Jul 25

General Assistance Application

The Town administers a program of General Assistance (GA).  This program is designed to provide aid to persons who are unable to provide the basic necessities essential to maintain themselves or their families.  Please click on this link to open a GA Application.  Complete and return to the Paris Town Office, contact Shannon Moxcey 207-743-2501 or 207-595-8280.

General Assistance Application

In order to be eligible for General Assistance, you MUST:

  • Complete an application with current, accurate information about your household and finances. If the information on your GA application does not match the information that DHHS has, you will be asked to update to update your information with DHHS and then re-apply for General Assistance.
  • Provide verification/documentation of household income and expenses for the past 30 days
  • Find reasonable housing within your ability to pay. General Assistance policy stipulates that: “Municipalities should always avoid placing GA recipients (even temporarily) in temporary lodgings (such as hotels, motels, inns or boarding houses). In the event no permanent housing arrangement can be found, prior to placing a GA recipient in a temporary dwelling, always call DHS to see if other alternatives exist. http://mainewelfaredirectors.org/assoc/Resources/GA/Manual/cpt/chpt2.pdf.”
  • Maintain your employment and to not give cause to be terminated (people who quit a job or are terminated as a result of their own actions are considered ineligible for General Assistance for 120 days from the date separation from that employer.
  • Apply for and utilize any potential resources you are referred to by the General Assistance Administrator.

 

If you are eligible for General Assistance, you must:

 

  • Complete job searches and bring to Town so that these job searches can be checked and verified.
  • Bring in proof that you registered with our local Career Center.
  • Report any changes to your income or household immediately.
  • Our town requires “workfare first” in non-emergency cases, so if you are eligible for assistance, the amount of the assistance is divided by the minimum wage and that is the number of hours you must work at the Norway-Paris Transfer Station for your workfare assignment before any General Assistance vouchers will be issued.

If you are seeking SSI/SSDI benefits, you must:

  • Work with and comply with the General Assistance Disability Advocate, complete and submit all related paperwork, and attend hearings and phone interviews as directed

The following are examples of items that are NOT considered basic necessities: phone bills, cable television, internet, alcohol, tobacco products, trips, credit card debts, costs associated with pet care, late fees, gifts, deposits, furniture/electronics rental fees, or payments on unsecured loans, such as Payday loans.

General Assistance does NOT pay back bills nor does it pay security deposits for rental units or utilities.

According to statute 4319, parents are required by law to help their children under age 25, and the municipality reserves the right to require parents to repay any benefits granted to their child.

If you are not eligible for General Assistance, we will do our best to refer you to another local resource.

 

Jul 19

Local Resources for Citizens and Businesses

The Town of Paris offers a wealth of services for people who need education, jobs, or other resources.

From networking events to business-to-business trade shows, from member discounts to directory listings, the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce is a great resource to get noticed and attract new business!

First and foremost, Oxford Hills SCORE knows the business fundamentals, based on real world experience.  Our counselors have experience in managing and leading companies both large and small.  Our volunteers have been both business owners and employees.  We share our wisdom and experience through free face-to-face mentoring sessions.  A SCORE counselor can help you think through business challenges and opportunities, help you with financial analysis and projections, help you with marketing plans and help you in many more areas.  We can be a sounding board for your new ideas.

AVCOG is another organization which has a wealth of information for municipalities and businesses in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties.

We have the DHHS Office where people can access various services and programs such as TANF or food stamps. We have Community Concepts based here in Paris, and they provide a broad array of services including fuel assistance, home repair programs, homeless shelters and child care classes and services. We have the Maine Career Center right in Town, where they help people determine what their vocational interests are, their educational and skills levels, and can refer them to training programs designed to make vocational goals a reality. We have New Ventures (formerly Women, Work and Community), local organizations which help people on the road to financial stability and offer advice and resources for those who want to start up their own small business. We have Oxford Hills/Buckfield Adult Ed, which not only helps people get their GED’s, but also offers vocational training such as CDL training and CNA classes, and enrichment classes in many different areas from photography to cake decorating to nutrition. Western Maine University and Community College Center, also of Paris, is a place where people can pursue secondary education and degrees, receiving support while working towards educational goals at their own pace. For those who need transportation, Western Maine Transportation Services can take riders to and from work, pharmacies, shopping, hair and personal care, libraries, visits with family and friends, food pantries, meal and warming centers and, as always, eye, dental and healthcare appointments.  These resources, and many others, are all consolidated in our Town, and they are designed to help people succeed. If you haven’t checked them out, what are you waiting for!