Aiken Barnwell Community Action Commission.

Aiken Barnwell Community Action Commission administers programs including general financial assistance, workforce development, housing/rent help, and more. A goal is to increase the education and earnings ability of families from the community. They also support nearby Lexington County.

Many of the resources are funded by the CSBG Program. Any applicant must meet all of the application conditions and be found to be income eligible. As noted, a focus is on preventing homelessness (so paying for housing), energy bills, and employment.

Aiken Barnwell Community Action General Emergency Assistance program can help those that are facing a crisis. It is intended to intervene in a very limited number of situations. Cash assistance or grants may be available when someone is faced with a crisis or emergency situations such as needing help with paying for child care, rent, medical bills, energy-related crisis, or some other form or family care needs. For those that qualify any assistance will be administered at most once per year.

CSBG was created to assist working poor and low-income families through services and activities that strengthen their capabilities. It will help people in their transition toward self-sufficiency. In addition to the general assistance noted above, the second component of it is the Housing/Family Services Project.

This resource was designed by Aiken Barnwell Community Action to assist applicants and help them access or maintain affordable, low income housing or to address other family crisis needs. This can include offering assistance with rent to avoid an eviction. It can also help with the establishment of permanent housing if there is a threat of homelessness from the family.

Some assistance for utility or cooling bills may be available too. Financial assistance can be provided to prevent termination of energy services or reconnect utilities. Or people can apply for grants from Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program. This is the federal government program that will prevent a disconnection of heat and keep a household’s power on. During the hot South Carolina summer months, financial assistance is provided to clients and it will help them prevent termination of their electricity. Emergency Cooling bill assistance can also help income-eligible persons with a disability and/or a documented medical condition to purchase a room air conditioner.




All throughout this process, case management, supportive services, and information and referral services are also provided for families in order to assist further in their movement to self-sufficiency.

Other resources from the non-profit Community Action Agency include programs such as Foster Grandparent Project, Head Start, Weatherization, and/or the Retired Senior and Volunteer Program. Specialists also focus on offering employment and job training programs to the needy. For information about their Community Service Block Grant Program or program, residents should dial (803) 648-6836.

The agency is also a key partner in the Workforce Development Board. This runs and oversees various workforce investment activities using a so called one-stop delivery system. It will increase the employment, retention, and earnings of participants from the community. Another goal is to increase occupational skill attainment by participants and reduce welfare dependency, improve the quality of the workforce, and also enhance the competitiveness and productivity of Aiken, Lexington and Barnwell County.

Examples of the social and job services include Unemployment Insurance Service, help for older workers, Training Opportunities, Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers, Veterans' Services, assistance for Laid-Off Workers, Career Resources, and even resume assistance.

Call the Aiken/Barnwell Community Action Commission Agency at (803) 648-6836. Their main office is also at 650 Knox Abbot Dr Cayce, SC 29033 or 291 Beaufort Street, Aiken, South Carolina, 29801.




By Jon McNamara

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