History & Programs

Celebrating 50 years of serviceVector experience icon

Action for Eastern Montana, Inc. (AEM) is established as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of the State of Montana.  The Board of Directors is established as the authority to operate AEM in accordance with the corporation’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. AEM has operated human service programs in eastern Montana since 1965.  Counties served include Sheridan, Daniels, Valley, Phillips, Roosevelt, Richland, McCone, Dawson, Prairie, Wibaux, Custer, Fallon, Powder River, Carter, Rosebud, Treasure and Garfield.  Included in these counties are two Indian Reservations.

This area is approximately 48,000 square miles which is larger than Tennessee, Massachusetts and Connecticut combined and is about one-third the state of Montana.

AEM contracts with the following State and Federal agencies to provide services to disadvantaged individuals in eastern Montana:  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Rural Housing and Economic Development); the Montana Department of Commerce; the Montana Department of Labor; the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services; and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  In addition to administering the contracts, AEM also serves as an advocate for the low-income and elderly programs which benefit those individuals.   We strive to bring new essential services within reach to those in need, to put control of those services in the hands of people who know best how to administer them and to act as an advocate for those who have been neglected.   Due to the extreme rural nature of eastern Montana resources are limited.  AEM is one of the very few agencies in rural Montana aware of the human service needs impacting rural eastern Montana.

AEM is the sponsoring agency for community programs geared primarily towards empowering low-income individuals, seniors and families. Programs include:  Senior Companions, Home Delivered and Congregate Meals, Ombudsman, Youth Employment & Training, Head Start, Weatherization, Section 8 Housing Assistance, Energy Assistance, Emergency Assistance, and the Emergency Shelter Grants program.

Rental Assistance:  The Section 8 Rental Assistance Program assists households with rent.  Staff in the seventeen county area perform inspections of the rental units and work with landlords and tenants to meet the housing needs of the participants.

Weatherization:   The Weatherization Program has several funding sources including Department of Energy, LIEAP Block Grant, Montana Dakota Utilities and special state grants.

Youth Employment and Training:  The Youth Program works to assist participants in their employment and skill development.  The Program also addresses parenting, life skills, educational plans, and fatherhood issues.

Low Income Energy Assistance:  LIEAP staff coordinate services with a variety of providers to problem solve the energy/heating needs of participating households.

Energy Share of Montana:  Households are assisted with their energy/heating needs.  A local committee, with membership from the local area, works with staff to assist those who have either exhausted their LIEAP benefits or have not received LIEAP to address the heating/energy needs of the household.

Emergency Food and Shelter Grants Program:  These funds are distributed to a variety of organizations in the district to assist homeless families and individuals.  Two shelters and emergency service programs are funded with these funds, as well as food banks which process requests for hotel/motel lodging.  The AEM staff act as referral agents to existing providers and provide assistance when no other provider is available.   AEM is part of an extensive network of organizations that routinely meet to plan and provide for services to the homeless.

Area Agency on Aging Programs:  AEM is the lead agency for the Area I Agency on Aging.  AEM provides support to local board to provide services to the elderly population, including congregate meals, home delivered meals, in-home services, legal assistance and other needed services.  In addition, AEM provides information and assistance, Ombudsman and Senior Companion Services.

Head Start:  AEM operates the Head Start program in four communities; Glendive, Miles City, Glasgow, and Malta, providing literacy, fatherhood services, family support services, child development, nutrition and health services to 149 children and their families.

AEM is the only organization that provides critical support to the family as a unit.  It is extremely supportive of community-based initiatives that impact families.   We provide services from preschool to retirement in cooperation with other providers to help families stay together and improve the conditions in which they live.