The Western South Dakota Community Action Agency offers several services addressing a variety of challenges that face the low-income community. Theses services are grouped below by category, but may vary based on funding. For more information on one or more programs, or to apply, please feel free to contact our office at either of the numbers listed at the bottom of the website. We are also open Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM and offer donated clothing for free as well as a comfortable drop-in space with access to computers, a library, and space to relax.
COMMODITIES AND SENIOR FOODS PROGRAMS
Commodities are offered on a monthly basis to eligible low-income families. The Agency also provides food boxes to those 60 years and older that are income eligible. Families/Seniors must submit an income statement every year in October to receive this service.
MEDICAL EQUIPMENT LENDING
Medical equipment (ie. bathtub seats, shower and tub rails, etc.) is available for those in need. To participate in the program, one must have a doctor's prescription for the equipment.
LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP)
LIHEAP is for low-income households who can't afford to pay their home heating bills. The program offers small grants that only cover a portion of heating bills. The household applying for LIHEAP should pay some portion of heating bills by itself. The amount of assistance depends on factors such as household size, income, location, and cost of heating. There are four distinct heating regions in SD, based on temperature difference and past heating data, used to determine the maximum amount of assistance available for eligible households. However, even qualifying for the maximum grant will only cover 70% of the entire bill.
PERSONAL CARE ITEMS
When supplies are available, personal care items can be received on a monthly basis by low-income families. Boxes may include items such as laundry soap, dish soap, hand soap, toilet tissue, shampoo, and toothpaste.
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL
Distribution events are set up 3 to 4 times a year with motivational activities and free books to low-income children.
Garden kits are available once a year to families who are registered with our commodities program and are income eligible. The kits consist of gardening tools, gloves, approximately 11 packets of seeds, and live plants. The live plants we offer are tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, and peppers. The seeds are generally green beans, beets, carrots, lettuce, peas, radish, onion, cantaloupe, corn, zucchini, summer squash, and watermelon.
School supplies are available for children aged 5 through 18 who are low-income and signed up for our program. Children can be in school or home schooled and supplies are distributed in August and, when available, January.
Swim passes are provided to children aged 5 through 18, who are income eligible, allowing them to swim in public pools all summer free of charge. This service is available in May or June and is first come, first serve.
AIR CONDITIONER LENDING (SUMMER)
Air conditioners are available for lending during the summer to families who are income eligible and can provide a doctor's statement.
WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Weatherization Assistance Program is designed to help low-income households overcome high energy costs by making their homes more energy efficient. Weatherization measures may or may not include tactics such as weather-stripping doors and windows; caulking and sealing cracks and holes; insulation; and repair, tune-up, or replacement of non-functional heating systems. Eligibility is based on household income with priority given to the elderly, individuals with disabilities, families with children, and single family dwellings. Funds are limited so applicants may be placed on a waiting list. Renters are eligible with written permission and a contribution from the landlord.
VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA) & TAX COUNSELING FOR THE ELDERLY (TCE)
The VITA program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
In addition to VITA, the TCE program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors. The IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.
DAKOTA DREAM SAVINGS FUND - INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNT (IDA)
First-time home buyers can use this income-based program which matches earned income savings 3 to 1 up to $2,000 (or up to a combined total of $8,000). After a minimum savings period of 6 months, the funds can be applied toward the down payment and closing costs of a new home.
Within 30 days of your start date, the agency can provide assistance with tools, uniforms, books, and specialized training to obtain employment. We also provide assistance obtaining birth certificates and driver's licenses. This service can be utilized once per calendar year.