Information on government resources such as Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Head Start, food stamps and others are available at the Central Mississippi community action agency. They are a leading poverty fighting organization in the region and support thousands of local families every year.
Assistance is provided in the form of a hand up. Case managers want clients to gain self-sufficiency, so any aid provided is very short term in nature. Programs are available in Attala, Yalobusha, Carroll, Grenada, Holmes, Leflore, and Montgomery counties.
LIHEAP, or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is the Central Mississippi program that is both most well-known and in highest demand. Using federal government funds, LIHEAP provides financial assistance and cash grants to eligible households in the region, including Attala, Montgomery, and Carroll County. The money is used to pay for the cost of home utility and heating bills.
The amount paid out will vary depending on the applicant's income and other factors. Priority is given to the elderly and disabled in Mississippi. All clients, regardless of age, race, or religion, are required to participate in case management as part of this. Also, staff from the Central Mississippi community action agency will assist clients with accessing other resources for their specific needs, whether that be housing, food, or something else.
The LIHEAP - Energy Crisis Intervention is for families with an immediate it. There are various energy related services offered. Even if funds for paying bills run out, then some clients may be provided a fan to keep their house cool or maybe an electric heart during the winter months.
Early Head Start (EHS)/Head Start is a Federal Government and State funded, highly comprehensive child development program. It was created to meet the needs of pre-school children (ages birth to five years) and their families.
Services provided by Central Mississippi and its partners include a range of services in the areas of education and early childhood development. There is also free medical, dental, and mental health services for children. Other aid is for nutritional needs and Head start also required parent involvement.
All of these services offered by Head Start are individualized to each child's and family's developmental, ethnic, and linguistic heritage, experience, and needs. The goal is for this to result in a positive learning environment and to help children across Mississippi develop their skills emotionally, intellectually, socially, and physically.
Located in central Mississippi, Head Start of Yalobusha, Grenada and Carroll Counties offers center and home-based services to clients. It is available for families living in either urban and rural communities. The educational component of it incorporates the parent involvement, nutrition, and health components as well.
Social services are administered by Head Start staff. This is intended to help working poor families assess their needs. Social workers provide them with information about available community resources, make referrals and facilitate access to appropriate services. They will also assist in community outreach and crisis intervention.
Children that are enrolled in Head Start will be served free hot meals and/or a free snack on a daily basis. This food given to them must provide at least one third of their daily nutritional needs, as per federal government law. The Head Start Specialist provides education as part of nutritional classes as well.
Education is part of a resource known as Working on Winning. Central Mississippi staff will work with clients on helping them obtain their GED. At the end of this process, job search skills will be made available as well. Students of the GED classes will receive skills training on interviewing, job searching, resume writing, and also proper work ethics. Participants of these sessions will also be required to participate in the Job Shadowing Program.
Rent, food, and maybe utility bill assistance is available as part of the EFSP - Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Funds are provided on an annual basis by the federal government, and this may not always be available. However when possible, Central Mississippi community action agency will work with local charities or churches to help address a financial crisis.
Some of what may be offered in the region, such as counties of Montgomery, Holmes or Carroll include food, shelter, funds for paying rent, utility bills or short term loans. There may also be other financial services offered, such as applications for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, and just general information and referral services.
For those facing eviction or imminent homelessness, there may be some local resources to help with paying first month's rent, or a security deposit. This is generally only offered if the applicant has been evicted, is living in a homeless shelter, or has otherwise been displaced.
Other aid may be offered by the CSBG - Community Service Block Grant. This is another federally funded grant program. It can help with a range of services and activities. This includes housing, education, nutrition, employment, and even health services.
For more information, Central Mississippi community action is based in Winona, MS 38967. The number is (662) 283-4781.
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