Although it represents only a fraction of the CAO’s total budget, the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) service is noteworthy because it is the cornerstone upon which many of the CAO’s services have been built. CSBG traces its lineage back to the beginning of the War on Poverty, when administrators were brought into economically depressed areas through the Office of Economic Opportunity grants. That administrative funding later became known as CSE, and eventually, CSBG. This service provides the basic underpinnings of community action efforts. CSBG helps low- income individuals by providing information, conducting workshops, and making referrals. This service works with low-income people to help them mobilize all the resources available within the community. All clients must meet poverty guidelines, have proof of income, and meet additional service eligibility requirements.
CSBG provides a screening process for local food pantries. Food vouchers are provided once every 30 days per household. Referrals may be made in case of emergency.
CSBG can, in some cases, offer direct emergency assistance to residents in the event of a fire, where no other resources are available and the victims meet the income guidelines.