Addressing the needs of families facing poverty and the homeless is a key goal of the Raleigh County Community Action Agency Association. The non-profit coordinates a number of social services in an effort to make this happen, ranging from Emergency Solution Grants to referrals to job placement and counseling. RCCAA also provides more focused programs for groups such as veterans, the disabled or single parents in the county.
Eliminating both short-term and chronic homelessness is a top priority at the community action agency. To that end, they run emergency shelters for men, children, and women at Pine Haven Center (address is 103 S. Eisenhower Drive in Beckley). In addition to that short term shelter, the Pine Haven Center programs which include Child Mentor as well as the Project for Assistance in Transitioning Out of Homelessness (PATH), aim to help othersgain stability. This is accomplished through case management or referral services, job programs, and crisis intervention. More information and applications can be obtained from a case specialist at 304-255-9138.
With the prevention of evictions and homelessness in mind, the federal funded ESG - Emergency Solutions Grant Program offers direct financial support for paying rent and housing costs. It is combined with case management; payments for security deposits from rapid re-housing; preventive services; and temporary financial assistance with utility arrearages. Staff also partner with residents on housing searches and placement into a low income apartment. ESGP’s ultimate goal is to ensure that no one in Raleigh County is homeless for more than 30 days.
RCCAA’s Permanent Supportive Housing Program targets the disabled as well as chronically homeless individuals and families. The resource is for people who are in the process of transitioning into safe and affordable permanent housing. Participants of this Raleigh County Community Action Association service receive continuous case management and evaluation throughout the process of finding housing, and then after moving into permanent dwellings, to ensure successful transitions.
SSVF - Supportive Services for Veteran Families assists former service members. The program is for those who are at risk of evictions and also those who are currently homeless. As funding allows, SSVF will have emergency rental and utility bill payments.
Along with the short-term financial assistance, RCCAA’s Veteran Services Coordinators provide case management to participants to support their efforts toward securing stable housing in the state of West Virginia and becoming self-sufficient. To participate, an applicant must be a veteran or an immediate family member. They also need to be in a shelter, homeless, or on the verge of a foreclosure or eviction.
The non-profit agency provides assistance with the application process for energy and heating bill assistance programs, such as the Dollar Energy Fund and the state of West Virginia funded Low-Income Energy Assistance Program. These tools will help low income as well as working poor Raleigh County residents with financial support for paying their bills by furnishing utility payments directly to gas or electric companies on behalf of clients.
VITA - Volunteer Income Tax Assistance is a service that is staffed by qualified accounting professionals, all of whom are trained and experienced. The team is made up of volunteers who prepare and electronically file income tax returns, both state and federal, at no cost for qualifying low-income individuals. VITA operates from February 1 through April 15 of each year.
Free clothing is available too. This is available from the RCCAA Opportunity Closet, and the agency provides new or gently-used clothing to help low-income clients that are in school or seeking employment. It can individuals gain the confidence needed for making a positive impression at interviews or while they are in training, and it can lead to positive changes in their lives.
As part of transportation, RCCAA accepts Medicaid insurance for payment for their non-emergency service to and from scheduled medical appointments. They will work to transport both within and outside the Beckley city limits, but rides are limited. In order to apply, Medicaid coverage must be verified in advance.
Car repairs are offered too, or at least partial assistance and discounts. Staff at Raleigh County Community Action Agency Association know that dependable transportation is critical to low-income Raleigh County residents who are working their way out of poverty. Everyone needs a dependable vehicle for getting to work, their children’s schools, medical appointments, and more.
Partnering with Action Auto Repair in Beckley, the agency is helping to ensure that low-income customers have access to such vehicles. They offer quality full-service auto repair at extremely reasonable rates in comparison to the average shop. Savings may be as much as 15 percent.
Access to food and medical care, when combined with high-quality educational experiences for pre-school-aged children, have been shown to reduce the numbers of students who are held back a grade due to poor performance. So to this end, RCCAA’s Head Start provides a high-quality, comprehensive school-readiness program for Raleigh County children up to age five. These early years are critical to all aspects of a young child’s development, and the service provides an optimal learning environment to support development in General Knowledge, Language, Physical Development and Health, Social and Emotional Development, and Literacy.
As part of this, the Community Action Association Family Services department works with each child's family as a whole to address any areas of interest to parents or guardians. This parents can benefit from these social services too.
The location of Raleigh County Community Action Association is at 111 Willow Ln., Beckley, West Virginia 25801. Dial them at 304-252-6396.
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