To promote fair, greater and better Social, Economic, Educational and Employment Opportunities for all residents in our communities.
In 1969, the United State Office of Economic Opportunity granted the Rural Development Corporation in Los Angeles a $400,000 grant for the development of a program that would consist of two components: a Tuition Assistance Program for the farm worker students attending college; and a Basic Education program for adult farm workers.
In May of 1971, several meetings were held in targeted communities to elect representatives from each community to sit on the Rural Development Corporation advisory council. By July of 1971, the advisory council met to formulate the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws. Thus, the new agency (Campesinos Unidos, Inc.) was incorporated under the California State laws on the 11th day of August, 1971.
On January 1, 1972, under mutual agreement between Campesinos Unidos, Inc., Rural Development Corporation and the Office of Economic Opportunity, an all funds Interest Agreement was signed; thus, Campesinos Unidos, Inc. was born as an independent agency.
Campesinos Unidos, Inc. (CUI) was incorporated as a private non-profit corporation under section 501 c (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. CUI was incorporated to specifically promote greater social, economic, educational, and employment training opportunities for farm workers and other economically disadvantaged residents of the Imperial, Riverside and San Diego counties.
In June 1989, CUI became Imperial County’s designated Community Action Agency by the California Department of Economic Opportunity. A tripartite Board of Directors has governed the agency since then. The board is made up of one-third (1/3) Public Representatives; 1/3 Poor or Disadvantaged Representatives; and 1/3 Representatives of business, labor, religious, education, or other interest groups in the community.
Since its incorporation, CUI has acted as both a prime sponsor and subcontractor of numerous Federal, State and Local entitlement programs (Head Start, Child Development, Self-Help Housing, LIHEAP, and Employment-Training projects) serving its three-county area of operation: Imperial, Riverside and San Diego counties.
We partner with the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) to provide assistance to families/individuals that are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. This collaboration allows us to help pay past due rent or utilities, and provide emergency food. We also partner with the Imperial Valley Food Bank, to provide USDA Commodities distribution in two sites and provide families/individuals with access to healthy food. By helping alleviate these immediate needs, we also gain the opportunity to offer additional emergency and social service support to improve socio-economic status and overall wellness of low-income families/individuals in Imperial County.
Utility Assistance and Weatherization Programs
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that assists low-income households with utility assistance programs and weatherization services designed to reduce heating and cooling costs and improve the energy efficiency of a home, while safeguarding the health and safety of the household. These services are available throughout Imperial and San Diego Counties. There are two separate utility assistance programs available. The determination as to which program an applicant will utilize will be determined based on the applicant’s circumstances. The dollar amount awarded is the same for either program.
HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program)
HEAP assists clients who are in need of help in paying their electric or gas bill. Clients determine which bill they will be assisted with. The amount of assistance is based on household income and size. Clients supply information that will be used to determine an established benefit amount which will appear as a credit on the clients’ bill. If the bill is included in the clients rent, the client receives a check in the benefit amount. HEAP may pay for a portion of the energy bill in the form of a dual or single party warrant or a direct payment to a utility company.
ECIP or F/T (Energy Crisis Intervention Program or Fast Track)
ECIP F\T assists clients who are in crisis of having their electric or gas service disconnected or that their electric or gas has been disconnected. Clients whose utilities are included in their rent DO NOT qualify for ECIP/FT. ECIP/FT pledges are called into the appropriate utility company indicating an application has been processed with the pledge amount to postpone or stop the pending loss of service. If the service is already disconnected utility company will be notified of clients pledge amount in order to have their services re-connected.
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