The 477 Human Services Department
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes operate a consolidated 477 Program authorized under Public Law 102-477 or the Education, Employment, Training and Related Services Demonstration Act of 1992. Programs authorized under this program include Workforce Investment Act (WIA) services for youth and adults from the US Department of Labor, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) from the Department of Health and Human Services, and Adult Education, Job Placement and Training, and Higher Education funding from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The contract is authorized through the Division of Workforce Development under the Office Indian Energy and Economic Development, BIA in Washington, DC.
Further, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes sees the value of the 477 Program service structure and in November, 2011 took action to consolidate several other program under one department. The following program services are available under the 477 Human Services Department:
- 477 Education, Employment, Training and Related Services (formerly known as the EET and TANF Programs)
- Consumer Services (formerly known as the Community Access Program)
- Tribal Youth Education (TYEd) for youth in grades K-12
- Vocational Rehabilitation Program services
- Other Shoshone-Bannock General Fund Services
477 Education, Employment, Training and Related Services - The purposes of this program is to demonstrate how Tribes can more effectively serve low-income, unemployed or underemployed people who reside in the Tribe’s service area; to reduce joblessness; and to reduce welfare dependency by providing education, employment, training or related services. The services available through the 477 Program include, but are not limited to:
For Adults – As a requirement for federal grant services, all requests for education, training, or employment services must demonstrate that the service will lead to the attainment of a job skill or occupational certification; degree; and/or employment. Services or activities include:
- Adult Basic Education and GED services
- Apprenticeship (and pre-apprenticeship) services
- Applied Technology or Vocational Technical Training (Certified training to attain an Associate’s Degree or job skill or occupational certificate/license)
- Higher Education Services
- Job Search and Job Retention instruction and services
- Employment Assistance
- Transitional Work Experience (only for custodial TANF parents)
- Workforce Training or short-term training
For Youth – Applicants must be 14 through 21 years of age at the time of enrollment. Priority for services is low income or young people who have barriers to employment such as the lack of a high school diploma or GED, no work experience, lack of marketable job skills. Services are the same as above, except that under WIA funds the department is able to provide training and work experience opportunities for youth during the summer when school is out.
Cash Assistance or Temporary Assistance to Families in Need (TANF):
- Caretaker Relative Cash Assistance – for resident custodial guardians with children under 18 years of age
- Cash Assistance for Families in Need – for resident single parents of two-parent families in custody of children under 18 years of age. Parents are required to participate in work participation activities and may include any of the services identified above for youth or adult participants designed to assist with employability development, family self-sufficiency, and/or unsubsidized employment.
Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or Energy Assistance and Weatherization Services - These services are intended to help low-income families with energy assistance and services to help make their home more energy efficient and to reduce heating and cooling costs. The Tribe also contributes money to assist over-income Tribal Members with energy assistance however these funds are very limited. Federal income guidelines change every year. With the state of the national economy and energy consumption in the State of Idaho, many people who are employed qualify for energy assistance.
Other Shoshone-Bannock General Fund Services – These services include energy assistance, weatherization, and scholarships for those who are over income or do not qualify for federal grant assistance; emergency medical assistance, services for elderly and disabled persons, child protection, and other one-time or temporary assistance.
Application for Services – all persons seeking services from the Department must complete an application for services. In addition to the application, applicants must provide documents to support their application and eligibility for services. At a minimum applicants must provide the following documents: 1) personal identification; tribal identification, and social security number verification for each person listed on the application: 2) proof of residency; 3) proof of number of persons in the family or those listed on the application; and 4) income or resources for the past six (6) months. Due to contract assurances the Tribe has signed with the federal government, the Tribe is required to collect information in a uniform or single process by way of the Application for Services, and request the same information of all applicants regardless of circumstance.
Who is eligible? With the information gathered by the Application for Services and supporting documents, the department evaluates each application in response to the applicant’s request and according to the applicable guideline(s). Generally, all persons must be American Indian or Native Hawaiian or Alaskan Native and resides in the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Service Delivery Area (SDA) [Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Blaine, Bonneville, Butte, Camas, Caribou, Cassia, Clark, Custer, Franklin, Fremont, Jefferson, Jerome, Lemhi, Lincoln, Madison, Minidoka, Oneida, Power, Teton ] and be low-income or unemployed or underemployed. For certain federal program services, there are specific Residency requirements:
TANF Cash Assistance – Residency: 1) If applicant is an enrolled member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, the family must reside in Bingham, Bannock, Caribou, or Power County in Idaho; and 2) If applicant is not a member of the Tribe, they must live on the Fort Hall Reservation.
Higher Education – Scholarships for those seeking a four-year bachelor’s degree are only awarded to enrolled members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe; and there is no residency requirement, but the applicant must complete an application for services with supporting eligibility documents, and school document found in the Higher Education Scholarship packet.
LIHEAP (Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program) – Applicants must reside
within a 50 mile radius of the reservation.