Families across several counties can get help from Southwest Georgia Community Action Council. The regional non-profit supports families that are living in poverty or that have a one time crisis. Based on the results of the case management process, the programs administered are below.
There is emergency financial for expenses including rent, food, and security deposits. Children from the region can apply to Head Start, and there is also a senior meal service. Other benefits from SWGACAC include applications for weatherization or low income energy bill help. The non-profit covers Calhoun, Colquitt, Schley, Decatur, Marlon, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Baker, Webster, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Sumter, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas, and Worth Counties.
The Emergency Services is a programs that helps individuals and families who are dealing with a hardship. Maybe the cause was a loss of income or unexpected expenses due to circumstances that are out of their control. If qualified, the following may be offered.
Financial help can pay for mortgage payments, utilities, rent, security deposits, or food. Southwest Georgia Community Action Council may offer grants to pay for shelter to prevent shut-offs, minimize malnutrition of children, and rent assistance can help avoid evictions and homelessness. The program also provides shelter in counties such as Dougherty or Colquitt for those who have lost housing.
Anyone applying for a grant must show documentation of residency, proof of all household income and expenses, and demonstrate that they will be able to pay all future bills on their own. In some cases, the non-profit may provide a loan to the applicant so the money will need to be repair to the agency. They need to show they can be stable without depending on public assistance.
The main objective of the Senior Meal Service is to ensure that the elderly residing in the CAC's service area are provided with free, healthy food. They can receive healthy, hot midday meals to supplement their nutritional needs.
Meals are available from SWGACAC four days a week at congregate sites in Decatur, Calhoun, and other counties. Or the food is delivered to those who are homebound. Priority is given to seniors aged 60 and over, their spouses, as well as qualifying individuals who are disabled and/or homebound.
When someone is qualified, the meals are served and can be home-delivered for homebound clients. Or the food is passed out in a congregate setting. Note that transportation may be provided upon request. In addition to the meals, social events are organized by the non-profit throughout the year at the congregate sites. This will allow the client to meet with their peers for various activities.
For clients of both the congregate and home-delivered programs, the regular contact with staff members from the community action agency also serves as an opportunity for socialization and the monitoring of health and wellness.
Available on a limited basis, the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council Housing Counseling provides answers to questions that tenants and homeowners have. The guidance given will frequently answer questions asked by those who are interested in owning homes and are new to the process. The program from the agency also provides information about loans or other financing options, home maintenance and similar housing-related concerns, as well as referrals to other resources in the community.
LIHEAP provides financial assistance for paying utility or heating bills. The client can get up to $350 during a one-year period with paying for a portion of home-heating bills for income-eligible households. Priority is given to households in which all members are at least 65 years of age, homebound, or disabled. Those families can apply for LIHEAP assistance beginning in November.
Depending on continuing availability of funds in Marlon as well as Seminole County, the government funded program is opened to additional income-eligible households beginning in December. All prospective applicants for these cash grants must call their local Southwest Georgia Community Action Council affiliated Neighborhood Service Centers to be added to the LIHEAP waiting list. Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis by the agency each year until all funds are exhausted.
The goal of the Weatherization Program is around conservation. The federal program will help income-eligible clients reduce their home energy usage. This will result in them saving money and the program will also protect the environment through making general home repairs and installing energy-efficient measures that minimize air leakage. In fact, Weatherization can save each household served over $6,000 throughout the lifetime of the measures installed.
The Weatherization measures from Southwest Georgia Community Action Council and all the other agencies across the nation reduce national energy consumption by the equivalent of over 20 million barrels of oil each year.
Home Repair as well as Housing Rehabilitation are provided as a complement to weatherization services. So they are related but not exactly the same. They include preservation services and repairs that serve to sustain existing housing through possible accessibility upgrades, such as the widening of doorways, removal or minor repair of substandard conditions; there may be upgrades to a home's structural integrity; installing Wheel chair ramps, protective handrails, grab bars, and other structural related personal mobility aids for the disabled. Rehabilitation results in improved accessibility. When applying to SWGACAC, applicants must meet income guidelines put forth by a specific funding source. Homeowners who are senior citizens in the service territory and handicapped receive priority.
Southwest Georgia Community Action Council general transportation services are available to low-income individuals, particularly the disabled as well as those aged 60. The program will support those who are in need of accessing necessities such as prescriptions, food and medical care.
The Self-Sufficiency Case Management Service is a poverty fighting measure. It will offer clients guidance and support in developing plans for achieving consistent financial sustainability for themselves and their families. As participants work with their case manager to adhere to the case plans that were agreed upon, and make progress toward becoming self-sufficient over the long term, the program may also be able to provide financial assistance for their current bills.
As part of this process, case plans may require that clients participate in debt reduction plans or budget counseling. There may be other activities that will help them reach their goals. The following documentation of household income and expenses must be provided to verify eligibility. The applicant should have Current statements for services requested (utility, rent, and/or mortgage), Social Security cards for all household members, as well as verification of income for all household members over age 18 for the past month.
Southwest Georgia Community Action Council participates in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The Work Readiness Program is available in counties such as Grady, Webster, Worth, Colquitt, and it serves young people who have dropped out of school. The non-profit will offer support for their efforts to further their education.
This will help them gain job-specific skills, improve job retention rates and therefore income, enhance workforce productivity, and gain long-term employment. Work Readiness Services include case management around job experience training, GED preparation, Support groups that promote self-worth, Coordination of academic enrichment activities, transportation or child care, and follow up.
Children can enroll into Head Start and Early Head Start. The non-profit will make use of funding provided by DHHS - the US Department of Health and Human Services to provide comprehensive child development services to children under the age of 6 from families who make less than the federal poverty level. Early Head Start from Southwest Georgia Community Action Council also serves pregnant women, the husband, children from before birth to age three, and family members.
Locations of Southwest Georgia Community Action Council
Other programs are run too. The Community Action Council's Outreach and Referral Program distributes information about its social services to community members or can provide other referrals. The offices are as follows.
Calhoun County - 104 Maxwell St., Arlington, GA 39813, dial 229-725-1325
Colquitt County, 912 First Ave. SE, Moultrie, Georgia 31768, telephone number is 229-985-3610
Decatur County office is at 1732 Bethel Rd., Bainbridge, GA 39817. Dial 229-246-3119
Dougherty County, 317 W. First Ave., Albany, Georgia 31701, main phone 229-883-1365
Early County community action office is at 1241 S. Main St., Blakely, GA 39823, dial 229-723-3190
Grady County - 17 MLK Ave. SW, Cairo, Georgia 39828, main phone 229-377-3213
Miller County - 360 South 4th St., Colquitt, GA 39837, dial 229-758-2848
Mitchell County, 165 W. Circle Dr., Camilla, Georgia 31730, main phone 229-336-5797
The Seminole County center address is 1121 E. Third St., Donalsonville, GA 39845, dial 229-524-5494
Terrell County - 711 Roundtree Dr. SW, Dawson, Georgia 39842, main phone 229-995-4121
Thomas County – Address is 127 A/B Smith Ave., Thomasville, GA 31792, dial 229-228-1162
Worth County - 504 E. Price St., Sylvester, Georgia 31791. Phone 229-776-4851.
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