Addressing both short term needs and coordinating long term support, Tri-County Community Action Agency is committed to helping the less fortunate in South Boston, Charlotte, Halifax, and Mecklenburg County. The non-profit, using both private and government funds, may have emergency assistance available for paying bills or housing costs and also offers case management.
While the terms of each program and funding levels can change based on donations and money raised from the community, the non-profit provides information on both privately funded and state government benefits. This includes programs such as LIHEAP, food stamps, and information on emergency solutions grants. The goal is to help prevent homelessness and ensure people are employed for future success.
The local child development center, which is available by referrals, provides services such as Head Start and affordable child care for income-eligible families. For parents that are working or in job training, day care is available for infants and toddlers, and before- and after-school services are offered for older children or students.
During the summer or vacation months, the center provides full-day childcare for school-age children as well. This may even include food assistance such as a free snack or meal. The center offers supervised, age-appropriate activities that are designed to promote growth and learning.
Head Start is an early childhood educational program that is available across Virginia, including the counties of Mecklenburg and Halifax. It is intended for children between three and five years of age. The Tri-County Community Action Agency administered program includes development services, behavioral screenings, medical checkups, and more. All of this is provided to students during enrollment.
Teachers and staff from the community action group urge parents to be involved in their children’s education and the agency also encourages them to volunteer and participate in program governance. Head Start also features adult literacy courses, parental training and career-skills classes for the child’s parent or guardian.
Younger children can benefit from Tri-County Early Head Start as well. It was designed for children up to three years in age, infants and even currently pregnant women that meet low income guidelines. This program operates under the philosophy that parents are the first teachers of their children and it includes center or home based educational, health and social services.
Tri-County Community Action Agency manages one-stop career centers in South Boston and Charlotte, and this is done in partnership with other local agencies. The goal is to provide employment assistance for adults and the working poor from the community, including the unemployed. The centers offer workforce-training, career assessment services, talent-development and job-placement.
Educational needs can also be addressed from the locations. After all, this is key to a job that pays enough income to make ends meet. So to this end, referrals for GED preparation and other educational pursuits are available as well.
The dislocated worker program offers support for unemployed and laid-off workers from the state of Virginia as well as counties of Halifax and others. Training services help clients upgrade job-related skills to increase their income, and additional support can help individuals both obtain and maintain employment.
Emergency financial aid for paying rent or even energy bills are available for at-risk families through the emergency solutions grant program, or ESG. This is designed to keep families in their homes and stop evictions from occurring.
The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, as it is sometimes known, can also rehouse families. The goal is to forestall homelessness in the area that Tri-County Community Action serves by providing short-term financial assistance for assorted household expenses, such as rent. Landlord mediation can also be coordinated.
Furthermore, there may be loans issued or assistance for security deposits on new, low income apartments. The last option is the main federal resource known as Section 8 rental assistance, which subsidizes housing and utility payments for qualified families.
There are also shelters and transitional housing apartments in the tri-county region of Virginia. Centers are for the disabled, homeless men, including veterans, or single parents. These individuals, or others that qualify, can reside in the complex and access support services during their stay at the facilities.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families promotes housing stability among military members and their families. In addition to temporary financial assistance from SSVF, this program provides support services, such as personal financial planning and housing counseling. Case managers from Tri-County Community Action Agency also work with veterans to address any employment needs.
Low and moderate income families can become homeowners with assistance from local HUD certified counselors. Individualized education and housing counseling can help clients achieve financial stability and accumulate assets and equity to use towards purchasing a property. The organization also provides low-interest home loans to qualified residents.
Women and children who are domestic violence victims can get help from Tri-County Community Action. Services range from free legal aid to emergency shelter. The goal is to get the victim into a safe and secure place, then rebuild stability and self-sufficiency.
Victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault can turn to shelters and outreach program for support. Clients are provided with a number of services, with safety being the priority. Other assistance includes free food, advocacy, temporary emergency shelter, support services and legal aid.
Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) help income-eligible working families build assets for long-term financial security. IDAs match the funds clients invest in savings accounts.
Individuals and families with an income level of less than $52,000 per year can use the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance service in South Boston or Mecklenburg. Help is offered for income qualified residents from VITA, as it is often called. Another option is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and both of these are resources for self-sufficiency. Under these programs, IRS-certified volunteers offer free tax return preparation and electronic filing to clients.
The non-profit community action agency also offers weatherization services to low-income individuals and families to make their homes more energy efficient. These services help reduce residential utility bill costs and even improve the safety of the home.
Weatherization typically involves caulking and weather stripping; sealing air leaks with insulation; installing ventilation fans; repairing or replacing energy-wasting heating and cooling systems; adding CFL bulbs; and installing energy-efficient appliances. Moreover, the agency helps low-income households with minor electrical, AC units, heating and roof repairs.
Home repairs, including for plumbing, can address health and safety need of low income and elderly homeowners. These can be arranged by the agency, and is often combined with weatherization services.
Free or low cost medical care is for children in Tri-County Community Action Agency coverage area. Medicaid-eligible families with young children and pregnant women can make use of the federal program known as CHIP, or Comprehensive Health Investment Project. It provides medical care and also advice so people can learn about healthy lifestyles. CHIP includes education and home visits.
Free dental care is available to eligible Virginia residents from clinics. Clients must be screened and referred by a case workers or the Department of Social Services in order to use these regional centers.
There are a few main locations. Call for referrals or support.
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