What is the Senior Community Service Employment Program?Senior Community Service Employment Program

Losing a job can be a devastating blow for older adults. You’re not sure if the experience you have will be enough on the job market today. You’re not sure employers will take a chance on someone your age, when they could hire someone younger with more years of work left in them. And you don’t have the energy to get out there and look for available jobs like you used to.

You still need to pay the bills though. The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) may be able to help with that.

What is the SCSEP?

Started in 1965, the SCSEP is a program designed to help low-income seniors gain the skills they need to find meaningful (and paying) work. The program is run by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA), which partners with a number of non-profit organizations to match seniors with community service positions.

Seniors are able to make a little money (usually minimum wage) in these positions while making contacts and gaining new skills in order to become more employable in the larger job market. At the same time, they’re able to make a contribution to the community by doing useful work for an organization that could use the extra help.

Who Is It For?

The program is meant specifically for low-income seniors, so there are some specifications you have to meet to be eligible. You must be:

  • At least 55
  • Unemployed
  • Legally eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Living in a household with income less than 125% of the federal poverty level

The program serves about 70,000 seniors that meet these criteria. They give special consideration to any candidates that:

  • Are at least 65
  • Suffer from a disability
  • Are a veteran
  • Are homeless
  • Don’t speak or understand English well
  • Live in a rural area

The goal is to help seniors improve their position in the job market so they can potentially go on to work outside of the program.  38% of SCSEP participants manage to find permanent jobs with the help of the program.

What Kind of Work is Involved?

Seniors in the program are placed in community service positions at non-profit and public organizations in their areas that include places like day cares, senior centers, schools and hospitals. They typically work about 20 hours a week in these positions and gain training and counseling that can help them move on to their next position of employment.

How Do I Get Involved?

If you think the SCSEP might be a good fit for you, you can perform a search here to see if there are any local opportunities in your area.

It’s too easy to feel hopeless during those moments in life when it seems like everything is going wrong. For many problems, there are resources out there you can tap into for some help. If you find yourself struggling to find work at an age where it seems especially hard, don’t despair. See if you can’t turn the moment into a new opportunity.

If you need to find more affordable housing during this time, you can search SeniorAdvisor.com for low-income senior housing in your city. Click below to get started.

Low Income Senior Apartment Search

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for SeniorAdvisor.com.


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