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To increase the capacity of low-income families and individuals to be self-sufficient.
Pikes Peak Community Action Agency (PPCAA) originated with the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 as one of the "war on poverty" programs. In 1984 the organization re-incorporated, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. For over forty-seven years, PPCAA has served the Pikes Peak Region, providing assistance to hundreds of thousands of individuals and families in a continuing effort to build a stronger community by stabilizing families in crisis and promoting true self sufficiency through unique and innovative programs.
SUMMARY OF CORE PROGRAMS
Family Stabilization Services (FSS) address the emergency needs of more than 17,000 low-income people each year. This program is designed to address emergency needs such as rent or mortgage, utilities, food, medical prescriptions, assistance with obtaining a valid identification, housing rehabilitation, transportation, and budget counseling to solve problems that may threaten a household’s progress toward permanent self-sufficiency. Many of our FSS clients are otherwise stable households that find themselves in crisis due to some unplanned and unfortunate event. PPCAA stabilizes these families in crisis so that they can get back on the road to self-sufficiency. Services provided by PPCAA to these families and individuals in crisis are unique since most other programs do not provide "one-time" assistance; rather they require enrollment and long term unemployment for assistance. PPCAA catches those citizens that are hardworking and would otherwise fall through the cracks of other social welfare programs.
Transitions to Independence (TIP) is a goal setting program utilizing intensive one-on-one case management to assist low-income people to attain higher education and job skills. The TIP program focuses on individuals that are under educated, underemployed, under skilled and at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. Services offered to participants include education assistance, job coaching, transportation, uniform assistance, testing costs, and many other services that enable the client to increase their education level and job skills. This program includes an assessment and goal setting process followed by long-term, intensive case management.
Individual Development Accounts (IDA)is a matched saving program for low-income people that are employed and have a household income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. The IDA program addresses the issue of self-sufficiency and poverty elimination through the innovative approach of asset acquisition. Participants can save up to $1,000 to be matched with $2,000 for a total of $3,000 for Post-secondary Education, to start or expand a small business, or to purchase a first home. Additionally, under the primary assets of education and small business, clients can save an additional $500 to be matched with $1,000 for a total of $1,500 towards an automobile purchase.
Youth Education Savings program (YES)is a new matched savings program for youth that PPCAA launched on June 1, 2007. This is the only program that provides a matched savings plan for "at-risk" youth inEl PasoCounty. The program teaches fiscal responsibility, accountability and provides resources for educational assistance and post secondary education. Participants can save up to $2,000 to be matched with $4,000 for a total of $6,000 for educational assistance.
Individuals and families are served through our four neighborhood community centers: the Norvell Simpson Center (which offers the TIP, IDA, and YES Programs), the Billie Spielman Center (providing emergency and stabilization services to Colorado Springs and the Ute Pass community), the Walt Fortman Center (providing the Fountain Valley with both emergency and self-sufficiency services), and our Calhan office (serving eastern El Paso County). From these diverse locations PPCAA provides clients better access to needed support services and enhances local community outreach.
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