Blue Ridge Community Action programs.

Clients of Blue Ridge Community Action will go through an assessment process and then be directed to assistance programs. The services available range from government benefits (such as Head Start or weatherization) to referrals to emergency financial assistance for expenses such as rent or utility bills.

The non-profit community action agency provides services across Burke, Caldwell, Alexander, and Catawba Counties in North Carolina. While all programs have income conditions in place, and resources are limited. If BRCA can't meet your needs then case managers will offer referrals or general case management.

The Family Needs Assessment Program is a fairy unique service. It is available from BRCA, and they are one of the few agencies that routinely sends outreach staff members into local neighborhoods. Staff will be knocking on doors in counties such as Catawba, Burke and others and will determine where the needs of the community are.

The results of the Family Needs Assessment help community action service workers determine individual needs and goals, as well as eligibility for services. In addition, BRCA closely tracks the results of clients receiving services, using a centralized intake and data collection system.

Developed in partnership with other area service agencies, this cross-referral system allows Blue Ridge Community Action Agency to keep track of specific services received by each family. This makes it possible to view family progress toward self-sufficiency. Since this is an ongoing process, case managers will help determine whether additional services are needed by the client and which specific services may be necessary. The assistance, whether financial or not, may be provided from BRCA or another agency within the service area. This information is also invaluable in deciding on new program development.

The BRCA Information and Referral Program identifies families in need of assistance and provides them with connections. Clients may be referred to churches, federal programs such as food stamps or SSDI disability, or other appropriate BRCA resources.

Or get linkage with services from other agency resources, as needed. This may be homeless prevention or charities that offer rental assistance. Some organizations may coordinate short term loan programs for paying bills. One other function of this program is to assist in disseminating information, performing outreach activities in low-income areas, and making referrals.




Self-Sufficiency can help families escape poverty and move toward becoming stable and self-sufficient. Program services begin with an assessment to determine family strengths and needs. Based on the results of the assessment, the case manager from community action then links the household with social services and resources that assist them in developing a greater sense of authority. Available programming includes workshops, training and presentations about financial literacy. Clients can also access budgeting and employability skills, as well as various support services.

Low cost Home Delivered Meals is funded by the Home and Community Care Block Grant, or HCCBG. This is a volunteer-based program that brings balanced, nutritious food or meals to people who, because of various reasons, can't leave home to obtain food. It is focused on the elderly and disabled as well as their spouses.

As part of this service, delivery routes are limited within Caldwell, Alexander, or Catawba County. Applicant must be age 60 or over, Lack a caregiver or responsible person to provide meals, they need to be physically unable to obtain food or prepare meals, and they need to be unable to participate in the Congregate Nutrition Program.

Weatherization provides home updates that conserve energy, reduce energy costs, and also make older homes more comfortable. It is available, for free, to income eligible residents in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties. In general, a homeowners energy bills have been reduced by about $350 per home.

Following an energy audit by a trained technician from Blue Ridge Community Action, suggestions are made in regard to measures that will make the home more energy efficient and economical to heat and cool.

The work done also enhances the hygiene and safety of the home throughout the year. Typical weatherization measures may include sealing and insulation of ducts, repair of heating and cooling systems, sealing of major leaks, and adding insulation.





BRCA maintains affordable rental housing for low-income families in Burke and Caldwell counties North Carolina. All rental units will be rent subsidized. They will also meet energy conservation standards, thereby reducing tenant utility bills. BRCA also provides support services and referrals to other area service agencies for tenants.

The Adult Day Services program is offered as a community resource to assist primary caregivers. This was specifically designed for the elderly or for adults in need of a nurturing, stimulating, safe and enriching atmosphere.

The BRCA program offers opportunities for outings, socialization, recreation, and therapeutic activities. The service touches lives and lifts spirits of adults who have been afflicted by the aging process, including Alzheimer's, stroke, depression, or dementia. The community action agency center is certified by the Division of Aging of the Department of Health and Human Services, and is located at Quaker Meadows Generations, 800 N. Green St., Morganton, NC 28655.

What may be offered includes a free breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack, Individualized care plans, Administration of medications, and health care programs, such as blood pressure checks, checkups, and modified exercise.

Head Start from Blue Ridge Community Action is a free preschool program for children from income-eligible families. This federally funded program is operated by local nonprofit organizations, including community action agencies, throughout the country. They all have the aim of providing a solid basis for young children to succeed in school.

Programming from Head Start revolves around a variety of educational activities designed to support positive educational, social, mental, and physical growth and development. In addition, children benefit from free medical and dental checkups. Based on the results of that, treatment is offered. This can include needed immunizations, vision and hearing testing, healthy meals and snacks. Assistance is available to meet any special needs or disabilities.




The goal of the Child Development Program is similar to that of Head Start. It will offer a safe, loving environment for children in counties such as Catawba. BRCA will ensure that all children are healthy and ready to learn when the time comes for them to begin attending public school in North Carolina. Children can receive meals, access to computers, and the disabled can also get help.

For details, the location are as follows.

  • Burke County Office, 800 N. Green St., Morganton, North Carolina 28655, dial 828-438-6255 or 828-754-9085
  • Caldwell County Office - 901 Ashe Ave., Lenoir, NC 28645, telephone 828-754-7377


By Jon McNamara

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