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Electric bill payment assistance open for summer   no comments

Posted at 10:09 am in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program will be taking applications for the Summer Cooling portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) now through October 29, 2021. The Summer Cooling portion of LIHEAP offers payment assistance for electric bills on a first come, first serve basis until funds are exhausted.

The household income limit will be 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. All income eligible households are encouraged to apply.

150% of the federal poverty limit is a gross monthly household income of $1,610 for a one-person household, $2,177.50 for a two-person household, $2,745 for a three-person household, $3,312.50 for a four-person household, and $3,880 for a five-person household.

The agency will be able to provide some amount of assistance to income eligible households regardless of their bill payment status. “If you are up-to-date on your electric bill, have a past due notice, a disconnect notice, or an eviction notice if your electric is included in your rent, we will be able to offer you some type of assistance,” said Executive Director Wanda Thacker.

She explained further that taking advantage of the Summer Cooling portion of the program would not affect a household’s ability to qualify for future seasons and cycles of the program. “If a household is still income eligible in the fall or winter, they will still be able to get help then, even if they’ve received Summer Cooling funds.”

Applications will be completed by appointment and over the phone or through electronic communication. Appointments can be made over the phone by calling (606) 887-1441 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday or online by visiting www.bsacap.org/bookings.

Individuals seeking assistance must meet income eligibility requirements and be able to provide the following information:

  1. Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for EACH member of the household. In order to receive assistance you MUST bring EVERY Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for each member.
  2. Proof of ALL household’s (ALL MEMBERS) income from previous month.
  3. Most CURRENT heating bill, statement from your landlord if heating expenses are included in rent, statement from utility company if you participate in Pre-Pay Electric Program.
  4. The ACCOUNT NUMBER and NAME on the account for ALL heating fuel sources and electric.

Documentation can be provided electronically by uploading pictures of your documents on the appointment booking webpage or by fax. Agency staff will work with you to determine the best method for your household.

All vouchers are paid directly to the primary electric vendor with no funds being distributed directly to the applicant household.

LIHEAP is funded through Community Action Kentucky (CAK), the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Written by Sarah Hill on July 12th, 2021

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Community Advocate, Academic Scholarships available to students   no comments

Posted at 11:35 am in News

Each year Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) distributes over $7,000 in scholarships to students in the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County area. The nonprofit organization will be offering ten $500 academic scholarships and one $2,000 Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship. Scholarships are funded through the Community Service Block Grant.

The Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship is offered to students majoring in Social Work, Human Services, Public Services, or related fields. Applicants must be in at least their third year of post-secondary study, must have a record of volunteerism, and must fulfill the requirements of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Scholarship application.

Eula Hall, who passed away last month, lived her life as an advocate for the workers, children, and families of the region. She served with the Volunteers in Service to America, the Appalachian Volunteers, the East Kentucky Worker’s Rights Organization, and as president of the Kentucky Black Lung Association. She established the Mud Creek Clinic in 1973 to serve uninsured and underinsured people. The Mud Creek Clinic, now known at the Eula Hall Health Center, offers general clinic care, pharmacy, dental care, optometry, mental health services, patient transportation, public benefits guidance, and a food pantry. She served on the BSACAP Board of Directors for nearly 40 years.

BSACAP Executive Director Wanda Thacker said, “Eula Hall’s service to our organization and the service and leadership she gave to the people in our area is a shining example of what people in eastern Kentucky are capable of when they put their minds to it. The Community Advocate Scholarship is one way that we can ensure that Eula’s legacy continues, and we see a new generation of strong advocates for eastern Kentucky rise up and continue the fight against poverty.”

BSACAP will also be offering ten $500 CSBG Academic Scholarship to students in the area.

If you are a student entering or returning to college or vocational school this fall and are in need of financial assistance, you may be eligible for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Academic Scholarship.

Applicants must provide the following information and/or documentation to apply for the scholarship:
• Meet income eligibility as determined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines
• Provide proof of residency within the BSACAP service area via utility bill or piece of first class mail postmarked within 30 days of application
• Complete and sign an application available online or through staff
• Complete a Family Profile according to CSBG guidelines (Please contact a staff member to complete this portion via telephone)
• Provide proof of a high school diploma or GED
• Provide proof of cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better from last semester of high school or last completed semester of college
• Provide two letters of reference
• Provide proof of enrollment or acceptance in a post-secondary educational institution for the Fall 2021 semester/term
• Write an essay on why they feel they should receive the award

Applicants who have earned a 4-year degree or are pursuing education levels of Master’s Degree and above are not eligible. BSACAP staff and family members of staff are not eligible to apply.

For further information or to get an application, applicants may contact the Big Sandy Area Community Action Program staff in their county via telephone or by emailing csbg@bsacap.org. Applications will be available online at www.bsacap.org/scholarships. Completed applications and required documentation must be received by mail no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 25, 2021. Scholarships will be awarded no later than July 30, 2021.

Office hours are 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Office numbers are as follows:
• Floyd County – (606) 874-3595
• Johnson County – (606) 789-6515
• Magoffin County –(606) 349-2217
• Martin County – (606) 298-3217
• Pike County – (606) 432-2775

Scholarship funding is made possible by Community Services Block Grant with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Written by Sarah Hill on June 1st, 2021

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Condolences for Eula Hall   no comments

Posted at 9:52 am in News

It is with great sorrow that we share the news that our longtime board member, mentor, and friend Eula Hall has passed. Eula served on the Big Sandy Area Community Action Program Board of Directors for nearly 40 years and as a guiding light for eastern Kentucky her entire life.

Eula’s life of service was built on the foundational belief that all people are equally worthy of respect and care. She was a pioneer for health in eastern Kentucky and a staunch advocate for the poor. Through the years she picketed at coal mines for better treatment for the workers, pushed for laws to aid suffers of black lung, raised thousands of dollars to bring medical services to her community, ensured that the people of Mud Creek have clean water to drink, and even gave money from her own pocket for food or medicine for people in need. Eula saved lives and thousands of people have better health and a better chance to reach their potential because of her.

Among the many accolades Eula received in her life, she was awarded the 2018 Altha Jo Hamilton Volunteer Award from Community Action Kentucky for her service to our organization and her lifetime of fighting back against poverty. Our agency offers the Eula Hall Community Advocate Scholarship, named in her honor. The college scholarship is meant both to encourage the next generation of community advocates and to commemorate the life and work of an amazing woman.

In an interview, when asked how best to be an advocate, Eula said, “A lot of times a good word is what somebody needs, a good word or a good deed. They need somebody. They need somebody to care.” Her willingness to speak truth to power and her no-nonsense approach to improving the lives of others has been an inspiration to all who knew her. We are privileged to have known her, served alongside her, and called her our friend.

Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences go out to her family. Eula was a gift to eastern Kentucky and we are grateful to have shared in her life with you.

 

Written by Sarah Hill on May 10th, 2021

Garden Seed voucher program signups April 7-23   no comments

Posted at 10:38 am in News

Sign-ups for Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s annual Garden Seed Program will be taken on a first come, first serve basis April 7 – April 23, or until funds are exhausted.

The Garden Seed Program offers qualifying low-income households $40 in vouchers to purchase seeds, plants, and fertilizer at local vendors so that area families can build a food-bearing garden at their home. The program is open to residents of Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike counties. Clients grow and maintain their gardens by themselves and are able to reap the fruits of their labor.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency will be operating the program a little bit differently than in years past. To apply for the program, you can book an appointment online by visiting www.bsacap.org/appointments or over the telephone by calling (606) 887-1441.

BSACAP staff will contact those who booked an appointment for the program in order to complete their application.

To be eligible for the program, a household must:

  • Meet income eligibility guidelines
  • Provide proof of income from the previous month
  • Provide the social security numbers for all household members
  • Provide a metered utility bill to verify their address

Documentation can be uploaded online at www.bsacap.org/appointments, or by emailing CSBG@bsacap.org. If you do not have internet access, you can arrange with the staff member who contacts you to drop your documentation off at your local BSACAP office.

Last year, over 240 households in the BSACAP service area of Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike counties received garden seed vouchers. This year, the agency is excited to announce that they will be able to make vouchers available to over 500 households thanks to a generous grant from the Pallottine Foundation of Huntington, WV. Through the support of transformative health initiatives that empower all individuals to lead lives of optimal health, self-reliance, and self-respect, the Pallottine Foundation of Huntington strives to foster systemic change and collaborative impact across the tri-state area.

This program is funded, in part, by the Community Services Block Grant made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a generous grant from the Pallottine Foundation of Huntington, WV.

Written by Sarah Hill on April 1st, 2021

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Paying for College   no comments

Posted at 10:58 am in News

Written by Sarah Hill on March 31st, 2021

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Career Corner: Teaching Tuesdays in April   no comments

Posted at 10:54 am in News

Written by Sarah Hill on March 31st, 2021

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Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund   no comments

Posted at 11:36 am in News

Written by Sarah Hill on February 24th, 2021

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Workforce Services Workshop   no comments

Posted at 11:03 am in News

Written by Sarah Hill on February 3rd, 2021

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BSACAP distributes millions in relief funds   no comments

Posted at 3:56 pm in News

Phones have been ringing off the hook for months at Big Sandy Area Community Action Program offices as the number of requests for help from the local nonprofit sky-rocketed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic hardships it caused.

All told, since April of 2020, the agency has provided $2,744,210 in LIHEAP funds to local individuals and families, filling nearly 14,000 requests for assistance.

The agency finished their fall Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) season on December 11. Through this portion of the LIHEAP program, $542,900 was used to fill 3,058 requests for help from households in need to assist with winter heating costs.

Unusual for the nonprofit, they were able to provide spring and summer cooling LIHEAP assistance this year as well, due to the economic hardship generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. $2,148,889 was provided to local households for these two programs, ensuring that 10,426 requests for energy assistance were filled.

In December, BSACAP exhausted the Healthy at Home funds provided to their agency for distribution. The agency distributed $1,347,320 in Healthy at Home Funds and filled 3,785 requests for assistance across their five county service area.

The Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund provided relief to Kentuckians affected by COVID-19 who needed assistance with their water, wastewater, electric, or natural gas service. BSACAP partnered Community Action Kentucky and Team Kentucky to distribute these funds in Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike counties.

The agency also used funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to offer additional water, wastewater, and garbage bill assistance to households that had fallen behind on their bills. Across the area, 999 households received $127,629 to help them maintain health and hygiene at home through the agency’s CARES Act utility assistance program.

Through their housing assistance program, BSACAP ensured that 53 men, women, and children were able to gain clean, safe, and stable housing, protecting them both from the elements and from the coronavirus.

BSACAP’s workforce and employment staff members completed well over 10,000 unemployment related tasks. They answered phones, answered questions, assisted with forms, corrected files, and other work as they stepped up to the unemployment crisis the workforce faced since April of 2020.

To assist those who lost their job due to COVID-19, the agency also distributed $25,915 in Team Kentucky Funds to 101 households. The funds were used to assist those impacted by the “stay-at-home” orders to pay their rent, keep their vehicle, and buy groceries and other household necessities.

“This has been a tremendously challenging year for so many people,” BSACAP Executive Director Wanda Thacker said. “Our agency has been running at top speed continuously for about 10 months in order to meet the needs of our communities. We know that we haven’t been able to reach every single person, but thousands of families across the Big Sandy area have been pulled back from the edge of disaster because of this work. We are grateful that we have had the opportunity to provide so many services to local people.”

BSACAP is currently operating the winter LIHEAP crisis season. LIHEAP is funded through Community Action Kentucky (CAK), the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Funding for these projects is made possible, in part, by Community Services Block Grant with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Written by Sarah Hill on January 7th, 2021

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Book Appointments for Crisis Heating Assistance   no comments

Posted at 10:09 am in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) is taking appointments for the Crisis component of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis until March 31 or until funds are exhausted.

The Crisis component of LIHEAP provides assistance to low-income households experiencing heating emergencies. The household must have a disconnect notice or be within four days of running out of bulk fuel in order to be considered as being in an emergency situation. Big Sandy Area Community Action Program serves Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike counties. If you live in another county, you can access the program by finding the Community Action Agency in your area at capky.org.

Households are considered to be in a home heating crisis if:

  • the household is within four days of running out of fuel if bulk fuel (coal, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, or wood) is the primary heating source; or
  • the household has received a disconnect notice if natural gas or electric is the heating source; or
  • the household’s home heating costs are included in the rent and the household has received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent.

To be eligible for Crisis assistance, households must verify their address, verify a heating crisis exists and meet federal income eligibility guidelines. Applicants also must apply in their county of residence.

In addition, applicants must provide the following:

  • Proof of household income for prior month;
  • Birthdates for all household members;
  • Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.

Appointments can be made online by visiting the agency’s website at www.bsacap.org/bookings. You must choose the county you reside in, then picking a date on or after January 4th and a time that would be best for you, add your contact details, and click “Book.” Bookings can also be reached through Facebook by clicking the “Book Now” button at the top of Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s page (@BSACAP), just under the cover photo. Those without internet access or who are unable to book online can call the agency’s toll free hotline at 1-888-658-3641 to book an appointment over the telephone.

Appointments and applications will be taken during business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

LIHEAP, a national energy assistance initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded in Kentucky by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Kentucky.

Written by Sarah Hill on December 29th, 2020

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