Low income families, the unemployed and homeless can all get help from Total Action for Progress. The non-profit community action agency offers everything from information on job placement to emergency financial aid for paying rent or utility bills.
Assistance programs are available across several counties in Virginia. The agency offers funds and case management to the counties and towns of Clifton Forge, Covington, Buena Vista, Roanoke, Lexington, Salem, Alleghany, Craig, Botetourt, and Rockbridge. Thousands of struggling and working poor families get help every year.
The working poor, low-income individuals and families who are at risk of eviction or becoming homeless can turn to the Homeless Prevention Program. This statewide resource can offer rent and security deposit help. Any financial aid is time-limited and comes with housing counseling.
The program may also provide limited financial assistance in the forms of a grant or short term loan. Funds can be used to pay rent, security or utility deposits and payments, moving costs, mortgage assistance, or application fees for those who qualify. It operates in regions such as Roanoke, Salem, Rockbridge, Alleghany, and Craig.
For currently homeless individuals and families in counties such as Roanoke or Lexington, the Transitional Living Center offers short term housing and free meals per day. This program has also provided comprehensive services and long-term supportive housing. Case managers work with staff on guiding residents in establishing more stable, self-sufficient lifestyles.
Additional social services provided at Total Action for Progress can include employment counseling, case management, education and training, assessment and referral services. Or get help with debt reduction, budget counseling, housing needs, and other life-skills training.
The Housing Counseling program offers several types of services to help either first-home buyers or current homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. The community action First Time Homebuyers Education Workshop and Pre-Purchase Counseling programs guide potential homeowners through the buying process. This is done carefully and one step at a time. The Homebuyers Club provides more long-term assistance with overcoming income barriers, solving credit problems and establishing savings as a basis for preparing to buy a home.
Mortgage Default Assistance provides assistance to homeowners who are delinquent in paying mortgages or property taxes and who or are facing foreclosure. A counselor from the HUD approved agency mediates between clients, banks and the mortgage companies to gain lower interest rates. A number of solutions are explored, such as the ability to place delinquent payments on the back-end of mortgages or formulate new repayment plans.
Also targeted to the currently homeless or to those who may become evicted in the near future, the federally funded Supportive Housing Program offers rental properties or apartments at far below fair market value. Eligible households must include at least one member with a disability that has been verified by a medical professional.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) offers intensive case management services to very low-income veterans as well as their families that are making the transition to, or already residing in, permanent housing. Programming from TAP includes assistance with increasing the veterans’ ability to sustain permanent housing and reach their potential. Funds to pay rent, energy bills, and case management tare offered.
The Emergency Home Repair and Rehabilitation for Homeowners program provides low-income families, unemployed and disabled or elderly persons with emergency home repairs. Often a loan is used by the agency.
The goal is to improve living conditions by removing barriers to home accessibility and habitability that negatively affect the safety and health of the residents of the home. Left undone, such issues would cause the home to be inaccessible, unsafe, or unhealthy.
The Total Action for Progress Indoor Plumbing Rehabilitation Program provides improvements to inoperable existing plumbing systems or installs systems where there is a lack. Similarly, the Weatherization Program that is available in Virginia offers services to reduce the cost of heating and cooling bills. This is offered for homes in counties such as Covington, Buena Vista, Roanoke, Salem, Clifton Forge and Alleghany. It will make them more energy efficient, saving money and making homes safer for habitation during extreme hot or cold weather.
To promote financial self-sufficiency, the Individual Development Accounts (IDA) provides income qualified adults with information and support in regard to managing personal finances, saving money and maintaining savings. Clients receive assistance in opening and developing special savings accounts, with the aim of starting a small business, purchasing a home, or pursuing a higher education.
Accounts from IDA are established as custodial accounts, with Total Action for Progress as account owner, and the participant as beneficiary. Upon meeting all terms and requirements, IDA matches the amount deposited at a ratio of three to one.
In partnership with the Virginia CASH Campaign as well as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), free TAP Tax Assistance is available. It takes place in a clinic each year. Low to moderate income people in Roanoke, Virginia and the surrounding areas receive assistance with accessing valuable tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The tax program known from TAP also provides face-to-face case management services to displaced veterans. This includes job placement, training and development, career counseling, and more.
Qualified unemployed veterans receive training in employment skills and receive a stipend while working at a participating local business. When clients are ready, staff from Total Action for Progress provides assistance with finding employment. Additional services, such as referrals to housing, referrals to medical centers, and assistance with transportation are also available to contribute to the self-sufficiency of area veterans.
The Southwestern Virginia Regional Employment Coalition Program places clients at non-profits agencies across the community. They will work at positions that enable them to gain job skills that will help in obtaining and maintaining permanent employment.
Participants also receive instruction in activities from TAP. This will include completing a job application, communicating in the workplace, creating a resume and managing time on an as-needed basis.
The Total Action for Progress and the Virginia Community Action Re-entry System (CARES) provides programming that helps facilitate the return of ex-offenders to the community and society. Clients receive job readiness training, as well as assistance with their career development, job search, transportation, obtaining identification, and application for restoration of rights.
Another option is the Domestic Violence Service Center. This service provides assistance for all adult victims (both men and women) of domestic violence in establishing and maintaining a healthier, more positive home life for themselves and their children. Issues addressed include Case Management, Crisis Intervention, Legal Assistance, Outreach Counseling, and Financial Assistance for Victims Crisis.
With Fathers First, men are given the opportunity to interact in the classroom or in a group setting. This is done with the purpose of addressing family-related issues such as healthy relationships, communication skills, and parenting responsibilities.
Both unemployed and underemployed parents also have the opportunity to meet with an employment specialist from TAP. This can get assistance with seeking and keeping a job, in order to address child support payments and meet family needs.
For young children, the Head Start and Early Head Start educational programs help prepare them for school and for life in general. Instructors encourage student development in cognitive, physical, language, social, and emotional skills, utilizing a curriculum tailored to each child's individual needs and stage of development. Services in the areas of behavioral health and disability are also available as needed.
Opportunities for parents or guardians to home-school children are also available through Head Start, with the parents acting as the children’s primary teachers. Head Start representatives perform weekly home visits to help parents with providing support and encouragement in preparing children for Kindergarten.
Total Action for Progress Early Head Start Program is available to pregnant women and children from birth to age three. Women and families that can enroll are offered prenatal education, family development services, and full-day child care. The parents are required to be employed, in employment training, or in school.
Additional Head Start type social services for parents include assistance with housing, employment, transportation, and parenting.
Total Action for Progress is based at 302 2nd Street SW in Roanoke, VA 24011. Call 540-777-HOPE
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