From helping the homeless find and pay for housing, to caring and educating the youngest learners, Bi-County Community Action Programs (BI-CAP) provides important services to those in need.

BI-CAP is part of a Community Action Network of national and local organizations connecting people, with low and moderate incomes, to essential programs and services.

Governor Tim Walz recently proclaimed May 2022 as Community Action Month, recognizing the significance of Community Action Agencies, like BI-CAP, that serves residents in Beltrami and Cass Counties.

BI-CAP’s mission is to help people experiencing barriers on their paths towards economic stability. More than 5,000 individuals are served each year between Beltrami and Cass Counties.

 

Programs include

Energy Assistance provides financial assistance to households (renters or owners) to help pay a portion of their home energy and heating bills. Eligible households may also receive help with past due or disconnected water service and eligible home owners may receive help on non-functioning or  malfunctioning heating systems. This program year more than 500 new applications were received. The application period ends on May 31. To apply, contact BI-CAP at (800) 332-7161.

Head Start: Prenatal to Five is a school readiness program that helps learners prepare for kindergarten. Nearly 200 families participate in Head Start, with prenatal support and classes for infant/toddlers and 3- and 4-years olds. Applications for this fall are currently be accepted at www.bicap.org/projects/head-start/

YouthBuild is an educational, leadership and construction training program for participants 16-24. YouthBuilders finish their high school diploma or GED and receive construction training. YouthBuild has a current build on 818 Irvine Ave., in Bemidji. The completed home will be sold to a low-income family that qualifies for financing. Sale proceeds are reinvested back into YouthBuild. An open house is May 20, from 10 a.m. to noon at 3023 Mill St. NE. Call (218) 333-9868 for more information.

Supportive Housing services range from one-time assistance to on-going case management and rental subsidies. BI-CAP’s programs typically serve those that are already homeless and are in the greatest need of housing support services. Applications can be picked up at the Bemidji Office (6603 Bemidji Ave N); or Walker (8245 Industrial Park Road NW), or can be mailed. Call (800) 332-7161 to request an application.

The Weatherization department works with clients to improve the energy efficiency, health and safety of their homes while working on decreasing the energy consumption that their homes produce. Activities include energy audits, air sealing, furnace upgrades and insulation. Call (218) 333-9886 for more information.

More information on BI-CAP’s history and programs is at www.bicap.org

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