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Alleghany, Rockbridge, Salem, and Buena County area assistance programs.

There are churches, charities, and government financial assistance programs that help low income or struggling families. Find where to get money for rent, electric bill help, and information on job training or debt assistance in Alleghany, Salem, Rockbridge, or Buena Virginia. All of the agencies, food pantries, and clinics below may help.

The resources vary. Some charities provide grants to pay bills, others offer referrals or free items, such as school supplies, gasoline vouchers, or Christmas presents. There are also ideas for saving money and budgeting classes held. Or learn about state of Virginia social services along with federal benefits.

Total Action for Progress is the community action agency that provides short term emergency assistance and longer term self-sufficiency and anti-poverty programs. The non-profit has several offices in the region. The number of programs available are wide ranging.

Employment services are available. Having a decent paying job is after all very important to self-sufficiency. Partners, including the Southwestern Virginia Regional Employment Coalition Program provides work experience by placing individuals at non-profits in the region, including the counties and towns of Lexington, Botetourt, and Vista. Read more on free workforce investment act job training.

Veterans in Virginia are a focus. They receive priority when it comes to employment opportunities. Also get help in medical care, housing, child care needs, and job training. The urgent needs of veterans in the region are met.

Project Success Program is offered by Total Action for Progress. It provides clients with career counseling, GED preparation, basic education, and other employment programs. Many schools and employers in Alleghany county and nearby regions participate in these adult basic education resources.

The Homeless Prevention Program may have emergency rental assistance and housing counseling for the low income. Security deposits, rent, or even mortgage help may be offered. It is often combined with transitional housing, which provides meals and a place to stay. It provides time to residents to stabilize their lifestyles and become self-sufficient.




  • Other services include Responsible Ride Program. This is a low interest, no credit loan product for people to buy reliable used vehicles. It is similar to the Ways to Work product. This is offered in partnership with the Freedom First Credit Union in Salem Virginia. Click here Ways to Work.
  • Community Tax Preparation Services provides seniors and the poor with free tax preparation services and advice.
  • First time home buyers can get help and support from the Housing Counseling Program. It can also offer free foreclosure prevention and advice to those behind on their mortgage.
  • Veterans in the community, including in Lexington Virginia, can get help from Supportive Services for Veteran Families. Federal government grants issued by Total Action (TAP) can help pay for security deposits for the homeless, utility bills, or first months rent. Case managers from SSVF also offer job training, credit counseling, and more.

Several offices of Total Action for Progress are in the region. As indicated, the area served is wide and includes Craig, Vista, and other areas. Dial (540) 345-6781.

Salvation Army Lexington Rockbridge is a private, non-profit regional charitable organization offering emergency assistance in a crisis. It can help the low income in Alleghany, Rockbridge and the city of Lexington. Receive food, heat and utility bill assistance, free Christmas gifts and meals, and other goods like school supplies. Address is 115 South Lexington Avenue, Covington, Virginia 24426, call (540)962-6206. There are also several other Salvation Army centers in the Rockbridge County area. Learn more on Salvation Army in Augusta, Rockingham and Staunton.

Several government agencies offer utility bills and fuel assistance. During a hot summer stretch some grants may even be offered to pay for cooling and air conditioning bills. A separate crisis program is offered to low income families, seniors, and others that qualify when they are faced with a disconnection. Some funds can even be used to repair or replace heating or cooling equipment. This is the state of Virginia’s version of LIHEAP. The main contacts are as follows.

  • Alleghany Covington Social Services, 110 Rosedale Avenue Suite B, Covington, VA 24426, call (540)965-1780
  • Botetourt County Social Services, 220 Commons Parkway, Daleville, Virginia 24083, telephone (540)591-5960
  • Craig County Social Services, 177 Court Street, New Castle, VA 24127, (540)864-5117
  • Rockbridge-Buena Vista-Lexington Area Social Services, 20 East Preston Street, Lexington, Virginia 24450, (540)463-7143
  • As indicated, emergency programs exist too. Read crisis help from LIHEAP.





Covington Salvation Army provides emergency food, financial assistance for transportation, utilities and prescription medications. Call (540)962-6206. The Roanoke Center may also provide help, including resources for seniors such as Meals on Wheels. Dial (540)343-5335. Continue reading Covington area Salvation Army programs.

Community Housing Resource Center, Council of Community Services offers several housing programs. The focus is on stabilizing the housing situation of those facing a crisis. Temporary financial/rental assistance may be offered to people facing eviction and homelessness. Other aid offered includes utility assistance, and security or utility deposits. Telephone - (540)853-1163.

The Housing Resource Center also operates homeless prevention services from the federal government. This will help both homeowners as well as tenants avoid homelessness. Both financial aid may be issued as well as legal advice, rehousing, or counseling.

Total Action Against Poverty Lexington - Rental help is offered from resources such as HIP (Homeless Intervention) and the federal government Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing. The program also helps with indoor plumbing, home repair, weatherization, free energy conservation education, and other housing related needs. Dial (540)463-9527.

Valley Program for Aging Services, Inc. is for seniors and the elderly. One-time cash grants can provide immediate financial assistance. Or get referrals to other public and non-profit private agencies. Emergency Services to the elderly and senior citizens may include assistance with prescription medication refills, assistive devices, and utility and rent payments. 2137 Magnolia Avenue, Buena Vista, VA 24416, telephone (800)868-8727.

Rockbridge Area Relief Association can help with basic needs such as free food, utilities, rent, mortgage, and transportation. The non-profit also partners with Dominion Power on offering energy bill assistance and conservation measures. (540)463-6642. More on Dominion Power low income assistance programs.

City Government Services may be able top assist families facing imminent homelessness. Apply for access to financial resources and referrals to local agencies in order to obtain and/or maintain housing stability. Screening, assessment, prevention, and much more is provided by the government. All is done in an effort to provide stability. (540)853-1163.

Food banks, pantries, and regional center

COPE Food Pantry distributes groceries and canned food to people who are in emergency situations. It relies on donations and drives, so donate if you can. 900 North Alleghany Avenue, Covington, Virginia 24426, dial (540)962-2675.

South Covington United Methodist Church Food pantry - Dial (540)962-6377

Buchanan Area Ministerial Association of Botetourt County may have up to three days worth of nutritional food for family of four. Thanksgiving and Christmas meals may be provided too, along with gifts or clothing. (540)254-2475.

Council of Community Services supports disabled and seniors. Senior Prescription Assistance program and Transportation. Provides Information and Referral Services. Crisis assistance may be provided too. 33 Bedford Street, Buchanan, VA 24066, dial (540)-254-1468.

Bonsack Baptist Church - Food Pantry. Dial (540)977-0910.

Project Horizon may be able to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Can include personal supplies, emergency food, clothing, free legal aid, and children's toys. Telephone - (540)463-7861.

Rockbridge Area Relief Association - The food pantry has boxes which contain produce and meat, various canned good, soups, cereals, pasta, and eggs. Main number is (540)-463-6642.

Community Share Project of Buena Vista - (540)-461-2934.

Salem Church of God partners with the non-profit charity Feeding America Southwest Virginia food bank. Call (540)387-2068.

St. Mark's Lutheran Church has both clothing and free food. School supplies may be offered. (540)-344-9051.

Clinics and medical centers

Alleghany Highlands Free Clinic is located in Covington. Call (540)962-1660. Some of what may be offered includes Routine laboratory and radiology services; Primary medical care; Limited mental health services; and Referrals to specialists and specialty services as needed.

Christian Free Clinic in Botetourt may have free quality health care to uninsured individuals and families who cannot afford health insurance in Botetourt County. Check ups, basic care, dental extractions, and eye exams may be offered too.

Staff on site also refer clients (or anyone from the community) to health insurance plans. Some of which are faith based. As an example, read about Christian sharing health plans. Or the main clinic is at 7330 Roanoke Rd, Fincastle, VA 24090. Dial (540)-353-0509 for intake.





Monroe Health Center offers Laboratory Services, Routine Physical Examinations, EKG Examinations, Medication Assistance Program, Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening and much more. Phone (540)864-6390.

Rockbridge Area Free Clinic offers free dental and medical care to those who lack health insurance and that meet other qualifications. Phone - (540)461-0151.

Central Shenandoah Health District is for the counties of Rockbridge and Lexington. Residents can get a comprehensive range of affordable public health care that includes a broad range of diagnostic, check ups and treatment services. Example include Well Child Care, Child Safety Seats, Dental Health and more. (540)463-3185.

Buena Vista Health Department offers free or low cost comprehensive dental services to indigent elementary school children up to grade 5. Call (540)261-2149 for information, or more Virginia free dental clinic.


By Jon McNamara

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