Community Services

For more information on LIHEAP and Weatherization, see the following links:

csbgDMCOC provides a variety of activities through the Community Services Block Grant, which are geared to assist low-income persons in working toward family stability. Persons assisted must meet CSBG income eligibility guidelines and be residents of Macon County to qualify for services. To schedule an appointment, call 428-0155. No walk-ins are taken. The schedule for many of these activities appears in the Agency calendar.

Information/Referral

The program provides information about available community resources and makes referrals to assist families in meeting their on-going needs.

Skills Training/Education

Computer Classes

DMCOC provides basic computer classes that include an introduction to computers, the internet, Microsoft Word and Excel for CSBG eligible low-income persons. The classes are currently 4 weeks in length and meet for 3 days per week for 3 hours each day for a total of 36 hours of instruction. DMCOC has operated the classes since the mid-1980’s and assumed that the services we provide would change as persons became more computer literate. Today, training is still provided to introduce persons to computers and help others who need to improve or refresh their basic skills.

February-March 2017 Class Information

Job Skills/Resume Development

Assistance is provided in developing resumes, applying for jobs on-line, and utilizing Job Search through the Illinois Worknet website. DMCOC is a partner with the Workforce Investment Solutions for Macon and Dewitt County.

Debt Counseling

DMCOC and the Decatur Housing Authority have partnered with the Land of Lincoln Credit Union to bring budget training to low-income families. The classes are provided on an on-going basis and designed to introduce families to the concept of budgeting and the idea of planning for ongoing costs and unplanned expenditures.

Job Training/High Demand Fields

CDL certification has been identified as a short-term training area with high employment opportunities at a good living wage. The program is coordinated through Richland Community College, where the training is provided. Our program covers the cost of tuition and permit testing. Persons must be CSBG low-income eligible, have a good driving record, and live in Macon County. They are required to provide a minimum of 2 pre-hire letters from potential employers before they are approved.

Scholarships

Once annually, the Agency provides scholarships to assist CSBG eligible low-income undergraduate students with tuition costs. Students must be undergraduates, residents of Macon County, and attend an accredited school in Illinois. Applications are usually taken in June for the Fall semester. If possible, scholarships are distributed early, so the funds can be used to cover the initial cost of tuition that must be paid by the student before school starts.

Employment/Training

Transportation to Employment or Training

Transportation assistance is provided for up to 90 days, for low-income persons needing help to get to and from work, work training or school. Potential participants must provide proof of employment or enrollment, address of employer or training location, contact info, and copies of work/training schedules. Transportation is provided via bus cards or gas cards.

Equipment / Uniform / Supplies for Employment

Items, such as equipment, uniforms, or supplies can be purchased to ensure low-income persons obtain and/or retain employment. Uniforms can include any work environment where employees are required to wear specific kinds of clothing. Equipment or supplies may include tools or steel toed boots.

Licensing or Certification

This service will be available after March 1, 2017 and will provide for the cost to obtain a certification or license in order to qualify for employment or training. Included will be the cost of obtaining a CDL permit or license, Food Sanitation test and license, and GED test and diploma.

Housing Assistance

Housing Counseling

Families are assisted with general housing information, list of area landlords with housing available, and information regarding subsidized housing in Macon County.

Transitional Housing

DMCOC owns two single family homes that are utilized as transitional housing for low-income homeless families. The families can stay in the homes for up to two years, and are required to participate in case management activities on an on-going basis. Once the family has been stabilized and has a steady income, they may be required to pay minimal rent and cover the cost of their utilities. DMCOC is a partner with the local Continuum of Care “Homeward Bound”.

Emergency Shelter

When funds are available, DMCOC can shelter low-income homeless families in an area motel and provide meals for up to 10 nights. During that time, the family is required to work toward stabilizing their family and look for a more permanent place to stay. The Emergency/Transitional Housing Grant through the Illinois Department of Human Services provides for the cost of shelter and some meals.

Rent Assistance

When funds are available, DMCOC can provide one month’s rent assistance for CSBG low-income eligible families. The funds are used to help stabilize the family and prevent eviction, or provide for first month’s rent. Only rent can be paid, not deposits, utilities, water, or etc. A maximum amount paid per family is $500 for one month.