SNAP is where you go for help with your heat bill and weatherization. That's the biggest part of SNAP and what it's known for. But they also do family homeless case management, manage two food banks (4001 N Cook St-- NE Community Center; and 500 S Stone St-- East Central Community Center), manage a lot of affordable housing, and help with water bills.
But my favorite part of SNAP is the Economic Development Department.
1. INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNTS.
They run a 2-1 matched savings program to put toward education, home purchase, or business start-up/expansion. You can literally put in $2000 and spend $6000 to put yourself in a better financial position--and it teaches you to save by accelerating the benefits. I put my wife most of the way through nurse training at the community college with this program.
2. MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
This is a great program for entrepreurs to utilize in concert with the IDA. After complete an interactive 8-week training program (one night a week) and completing a business plan, participants can apply for up to $10,000 in a low-interest business loan. With the IDA, this can be $16,000 of start-up money.
3. VEHICLE EMISSIONS REPAIR PROGRAM
Will your only car not pass emissions? If you meet income guidelines, SNAP can pay for the emissions repair work to get your vehicle licensed. Very cool.
4. NEIGHBORHOOD ASSETS
Have a job that requires direct deposit of your paycheck, but you can't get a bank account? Want to avoid absurd check cashing fees by having your Social Security check deposited in your own account? SNAP works with partner credit unions to get you started and works with you to help you become a better banking consumer.