Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission financial assistance programs.
Struggling families can turn to the Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission (BROC) for help. The non-profit is the community action agency for the counties of Wilkes, Ashe, and Alleghany. Several different programs, ranging from financial aid to self-sufficiency (such as Head Start or job placement) are administered, often as the result of federal government grants.
BROC can not only help in a crisis but providing utility bill, heating oil or rent help, but the Care Connection Service also refers clients to resources to help them stabilize their situation. There are case managers that will partner with the client on this endeavor. Each county has their own case manager dedicated to helping the less fortunate.
Emergency Financial Assistance
There are three difference contacts. They include the following. In Wilkes County call (336)667-7174. In Ashe County, dial (336)384-4543. Or anyone seeking a cash grant in Alleghany County should dial (336)372-7284. Guidelines set by the US Health and Human Services Division of Social Services are followed.
Anyone applying for short term financial assistance from the Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission needs to have an income at or near poverty levels. Based on need, the qualified family may be given a no-interest loan or a grants for paying their bills. The funds from the community action agency can pay for the following expenses.
- Rent costs to stop homelessness.
- Utility bills, in particular heating costs during the winter.
- Hunger prevention, such as free food, may also be offered in counties such as Wilkes.
- Information on services for displaced workers, including job training, work supplies, and other items.
The Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission also provides help for children during Christmas. This is one of the Care Connection Services. The Salvation Army in Alleghany and Ashe County partners with BROC community action on this. There is a toy store on site that offers toys, games, clothes and more. Most of the items are new and unwrapped. It is a sponsor service for struggling families. Clients can also find other programs that offer help for Christmas for free.
HARP is a heating system and repair program. It is an option for households that are also currently benefiting from weatherization. They need to meet income guidelines.
During the fall or winter months, there can be many improvements made from HARP. It can provide a tune-up for the unit or updates to the CO system. If a Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission case manager (as well as the contractor) determine that the furnace can't be repaired, they may replace the HVAC system for free.
BROC also provides free food and meals to seniors as well as older residents. The program is known as Elderly Nutrition. There are two parts of the service. One is Meals on Wheels, which delivers free or low cost food in Wilkes and Ashe County. Many disabled and homebound families benefit. The other program is the Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission congregate meal sites, and these serve lunches, dinners, or breakfasts on site.
Services from BROC
The Head Start program is available for qualified children aged 3 years to 5 years from low-income households in counties such as Wilkes, Ashe, and Alleghany. BROC and partnering agencies work on preparing children for a successful school year and includes emphasizing parental involvement. It also offered throughout full-day, school year services at center based and home-based settings. Services arranged and every aspect of the program in the Blue Ride Mountains is noted below.
Classrooms and group socialization sites for Head Start are located throughout Alleghany or Ashe County. In addition, there are health and nutrition resources arranged by Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission to help with dental and medical needs including follow-up for all qualified children. Maintaining up to date immunization according to the CDC and promoting good health, overall well-being, preventative measures and early detections are all parts of the program for bringing up a healthy, happy child.
The non-profit is involved in Head Start program governance in western North Carolina. There may be age appropriate activities for the child in a responsive learning environment. When needed, Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission (BROC) will arrange for home visits between staff and families to establish a solid relationship, and ensure there is ongoing access to education services.
Very low income families can sign up to receive a free, comprehensive energy audit as part of weatherization. The review is performed by BROC community action agency affiliated contractors, and the results will be used to determine where energy escapes from the home. Once that has been diagnosed, the process will also asses the most cost-effective way to correct energy use problems. Often weatherization is combined with LIEAP in North Carolina.
All of the work is paid for by the United States Department of Energy. The weatherization program is administered by the state and local partners such as Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission. The free work done to the home as part of weatherization services include Repair of windows and doors, the replacement of or repair of furnaces and water heaters, and ductwork. Some clients such as those from Wilkes County may be given a free furnace from HARP. The final piece of the solution is money to pay for weather stripping and installing insulation, caulking to sidewalls and attics, and other updates.
The three locations of BROC - Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission are as follows. Each focuses on residents of that county.
- Old Warrensville School Rd., Warrensville, North Carolina, 28693. Dial the center at (336) 384-4543.
- 710 Veterans Drive, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659, main phone (336) 667-7174.
- The last office of BROC is at 1747 US 21 North, Suite A, Sparta, NC 28675. Telephone - (336) 372-7284.