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Tri Town Community Action Agency assistance programs.

Resources from the Town Community Action Agency can help the low income, seniors and people facing poverty meet their basic needs. Several social services and emergency assistance programs are offered, with a focus on helping families emerge from poverty. The agency runs programs for Kent County, North Central and Northwestern Rhode Island.

Educational services

This center offers education support from children from the Head Start program. It can also help parents and pregnant women. This is aimed at nurturing relationships between infants, very young children, toddlers and their parents as well as supporting the overall health and the well-being of the pregnant women.

The federally funded Head Start program is subdivided into two options. They are the home-based and center-based services. For center-based services, the program accepts children aged 3-5 years. Children will be able to attend the center 3, 4 or 5 days per week.

Tri Town Community Action Head Start also extend their services to those who are less fortunate to attend classrooms located in Johnston, North Providence and Pascoag in Rhode Island. So if you cannot afford center-based services, then you do not have to worry since Head Start offers home-based services as well to those that qualify.

Food and basic needs

Christmas Assistance, Holiday Food Baskets, and the Toy Distribution Program may be able to help those who can’t remember the last time they enjoyed their holiday. This non-profit center has good news for you. It offers a program that involves distribution of free toys and holiday food baskets to low income earners in Rhode Island including Johnston, Smithfield, North Providence, Burrillville, North Smithfield and Glocester.




The federal funded WIC, or Women, Infants and Children Nutritional Program, is intended for low income women that have an income of 180% or higher of the poverty level and that also have infants and children under the age of 5 years. It is available throughout Rhode Island.

Under the WC food assistance program, the needy are provided with vouchers to purchase nutritious foods such as milk, eggs and juice. Also located in the center are licensed and certified dieticians to provide monthly nutrition counseling and education services to needy women.

A Food Bank and the Commodities Distribution Program distributes free canned goods, grain, pasta, juices, peanut, rice, flour and other food items. The goods are distributed every month to low income residents of Johnston, North Providence, Smithfield, North Smithfield and Burrillville. The food and groceries are purchased through the Rhode Island Food Bank and passed out throughout the state by the non-profit community action agency and other charities.

Free Emergency Food Vouchers Program is for eligible individuals and families to support any emergency nutritional needs. Hot meals, canned goods, and other items are served in the northern reaches of the state.

SNAP - Food Stamp Application Assistance is run in partnership with the Feinstein Foundation. It provides application assistance and submission of federal Food Stamp benefits. Case managers from Tri Town Community Action Agency can help people apply.





Employment and job training programs

Youth services are for residents under the age of 24. The programs help the needy students in areas like work readiness skills training, academic assessments, educational assistance, and job placement assistance. Individuals and families from Kent County and the region who are non-English speaking or have limited English language skills are offered language skills and English assistance, such as ESL. With this, you can choose attending day classroom sessions or evening ones.

GED preparation is meant for helping individuals to prepare for the state of Rhode Island GED exam. The services offered include support from teachers such as academic assessment and educational values. This is achieved through various approaches such as individual sessions, classroom training, tutoring, home-based studies and computer assisted learning is also available.

The state’s Summer Youth Employment and Job Training Program provides work experience opportunities in public facilities, local businesses and regional non-profit agencies. The work experiences are meant to provide youth under the age of 24 with hands-on opportunities to develop the employment skills they will need upon entering the work force. Industries across the state of Rhode Island, including in northern Providence, provide needy youths with a variety of careers and personal development activities.

Tri Town Community Action Agency financial literacy

Credit counseling and financial stability counseling program is for working poor families in Rhode Island. Specialists will work with them in an effort to equip them with skills related to financial matters. However the clients receive these services from different programs.

The Tri Town Community Action Agency Youthlinks program provides services to the youths, and adults are educated through Tri-Town’s Emergency Services Department, or Tax Preparation Program. The students of the financial literacy learn about budgeting, debt reduction, banking basics, loan consolidation, consumer protection and fraud, home ownership and retirement planning.

The EITC - Tax Preparation Assistance Program offers free electronic filing of state and federal government income tax returns. There is also free preparation assistance, including applying for the Earned Income Tax Credits. EITC is available to low income residents of Glocester, Johnston, North Providence, Smithfield, and North Smithfield. Residents of other towns and cities in northern RI can also benefit from it though their appointments have to be accepted first.

Seniors from Kent County can get help from Senior Medical Patrol Program. It will assist individuals who have public insurance from Medicare and/or Medicaid and it will prevent fraud with their Medicare dollars. Another option is Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). It assists individuals who are elderly or disabled. Staff will obtain information for them about insurance options. They are provided with education, information and support in reviewing options and signing up for assistance with government financial programs that provide additional support.





Financial assistance for energy bills, rent, and other expenses

RHEHA Roadhome, or Emergency Housing Assistance Program, is for low income families as well as women and children impacted by domestic violence. Through this housing assistance program, the low income residents of North Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, North Smithfield and the cities of Glocester are provided with funds to use for paying their rental, mortgage and security deposits. The assistance is to prevent eviction, foreclosures, and address domestic violence situation.

Appliance Management Program (AMP) will help thousands of households identify energy consumption from lighting, appliances, water, heaters, waterbeds, and refrigerators among others. Based upon findings of the energy audits, needy participants may be provided with free updates to their home such as compact fluorescent lighting, refrigerators and freezers. Other enhancements can be water saving devices and retrofit mattresses for waterbeds. These services are available to customers of National Grid and many other utility companies who are certified with a low income rate and/or determined to be financially eligible.

Emergency cash assistance and funds from Basic Human Needs Program will help pay for needs including rent, heat, electric, health care, water bills, prescriptions, and more. It is only available when no other financial resources exist. It is offered to low income and senior residents of Rhode Island.

Furnace and Boiler Repair Program can pay for the replacement or to fix heating systems that are beyond repair. The assistance is for low income residents of Johnston providence, Smithfield, Burrillville and Glocester.

Information and referrals from the Town Community Action Agency Community Information Specialist offers elders with support. It is available at local senior centers throughout RI. It is a Part of the State's Regional Network funded by the state of Rhode Island Department of Human Services.

Emergency Shelter and Food Vouchers are for poor and income qualified individuals and families in Kent County. It will help them and support any emergency nutritional and housing needs they may have.

Seniors can look into the RI Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (RIPAE). It is for residents over the age of 55 years and above who are disabled. Through this medical assistance program, a percentage of the cost of certain medicines is paid to those that qualify. It is based on the applicants income and the percentages that is paid for the prescription medicine depends on a person's total household income.

Federal government funded Fuel and Heating Bill Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, is overseen by Tri Town Community Action Agency. Grants can help pay fuel/utility bills during the winter months to reduce home-heating costs.







Save money on utility bills from home Weatherization Program. This conservation program assists low-income individuals, the disabled, elderly and families to permanently reduce their energy consumption and increase efficiencies. Audits are conducted to determine the need for replacement of windows, extra insulation, weather-stripping, air sealing, and free wrap pipes.

Apply for financial help from Town Community Action Agency

It operates in Johnston, Kent County, North Providence, Burrillville, North Smithfield, Glocester, and Smithfield. Call or stop by 1126 Hartford Avenue, Johnston, RI 02919, Phone 401-351-2750. There are other resources offered as well as to clients.


By Jon McNamara

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