The Community Services Program of Beaver County is part of a nationwide community services network. This network is made up of more than 1,150 local, private and non-profit and public agencies that work to eliminate poverty and empower low-income people and families in communities throughout the United States. These agencies are known as community action agencies that were created through the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
The Community Services Program of Beaver County is one such agency and is therefore committed to providing the support necessary to assist eligible Beaver County citizens in becoming self-sufficient.
The program is governed by the County of Beaver’s Board of Commissioners and is led by a fifteen (15) member volunteer advisory board. The advisory board, in its composition of low-income representatives, elected officials and committed community representatives is fundamental to the community action concept.
As a designated community action agency, the Community Services Program is responsible for the administration of the following programs:
- Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
- Work Ready Program (formerly the Supported Work Program)
- Homeless Assistance Program (HAP)
Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) is a federal program, allocated through the states to the community action agencies, whose funds are allocated to the local level where community action agencies have the responsibility of tailoring their activities to meet local needs. The Community Services Advisory Board reviews applications for funding submitted by social service agencies that provide services to the low-income population. The Board, with the approval of the Beaver County Board of Commissioners, selects the agencies whose services best reflect the goals of the Program and meet the needs of Beaver County.
The types of activities that are funded through the CSBG Program include such things as:
- Employment training and placement
- Case management services
- Community education
- Income management
- Caregiver programs
- Outreach and referral
- Legal services
- Youth development
- Home ownership
- Emergency services
Work Ready Program
The Work Ready Program began as the Supported Work Program, an initiative that was created as a part of welfare reform. The State of Pennsylvania, through the Department of Public Welfare’s Bureaus of Employment and Training Programs, provides funding for employment training, vocational testing and job placement for individuals who receive public assistance. This program is designed to reduce the welfare rolls by enabling individuals to support themselves and their families. The Community Services Program administers this program through a subcontract with a local agency.
Homeless Assistance Program (HAP)
The Homeless Assistance Program makes available a continuum of services to persons who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The Community Services Program administers the program by establishing subcontract agreements with local social service agencies. These agencies provide the necessary supports to homeless or near homeless individuals and families.
The services may include:
- Emergency shelter
- Case management
- Transitional housing
- Rental assistance
- Information and referral