Community Services Department

Director: Dalia Ochoa e-mail:  dochoa@bfcac.org

Pasco Office:  720 West Court Street Upstairs, Pasco WA 99301
Phone: (509) 545-4042   Fax (509) 544-9598

Prosser Office: 424 6th Street Suite#2, Prosser, WA 99350
Phone: (509) 786-3379   Fax (509) 786-3359

DEPARTMENT GOAL

The goal of the Energy and Emergent Services Department (EES) is to serve low-income individuals and families, using a variety of social service programs.  The intent and purpose of programs offered is to provide options and alternatives directly related to increasing independence; to promote a high level of self-sufficiency and ultimately a greater quality of life for all of the individuals we serve.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is a federally funded program for qualified households that provides a one-time benefit (per program year) to assist with heating costs. LIHEAP provides assistance to qualified low-income households in Benton and Franklin Counties.

Beginning October of each year, CAC will provide Registry forms as the first step to determine if a household is eligible for energy assistance.  Each household must complete a form for current LIHEAP cycle, registry forms from past years cannot be used. LIHEAP REGISTRATION IS CLOSED UNTIL OCTOBER 2019.

Helping Hands Programs

Helping Hands Program funds are donated by local community members through their utility statement and collected through their utility companies. Funds are disbursed to CAC in which recipients must be below 150% of the poverty level, pending disconnection or have been disconnected for non-payment.

Following utility companies provide this program to their customers: BENTON PUD, FRANKLIN PUD, BIG BEND ELECTRIC, CITY OF KENNEWICK and CITY OF RICHLAND

In 2016 BENTON PUD modified the requirements to allow their customers who are current on their bill, but have extenuating financial circumstances aside from pending disconnection or have been disconnected for non-payment.

The following implementation of criteria has been set forth by BENTON PUD:

  • 3 or 5-day pay or vacate notice
  • Income reduced by 25%
  • Rent increased by 25%
  • Justified emergency/crisis
  • Risk of foreclosure

Prescription Assistance

Prescription assistance is available  for individuals who do not have the means to pay and/or do not have medical insurance that covers prescription once in twelve (12) calendar months. The amount of assistance provided through the prescription program is determined on a case-by-case basis with funding restrictions that are not to exceed the maximum $200 limit allowed by the program.

Washington Energy Assistance Fund (WEAF)

The Washington fund is provided to assist qualified Cascade Natural Gas (CNG) customers with utility bill assistance. Community Action Connections determines income eligibility through program criteria set forth by CNG.

Senior and Disabled Discounts

Qualified customers may receive a monthly discount based on their age, qualifying disability and total household income. Discounts are provided by following utility/vendors: Benton PUD, Franklin PUD, City of Richland and City of Connell and city of Prosser. Community Action Connections determines income eligibility through program criteria set forth by utility/vendors.

Kennewick Irrigation District (KID)

KID and its donating customers offer this assistance for income-eligible customers who need help to pay their irrigation assessments.  Households interested in the grant program must be at or below 80% Area Median Income as determined by Community Action Connections.

Diaper Assistance

The Tri-Cities Diaper Bank collects diapers through community diaper drives and partners with local agencies who distribute them to infants in need through established programs and guidelines. Community Action Connections distributes a one week supply per each diaper wearing child once a month per household.

Basic Food Applications and Renewals

CAC assists applicants and submits their Basic Food Applications as well as assisting in the renewal application process through DSHS.

Information Referral

Information, referrals and advocacy relating to community, county and state resources and programs are provided as needed.  You may receive a copy of the Home Base Connections Resource Guidebook in English and Spanish.

Landlord Tenant Rights 

Printed materials on this subject are available in the office. Limited information is provided over the telephone regarding landlord/tenant information, and referrals are made when appropriate.