The non-profit Middle Georgia Community Action Agency offers many resources for low income families. There is financial assistance for everyday living expenses, such as rent or utility bills from Emergency Solution Grants. Other services include home delivered meals as well as job placement. MGCAA provides coverage across Butts, Houston, Jones, Crawford, Lamar, Monroe, Peach, Pike, Spalding, Upson and Twiggs Counties.
Middle Georgia Community Action operates a wide array of Emergency Financial Assistance services, depending on the nature of each client’s issues and needs. In most cases, the non-profit helps by providing clothing, prescriptions, food, shelter, or utility bill assistance.
The short term emergency services are typically provided for addressing the crisis only, with the intention of resolving critical situations. It will then be combined with support for long-term needs. Funding for this program is provided in the form of grants and gratuities from clubs; individuals; churches; non-profit organizations such as United Way; and, occasionally, the State of Georgia.
ESG, or Emergency Solution Grant, also known as the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, assists very low income, but self-sufficient, individuals and families who might otherwise become homeless. There is also help for security deposits for those who are actually homeless, as defined by federal government law and by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Services provided from Middle Georgia Community Action Agency under this ESG program include assistance with paying back rent. There are also emergency funds for utility bills; rental and utility deposits; rehousing and moving costs for those who are homeless; credit repair costs and legal fees associated with eviction. MGCAA receives federal funding for ESG. That is also complemented by a contract with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Low income apartments are available too. Located in Hawkinsville, Georgia, Heart Homes is a Section 8 subsidized 202 apartment complex. There are several units of financially assisted housing for qualifying senior seniors and/or those with disabilities. Rent payments that need to be made by clients are based on household income, and section 202 picks up the remaining amount to cover the entire payment. To be accepted into the program, applicants must meet a number of criteria, some of which include age, income level, and disability.
The MGCAA Energy Bill Assistance Program provides financial assistance as well as cash grants for paying heating bills on a once-per-year basis. The funds are offered to eligible low income families. Funding for the program is furnished through the Georgia Department of Human Resources, and also includes a crisis component as funding becomes available. It operates in all counties, including Lamar, Monroe, and Houston.
A Food Bank run by MGCAA and its partners will help families in need. It does this by passing out emergency food supplies, and, depending on availability of donations, some non-consumable items, such as free diapers. These services in counties such as Houston or Jones are made possible through private donations.
Seniors and the disabled can enroll into the Home-Delivered Meals Program. This is a service that provides for the free home-delivery of prepared meals to individuals who are temporarily or permanently homebound. It is only for residents in Middle Georgia that are unable to visit Senior Centers in Peach or Upson for meals. The food is freshly prepared, delivered hot, and set up to meet at least one-third of the recommended daily nutritional requirement. Delivery from volunteers is available in both rural and urban areas.
The Housing Preservation service furnishes moderate housing rehabilitation to very low-income homeowners residing outside of city limits or incorporated areas in counties such as Butts and Lamar. The program’s purpose is to stabilize existing housing in rural areas by bringing homes to an improved level of safety, sanitation, energy efficiency and code compliance. Home rehabilitation bills paid for may be as high as several thousand for materials and labor. The money to do this is provided in the form of grants to homeowners who meet program qualifications.
Using grant funding from the Federal Loan Bank in Atlanta, Middle Georgia Community Action Agency Affordable Housing Program provides limited rehabilitation for senior citizen as well as low-income homeowners. This service has the goal of increasing enhancing home safety and energy efficiency.
To make this happen, the program provides services that may include replacement of inefficient appliances; roof replacement, patching and/or repair; replacement of vented heaters; installation of storm doors and/or windows, and other needed measures. Affordable Housing assistance may be provided in combination with other housing solutions to maximize benefits for the homeowner.
The Weatherization Program is federal funded, and it can reduce heating and cooling costs for low-income families. This is focused on the working poor, particularly for the elderly, people with disabilities, and families with children, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring their health and safety.
The MGCAA service is accomplished by providing free energy conservation measures to the dwellings of qualifying homeowners or renters. Measures provided in Middle Georgia by trained air-reduction technicians may include the air sealing measures such as caulking, insulation of attics, weather-sealing, and thresholds; replacing light bulbs with up-to-date, efficient ones. Other updates may include repair of broken windows; water heater replacement or wrap; and ensuring that adequate heat is provided.
Housing Counseling is provided with grant funding from the Georgia Housing Finance Authority (GHFA) as well as HUD. It touches upon Pre-Occupancy, Displacement and Relocation, Post Purchase/Post Occupancy, Mortgage Default, Predatory Lending, and general Homebuyer Education. MGCAA also offers counseling services that address other issues affecting families. This will touch upon home management, energy conservation, budgeting and mortgage-related concerns.
The Senior Center Resource provides a broad spectrum of safety, wellness, nutritional, social, and educational services. This is offered to senior citizens. The program’s goal is to ensure that the elderly are able to remain in their own homes, avoiding premature placement in residential facilities or institutions.
Indigent Patient is a program that assists individuals with the application process for prescription medication assistance. The solutions are offered by national pharmaceutical companies. This service targets the uninsured as well as very low income in Houston, Crawford, Lamar, and Monroe (among other counties) who are in need of help with obtaining maintenance medications.
Middle Georgia Community Action Agency Head Start serves children under the age of 6 from low-income families. It works by providing a developmentally appropriate learning environment for the children, as well as services and support for the parents. One of the main principles of the solution is the importance of parents’ role as a child’s first teachers and their lifelong role throughout the children’s maturation process. Other MGCAA services include Literacy, Parental Education, Nutrition, and like services.
Section 5311 Transportation is for local rides. It was created to be a fare-based, demand-response, rural public transportation service that is available to any resident, no matter their income, in the middle Georgia service area. Additionally, Section 5311 providers make themselves available for purchase of service contracts with other social service agencies.
Similar to above is Contracted Transportation. This service provides various types of transportation services for consumers residing throughout the majority of the MGCAA service area. Available services include group as well as individual trips. The rides are offered by independent companies, private individuals, as well as state and local agencies. The program will offer quality transportation that includes safe, courteous, and prompt delivery to every destination for all consumers.
Referral services to other assistance programs are available at MGCAA service centers to residents who are facing an emergency. The address of Middle Georgia Community Action Agency is at 121 Prince St.
Warner Robins, GA 31093, or dial 478-922-4464. Other locations are at Montgomery County Community Service Center, 391 W Morrison St., Mt. Vernon, 30445 or Telfair County Community Service Center, 713 Telfair St., McRae, Georgia 31055.
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