Payson and Rim Country businesses and residents alike have suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout. If you are struggling to pay rent or utility bills, Gila County’s Community Action Program (CAP) staff wants to help.
“And that’s not new — for decades prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Community Action staff have been there for low-income residents of Payson and Rim Country, Globe-Miami and all of Gila County with services including rent and utility assistance, provisions for the homeless, and making helpful connections to other state or federal resources and programs that can assist when you’re in a bind,” said Malissa Buzan, Gila County’s Director of the CAP program.
“Community Action staff wants to help,” she said.
Gila County assistance starts with a simple two-page application, which can be downloaded or printed ahead of time from the website gilacountyaz.gov. From the main page choose ‘Offices & Departments’ and then click ‘Community Services’ and then choose ‘Community Action Program.’
Save time and avoid a visit in person — speed-up your application, and print a copy of the two-page prescreening form — which must be printed, filled-out, and delivered by fax, postal mail or delivered in person.
If you don’t have internet access or a computer, call Community Action staff. The CAP office recently moved to 514 S. Beeline Highway, and appointments are required in advance for in-person visits. Reach staff by email to Dorine <firstname.lastname@example.org>, or Elsa <email@example.com>.
For those without internet access, during weekday business hours you’re welcome to call Community Action staff in Payson at 928-474-7192 and ask Dorine or Elsa about your eligibility for programs such as Low Income Home Energy Assistance, which can assist with your:
• Cooling or heating bills — gas or electric
• Utility deposit payments
• Emergency utility assistance — to avoid disconnection
• Utility assistance paid to your landlord, if the utility bill is part of your rent
• Home Energy Assistance Fund Program
• Crisis-related loss of income
• Unanticipated expenses
• Health and safety reasons