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Arkansas community action agencies assistance programs.

Residents of Arkansas can receive help from a community action agency. The non-profit organizations provide a number of services to individuals who are struggling. Programs can help the unemployed, low income, seniors, and those who are just in need. The resources available are wide ranging and can help with emergency needs and also ensure people gain self-sufficiency over the long term.

Each location listed below will offer its own services and they often depend on funding. While some centers in Arkansas may be able to help people apply for financial assistance programs, such as section 8 or utility bill assistance, the main focus is on addressing the root cause of someone’s hardship. So this means they will offer employment assistance, job programs, and educational services to those who need them.

Grants for bills in an emergency

Apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program, which is commonly called LIHEAP. This is the main government program that was created to help low-income people with their paying heating bills. Occasionally funds may be offered for paying cooling bills during the summer. A one-time payment cash grant can be issued by the program and your community action agency. The assistance will be applied directly to your utility bill. You will need to prove your need, including income, expenses, available assets and more. When you are faced with a disconnection the HEAP emergency program in Arkansas may be able to provide grants to those who qualify in a shorter period of time.

During the hot summer months in Arkansas, free fans may be distributed by your community action agency when a weather-related emergency exists. The program provides assistance to households with medical conditions, such as a senior or family with a sick child. Fans are offered for those who are otherwise susceptible to heat and humidity.

The Home Energy Assistance Program Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) is for when a propane tank is below 10% capacity, paying for utility hook-ups and addressing shut-off notices. Funding is very limited for the crisis program.




Emergency food and surplus government commodities are offered. One of the primary programs is the USDA Commodity Food program. This can offer canned goods and packaged foods to eligible households, in particular children, the disabled, and elderly in Arkansas.

The Summer Food Service Program will help students when they do not have access to a lunch. It is for low-income children and youth in Arkansas and it will ensure they access to well-balanced diets all the year, even during breaks and vacations. Your community action agency will work with community based youth mentoring programs, churches, charities, and other groups to provide nutritious meals to children during the summer months.

Financial assistance may be offered by the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. It can assist families who are threatened to be evicted, who owe money on past due utility bills or that are foreclosed upon. It will only pay a portion of your expense and it relies heavily on government aid, so funding is limited. Other non-profits that are involved include the Arkansas United Way, American Red Cross, the Jewish Federations of North America, Catholic Charities and more.

Home buying assistance is available from the Home to Own program. It provides low cost loans, counseling, and other home buying services. Low-income Arkansans who enroll and successfully complete the program may be able to get up to a $6,000 subsidy to be applied to their closing costs and down payment. Or read more information on how to get interest free loans for housing or other bills.

Some centers will administer rental assistance as part of the Section 8 Voucher Program. This is offered for very low-income families and even seniors. It can provide vouchers to be used to pay a portion of your rent. The family can still live in privately owned property as well.





Weatherization is a federal government program that was created in an effort to make homes more energy efficient and safe. Is is effective at helping homeowners reduce high-energy bills and save money. Qualified low income households in Arkansas can receive free wall and attic insulation, weather-stripping of doors and windows, furnace repairs, and other measures. It can help people save hundreds of dollars per year and the improvements can last up to 30 years.

A similar resource is the Arkansas Housing Program. This will provide for floor repairs, replacing or repairing roofs, plumbing, installing wheel chair ramps, electrical issues, installation of siding, or  installation or replacement measures for disabled accessibility. Find more information on roof repair assistance programs.

Case managers from the community action agencies in Arkansas direct low income families, seniors, and the working poor to state and federal financial assistance resources. There are several cash, food, and housing programs available. It can be a form of financial support, and find details on public assistance in Arkansas.

Programs for seniors that are offered at community action agencies

A bill paying service is offered. Money management, workshops, and budgeting is being provided for Social Security claimants. The bill paying is only for those who are mentally incapable of financially managing their money. However other workshops may be offered as well for anyone who meets age guidelines. This low cost program includes paying monthly household bills on the clients behalf.

Senior Wellness Centers are located across Arkansas. Many are run in partnership with organizations such as Salvation Army or Area Agency on Aging. These Centers serve as focal points for the elderly and senior services in the community. They may have free meals, address Health and Wellness issues, financial workshops and more. If a meal is served it will be USDA approved and meet the 1/3 RDA for nutrients.

Transportation is coordinated by your community action agency in partnership with companies such as the South Central Arkansas Transit (SCAT) and Greyhound. The goal is to keep individuals and families connected to safe, reliable transportation services for needs such as a doctor appointment, job interview, or shopping. There will be a minimal cost involved.

Arkansas case management services, including employment and education

Head Start is for low income families with young children. It will provide them with educational resources. Other assistance comes in the form of dental and health services, nutrition and social services (mostly for parents). It will help ensure three and four year old children are ready to learn when transitioning to kindergarten.





The goals of Head Start are to enhance children’s growth and development, link children and families to needed community services across Arkansas, strengthen families as the primary nurturer of children, and of course provide children with health, educational and nutritional services.

Community action Money Management and Individual Development Accounts were created to help people become more financially self-sufficient. Classes, workshops and even videos are offered. Learn how to reduce debts, improve credit, and save more efficiently. Those who enroll can also receive government grants to help build their savings. For examples, some IDAs in Arkansas can provide money to make home repairs, open or expand a small business, funds to pay for college expenses, or even purchase a home. Any matching grants offered are only done so if you save money too.

Free Income Tax Preparation is offered in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. Your non-profit agency can provide services throughout the state. This program will be staffed by trained, certified volunteers. The Free Tax Filing and Preparation programs help senior citizens, low and moderate income families and others who qualify keep more of their hard-earned money.

Employment assistance is offered as part of the Share Network. Job seekers in Arkansas can look for employment opportunities within their own counties and communities. They may also qualify for assistance by trained individuals who connect them to jobs using the Arkansas JobLink (AJL) system. This service is offered by your community action agency working closely with Arkansas Department of Workforce Service.

Income and debt counseling may be offered by credit counselors and other staff. Your community agency will coordinate counseling sessions. There may also be free workshops on income utilization issues, such as managing utility costs, planning nutritious and economical meals, family budgeting, debt reduction, etc. They assist borrowers with credit card bill or debt assistance programs as well as provide help in addressing other loans.

Workforce Development includes a wide range of employment services. Examples of what is offered in Arkansas includes job referrals, employment counseling and workshops, employer contacts, use of computers, and follow-up activities as needed. Click for more information job training in Arkansas.

Education and literacy services are offered for adults and others who have difficulties learning in a classroom or mainstream educational environment. Case managers from a community action agency offer guidance, training and have even created a curriculum for students. Classes can include English as a Second Language (ESL), beginning computer skills, math, life skills, internet usage, driver’s education and health literacy.







General Case Management services are offered for low/moderate income, unemployed, working poor individuals and families. The specific programs include goal setting, job counseling and advocacy. Specifically some activities offered include job referrals, educational pursuits, budget counseling and other helpful tools.

Locations of Arkansas community action agencies

Arkansas River Valley Area Council, Inc. (ARVAC)
Dardanelle, Arkansas 72834
Telephone number is (479) 229-4861
Counties supported include Franklin, Johnson, Conway, Logan, Perry, Pope, Polk, Scott, and Yell. Seniors can receive meals and transportation. Other services, such as education and employment, are offered for low income residents. They also offer rental assistance grants and security deposit assistance from programs such as the Emergency Food and Shelter. Click more information on emergency help from Arkansas River Valley Area Council.

Black River Area Development Corporation
Main office is at 1403 Hospital Drive
Pocahontas, AR 72455
Telephone:(870) 892-4547
If you live in Clay, Lawrence, or Randolph call this agency.

Central Arkansas Development Council, Inc.
P.O. Box 580
Benton, AR 72018
Call (501) 315-1121
Families in the regions of Calhoun, Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring, Lonoke, Montgomery, Ouachita, Pike, Pulaski, Saline, or Union are covered by this agency. Staff can help people apply for food stamps and other government assistance, including summer meals for children. Additional programs may be one time, emergency rent help or utility or security deposit assistance for the homeless, including loans. Free food and more is offered too. More on Central Arkansas Community Action Agency programs.

Community Action Program for Central Arkansas, Inc.
707 Robins Street
Suite 118
Conway, AR 72034
(501) 329-0977
White, Faulkner, Cleburne County. Many services are available for the working poor. Read about Community Action Program for Central Arkansas.

Community Services Offices, Inc. of Garland County
P.O. Box 1175
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71902
Call (501) 624-5724 for information and intake. Numerous referrals and benefits are provided from this Arkansas based agency. Read more Garland community action.

Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council, Inc.
Fort Smith, AR 72914-4069
Main number is (479) 785-2303
The non-profit agency offers help in Sebastian, Crawford, Polk, Franklin, Logan and Scott Counties. More on Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council assistance programs.

Crowley's Ridge Development Council, Inc.
2401 Fox Meadow Lane
Jonesboro, AR 72401
Dial (870) 802-7100
Craighead, Cross, Crittenden, Greene, Jackson, Poinsett, St. Francis, Woodruff.
Some of what may offered includes information on local employers that are hiring. Or apply for LIHEAP energy bill assistance at the center. Learn more Crowley energy help.





However, in addition to those programs, the community action agency offers other support too. Across northeastern Arkansas there are Crowley Ridge food pantries, low income housing units, and even transportation from NEAT. Or look into referrals. More financial aid from Crowleys Ridge.

Economic Opportunity Agency of Washington County, Inc.
614 East Emma, Ste. M401
Springdale, Arkansas 72764
Main phone number is (479) 872-7479
The main programs administered from the non-profit are heating bill help from LIHEAP, Head Start, and the IDA savings and matching grant program. Click to read more on Economic Opportunity Agency of Washington County assistance programs.

Mid-Delta Community Services, Inc.
610 South Biscoe Street
Helena, AR 72342
Main phone number is (870) 338-6406
Counties covered are Prairie, Lee, Monroe, and Phillips.

Mississippi County Arkansas Economic Opportunity Commission, Inc.
1400 N. Division Street
Blytheville, AR 72315
Main telephone number is (870) 776-1054

North Central Arkansas Development Council, Inc.
Mailing address is P.O. Box 3349
Batesville, Arkansas 72503
Call (870) 793-5765
This community action agency offers assistance in Fulton, Independence, Izard, Sharp, and Stone County.

Office of Human Concern, Inc.
P.O. Box 778
Rogers, Arkansas 72757
Call (479) 636-7301
Regions supported are Carroll, Madison, and Benton. A number of services are offered by this community action agency, ranging from no interest loans to referrals to emergency food pantries and housing resources. Find details on Office of Human Concern financial support.

Ozark Opportunities, Inc.
Mailing address is P.O. Box 1400
Harrison, AR 72602
(870) 741-9406
Counties - Baxter, Boone, Marion, Newton, Searcy, Van Buren.
The office assists families facing poverty. There are referrals to federal programs such as food stamps and SSI disability. Other more emergency aid from the community action agency can include funds for paying energy bills or basic needs such as a bag of groceries. More Ozark Opportunity community action programs.

Pine Bluff Jefferson County EOC, Inc.
817 South Cherry Street
Pine Bluff, AR 71611
Primary telephone - (870) 536-0046
Counties and regions supported by the non-profit include Arkansas, Cleveland, Grant, Jefferson, and Lincoln. Services include low income energy bill assistance from LIHEAP, free prescription medications, Head Start, and other financial aid. More Pine Bluff Jefferson County community action.

Southeast Arkansas Community Action Corporation
P.O. Box 312
Warren, AR 71671
Call (870) 226-2668
Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Desha, Drew county.





Southwest Arkansas Development Council, Inc.
3902 Sanderson Lane
Texarkana, Arkansas 71854
Telephone number is (870) 773-5504
Residents of Howard, Hempstead, Lafayette, Little River, Sevier, Miller, and Nevada County should call this community action agency. The agency provides help to seniors, applications to government benefits such as Medicaid or low income energy bill assistance, and free food. Various education, computer, and ESL classes are offered too. More Southwest Arkansas Development Council assistance programs.

By Jon McNamara

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