Southwest CDC
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Self Sufficiency Programs

Self-Sufficiency programs help people get the resources they need to meet basic life's necessities, shelter, utilities and food.

The following programs are available at no charge.

Utility and Heating Assistance

Southwest CDC offers a variety of programs that assist low-income people with their utility and heating costs.

LIHEAP - Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income people pay their heating bills.

Crisis is a component of LIHEAP and helps people who have an emergency of being without heat or are immediate danger of not having heat. Emergency situations include running out of heating oil, having the heating gas, electric or water shut off, having a broken furnace.

LIHEAP and Crisis are only available in the winter months, November - March.

To apply, bring the following documentation to Southwest CDC's offices:

  1. Proof of income for everyone in the household
    • DPA: Green access card or letter from caseworker stating grant amount
    • EMPLOYMENT: last 2 pay stubs if paid bi-weekly, last 4 pay stubs if paid weekly
    • SOCIAL SECURITY/SSI: print out with current monthly amount received
    • UNEMPLOYMENT: determination letter or last 4 stubs
    • PENSION: letter stating gross amount and how often you receive
    • FAMILY/FRIENDS: letter stating amount and how often you receive assistance/payments; must include name, address, social security number and phone number of the person giving you support
  2. Social security cards for everyone in the household
  3. The main heating utility bill: ex. If you are applying for electric you must also bring your gas bill or your oil receipt as well as your electric bill. (gas, electric, or oil receipt)

YOU MUST HAVE ALL OF THIS INFORMATION TO APPLY

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Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) - gives grants to low-income Philadelphians to pay electric, gas and water, when LIHEAP and Crisis are not available.

Applicants can only receive the grant once every two (2) years. You can receive up to $500 each time. If the total utility bill exceeds $500, the applicant will be required to pay the difference between $500 and the total amount owed. The minimum total utility bill must be at least $150. If an applicant is on the CRP budget with the Philadelphia Gas Works the applicant will not be eligible for this grant. An applicant can not use this grant to keep utility service on. The grant must pay the bill in full. If the service has been turned off, there is a turn on fee of $70 for electric, $40 for water and $123.23 for gas.

The following documents are required to apply for UESF:

  1. Proof of Income
    • DPA: Green access card or letter from caseworker stating grant amount
    • EMPLOYMENT: last 2 pay stubs if paid bi-weekly, last 4 pay stubs if paid weekly
    • SOCIAL SECURITY/SSI: print out with current monthly amount received
    • UNEMPLOYMENT: determination letter or last 4 stubs
    • PENSION: letter stating gross amount and how often you receive
    • FAMILY/FRIENDS: letter stating amount and how often you receive assistance/payments; must include name, address, social security number and phone number of the person giving you support
  2. Social Security Cards or Access Cards for everyone in the home.
  3. The Shut off notice and a current bill from the utility company you are applying for.
  4. In money order form, all money owed over $500 plus turn of fee, if your service is off. We do not suggest getting a money order until you have come to our office and speak to a counselor.

Unfortunately Southwest CDC is limited in the amount of applications available each week. We suggest that you call Southwest CDC to get additional information before coming to our office.

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Wilkas Memorial Emergency Heating Oil Fund
Southwest CDC established the Wilkas Memorial Emergency Heating Oil Fund in 1994 to assist Southwest Philadelphia residents in dire need of heating oil.
The program is named for Catherine (Cass) Wilkas, a long-time Southwest CDC employee, who tirelessly helped thousands of Southwest residents with their utility and heating needs. The Fund's primary sponsor is The Grandom Institution. Funds are not always available. Southwest CDC encourages people to contact us before coming to the office to apply.

Donations to the Wilkas Memorial Emergency Heating Oil Fund can be made to assist those in emergency need of heating oil.

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Food Referrals


Southwest CDC refers low-income people to the Philadelphia Food Hotline. For information on the nearest emergency food bank, call the following number and be ready with a household's zip code.

Philadelphia Food Hotline 800-366-3997


Energey Conservation Education


Water Conservation - This program is for low-income water customers living in Philadelphia.
The program provides the following services:

  • Complete in-house water inspection/audit
  • Repair/replacement or minor plumbing problems
  • Installation of water conservation devices
  • Water conservation information and education

Energy Conservation Workshops - This program is designed to teach clients how to conserve energy both winter and summer.

Budget Counseling Workshops - Southwest CDC staff will teach clients how to create and understand a monthly budget.

 

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PA Property Tax or Rent Rebate Program


To file for a rebate you must be a homeowner or a renter.

  • Claimant age 65 or older
  • Claimant under age 65 with a spouse age 65 or older who resided in the same household
  • Widow or widower, age 50 to 64
  • Permanently disabled and age 18 to 64
  • If you are filing for the first time you must submit the following information
  • If you are filing because you are age 65 or older, provide proof of your age.
  • If you are under age 65 and your spouse is age 65 or older, prove proof of your spouse's age.
  • If you are a widow or widower age 50 to 64, provide proof of your age and a photocopy of your spouse's death certificate.
  • If you are permanently disabled, age 18 to 64, you must provide proof of your age and proof of your permanent disability.

Proof of Age

  • Birth Certificate
  • Blue Cross 65 Special Card
  • Church Baptismal record
  • Driver's License of PA identification Card
  • Hospital birth record
  • Social Security Administration document clearly showing your date of birth
  • Naturalization/Immigration paper, if age is shown
  • Military discharge paper, if age is shown
  • Medicare Card
  • PACE/PACENET card
  • Passport

Proof of Disability

  • For Social Security disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) permanent and total disability, Railroad Retirement permanent and total disability or Black Lung disability, provide a copy of your award letter.
  • For Veterans Administration disability, provide a letter from the Veterans Administration stating that you are 100% disabled.
  • For Federal Civil Service disability, provide a letter from Civil Service stating that you are 100% disabled.

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PACE Application Assistance


PACE/PACENET is Pennsylvania's prescription plan for older residents. Funded by Lottery proceeds, this program assists eligible older Pennsylvanians with their prescription costs.

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Partnerships Building Neighborhood Pride
Southwest Community Development Corporation
6328 Paschall Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19142
Phone: 215-729-0800   Fax: 215-726-5719

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