Offering everything from food to financial assistance, the non-profit Quin Rivers agency provides support to the less fortunate and low income families in the area. They provide access to resources that can help an individual make it through an emergency situation while also offering long term self-sufficiency services.
The community action agency assists qualified individuals in the counties of New Kent, Charles City, Caroline, King William, King and Queen. Some of the objectives are to reduce homelessness by offering rent and security deposit help, feed the hungry by providing food, and of course assist with meeting educational and employment needs.
The programming and services at Quin Rivers emphasizes the importance of financial education, case management, employment, and educational resources. Staff from the community action agency are pleased to report that the programs have facilitated life-changing achievements on the part of clients. Many people have reduced their debts, Completed Vocational Training classes, Managed their Financial Assets and have increased income.
The Quin Rivers’ Community Food Program has been available in partnership with churches and pantries. The agencies work together to provide everyone in need with access to free groceries and food.
In order to accomplish this, they have begun to concentrate on keeping area food pantries well stocked with fresh produce, vegetables, formula, meats and other nutritious foods. This has been done as opposed to the less than healthy options that have traditionally been offered in communities such as King William or Carolina Virginia.
In addition, the groups have established a mobile pantry in the region. Also, the community garden program is thriving and also offers fresh foods to the needy. Case managers also work to build community awareness in regard to solving hunger, nutrition, and providing groceries to the low income. The Community Food Program from the agency is focusing on making services available several towns and nearby counties.
Healthy Families is a program that is available in Charles City and New Kent County. It is funded through grants from the Greater Richmond United Way, the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Program and also Healthy Families Virginia.
Following the National Healthy Families model, and based on referrals from public health departments or clinics, various non-profit community partners, physicians, or even family members and/or the clients themselves, the program offers intensive in-home services to eligible New Kent and Charles City County families. This is available both during pregnancy and even after the baby is born.
Examples of the available services include family support; assessments; education and information on infant and child growth and development; free health care; and referrals to other community resources.
Financial aid is available using a combination of government grants and no-interest loans. The money is used to pay for the Quin Rivers’ Homeless Intervention Program. The community action agency offers time-limited financial assistance to eligible families who are currently homeless, have a pay or quite notice or that are behind on their rent. There may also be funds for paying a portion of a utility bill. Applicants need to be in imminent danger of becoming homeless due to an unavoidable crisis situation.
HIP services can include the provision of rent and emergency security deposit assistance; no interest loans to make mortgage payments; and free budget counseling to applicants. To be eligible for the program, applicants in permanent homes or an apartment must be in danger of losing their housing.
Applicants in temporary housing, such as a shelter, or those without housing must be in need of a security deposit in order to apply. Quin Rivers may be able to offer funds to pay move in costs or first month’s rent in order to secure permanent housing.
To be considered eligible for Homeless Intervention, households in areas such as Charles City or King and Queen must also be dealing with short-term financial crisis due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances. Examples of this may be an illness, loss of work, accident, reduction in work hours, termination of employment, loss of daycare necessary to remain employed, or delayed assistance benefits.
Also, the individual needs to show that they were self-sufficient prior to the crisis. So they need to have paid their housing and energy bills on time in the past. They can’t have shown and previous long-term or chronic issues.
Applicants to Quin Rivers also need to have the potential to achieve self sufficiency with the help of HIP financial assistance. This deposit and rent program is viewed as a last resort. All other possible resources, such as those from churches or even the government, must be exhausted before services can be provided.
Part of the Quin Rivers mission is to help area residents become financially self-sufficient and increase their asset levels over time. To this end, the community action agency will offer a comprehensive set of personal finance services to fulfill this mission, including reverse mortgage counseling, pre-home purchase counseling, prevention of mortgage delinquency, and financial literacy education.
The financial services program will also focus on pre-purchase counseling as well as mortgage delinquency, foreclosure prevention, and reverse mortgage counseling. There are also general budgeting and financial literacy workshops offered.
This budgeting and advice program is funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, a National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling grant, the Virginia Housing Development Authority, and also the Community Action Partnership.
The Career Ready 101 workshop is used by the non-profit to help people gain the skills they need to be successful in a changing workplace. The curriculum is Internet-based, and includes self-assessment for career interests. The agency will also offer free courses that provide information on available careers; career preparation; job search and placement advice; course work in regard to good work habits, tips on career success skills, financial awareness, and basic work skills. All of this and more is followed closely by the ACT WorkKeys job skills assessment system. Participants receive career readiness certificates when completing the program.
In addition to the financial services described above, Quin Rivers also provides very low interest rate loans to start a small business or expand an existing one. The financing may be used for providing working capital, minor leasehold improvements for businesses, or acquisition of fixed assets that otherwise would not qualify for traditional bank financing. In addition to the small business financing, their program offers advice and free technical assistance.
The main location is PO Box 208, New Kent, Virginia 23124. For intake, dial 804-966-8720.