When facing a financial hardship, the Pine Bluff Jefferson County EOC community action agency may be able to assist. The non-profit and its case managers work with the unemployed, low income, seniors, and disabled to find some type of solution.
Programs are available across the counties of Jefferson, Arkansas, Cleveland, Grant, and Lincoln. A wide range of resources are administered, ranging from financial aid for paying bills to food, Head Start centers, and job training assistance.
Both created and paid for by the federal government, the Head Start program provides services to eligible children from income qualified residents. Teachers and staff from local schools will work to improve their cognitive, social skills, education and emotional development. There are centers in all counties, including Cleveland and Jefferson in Arkansas. Eligible clients for the program are children ages birth to up to age 5 from low-income families across Arkansas. The goal of the program is preparing children for school.
The child development service known as Head Start works on improving various fields of each child’s development such as general knowledge, language and literacy, health care and physical development, social development, and learning approaches.
In addition to offering these education services, the programs provide additional comprehensive services that include free nutrition/food, medical care, social services and other necessary services. Services from Head Start are individually designed for each child and their parents.
Support, Employment and Training, also known as SET, is a program that provides help to employees who need to enhance their job skills so they could locate employment or perform their jobs more efficiently. The goal of the PBJCEOC program is enhancing employment security and enhancing opportunities for long term, full time employment.
SET aims to provide eligible clients with sustainable employment through the services of professional job developers. The placement needs to be mutually beneficial and all agency resources are being used in order to achieve this goal. Overall goal of this Pine Bluff Jefferson County EOC resource is to find the right job for the right person.
Basic features of the program are helping qualified employees/job seekers build a portfolio of transferable skills, helping with overall individual development for relocation of employees under notice of layoff, upgrading candidates knowledge and skills, developing skills needed for new job requirements.
Money management workshops in Jefferson and Cleveland Counties provides education workshop on basic financial skills and debt reduction. Participants will be provided assistance in attaining skills such as:
Enrolled applicants will have an opportunity to learn more about banking services, savings accounts and maintaining a checking account. Many local Arkansas non-profit credit counseling agencies also support this endeavor. The objective of the Money Management segment is helping applicants to become more financially empowered and confident as well as homebuyer educated.
Prescriptions and Medical Assistance is for Eligible low-income clients who have need for prescription medicine or lack insurance. This is all too many people in Lincoln and Jefferson County. They may be entitled to use one time emergency help through the Medical Aid program. It is funded through local charities and non-profits such as the United Way of Southeast Arkansas. Call 1-800-277-1313 for more information or to apply.
Food assistance and commodities from sources such as the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) are available from PBJCEOC. This is a Federal program that provides emergency groceries and nutrition assistance to eligible low-income individuals, children and elderly people as well.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture works with states such as Arkansas to provides commodity foods that are then distributed to the Pine Bluff Jefferson County EOC and other local agencies. TEFAP is administered at the Federal level by the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.
All across Arkansas, the Weatherization Assistance Program operates and was created under Title IV of the Energy Conservation and Production Act. It was originally formed due to escalating energy prices. At first, the goal of the program was to cut heating bills for low and moderate income households. The priority was given to senior citizens living on fixed incomes. It has expanded since then.
The program is administered by the Department of Human Services’ Office of Community Services (OCS) in Arkansas as well as local community action agencies, including PBJCEOC. The private, nonprofit community action agencies operate the program.
The agencies, contractors and their staff do all the weatherization work themselves. Their primary goal is to enhance the energy efficiency of older homes, with a focus on those of seniors and low-income households in the area. When it is done, it will result in reduction of the monthly energy bill.
Weatherizatin Assistance Program offers a variety of energy saving services to meet the needs of enrolled clients. The numerous services are cost effective measures which ensure energy efficiency of the households. Eligible applicants can use a wide variety of energy efficiency measures that encompass the building envelope, it electrical system, its heating and cooling systems, and electricity consuming appliances. Some of those measures available in Lincoln and Cleveland Arkansas include:
-installing of free storm doors or windows
-weather stripping of home parts such as window and doors
-caulking, fixing and sealing of cracks and holes
-free energy saving light bulbs, repairing and retrofitting of heating systems and furnaces
-replacing of energy wasting electric water heaters or refrigerators
-insulating of the home, including attics, walls and floors
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is the largest, and most in demand, program operated by Pine Bluff Jefferson County EOC. LIHEAP provides utility bill assistance to low-income clients during the colder heating and summer cooling season. Customers across Arkansas and nearby counties are helped with paying for bills including natural gas, electric, and bulk fuels such as: propane, insulating of attics, walls and floors, fuel oil, wood, and kerosene.
Priority for any utility bill assistance is given to elderly, disabled, and families with small children. The community action agency operates a year round toll-free hotline that gives information about the program.
Jefferson County, Pine Bluff Office, 817 South Cherry Street, 870-536-0046
Grant County Address of PBJCEOC Sheridan Office, 815 E. Center Street. Call 1-800-277-1313
Cleveland County site is at the Rison Office, 203 Main Street, main phone: 1-800-277-1313
Lincoln County PBJCEOC Star City Office is at 107 South Drew Street. Main phone 1-800-277-1313
Arkansas County - Stuttgart Office, 425 S. Main, Phone: 1-800-277-1313
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