Yates and Seneca County assistance programs.

The leading non-profit to call for help is Pro Action of Steuben & Yates, Inc. They are a community action agency that is focused on the low income and working poor.

Utility bill assistance is offered from Home Energy Assistance Program. The federal government funded program can help pay energy bills. The focus is on winter heating costs, but some funds may be offered from time to time in the summer for paying cooling bills.

HEAP in effect allows customers across Seneca and Yates County to pay their utility bills using government money, so that in effect frees up their income to pay for other basic needs such as rent, medications, or food. Money is also offered in an emergency, such as a shut off or someone running out of heating oil.

Other resources can pay for the repairs and/or replacements of furnaces or air conditioners for households with inoperable heating or cooling equipment. The Department of Social Services partners with Pro Action in offering this service.

Senior Employment Program is offered for low income residents over 55 years of age. Earn a small stipend while also learning skills and gaining experience. You may be placed into paid community service employment and internships with local non-profits.

Weatherization Assistance Program – Reduce your cooling and heating bills by improving the safety and energy efficiency of your home. Conservation is available for both multi and single-family homes. People who apply for, and receive weatherization, will experience significant household energy use savings. Average savings on your utility bills will be in excess of 20%.

Job Programs - Programs can help people find and respond to job opportunities in the Finger Lakes region. As many people know, sometimes just getting enough experience is the hardest part. So Pro Action has developed partnerships with local employers and agencies to place people into positions to gain experience.

EmPower NY is another energy conservation measure. EmPower is only for NYSEG customers and it also focuses on electric bills and usage. So it does not deal with some of the same issues as weatherization.





Affordable food is offered from a service known as Food Sense, which is a group purchasing program. Or think about it like bulk buying. Participants of the program pay $15.50 and receive 45 dollars' worth of food in one distribution. All food, meals, and groceries are of the highest quality.

One Stop Career Centers / Workforce NY – Yet another employment program offered by Pro Action of Steuben & Yates, Inc. Use resources to develop your skills and find opportunities for employment.

Senior Nutrition – Is offered for people over 60. Some meals are home-delivered too. The senior program provides up to two nutritious meals per day to the elderly. Meals are also served on weekdays at congregate meal sites and food pantries in both Yates and Steuben County. Each meal provided to seniors provides 1/3 of the Recommended Daily Allowances of important nutrients.

The locations of the Pro Action center is 117 East Steuben Street, Suite 11, Bath, New York 14810-1600, Phone:(607) 776-2125, or learn more.

Catholic Charities of The Finger Lakes supports both Yates and Steuben County families as well. The non-profit can provide energy bill help from HEAP. Also apply for emergency financial aid for buying prescriptions, medical care such as glasses and dentist bills, and transportation too. May have limited funds for rent or housing costs. Food, holiday assistance and programs for seniors are offered in central New York. The organization is one of the leading social service agencies in the region. Click here.

Community Action Agency of Seneca, Yates, and Wayne - The regional not for profit is a resource for those that are struggling. Short term, emergency assistance for needs such as food or rent may be combined with long term support, such as job placement.

The agency does its best to assist the low income, working poor, disabled and others. Contact them for information or referrals to food stamps, housing assistance (including rent help and deposits), home repairs, and clothing needs. There may be short term loans for paying for home improvements, including energy efficiency measures. They have information on a number of self-sufficiency resources in Yates and nearby Seneca New York.Continue community action Wayne and Seneca.

Emergency shelter and temporary housing is available. Struggling families or the homeless can benefit from transitional housing programs, case management, and homeless prevention services. Several Seneca County non-profits and charities offer these resources. More information.





Interlaken Reformed Church Kitchen Cupboard – Distributes food from a pantry and clothing as well. 8315 Main Street, Interlaken, NY 14847, phone (607) 532-4321 for intake.

Wheels for Work can provide a car or transportation so someone can get to work. This allows people the ability to find or keep a job. A low interest loan is provided to clients. The program can also pay for costs such as auto repair vouchers, car insurance payments, and license and registration fees. Read more car repair programs.

Ovid Federated Church – Runs a food pantry for residents in Ovid. (607) 869-2794

Cayuga Seneca Community Action Agency is only for residents of that county. Most of the financial support is from referrals such as heating bill help from HEAP or rent assistance from Homeless Intervention and Case Management. They offer other support, such as free holiday assistance from Christmas Elf, weatherization services, case management from community centers, and more. CSCAA is for low income families in the region. More.

Seneca County House of Concern is located at 33-35 State Street, Seneca Falls, NY 13148. Phone (315) 568-2433. Services available include SNAP application assistance for emergency food. A thrift store can distribute low cost clothing and furnishings. Qualified low income clients may receive free clothing 4 times per year, 10 items per client. A food pantry is also located here. Find more New York food pantries.

Solid Rock Wesleyan Food Bank – Call for meals and food. 17 Thurber Drive Waterloo, New York 13165.

Friendship House of Middlesex – Food bank is at 5614 Williams Street, Middlesex, NY 14507. Call (585) 554-6056 for intake.

Regional Primary Care Network may have some medical and dental care, and services offered on a sliding fee scale. Resources are offered at the RPCN Rushville Community Health Center, 2 Rubin Drive, Rushville, New York 14544, phone (585) 554-4400.




The location is a primary medical and dental care services for all ages. Specifically, apply for well-baby checkups, blood pressure screening, preventive medicine, and other regular care. Exams offered can include vision, immunizations, asthma/allergy care, gynecology, women's health, screening, and minor surgical procedures.

Free or low cost dental care includes exams, sealants, x-rays, prophylaxis, fillings, extractions, root canal therapy, crown and bridge, and dentures.

By Jon McNamara

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