Community Action Celebrates 50 Years of Service
On August 20, 1964 in Washington, DC, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA). The EOA created a variety of programs - including Community Action Agencies – as part of his War on Poverty. Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland Community Action Commission was one of those agencies established to address local poverty problems in rural, urban, and suburban communities across the country.
Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland CAC got its start serving residents in Knox, Holmes, and Coshocton Counties from a small school building in Nellie, Ohio. Ashland County joined our service area in 1975. Beginning with youth workforce and senior meals programs, Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland has grown and evolved over the years to meet the ever changing needs of our local communities. Our service area consists of over 30 satellite offices encompassing a 2,000 square mile service area. Our 24 member Board of Directors is made up entirely of local community leaders equally representative of our service area. Their dedication and leadership has paved the way in governing the agency to successfully carrying out our mission. With over 175 employees devoted to serving our neighbors in need, our commitment to those we serve continues to be strong.
In 2014, Community Action Agencies across the country will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Community Action. With over 1,000 Community Action Agencies, covering 99% of the United States, Community Action continues the legacy of President Lyndon Johnson, and Sargent Shriver, the first Director of the War on Poverty, in identifying and meeting the needs of our local communities in providing a hand up out of poverty.
The Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland Community Action Commission's Emergency HEAP program begins November 3, 2014 and operates until March 31, 2015. Emergency HEAP is a federally funded program administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency, Office of Community Assistance that provides financial assistance to low-income households that are threatened with disconnection from their heating source, or have already had service disconnected. Those households serviced by a PUCO-regulated utility are encouraged to sign up for the Percentage of Income Payment Plus Plan (PIPP Plus) or an alternate budget payment plan in order to receive energy assistance. Households utilizing bulk fuel must have a tank containing less than 25% of its capacity.
Income documentation for all household members along with social security numbers, electric and gas bills, and other documentation must be presented at the appointment. Income guidelines are based at 175% of the Federal Poverty Level and are as follows: Household size of one may earn up to $20,422.50, household of two $27,527.50, household of three $34,632.50, household of four $41,737.50, household of five $48,842.50 and household of six $55,947.50. Income may also be calculated using the past three months, whichever benefits the client. Households claiming zero income will be subject to providing an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Status Transcript. Households claiming zero income for the past 3 years will be reviewed by the State grantor, and every HEAP application is subject to random audit by the State Development Services Agency. PIPP Plus customers have a lower income eligibility threshold. Approved applicants will also have their application automatically transmitted to the State HEAP office, where additional assistance may be available under the Regular HEAP program.Eligible households may receive financial assistance once per heating season.
The benefit amounts are as follows: PUCO regulated gas or electric customers may receive a benefit of up to $175, non-regulated electric or gas (i.e. co-ops) may receive a benefit amount up to $550. Income eligible bulk fuel customers may receive up to $450 for wood or coal, up to $750 is available for bulk fuel propane/bottled gas and fuel oil consumers.To learn more or to schedule an appointment, phone the Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland Community Action Commission's HEAP office.