Numerous resources are offered from the Tri-County Community Action Committee of Southern Maryland. They are a federal government HUD Approved Housing Counseling organization and can assist both tenants and homeowners. Other programs from the organization help seniors, the disabled, and children from low income families. Services are provided across Calvert, St. Mary's, and Charles Counties in Maryland.
Find help with utility and heating bills from the MEAP - Maryland Energy Assistance Program. It operates as a grant-based program that assists low income qualified families with paying their home heating and gas bills. For those that qualify, MEAP makes payments directly to utility companies and fuel suppliers on behalf of customers.
Individuals do not have to be a homeowner to benefit from this federal and state of Maryland program. Renters who meet income requirements are also eligible for assistance. In addition, the Utility Service Protection Program is administered by Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee as a division of MEAP. This component provides protection from shut-offs, as well as a monthly payment plan with a consistent amount due each month from the participant.
Electric Universal Service (EUSP) is another resource available to Maryland electric customers in counties including Calvert, Charles and others. It is also available for both renters and homeowners too, and it provides direct financial assistance with paying electric bills. Grants from EUSP may also be available to low income or working poor customers who live in subsidized housing where heat is included in the monthly rent costs.
The federal government funded Weatherization Assistance Program provides free home-energy conservation modifications to help low-income homeowners and renters with reducing their utility bills. In order to be considered eligible for weatherization by SMTCCAC, applicants who own their homes must have a limited income and also be able to prove their ownership of the residence. Tenants will need to have the permission of their landlords. Any priority for weatherization services is given to senior citizens, the disabled, lower income families with children, and/or households with the highest energy consumption.
After being approved, technicians visit the home and perform an energy audit to identify needs and required services. Possible alterations to the home may include, but are not limited to, sealing any leaks, adding extra insulation, Caulking, Cleaning, Tuning, and Repair of Appliances, and the Replacement of a Furnace or Cooling System.
Tri-County Community Action is a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency and a part of the Maryland HOPE Housing Counseling Network. Highly trained housing counselors present seminars and workshops in regard to housing-related topics, such as developing a spending plan or restoring financial control through goal setting.
Some of the other services offered by the Housing Counseling Program include Reverse Mortgage/Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, Pre-Purchase Counseling, free Foreclosure Prevention, Budget and Credit Repair workshops, and Default and Mortgage Delinquency counseling. Tenants from southern Maryland can also learn about places to contact for security deposit or rent help.
The SMTCCAC Friendly Health Services Program provides help to the disabled and elderly. Assistance is offered for those in need of medical care or other forms of home supervision. Each applicant undergoes an assessment by professional staff members, with the patient’s personal physician and family included.
Based on the results of the assessment, a plan of care is developed. It will address any needs such as Advocacy, Mental Health Issues and Medical Care, Nutrition, or Rehabilitation Needs. Clinics and aging on aging centers in St. Mary's, Charles, or Calvert County may partner of this program.
Transportation may be arranged by Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action for mental health care. The non-profit can arrange rides to and from hospitals or doctor appointments, support group sessions, and the local pharmacy. Some of the most requested destinations are Circuit Court for Charles County, the Charles County Core Services Agency, and the Circuit or Family Court.
The Head Start Program is run by SMTCCAC in the region, including Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties. Hundreds of low-income children are enrolled in classrooms or some form of home care. The program encourages social and cognitive development as well as educational achievement.
Each child is provided with an individualized plan. If and when needed, special programming and referrals to other non-profit agencies are available in regard to social, cognitive or emotional disabilities. The federally funded Head Start also provides free health services, food, medical health evaluations, dental care, and hearing and vision screenings.
For more information on resources in Southern Maryland, SMTCCAC is located at Luther Stuckey Building, 8371 Old Leonardtown Rd., Hughesville, Maryland 20637. The main phone numbers are Calvert County (410-535-1010), Charles County (301-274-4474) or St. Mary's County (301-475-5574).
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