Family & Community Services

Family & Community Services

West Central Minnesota Communities Action (WCMCA) offers a number of programs to assist households with emergency assistance. There are several programs that help with different types of emergencies. Please check the information below to see what program may be able to assist with the type of emergency you may be experiencing:

Housing Emergencies

Energy and Other Utility Emergencies

  • If you are in need of fuel or energy assistance, please follow this link to the Energy Assistance Program.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers assistance for utilities on a limited basis as funding is available.
  • The Grant County Salvation Army may be able to offer one-time assistance for utilities if you have exhausted other utility assistance options and live in Grant County.

Food Emergencies

EFSP: Emergency Food and Shelter Program (formerly known as FEMA)

The Federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was created in 1983 to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies, both nonprofit and governmental, in an effort to help people with economic (not disaster-related) emergencies. This supplemental funding is open to all organizations helping hungry and homeless people, and is available on a limited basis.

Douglas County

WCMCA, Inc. has staff to assist with rent and utility emergencies for Douglas County, when funding is available. Please contact Kathy, 320-304-3458 or at 800-492-4805 or 218-685-4486 for more assistance.

Grant County

The Grant County Salvation Army has volunteers who work at WCMCA, Inc. that may be able to assist with rent and utility emergencies for Grant County, when funding is available. Please contact Steph, 218-685-7084 or Jill, 218-685-7038 or call 800-492-4805 or 218-685-4486 for more assistance.

Pope County

Pope County Family Services offers rent and utility assistance and Emergency Food to residents of Pope County, as funds remain available. Please contact their office at 320-634-5750.

Stevens County

Stevens County Human Services Agency provides rent, food and utility assistance to Stevens County residents, when funding is available. Please contact their office at 320-208-6600 or 800-950-4429.

Traverse County

Traverse County Social Services Department handles the rent, food and utility assistance to residents of Traverse County, as funds remain available. Please contact their office at 320-563-8255 or 800-721-8277.

WCMCA as a Fiscal Conduit

West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Inc. acts as the fiscal conduit for Grant, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin Counties. This allows agencies in these counties to request funding dollars to purchase food and shelter to supplement and extend current available resources. The funds cannot substitute or reimburse ongoing programs or services.

These funding opportunities occur once each year. To find out if there are current FEMA monies available, please check below for the application date and information on: Emergency Food and Shelter Program 

Douglas County as a Local Recipient Organization

Douglas County is considered a local recipient organization and this allows them to receive the funding directly from the National Board. However, crisis funding is distributed through West Central MN Communities Action, Inc. Any request for assistance should be directed to Kathy S, 320-304-3458.

THP: Transitional Housing Program

What is the Transitional Housing Program?

The Transitional Housing Program provides temporary housing in Douglas County for households who are homeless and in need of assistance in moving along the continuum from homelessness to permanent, stable housing.

What services are available to Transitional Housing participants?

The households that are enrolled in Transitional Housing receive case management services that include information and referral services, assistance setting up a budget, budget counseling and credit repair services. These services assist the households in preventing future financial hardships.

A household can be enrolled in Transitional Housing for up to two (2) years. These households agree to pay 30% of their gross adjusted income and the program subsidizes the rest. The program also works with the household at the end of their Transitional Housing period to obtain permanent housing.

Transitional Housing Funding Sources:

The Transitional Housing Program is administered by West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Inc., serving the five (5) counties of Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens and Traverse, and is funded by HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development), OEO (Office of Economic Opportunity) and DHS (Department of Human Services).

Who to Contact:

The Transitional Housing Program is considered one of WCMCA’s emergency programs. For more information on the program or how to apply, please contact Kathy S 320-304-3458 or at 800-492-4805 or email kathys@wcmca.org

ESP: Emergency Shelter Program

What is the ESP Program?

The ESP Program serves singles or families that are homeless. It can pay for hotel, and/or first month’s rent, short-term case management, 2-year funding cycle.

Who to Contact:

For more information on the program or how to apply, please contact our housing intake line Kathy, 320-304-3458 or email kathys@wcmca.org

FHPAP: Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program

What is the FHPAP Program?

The FHPAP Program serves singles or families that are or are nearly homeless.

  • Can pay for deposit, rent, mortgage and/or utilities, short-to mid-term case management

The FHPAP program is considered one of WCMCA’s emergency programs. For more information on the program or how to apply, please contact our housing intake line 320-304-3458 or email kathys@wcmca.org

 

WCMCA accepting More Than Shelter Family Homeless Prevention & Assistance Program Request for Proposals

WCMCA is accepting request for proposals for the More Than Shelter Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program.  This program has been serving the counties of Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens and Traverse counties since 2007 with funding for rent and deposit assistance through the MN Housing Finance Agency.

More Than Shelter Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program Request for Proposal Instructions

More Than Shelter Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program Request for Proposal Application

 

FPAP: Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Program

What is the FPAP Program?

The FPAP Program serves households that are facing, or in danger of foreclosure.

  • Assists in budgeting, determining appropriate workout options, and helps submit package to lender
  • Works with homeowner and lender until workout option is fully executed or denied
  • Assistance with rights, expectations and possible tax consequences with referrals to other programs

Why use case management in this program?

The case management services include information and referral services, assistance setting up a budget, budget counseling and credit counseling services to assist the household in preventing future financial hardships.

FPAP Funding Sources:

FPAP is administered by West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Inc., serving the seven (7) counties of Clay, Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin, and is funded by Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

Who to Contact:

The FPAP program is considered one of WCMCA’s emergency programs. For more information on the program or how to apply, please contact Jill, 218-685-7038 or at 800-492-4805, Ext. 7038 or email jilla@wcmca.org

You can download the Foreclosure Counseling Triage Form (PDF) and either mail or fax to:

Jill Amundson
WCMCA
411 Industrial Park Blvd
Elbow Lake MN 56531

Fax: 218-685-6741

National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling

What is the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling?

The NFMC Program offers assistance to households facing foreclosure. In-depth financial counseling and debt or repayment plans allow participants to determine what options they have available to them to either prevent foreclosure or exit their loan with an actual foreclosure. Information on the foreclosure process and assistance with working with the mortgage lender are provided, as well as referrals to other financial assistance programs.

Who to Contact:

For more information on the program or how to apply, please contact Jill, 218-685-7038 or at 800-492-4805, Ext. 7038  or email jilla@wcmca.org

You can download the Foreclosure Counseling Triage Form (PDF) and either mail or fax to:

Jill Amundson
WCMCA
411 Industrial Park Blvd
Elbow Lake MN 56531

Fax: 218-685-6741

PSH: Permanent Supportive Housing

What is the PSH Program?

The PSH Program provides long-term stabilization services to families that are homeless and have a family member with a diagnosed disability.

What services are available to PSH participants?

The households that are enrolled in PSH receive case management services that include information and referral services, assistance setting up a budget, budget counseling and credit repair services. These services assist the households in preventing future financial hardships.

A household can be enrolled in PSH as long as they choose or until they no longer meet the eligibility criteria. These households agree to pay 30% of their gross adjusted income and the program subsidizes the rest.

PSH Funding Sources:

Two (2) units of PSH housing are offered by West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Inc., which serves homeless households in Douglas County and is funded by HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development).

Who to Contact:

For more information on the program or how to apply, please contact Kathy S 320-304-3458 or at 800-492-4805 or email kathys@wcmca.org

LTH: Long Term Homeless Case Management

What is the Long Term Homeless program?

The Long Term Homeless program provides case management for those who have been homeless continuously for more than one year or have had four episodes of homelessness in three years and who qualify for housing assistance. The case manager acts as a guide when facing crisis to not cause future episodes.

What services are available to Long Term Homeless participants?

The households that are enrolled in the Long Term Homeless case management receive services that include income planning, budgeting, goal-setting, and referrals to helpful resources in the community.

LTH Funding Resources:

The Long-Term Homeless program is administered by West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Inc., serving the five (5) counties of Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens and Traverse, and is funded by the State of Minnesota, Department of Human Services.

Who to Contact:

For more information on the program or how to apply, please contact our housing intake line 320-304-3458 or email Kathy S at kathys@wcmca.org

SNAP

What is SNAP Outreach?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides regular monthly financial assistance for the purchase of food items. These funds come from the United States Department of Agriculture, and are distributed by the county social service office. This program used to be named “Food Stamps,” because of the paper stamps that were used. Now funds are carried on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. These funds can be used to purchase groceries, plant seeds, senior meal plans, and some nutrition-based programs.

SNAP is West Central’s term for helping families or individuals find out if they are eligible for SNAP, helping them fill out the application, and getting them connected with their local social service office to start receiving benefits.

Income Guidelines

(Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016)

Household SizeGross monthly income
(130 percent of poverty)
1$1,619
2$2,191
3$2,763
4$3,335
5$3,907
6$4,479
7$5,051
8$5,623
Each additional member+ $572

For more information on the program or how to apply, please contact Jill, 218-685-7038 or email jilla@wcmca.org

More Information

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: MN SNAP – The Details

FRAMEWORK – Online Homebuyer Education

FRAMEWORK - Online Homebuyer Education logo

Framework is the only online homebuyer course designed by experts in online learning. It’s comprehensive, so you’ll have all the facts you need to navigate every step of the buying process. And you can learn when, where, and how you like. It even works on your smartphone.

To get started, visit Framework. If you’d like to learn more first, watch this short overview video.

Framework meets many lenders’ requirements for homebuyer education, but check with yours to make sure an online course is acceptable.

Who to Contact:

For more information please contact Kelli at  320-815-2692 or toll-free 800-492-4805, Ext. 7076 or email kelliw@wcmca.org

Home Stretch® Homebuyer Education

Workshops for home ownership education are provided through Catherine Anderson-Barnes of the University of Minnesota Extension. Classes are a total of ten (10) hours in length, held in Alexandria on two (2) evenings. The classes provide extensive education on the people and processes involved in purchasing a home. Cost for classes are $45 and a certificate is awarded at the end that assists participants in qualifying for various loan products. Class schedules can be found on the Minnesota Home Ownership Center’s website at http://www.hocmn.org/buyingahome/home-stretch-workshop.

Who to Contact:

For more information please contact Kelli at  320-815-2692 or 800-492-4805, Ext. 7076 or email kelliw@wcmca.org

Local Workshops:

 

Housing Counseling Program

What is the Housing Counseling Program?

Provides assistance in helping first-time home buyers in determining how much home they can afford, if they have an adequate credit score to qualify for a loan, what types of down payment and loan products they may qualify for and general information on the process and players involved in the home purchasing process.

Who to Contact:

For more information please contact Kelli at  320-815-2692 or 800-492-4805, Ext. 7076 or email kelliw@wcmca.org

You can download the Housing Counseling Program application (PDF) and either mail or fax to:

Kelli Winter
WCMCA
411 Industrial Park Blvd
Elbow Lake MN 56531

Fax: 218-685-6741