Ex-felons who reside in Arizona may benefit from a number of grant programs to help them get back on the right track. These grants offer assistance with necessities such as job training and housing and, unlike loans, do not require repayment. All grants are issued based upon qualifying criteria, and award amounts may vary.
Federal Pell Grants
One of the biggest challenges ex-felons face is obtaining education and job training to help secure viable employment. Ex-felons residing in Arizona may benefit from federal Pell Grants issued through the U.S. Department of Education. These grants are designed to assist low-income students to help offset the cost of obtaining an undergraduate degree through an accredited college or university. In order to qualify for Pell Grant funding, you must not exceed income guidelines that are determined by factors such as family size and must not yet have obtained a bachelor's degree. Though grant awards vary based on specific need, as of November 2010 the maximum grant award issued was $5,550 per academic year. You may apply directly through the U.S. Department of Education.
Arizona HUD Grants
Another major issue that ex-felons in Arizona may face is obtaining and affording adequate housing. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issues grants to qualifying low-income applicants that are distributed at the state level. The Arizona office of HUD provides housing assistance through grant-based housing vouchers to help offset the cost of housing for applicants who meet qualifying income criteria. In order to qualify, applicants must not exceed income guidelines, which are determined by factors such as household size and employment status. In addition to rental vouchers, HUD issues grants that are designed to help low-income individuals repair homes they already own or, in some instances, to purchase a home. You may apply directly through their local Arizona-based HUD office.
Many ex-felons are also parents. Ex-felons who are struggling with the costs of child care while attempting to return to school or work may receive child care assistance through the CCAMPIS Grant. CCAMPIS (Child Care Access Means Parents In School) Grants are offered to low-income and economically qualifying parents who are attending an accredited college or university. These grants are targeted at parents who receive federal Pell grants. In order to qualify, you must be pursuing an undergraduate degree, be a citizen of the United States and be willing to enroll your child in a CCAMPIS-approved child care facility and be willing to make a co-payment toward the cost of child care, which will vary based on income.