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ALPI administers a number of community services programs for migrant and seasonal farm workers and low-income families. The Community Services Department maintains a focus of state wide service delivery based upon the availability of funds in targeted areas and populations.

The programs and services offered are diverse, in that services are provided to farm workers, low income individuals and their families, handicapped workers and youth. Some of the services provided are Emergency Services, Housing, Transportation, Vocational Training, GED, ESOL, Literacy and other support services. The department also serves as a clearinghouse for natural disasters that may affect farm workers.

A vast network has been established over the years, which is comprised of agencies, churches, organizations and private groups and/or individuals whereby some provide direct financial assistance, others distribute applications for services, etc. Partnerships and collaborative efforts between ALPI and the communities we serve are critical to the success of service delivery.

Services are provided directly through a volunteer service network made up of forty (40) network partners of diverse community agencies state-wide that assist in the delivery of emergency services to farm workers and income eligible individuals and families. Additionally, there are twenty-six (26) sites in an eight (8) county area that assist directly with energy programs.

COMMUNITY SERVICE BLOCK GRANT
ALPI has been designated by the State of Florida as the Community Action Agency (CAA) for Polk, Highlands, and Hendry Counties. As such, ALPI receives Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funds to assist in the provision of a range of services and activities that have a measurable, and potentially major, impact on the root causes of poverty in the local community. Such services are delivered through ALPI staff as well as subcontracts with local community organizations.

ALPI's focus of CSBG funding is to support a Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSSP); however, there are limited emergency assistance funds available to help alleviate an immediate crisis. Under the FSSP, an eligible client is provided services through ongoing case management with the ultimate outcome being the enhancement of a family's ability to, ultimately, meet their own needs. Participation in the FSSP is based on the family's income level as well as the availability of Case Manager slots. The client is assigned a Case Manager for the duration of his/her participation in the FSSP. The Case Manager completes an initial assessment with the client and develops a Case Plan to determine appropriate activities/goals for the client and his/her family. Such activities/goals may include assisting the client and his/her family in:

  • Securing and retaining meaningful employment
  • Obtaining adequate education
  • Developing and following a budget
  • Obtaining and maintaining adequate housing
  • Linking to appropriate community resources
  • Pursuing job training

The Case Manager continues to work with the client in providing support, on an on-going basis, via telephone and office visits, to assist with completion of the Case Plan and attainment of self-sufficiency. Quarterly, the client is reassessed to determine his/her progress towards self-sufficiency. The FSSP is unique to each client and may range from a few months to a year or more, with an average participation period of six months. The length and scope of the FSSP primarily depends upon the client's needs.

PROJECT ACHIEVE
ALPI's Project Achieve Program is located at 100 East Washington Avenue, Pierson, Florida 32180, Volusia County. The program provides the following training services:

CNA - Certified Nurse Assistant Training
VITA - Income Tax Assistance
Small Engine Repair

Computer Job Search
Emergency Assistance
ESOL-English as a Second Language
GED - High School Equivalency Diploma
Citizenship Classes
Translation Assistance
Job Training, Work Experience, On the Job Training
One Stop Information and Referral Assistance
Youth Opportunity Programs


LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
The Home Energy Assistance Category allows for a benefit payment on behalf of eligible households who have a heating or cooling obligation. There is one benefit payment per program year of which the amount is based on a home energy assistance matrix.

LIHEAP has three categories of assistance:

Home Energy Assistance category allows for a benefit payment on behalf of eligible households who have a heating or cooling obligation. There is one benefit payment per program year of which the amount is based on a home energy assistance matrix.

Crisis Assistance category allows for a benefit payment on behalf of eligible households having an unavoidable heating season (October- March) or a cooling season emergency (April-September).

Weather Related category is instituted upon declaration or order by the Governor or President that a crisis or an emergency exists due to weather related conditions which would result in a supply of energy that would adversely affect low income households. After March 15th of each year, if the funds are not expended, they may be transferred to the Home Energy category.

HUD (Housing Counseling)
The Agricultural and Labor Program, Inc. (ALPI) is a certified U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Counseling Agency. Eligible homeowners receive housing counseling in the areas of: H.E.M.C., pre-purchase, mortgage default, etc. First time home buyers classes are available in Polk County, Florida and other specified areas upon request.

WIA-167 Support Services
This program's focus is to provide emergency support to eligible farm workers who are experiencing multiple barriers that prevent them from accessing and/or obtaining assistance from some other resource to meet their socio-economic needs (i.e.; shelter, food, education, employment and training, transportation and referrals to other resources.

Employment and Training
This program offers employment, training and educational opportunities through the Project ACHIEVE in Volusia County.

HOUSING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

In 1994 ALPI was awarded $2.7 million by the USDA Rural Development for construction of a fifty-eight (58) unit farm worker rental housing development. The project (New Horizon) was completed in 1995 and is located between Auburndale and Winter Haven, Florida. Since its completion, the project continues to experience a 95-100% occupancy rate under the management of The Agricultural and Labor Housing Development Corporation.

Also during 1994, the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) transferred ownership of a home and three (3) lots to ALPI to develop "first-time" home ownership opportunities for low-income and farm worker families. Through an award of HOME Investment Partnership funds as well as Community Development Block Grant Funding from Polk County Board of County Commissioners/Community Development Department, ALPI rehabilitated the home and constructed three (3) new homes and assisted in the sale of all of these properties to low income and farm worker first-time home buyers.

 

 

 
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The Agricultural and Labor Program, Inc.
300 Lynchburg Road, Lake Alfred, Florida 33850-9000
Ph: (863) 956-3491 ~ Fax: (863) 956-3357

 

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