benefits from this, including the disabled and seniors.

Aid is for people already disconnected or having less than a ten day fuel supply. Assistance availability paid out ranges from $175.00 to $750.00 depending on the household electric and heating source. In addition, payment plans can also be set on accounts, depending on the utility company providing services to the home. An appointment can be scheduled at the community action center by calling 888-441-4327.

Air conditioning or cooling bills can be paid by the Summer Crisis Program. It offers utility bill assistance of up to $175.00 for paying summertime electric bills depending on what is currently owed on bill at time of appointment. The program also provides air conditioners or free box fans for those who qualify and have not received one in the previous three years.

Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) is a free, residential energy efficiency program that is administered by Great Lakes Community Action Partnership . It helps qualified households take steps to reduce their energy use. The program educates income-eligible households on the basics of Heating system repairs, tune ups or replacements; energy efficiency and provides assistance with  attic, extra wall insulation; air leakage reduction; electrical measures that address energy efficient lighting and appliance efficiency. It also may have new energy efficient water measures such as low flow showerheads, hot water heater blanket, or aerators.

First Energy is another conservation program that is used in combination with the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) to help homeowners enjoy a safer, healthier and more comfortable home that costs less to live in. Some of the free services that the program provides include consumer education; energy efficient bulbs; attic, floor, wall, pipe, duct insulation and new energy efficient water measures such as low flow showerheads, aerators, hot water heater blanket.

EPP, or the Electrical Partnership Program, is a free residential energy efficiency program that helps customers make educated choices about how they use electricity. Homeowners benefit by using energy efficient appliances that help lower energy consumption and costs thereby increasing their savings. Some of the services that a household receives could include new freezer or refrigerator(s), freezer, energy efficient water measures such as low flow showerheads, or free aerators.

Yet another option is WarmChoice from Columbia Gas. This is also a free, energy efficiency program that is used in combination with the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) to help homeowners enjoy a safer, healthier and more comfortable home that costs less to live in.

Through the HUD certified Foreclosure Prevention program, Housing Counselors from Great Lakes Community Action Partnership serve as advocates on behalf of the homeowner. They may contact the lender or bank and try to reach a mutual workout plan that will prevent foreclosure.





The government certified Foreclosure Prevention program helps with drafting a hardship letter, preparing a current and accurate budget, considering ways to reduce financial obligations and reviewing workout options or mortgage modifications appropriate to the homeowner’s goals.

A key partner is the Ohio Housing Trust Fund. The help administer the Emergency Home Repair program for homeowners in the counties of Wood, Sandusky, Ottawa, and Seneca. This program helps with health and general safety issues, handicap and disabled accessibility and other serious issues with the residence.

Community Housing Improvement Program, or the CHIP Home Repair resource, is a service is offered as a cash grant that will never have to be repaid. The aim is to help preserve homes by providing households with limited financial assistance to correct one or two significant problems. The program provides a range of home repair services from contractors. Some of what may be done includes structural or roof repairs, Electrical and Plumbing repairs/upgrades and Repair or replacement of roofs, furnaces and hot water tanks.

Employment, job training, and programs for children

Job assistance from the WIA is an income based program that provides youth and teenagers with educational and occupational training along with case management and other supportive services. Participants are assigned a case manager who assists the youth in obtaining the skills needed in today’s challenging employment market. Services consist of but, not limited to occupational skills training, one-on-one mentoring, from seniors, and assistance with educational planning.

The After School Program provides eligible middle school and elementary age students with opportunities to enhance their academic performance. Services include activities in homework assistance, nutrition, recreation, tutoring programs, and they require parent involvement.

In addition to that, there are numerous summer and seasonal programs in the area. They provide both academic and non-academic support for students and families. The program aims to significantly increase student achievement in reading and math and also expand learning opportunities for children and youth from the region.

Employment Resources and Job Training for Adults is administered by GLCAP Community Commission. These programs from the non-profit offer adults a chance to learn job skills. The goal is to eventually get them into position to experience on-the-job training and placement opportunities with local Sandusky or Ottawa area employers.

The EHS Childcare Program offers childcare assistance for up to 12 hours a day, 5 days a week in Bowling Green and other areas. Children in Early Head Start will experience high quality education care with developmentally appropriate materials and practices provided by Great Lakes Community Action Partnership educated staff.

Early Head Start aims to enhance the development of very young children and promote healthy family functioning by reinforcing and responding to the unique strengths of each individual child, student and family. Assistance is provided by way of comprehensive free medical care, mental health and disability assistance for children with special needs.

Head Start (HS) Center-based Program is a traditional preschool program, with group sizes under children. Students and children enrolled in this program attend classes daily, Monday through Thursday during the school year. While at the program children participate in hands-on learning experiences and receive a nutritional meal and snack.

Participating children receive a wealth of school readiness experiences as well as developmental screenings and assessments, in addition to medical, mental health, snacks, nutrition, food and dental services. Families will have opportunities referrals to Sandusky County area community resources, and volunteer experiences.







Infant/Toddler Programs offer varied services to children ages birth to three and their families. Assistance is offered from teachers by way of education, health care, nutrition, parent involvement and social services through home-based or childcare options for the family.

Children and students can look into Preschool Programs. The community action agency will coordinate assistance by way of education, health, nutrition, parent involvement and social services to children ages three and four and their families. Services can be center-based, home-based or childcare and operate in all counties, including Wood.

Locations of GLCAP Community Action

There are multiple sites (as noted below). However the main location is at 127 S. Front Street, Fremont, Ohio 43420. Call 1-800-775-9767 for intake.

  • Wood County OBB is located at 812 North College Drive, Bowling Green, OH 43402, phone number - 419-333-6009
  • San Dusky County location. Central Office, 109 South Front St., Fremont, OH 43420, call (419) 334-8911
  • Ottawa County Resource Center, 8043 W. St. Rte. 163, Oak Harbor, Ohio 43449, telephone number 419-898-3688
  • WSOC Seneca County is at Ostoria Office, 801 Kirk St., Fostoria, OH 44830 call (419) 435-4884.
  • Hancock County - Findlay Office, 7746 CR 140, Findlay, Ohio 45839, phone (419) 429-8040
  • Lucas County, SSVF Lucas, Seneca & Wood County, 725 Lagrange St., Toledo, OH 43604, call 419-243-8840


By Jon McNamara

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