Advocacy & Assistance
Outreach Services staff at Semcac’s seven county contact centers offer a personal connection for households struggling with financial hardships to access the agency’s programs and services and other community resources. The Outreach Services staff advocates for clients, provides information and referrals, assists with completing applications for services, and administers crisis assistance as funding is available.
Crisis assistance is available at some county contact centers only as funding permits. This assistance may help with motel vouchers, food emergencies, transportation, or other emergent needs that help sustain or create improved self-reliance of an individual or family. Clients receiving crisis assistance also meet with staff to establish a plan for stability.
Car Repair Program
Semcac is partnering with the Minnesota Prairie Alliance to provide a car repair program to income eligible households with one or more children, ages 1 – 18 years. The program is available for persons living in Dodge, Steele or Waseca counties. Households qualify if they earn 200% or less, of the federal poverty level. This program began in January 2016. Please contact the appropriate office for more information:
- 507.634.4350 in Dodge County
- 507.541.7134 in Steele or Waseca counties
This is the form that will need to be completed for Car Repair Program assistance: Car Repair Application pdf
Financial Literacy ~ Dollars & Sense Class
Several Outreach Services staff offer the Dollars & Sense Class. This interactive and fun class is held at sites in Albert Lea, Austin, Owatonna and Houston. Participants of all ages have shared that they really learn a lot from the class and will apply what they’ve learned to their daily life. The free, three-hour class is based on the Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy curriculum and covers budgets, savings and spending, credit repair, credit reports, debt reduction, and identity theft. All adults staying in Semcac’s Freeborn County Homeless Shelter are required to attend a Dollars & Sense Class, and those receiving housing assistance from Semcac must attend a class as part of their case management. Clients of Semcac’s other programs are encouraged to attend to learn more about achieving financial stability. All classes are open to the public but fill quickly so call today to reserve your seat.
Contact information for the Dollars & Sense classes:
- Austin: Heidi Hillson at 507-433-5889
- Albert Lea: Vicky Helland at 507-373-1329
- Houston: Michelle Vitse at 507-725-3677