For over 50 years, since 1965, North Shore Community Action Programs (NSCAP), a private, nonprofit organization, has enriched the lives of low income families in the Peabody, Salem Beverly and Danvers communities. NSCAP's mission is to continue empowering people to achieve social and economic stability through services and education in partnership with the community. NSCAP served a total of 10,036 individuals through its programs last year.
The NSCAP organization works to empower people through five key areas:
I. Homelessness Prevention:
A. NSCAP’s Housing and Homelessness Prevention
NSCAP works with people at risk of becoming homeless, homeless families with children, the elderly, the chronically homeless, to connect with available resources, including temporary to permanent housing, assistance catching up on past-due rent, utility arrearages and often due to unforeseen circumstances.
B. Housing Pathways
NSCAP provides families experiencing homelessness with temporary emergency shelter. This trauma-informed program includes help with the search of permanent housing and provides case management services, including referrals for specialized services, before and after they have moved into permanent housing. In addition, life-skills workshops and mentoring provide support in the areas of money management, resume writing, job placement and retention, networking strategies, and affordable housing.
C. Tennant Based Rental Assistance
NSCAP recently began a program for chronically homeless people. The program focuses on young people living on the streets. NSCAP will assist the homeless with housing search, both temporary and permanent, and assist with skills to bring better health and economic stability to their lives.
D. Housing Law Project
NSCAP's housing law project helps Low income families at risk of being evicted or of losing a housing subsidy. Sometimes representation in housing court is necessary to negotiate and prepare for eviction situations. Our legal representative provides information and workshops on the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords.
II. NSCAP organization works on Education and Training for ESOL
NSCAP’s Adult Education/Workforce Development program currently focuses on developing the English language skills and college and career readiness for the North Shore's diverse immigrant community. Daytime classes include intensive English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), English for Employment, Civics & Citizenship, and a new Career Pathways to Banking and Customer Service program aimed at preparing job-seekers for in-demand positions in financial services and retail. In addition to on-site classes, NSCAP also provides workplace education to area businesses and organizations. Recent projects include communication and team-work skill development for front-line staff at North Shore Community Health.
In 2015-2016, NSCAP assisted more than 85 individuals with developing the communication, digital literacy and employability skills needed to enter employment, earn sustainable wages, support their families, earn citizenship and become active participants in their communities. Employers with entry level positions available are a great source of assistance to our students and NSCAP.
III. NSCAP Organization Offers Home Care Services
NSCAP provides in-home care to low-income frail elders and individuals with disabilities, enabling them to Age in Place and continue to live as independently as possible in their communities. The range of services include home health care, personal care, homemaking, companion, and family respite. The rates are very competitive and are determined according to personal income. This program receives a limited amount of funds to provide emergency services temporarily, free of charge, to eligible individuals, to bridge the gap until permanent services can begin.
NSCAP’s Home Care Program has employment opportunities for Certified Home Health Aids with the ability to speak and write English and have reliable transportation. Additionally, Home Care is looking for a volunteer to help with office administration projects.
IV. NSCAP offers assistance with Economic Stability
A. Utility Shut Off and other stability programs
NSCAP Families, especially families with children, the elderly, or families threatened with utility shut-off may qualify for financial assistance with overdue rent, security deposits and past-due utility bills.
Last year NSCAP assisted 235 households with advocacy for past due utility bills. Additionally, 1447 households (3,309) people facing crisis received assistance with rent, utilities and applying for public benefits. Residents of Peabody give to the Hard Times Fund through Peabody Municipal Light Plant, assisting Peabody residents with past due utility bills.
V. Fuel Assistance and Energy Conservation
A. Fuel Assistance
The Fuel Assistance Program at NSCAP provides winter heating assistance for income eligible families and individuals living in Peabody and surrounding communities. Eligible households receive payment for oil, propane or kerosene deliveries or payment towards their gas or electric heating bills during the winter heating months from November through April. The program receives federal funding through HHS and is administered through the MA Department of Housing and Community Development. Each year NSCAP processes over 3,600 applications for assistance with three full time staff members and four seasonal employees. NSCAP is constantly looking for resources to allow us to retain our seasonal staff for longer periods so that more residents would be able to access the benefits of the program. Our goal would be to increase our staffing levels by 1/5th, which would give us the resources to increase our outreach efforts in the community, including the Council on Aging, and bring seasonal staff back before the heating season begins. It is expected that this would allow us to serve an additional 70 of our neighbors most in need.
For the 2015-16 season, the Fuel Assistance Program provided $1.8M in benefits to area residents including $650,000 in heating assistance to 1,043 Peabody households.
B. Energy Conservation
NSCAP offers free insulation and weatherization, heating system repair or replacement, and appliance replacement ----all of which can help qualified income-eligible clients save on their utility bills and remain in their homes.
Last year nearly 500 families received energy conservation services that made their homes warmer and lowered their fuel bills. The Peabody Municipal Light Plant helps NSCAP provide Energy Conservation to residents of Peabody.