Operating across several counties and cities, People Incorporated of Virginia is focused on helping low income families with a variety of needs. The community action agency may have some limited funding available for housing needs, such as rent or energy bills, however the focus is on self-sufficiency.
This means that clients will be able to access job training and educational services. The non-profit, known as PI, offers solutions to help the under or unemployed gain employment. Other resources for children include Head Start, free food, and other support. They operate across Buchanan, Clarke, Dickenson, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Russell, Shenandoah, Warren, and Washington Counties as well as the cities of Bristol, Manassas, and nearby Manassas Park.
People Incorporated operates a number of housing assistance programs that provide assistance to residents who now do not have a home, are facing eviction or at risk of becoming homeless. The two main services are Homeless Prevention and the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program, both of which provide qualified households with grants for emergency rent assistance. In some cases section 8 helps with paying for a portion of utilities as well.
The HPRP - Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program also offers emergency financial assistance, but will also help with other household expenses. This may be security deposits or an energy bill. Some clients may be issued a zero percent loan for these expenses.
The federally funded supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) performs the same service, with an emphasis on promoting housing stability for veterans, their children and spouses. Male veterans and their families who are homeless and/or disabled can find housing at King’s Mountain Supportive Housing in Bristol, Virginia.
First-time homebuyers in counties such as Rappahannock, Prince William, Frederick and others can make a positive first step toward homeownership by contacting a counselor. They are available as part of PI’s Homeownership and Housing Counseling Program.
All housing counseling and homeowner education services from the community action agency is provided on a one-on-one basis, and covers topics like financial stability, equity, savings, accumulated assets, and budgeting. To help guide qualified low and moderate-income families toward the goal of being financially independent, HHCP also provides low-interest home loans. These can help pay for expenses such as clothing costs to prospective buyers who are financially eligible.
Energy conservation is available from PI. The non-profit provides other housing-related programming geared to help income-eligible renters or homeowners make their houses weather resistant, healthy to live in, and comfortable by providing energy-efficient and cost-effective repairs and any needed alterations.
One example, the Minor Home Repair Program provides repairs to electrical and heating systems and roofs. The federal funded Weatherization Assistance Program is another option. This performs a computerized evaluation of each home, which is used to determine the household’s needs and the improvements that are required. WAP services can include activities such as Heating and/or Cooling System Repair, contractors sealing any Air Leaks, the Installation of Ventilation Fans, and also Installing energy-efficient, CFL lighting.
Financial services from People Incorporated include affordable-interest consumer loans. They can be issued to clients for up to 36 months, to be used for paying rent, household expenses, car purchases, or maybe even credit card bill consolidation.
PI community action also operates an Individual Development Account Program to assist moderate income working families by providing them with the means to create a special savings account and matching any deposits made by the participant. Clients of the IDA will benefit by developing a habit of saving on a regular basis, which enables them to build assets and enjoy economic security.
Employment-related and job training programs are also designed to move low-income residents closer to financial self-sufficiency and stability. The PI Adult Workforce Investment Act One-Stop Career Centers help prepare adults aged 18 and over to join the workforce or gain more stable employment.
The Centers in cities such as Manassas and counties such as Frederick offer training; talent development; job placement; and referrals to GED preparation, continuing education, and employment placement services.
Another option is the Dislocated Worker Program, which assists both the unemployed, recently fired and employers who are in need of talented workers. The emphasis of People Incorporated of Virginia is on upgrading skills so that workers who are unemployed or laid off through no fault of their own are able to increase earnings, obtain employment, and in general improve their job retention.
VITA - Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Outreach Programs provide IRS-trained and certified volunteers to prepare and electronically file federal government income tax returns for residents low incomes. This is free to those that qualify.
In addition to all of the housing programming mentioned above, PI also provides assistance for victims of domestic violence. The Domestic Violence Shelter and Outreach Program furnishes supportive services, short-term emergency shelter and advocacy. Other programs include immediate support, counseling, and assistance through a Crisis Hotline. The non-profit also has a CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocate who trains volunteers to act as advocates for abused and/or neglected children.
Head Start and Early Head Start are center and home based educational programs that provide income-eligible children and families with quality developmental, educational, nutritional, health, and social services. Head Start serves families with children in the region, including in Buchanan, Manassas, Clarke, and Prince William.
The program is for children aged three to five, while Early Head Start serves babies and infants up to age three. Both also help parents, and also pregnant women. Both programs also emphasize the value of parental involvement in educating their children, and encourage them to also participate. There are also parenting, adult literacy, and career skills classes administered by People Incorporated of Virginia.
PI also runs an affordable, high-quality daycare at the Child Development Center in Clintwood Virginia. Assistance is for income-eligible families, and they are invited to take advantage of the full-day infant-toddler and preschool classrooms, summer care for school-aged children, as well as before and after school child care.
To support the good physical and mental health of our residents, the agency operates the Comprehensive Health Investment Project, or CHIP. This provides health-related parental education and home visits to Medicaid-eligible pregnant women and families with young children. The non-profit will also provide low cost or free dental health care at the Washington County Free Dental Clinic.
People Incorporated of Virginia is based at 1173 West Main St., Abingdon, VA 24210, 276-623-9000. However there will be additional satellite offices as well.
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