The Organized Community Action Program is a self-help agency which provides an opportunity for human dignity by providing decent housing, food, clothing, health assistance, counseling, referrals, education and job placement. OCAP's goal is to seek solutions to the social and economic problems related to poverty. It is through joint efforts among our counties of Bullock, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Lowndes and Pike that OCAP can provide its services. A brief summary of these services follows:
In our seven county areas, service centers operate to provide the agency’s “GRASS ROOTS” contact with the less fortunate. OCAP provides programs which help low-income, disabled, elderly and unemployed persons to meet their basic needs when they have no available means for themselves. Trained personnel provide these persons with necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, energy assistance, referrals to other OCAP program and referrals to other agencies when OCAP does not meet their needs. Workshops and counseling services are provided to help low income persons make better use of their available income.
LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a program in which OCAP helps low-income households meet the cost of heating their homes in the winter and cooling their homes in the summer. Depending on how the home is heated, OCAP can make up to a $400.00 payment in an emergency situation for utilities, gas, wood, coal, kerosene, heaters or fans.
EMERGENCY, FOOD AND SHELTER
Through funds awarded by the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program, OCAP provides emergency assistance to unemployed, under-employed, and less than fully employed people. These individuals are without means to provide for themselves. OCAP can make a one-time rent/mortgage payment to prevent eviction and a one time utility payment to provide a person with assistance through crisis times in their life.
Weatherization assists in achieving a healthy living environment and to reduce energy consumption in the dwellings of low-income persons, particularly for the elderly and handicapped, and to aid those households least able to afford high energy cost. Besides our seven (7) county service area, we serve Barbour, Henry, Houston, Coffee, and Geneva counties.
HOUSING PRESERVATION GRANT
The Housing Preservation Grant will provide home repairs/rehabilitation to very low-income homeowners living in our services area with funds from the USDA Rural Development Office. The USDA funds will be leveraged with other OCAP funds such as Weatherization, Centsable Energy Use Program and Energy Counseling to provide greater impact of home improvements.
The Head Start Program provides underprivileged and special needs children of preschool age with nutrition, education, and medical services in the counties of Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Crenshaw, Dale,, and Pike. Students are taught preschool subjects to help them fulfill their developmental potential. Each child is considered a unique person, with previous experiences, current needs and potential for future growth. In addition, students are served two balanced meals a day and are involved in a comprehensive health program including medical and dental examinations. The Male Initiative program is specifically designed to encourage and promote a father's involvement with Head Start children through various school and community activities. Whether it is the biological father or not, a child's development is greatly enhanced by the presence of a male figure.
FATHERHOOD/MOTHERHOOD INITIATIVE PROGRAM
The Fatherhood/Motherhood Initiative is funded through a partnership with the Department of Human Resources and the State of Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Children's Trust Fund. The program promotes healthy relationships between fathers/mothers and their children by educating, supporting and empowering men/women to be responsible parents. Participants will be referred to the program through the Child Support Court system and the Department of Human Resources in Bullock and Pike counties.
Provides comprehensive counseling and intervention services that may assist consumers in improving their housing conditions and meet the responsibilities of home ownership and tenancy. OCAP is a HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency.
ALABAMA BUSINESS CHARITABLE TRUST FUND
The purpose of the Trust is to assist low-income families who need assistance in paying their utilities. The two programs include Emergency Energy and Emergency Cooling. ABC Trust also provides assistance with home repairs in coordination with our weatherization program.
MULTI-FAMILY AFFORDABLE HOUSING
With funding from the HUD “HOME” project, OCAP now owns 372 apartment units designated for low to moderate income families. The projects are located in Butler, Conecuh, Dale, Pike, Houston, and St. Clair Counties.
We, at OCAP, know that our agency is much more than a variety of programs to assist the poor and are proud of our accomplishments. From its inception, it has been a group of people committed to a more just society and to a drive to insure a life of decency and dignity for all, regardless of income or social status. We know we have made an invaluable contribution to our area through the development of innovative and cost effective programs which have helped thosands of people find their way out of poverty. However, we know the paradox of poverty, in the midst of plenty, continues today and we must always remember the words of Herman Melville, "We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible treads and along these sympathetic fibers our actions run as causes and return to us as results."