Help Center at Common Ground Partnership
We know that getting help can be complicated and confusing. We hope to make the process simpler by giving you all the information you might need in advance. We have also partnered with the Help Center at Common Ground, so each applicant will be paired with a case manager who will complete the application for you.
Since October 2018, the Help Center at Common Ground has partnered with YCAN. Hot Springs County residents who visit the friendly volunteers at the Help Center at Common Ground meet with a case manager who primarily assesses and organizes their needs and ensures they get linked to the services they need and are eligible for. Yellowstone, Country Assistance Network, is one of over fifty organizations the Help Center works with to provide financial assistance that supports family stability by providing financial aid as the foundation for economic security.
The goal for the YCAN CSBG grant year was to provide direct financial assistance services to 14 Hot Springs County low-income individuals. YCAN has provided $12,778.76 in direct financial assistance services to 22 unduplicated individuals referred by the Help Center at Common Ground since October 2022. Housing services (utilities, rent, motel help for people experiencing homelessness) are the most requested services. YCAN will serve applicants for this program on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted.
Apply at The Help Center at Common Ground
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 12:00 noon – 3 pm
Address: 124 North 5th Street,
Thermopolis, Wyoming 82443
Phone: (307) 864-3851
About the CSBG Grant
Yellowstone Country Assistance Network administers the Community Services Block Grant through a contract with the Wyoming Department of Health Rural & Frontier Division. This is a federal grant with eligibility and documentation requirements.
- Clients will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted. A denial may be given if no funds are available, the customer has exceeded usage allowance, the client does not qualify based on income requirements, the client does not provide required documents, or the client has exceeded allowable limits for the program.
- YCAN Staff cannot deny clients based on personal beliefs or determinations about clients. Therefore, all qualifying clients must be served unless one of the above circumstances exists.
- You must be a county resident currently being served by YCAN through the fund to be used (Hot Springs County, Wyoming). Residency is defined as having the ability to provide documentation or testimony of living in our service area. The following are acceptable for demonstrating residency.
- Bill, with a local address
- ID with a local address: CSBG does not require an ID for service. Clients without an ID should alert their case manager for proper processing.
- Lease with current address
- A written statement from a local employer with intent to hire.
- Written statement by a county resident that the individual lives within the service area or has been offered employment within the service area.
All household members 18 or older must not exceed the current allowable income based on the poverty guidelines. CSBG is currently authorized to service clients with income from 0% to 200% of the federal poverty guideline.
|Persons in Household||200%|
The number of individuals making up the household must be determined as the income available when determining financial eligibility.
- A household is any individual or group living together as one economic unit. The number of individuals in the economic unit will determine household size.
- There may be situations where individuals, who are homeless, are temporarily residing with another permanent household. Only the individual needing assistance will be assessed for income eligibility in cases like this.
- Household income is the total gross income for all individuals in a household 18 years or older.
- Gross income is cash receipts the applicant earned and received before taxes.
- The applicant will be asked to provide information concerning all other assistance being received. Please note that other services received will not necessarily prevent you from qualifying.
Verification of Income:
Please note that no staff person, contractor, or volunteer working on behalf of YCAN may provide services for a client or potential client without first determining that the person or family is income eligible for the services provided. Income is documented in the file.
- All income, including fixed income, for the family or individual must be documented at the time of the application for services and verified every 90 days. Fixed income may be verified using a yearly statement.
- When verification is obtained from an employer, complete information concerning the amount and source must be documented. In addition to recording the income amount and the source, documentation must include the name and title of the person who gave the verification.
- Paycheck stubs can be used to determine the period covered by check and whether it represents current and/or past income. Current paycheck stubs showing at least 4 weeks’ worth of payments will be used to determine eligibility. If current income does not represent usual pay, staff are encouraged to use year-to-date amounts. When year to date amount is unavailable, it is acceptable to use 8 weeks’ worth of consecutive paycheck stubs from the period beyond the three months if the reason is documented and the period used is reasonably determined to be the best representation of annual income.
- If it can be determined and documented that the client is a salaried employee and all pay stubs are the same, and/or monthly income stays the same, collecting less than 8 weeks of work of pay is acceptable.
- A written client statement is not an acceptable verification when determining whether income fluctuates monthly or if the pay stubs are always the same.
- Bank statements can only be used to verify SSI and VA income and as a supplemental document for other stable, unearned income such as retirement. It must be evident that gross income is being verified without deductions, tax, or otherwise.
- The following may also be used as a method of income verification:
- Written, signed, and dated statements from employer(s).
- Copies of income tax returns for self-employed persons.
- Records maintained for self-employed persons.
- Award letters and/or other proof of income.
Verification of Zero Income or Missing Required Documentation
- A household unit of zero income must provide confirmation. The application must indicate the zero income status of each household member 18 years or older. In situations where zero income is listed on a SNAP printout for the household, the printout may be used as a sole source of income verification for SNAP cases that are open and active during the verification period. When considered as a whole, all such documentation must be reasonable and indicate how the household survives without any cash income. Gifts of cash or in-kind contributions (food, clothing, etc.) are not considered cash income. However, in documenting a household’s zero income status, all gifts (cash or other goods to meet basic necessities) must be documented and placed in the applicant’s file.
- A self-attestation document stating the validity of zero income and the explanation thereof must be signed. The client will use it as a legally binding statement that they qualify for the services provided.
- A self-attestation document may be signed if the client lacks any documents to provide income proof. The statement must provide a clear and reasonable cause as to why the documents are unavailable. Valid reasons usually involve an unexpected crisis or event that makes the documents inaccessible.
- Tangible Services One-Time Help: This type of service involves the provision of a tangible benefit by the agency to an individual or a family. Examples of tangible services are” providing food, purchasing a client’s medicine, making a rent payment, etc. The service delivery process is completed once the individual or family has been eligible. If no CSBG services are provided, the case must be closed.
- YCAN Online application or intake completed by the client’s case manager at the Help Center at Common Ground (307-864-3851).
- Photo ID – State or Federally issued. (The program director may approve an exception, and clients must be able to identify themselves by alternative means.)
- Proof of Income – Last 30 days. Income includes any pay, benefit, or federal assistance programs. If no income exists, a self-attestation form may be used. Must meet income qualifications of CSBG grant.
- Documentation supporting services to be received. (Bills, invoices, quotes)
- An IRS form w-9 must be on file for all landlord vendors before rent payments.
Yellowstone Country Assistance Network will provide CSBG-eligible applicants with referrals to Child Support and Employment Resources.
If you are looking for specific financial assistance services, we have listed them by category.
Community Resource Directories
- Application Assistance & Case Management
- Community Services Block Grant by County
- Childcare Resources
- Child Support Resources
- Dental Financial Assistance
- Domestic Violence Programs and Services
- Emergency Assistance Services
- Employment Support Services
- Healthcare Financial Assistance
- Homeowner’s Resources
- Homeless Resources
- Nutrition Programs and Food Pantries
- Rent Financial Assistance
- Senior Citizen Resources
- Utility Financial Assistance
- Wyoming COVID-19 Resources