Several assistance programs are offered by the Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority. Resources are available for the counties and regions of Bryan, Camden, Glynn, McIntosh, and Liberty. A focus of the agency is on helping low income families by offering them a hand up, which may involve short term financial aid as well as longer term job placement services.
Crisis Intervention and Emergency Services are different types of assistance programs that were created for families facing a situation that needs to be resolved in short order.
While the demand for help is very high, the Crisis Intervention Services were created to provide struggling residents with one-time utility bill or rent payment whenever possible. The funds can be used to prevent shut-offs of an account. There is also emergency shelter aid to prevent homelessness, loans to avoid eviction and foreclosure, and more. The agency is also involved in the provision of emergency food to those who cannot afford it.
Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority also runs the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This provides a one-time payment or cash grant towards a participant’s utility bill. This program operates from November to July. It is available as a first come, first served basis to those who are income eligible and otherwise qualified.
The State of Georgia and Coastal Georgia Area CAA have partnered with Scana Energy to make it easier for customers to get natural gas service in their homes. This program was created in an effort to help families with having their utility or energy bill deposits waived. Another component is staff that will help make payment arrangements for past due bills. Participants will receive a special rate for natural gas service on their monthly bills from Scana Energy.
Grants to be used for Rental/Mortgage Assistance is another emergency intervention program. It was created in an effort to help participants with payments for back rent expenses, a security deposit or maybe a mortgage payment.
Funds are available from community action to help participants who are in danger of eviction, foreclosure or homelessness. Financial aid and grants are allocated through partners such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Each county FEMA board (including Camden, Liberty, Bryan and McIntosh) determines participation and amount to be awarded to the applicant. All payments are made directly to the landlord, utility company or bank lender.
Weatherization services are one tool to use that can provide a way to reduce air flow into the home. This service from Coastal Georgia CAA helps people save money on their utilities. It also reduces mold and moisture, and by doing this helps to make the home healthier and more energy efficient.
The main goal of weatherizing a home is to reduce the amount of energy used, lessen the household’s utility bills, and reduce flow of carbon monoxide within the home. This Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority program will also educate participants in how to take care of themselves and their home in both extreme heat and extremely cold weather.
The federally funded Weatherization Assistance Program is free for those qualifying households in Georgia. The services that may be done include efforts to replace regular light bulbs with CFL bulbs, Install weather stripping and caulk, insulation, and other updates.
Surplus Government Commodity Foods Distribution was created to ease hunger within the Agency's service area. The not for profit Coastal Georgia Area CAA helps to distribute Commodity Foods a few times per year to the low income and struggling residents in counties such as Camden and Liberty Georgia. There is a limit of one bag or box of food or canned goods per household. Participants may make arrangements for another person in their household to pick up their bag as well.
Additional food and nutrition support is available as well. The community action partnership provides free food and other related services to prevent starvation and malnutrition among homebound seniors, disabled, children, and those of low-income. Free Nutrition Counseling/Education from specialists is also available to all participants.
Senior Congregate Meals can provide hot meals to persons 60 years of age and older. The food, groceries, and prepared meals offered are nutritious. There may be a well-balanced lunch time hot meal. Not only that, but the sites also provide seniors the opportunity to socialize with peers.
Coastal GA Area CAA has partnered with local agencies that give workshops and lectures on the importance of nutrition and eating healthy. The various classes will help participants of all ages learn how to reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
The workshops also provide guidance on physical activity, controlling weight and selecting nutritious foods and meal preparation. Eating Right assists participants in making confident and informed food choices and preparation decisions, while considering nutrition, quality, safety, and of course food costs.
The Home Delivered Meals from Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority (CAA), also known as Meals on Wheels, are there to provide nutritious frozen meals weekly to persons who are living at home. The applicant needs to be unable to prepare this on their own or go out to eat. They also can’t have the help to get adequate meals on their own. Home delivery services can be provided for short-term or long-term disability.
Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority offers quality child care services for children under the age of 6 at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This site is accredited, and a government licensed facility.
Participating children from income qualified families are provided with educational activities that use the children’s knowledge as well as the Creative Curriculum. All services are tracked and feedback is then provided to parents during the fall, winter and spring semesters.
This program can help to develop a positive attitude about school and learning. In addition, it helps each child to reach their fullest potential. This pre-school program is government funded.
Besides educational activities this service also supports the children by providing free health care, nutritious meals and transportation to a center or school. Participating families are also referred social services, government benefits, and job training opportunities to better help them achieve self-sufficiency.
Another option is Pre-K. This is a preschool program in the region. This service is provided to 4 year old children located in Camden, Glynn, Liberty, Bryan, Tattnall and Wayne counties in Georgia.
These classrooms and services provided utilize the Creative Curriculum and provide developmentally appropriate activities in areas that enrich the children’s exploration and learning experience.
Early Head Start is another service for infants, newborns, toddlers and pregnant women. It is used to promote early developmental learning. Participating children from the counties served are provided learning activities in a comfortable, supportive atmosphere. Children with special needs or some form of learning disability are welcome and encouraged to participate in this program.
Children will also receive nutritious formula or meals from Coastal Georgia Area CAA. This is in addition to health services. Pregnant moms are provided parenting training, prenatal services and classroom experience.
FDIC Money Smart is there to provide education to consumers from Georgia. They can learn about financial management, get help in enabling customers to make wiser decisions in all aspects of managing their money, and offers credit repair. This program teaches participants about lending, saving, spending, banking and investing patterns.
Credit counseling is another tool to educate customers about the many aspects of debt, finances and other matters. They can learn how maintaining the strong use of credit can benefit them. This course provides customers with a bounty of information so that they can make wise decisions in financial matters.
Get Checking is an educational program that was created to help those low income and struggling families that do not have a bank account in getting back into the system. It also helps people who are at risk of their accounts being closed by their lender. The course is a curriculum focusing on good debt practices and management issues. This service from Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority is part of homeownership services.
Coastal Georgia Area CAA Inc. operates the Personal Financial Education and Money Management classes that were created to increase control over their finances as well as improve people’s financial knowledge. In general, studies show that those who complete the Financial Literacy Education course gain the necessary skills to create realistic budgets in order to meet their current financial obligations. Case managers and credit counselors also help them work towards long term goals.
The Financial Literacy Education classes in Georgia provide individuals with knowledge and skills in the areas of Developing Good Savings Habits, Setting Financial Goals, Understanding and Repairing Credit Scores and more.
Income tax help is from VITA - Volunteer Income Taxpayer Assistance. Working in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service, Coastal Georgia CAA and a staff of highly trained volunteers provide free income tax preparation assistance by filing returns for low to moderate income households.
When successful, tax payers save money by using this. VITA volunteers also try to make sure that eligible families from Bryan, Camden, Glynn, McIntosh, and Liberty receive their Earned Income Tax Credit.
Housing Counseling can prepare homebuyers for the buying and ownership process. It will give them a face to face interview, which enables them to make an informed and reasonable decision when looking for a house. The client will need to agree to a plan and follow up on different goals. The result is the client can utilize federal government, state of Georgia, local and other specialized housing aid.
Similar to above are Homebuyer Workshops. These are also for first time homebuyers in the coastal region. These consist of a comprehensive training session that details the steps to take to go from renting to owning their own home.
Foreclosure counseling and Loss Mitigation services are offered. With this program, participants who are struggling with their mortgage are educated about the foreclosure process and counseled on how to prevent the loss of their home.
Locations of the Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority are as follows.
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