The Minnesota Energy Assistance Program provides financial assistance to households to help pay a portion of their home energy and heating bills. The grants are based on the household size, income, fuel type, and energy usage. Primary Heat grants are sent directly to the household’s fuel and/or electric vendors to assist household’s ability to maintain affordable and continuous energy by providing grants to lower their energy burden.
Households are eligible to receive a Crisis Benefit if they were determined eligible for a Primary Heat grant and are in a heating or electric emergency situation that the primary heat grant does not resolve. Crisis requests are addressed immediately to avert life threatening and no heat situations.
Energy Related Repair
This program is available to homeowners experiencing a life threatening situation or a no-heat emergency due to a malfunctioning or nonfunctioning heating system. The program will assist in repairing or replacing the homeowner’s primary heating system. Proof of ownership is required. This program is available only to households that were determined eligible for the Energy Assistance Program.
For additional information regarding the Energy Assistance Program, please click here.
Head Start: Prenatal to Five
Head Start: Prenatal to Five is a school readiness program which helps families provide the best possible opportunities for their children in preparation for Kindergarten. Programs work with families to make connections in the communities they live, support needs and set goals.
Our programs offer:
- Assistance for families in keeping children up to date with health, dental and nutrition needs.
- Educational opportunities for families.
- Referrals and support services for families.
- Support & services for children with special needs.
- Mental Health support services for children, families & staff.
- Parent leadership & volunteer opportunities.
For additional information regarding the Head Start Program, please click here.
Supportive Housing Program
BI-CAP’s Supportive Housing Program consists of programs utilizing a variety of funding sources including HUD, MN Housing, and DHS. Supportive Housing services range from one-time assistance to on-going case management and rental subsidies. BI-CAP places emphasis on homeless prevention, which is a more effective and efficient resolution to stabilizing households. When prevention is not possible, BI-CAP utilizes the “housing first” strategy of rapidly re-housing participants to mitigate crisis situations and then provides support services to assist participants as they work on housing stability and self-sufficiency goals.
For additional information regarding the Housing Program, please click here.
The BI-CAP Weatherization department works with clients to improve the energy efficiency, health and safety, and to decrease the energy consumption of their home. Homeowners who applied for Energy Assistance are referred to this program. Priority is given to elderly and handicapped households with high energy consumption and single head of households with children. The following energy saving measures are eligible activities: air sealing, upgrading furnace efficiency, insulation for home’s shell, health and safety measures, and in some cases door and/or window replacement in mobile homes only. Agency Energy Auditors perform pre- and post-inspections with the use of blower doors. This test checks the air tightness of the home, allowing the energy auditor and contractor to identify air leaks, central air quality, and prevent over tightness. All measures performed must be determined to ensure cost effectiveness utilizing the Weatherization Assistant software.
Otter Tail Power Conservation Improvement Program
The Otter Tail Power Conservation Improvement Program is designed to help income qualified Otter Tail Power customers save money on their energy bills. Agency Energy Auditors perform an electric analysis and a few of the items provided for the household include: LED bulbs, aerators, engine block heaters, refrigerator replacement, freezer replacement, and water heater replacement that can be put on off-peak. If electric is the primary heat, additional weatherization measures may be provided such as insulation and air sealing.
Beltrami Electric Co-op Conservation Improvement Program
The Beltrami Electric Co-op Conservation Improvement Program is designed to help income qualified Beltrami Electric customers save money on their energy bills. Agency Energy Auditors perform an electric analysis, and a few of the items provided for the household include: LED bulbs, aerators, refrigerator replacement and attic and wall insulation.
For additional information regarding the Weatherization Program, please click here.
YouthBuild is a comprehensive work training program with five components: Education, Construction, Leadership Development, Case Management support, and Placement Services. Orientation for entry into the program is announced yearly to the community. Low income qualifying young adults ages 16-24 who have dropped out of traditional high school are eligible for consideration into the YouthBuild Program. Participants average approximately 29 hours/ week and earn minimum wage while participating in all components of the 6 month minimum program. BI-CAP YouthBuild partners with Cass Lake Bena ALC and ABE to provide on-site teaching staff for participants to earn their high school diploma or equivalency. Participants perform skills assessments, explore careers and post-secondary options, write résumés, and learn other life skills, such as: budgeting, cooking, vehicle maintenance, gardening, and more. Construction is a method by which participants can give back to the community. This teaches them valuable work readiness skills while building a credible work history through the process of building a single family home from ground-up. The home is then sold to a low-income community member. Service Learning and Community Volunteering are also built into the program. Participants have the opportunity to be a part of the Policy Committee to represent the student body as well as experience increased responsibility as they alternate weekly leadership roles. One to two Interns are also chosen to assist staff based on their attendance and performance over the duration of the program. YouthBuild staff utilize community partners and program resources to try to help participants resolve barriers, such as: transportation, housing, child care, and acquiring their driver’s permit/license. Participants also receive employment and post-secondary placement assistance as they are ready to exit the program.
If interested in the YouthBuild Program, fill out an application at 3023 Mill St. NE, Bemidji.
For additional information regarding the YouthBuild Program, please click here.