Community Centers that are part of WCMCAA, or the West Central Missouri Community Action Agency, provide support services, guidance, and assistance to the less fortunate. Programs are available across the counties of Benton, Bates, Cass, Cedar, Henry, Morgan, Hickory, St. Clair, and Vernon. The addresses and phone numbers are below.
While all sorts of resources are available, many resolve around education, employment assistance and job training. Case managers may have referrals to government benefits as well, such as LIHEAP, food stamps, or Head Start. Income and other limits and condition are set in place by the agency as well.
Low income housing from a “Unit” they oversee offers opportunity to low-income families to have both decent and safe housing. The fact is that the need for affordable homes and apartments in the region is high. It also increases annually throughout the communities. The program includes a section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program that gives subsidies in eight rural counties as well as the metro County of Cass. Self-sufficiency, Case Management and Home Ownership programs are also offered too.
Foreclosure counseling and landlord/tenant mediation is available from WCMCAA as they are a Housing and Urban Development approved agency. Specialists offer counseling in the fields of spending plan and budgeting, eviction prevention, pre and post-rental, default in mortgage counseling, prevention of foreclosure, and low cost credit counseling.
Weatherization services makes the homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Importantly it also saves money for those that qualify. They will reduce the amount they spend on utility bills and energy costs during the year. The objective is to set up various energy saving measures so that it can reduce the heating and cooling bills. Staff from the agency also checks the combustible appliances like the furnace, heating system, water heaters and cooking stoves for both health and safety standards.
This program is offered free to all income eligible applicants in Cass and other counties. The funds are received from the United States Division of Energy of the Department of Natural Resources. The program helps in making the housing costs of clients more affordable and also reduces cases of homelessness.
Head Start and/or Early Head Start provides assistance to children and their parents. They can receive quality education and early day care along with health services. The program is offered free of cost. There are also a number of related supportive services for parents so that the entire family can work towards self-sufficiency. This is a program for the working poor and low-income families and their children. WCMCAA offers Home Based Head Start services in St. Clair County Missouri and other towns. What occurs is a home visitor or teacher takes care of educational visits once a week.
The true purpose of these educational resources is to help the parents develop their parenting skills and also to help them in using home study as the child’s basic learning environment. The children who participate get the same educational instruction, guidance and assessment as those who are attending a Center Based program.
All of the children, including those with a disability, in Early Head Start and Head Start Programs are offered free comprehensive dental, medical and developmental services. Families get help in paying for costs such as physicals and immunization. The staff of West Central Missouri Community Action Agency provides hearing, vision assessments and blood pressure checks for each child covered within forty five days of their enrollment. Referrals for specialty medical care to local hospitals are available if needed.
Case Management, Family Intake, and Referrals are a joint effort by the staff of the non-profit and clients to assess the strengths and weaknesses. Referrals are made to the relevant non-profit agencies or charities to address the situation of the clients. Some of the services provided in Cass, Vernon, and Bates County are Community Employment and Education Network, Counseling, Education and Financial Management, information on Renewable Energy, and various Like Skills Classes.
The West Central Missouri Community Action Agency Employment and Training Unit offers education and support with training to individuals and families. The goal is so that they can become able to seek employment. After having success, the staff work with clients to help them maintain a job in order to become self-sufficient. WCMCAA offers clients employment and job training services to those who have been enrolled in the Workforce Investment Act (WII) or the Missouri Work Assistance Programs.
The services from the non-profit community action agency involve guidance in drafting of resumes, job search, tips and hints on job interviews, case management, tuition assistance, scholarships, career planning, and job placements. People who are 18 years or older can qualify for the training while they are unemployed or underemployed. Displaced homemakers can also enroll as part of WIA. In addition, low income residents who are receiving grants as part of temporary assistance (TANF) can apply for employment help. Last, but not least, veterans and people receiving SNAP food stamps can also use the service.
Career counselors will help with the job search and Workforce developers will assist people with finding positions that match their experience or skills. Clients of the program receive classroom training. They can get scholarships to a college and financial aid to attend certified vocational classes at local schools or nearby community colleges. They can also gain skills and experience through paid internships on short term basis as training on the job.
Teenagers and youth under the age of 21 can qualify for mentoring and to receive career counseling for specialists. They also get to observe professionals in career fields which are in high demand. Schools and WCMCAA arrange for their GED and High School Diploma. They can improve their writing, reading and math skills through remediation assessments.
Career Assistance, also known as Missouri Work Assistance (MWA), is for individuals who have qualified for the Family Services Division through the Missouri Work Assistance Program. The case managers offer comprehensive workforce development assistance such as orientation, case management and an Individual Employment Plan.
Assistance for seniors and disabled is part of In-Home Health Services. It will help people to stay independent in their houses in Cass County and other locations in Missouri. In-Home Health Services offers attentive care and attention every month so that they do not have to depend on nursing home care.
The agency coordinates Homemaker chores covering general housekeeping activities are provided to maintain a safe home. The component known as personal care helps the clients with their personal hygiene and their dietary needs. Nurse visits take care of skilled services for set up of prescription medication monitoring of vital health signs. Respite care is given in form of companionship and help to the clients as temporary relief.
WCMCAA Women’s Health Services is basic medical treatment, regardless of the clients’ ability to pay for their bills. Many women from Cedar, Morgan, Hickory and Henry County consider this to be their only source of health care. The objective is to cover and assist women who are not insured or underinsured medically.
The counties and locations of centers that are served by West Central Missouri Community Action Agency are:
-Bates, 5 East Dakota, Butler, Missouri 64730, 660-679-4108.
-Benton County - 110 Tower Drive, Suite A, Warsaw, Missouri 65355. Main phone 660-438-5158.
-Cass, 109 Congress, P.O. Box 859, Belton, Missouri 64012, 816-322-0502. A second office is at 200 North Oakland, P.O. Box 95, Harrisonville, Missouri 64701. Main number is 816-380-5375.
-Cedar is at 121 West Spring, El Dorado Spring, Missouri 65785; Tel.: 417-667-5741.
-Henry County office is at 1661 North II Street, P.O. Box 99, Clinton, Missouri 64735. Call 660-885-5508 for details.
-Hickory, 320 North Main, Wheatland, Missouri 65779, phone 417-282-5936.
-Morgan office - 500 Northern Highway 5, Versailles, Missouri 65084, 573-378-4432.
-St. Clair center is at 106 West IV Street, Appleton City, Missouri 64724. Telephone number - 660-476-2185
Vernon is at 1801 North Osage, Suite A, Nevada, Missouri 64772. Call 417-667-5741.
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