Inflation has created a silver tsunami of seniors not able to make ends meet while pushing families over their budget edge.
Gila County’s Community Action Program office – usually referred to as CAP – can provide a tour guide to negotiate the maze of government paperwork designed to filter out who actually needs help and who seeks to take advantage of the system.
“Community Services programs are income-based,” said Allison Torres, continuum of care coordinator for the Gila County CAP office. In Payson, the northern Gila County CAP office is off Frontier Street near the post office.
That means applicants need to prove their need through documents, such as a passport, birth certificate, photo ID, Social Security cards for household members, income verification, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, utility bills, and rental documents.
“Depending on program guidelines,” said Torres.
But she hopes that doesn’t frighten away those who need help.
“Our office staff is available to guide applicants through the process of gathering documents and filling out paperwork, and referrals to other programs, including SNAP and Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS),” she said.
It is best to go to the CAP office to start the process, but that is not necessary, said Torres.
“For those unable to make it in or that cannot access a computer, we are happy to coordinate other options based on needs,” she said.
CAP services are short term, typically once in a 12-month period for rental and utility assistance. CAP programs are only available to eligible residents and “also depending on availability,” said Torres.
Once in the CAP system, those who need help will have a case manager to walk them through the various options available to them.
“This could mean connecting a family experiencing food insecurity with food resources, or providing an emergency blanket or sleeping bag, along with a referral to New Directions Warming Center,” said Torres.
But if the problem is getting the bills covered for a month because of an unexpected emergency, “I would encourage those in need of rental or utility assistance, or other social services to call or visit our (CAP) office,” she said. “Don’t let the application process discourage you, we are here to help.”
Other support the CAP office can provide: Section 8 Housing; Housing Services (Housing Rehabilitation and Weatherization); Continuum of Care (Homeless Services); and many other partners, including adult education (GED), Arizona at Work, and more.
“Our Community Services team works closely with one another to refer and assist households. We aim to meet the unique needs of each person to better their overall living situation,” said Torres.
For more information call 928-425-7631
Or go to the Payson CAP office at 1514 S. Beeline Highway.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Avoid obscene, hateful, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Nice. No name-calling, racism, sexism or any sort of -ism degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. Real names only!