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Burke County assistance programs.

Find where to apply at for financial help, medical care, free food or school supplies, and more below. There are churches, charities, and government assistance programs in the Morgantown area that help low income families. They may also provide free Christmas toys or eye exams, dental care for kids, grants to pay rent, security deposits, or electric bills and other emergency aid.

Get help and aid for bills, rent, and other expenses

Local residents who are having a difficult time paying their bills and making ends meet could get some help from the county community action agency and some other non-profit agencies. The Blue Ridge Community Action, Inc., which serves Morganton and Burke County families, is one agency that can help. A few other places to turn to include Valdese Unified Missions, Burke County Department of Social Services, and the Town of Valdese. Find more information on their programs and contact information below.

Urgent Repair program: This program is combined with weatherization (see below). It will support and improve the Weatherization Assistance program by providing additional funds for other home repairs such as roofing and electrical wiring, which protects or enables the weatherization work. In addition, the Urgent Repair program will also provides handicapped accessible modifications for homeowners with special needs and requirements.

Free weatherization assistance: BRCA provides free energy saving improvements to qualified applicants Some of the assistance provided includes repairs and upgrades to homes to help homeowners conserve energy, the upgrades will help lower utility and heating bills, and another benefit is it will make homes more comfortable to the occupant.

Substantial Rehabilitation: Another home repair program offered by BRCA. The program focuses on updating electrical wiring, heating and cooling system, plumbing, bathrooms, roofs, structural repairs to the home, doors, windows, and all phases of needed repairs.





Heating Appliance Repair and Replacement Program (HARP): Blue Ridge Community Action offers this aid as well. The community action agency can replace, repair, or perform energy conservation measures on primary heating and cooling systems for income eligible clients. Another condition to receiving access to this aid is that all program participants must also be served by the federal government Weatherization program. Find more details on free heating system repairs.

Case Management and Needs Assessment - Applicants will meet with social workers from BRCA. Based on the results of this, they can be referred to resources such as government grants for paying bills, job training, or credit counseling. Other resources range from rent assistance to transitional housing and one time utility assistance from LIHEAP.

The Blue Ridge Community Action, Inc. is headquartered at 800 North Green Street in Morganton, North Carolina. They can be reached at (828) 438-6255. The location serves all of Burke County and nearby towns. Read more Blue Ridge Community Action.

Additional financial assistance programs in Burke County North Carolina

Help Paying Electric and Utility Bills: If you live in Valdese, the town government will give free money to qualifying customers to help them pay their monthly town utility bill. In addition, Burke County Department of Social Services as well as Valdese Unified Missions will partner with the town to fund and administer the program.





The Valdese Utilities Financial Assistance Program has a goal of providing limited emergency funds to help pay the utility, electric or heating bill for a customer experiencing financial hardship resulting from job loss, hospital or medical bills or crisis, etc. Find other ways to get help with medical bills.

The funding provided by the financial assistance program could cover a qualifying applicants' entire utility bill, including sewer, water, garbage and even their recycling expenses.

If you are interested in learning more, applicants must be Triple Community District utility customers and also live in the town of Valdese. There are also household income requirements.

The assistance is also limited. A household that applies for and qualifies for the program could receive assistance for their energy bills up to twice during a two-year period. Each period of assistance is for three months and no more than $100 a month of funds will be provided to the customer. Also note that if needed, the same household could apply for assistance again but they would have to wait a year before they can do so.

Contact the Valdese town government and ask about the Utilities Financial Assistance Program.

Salvation Army - Burke County is located in Morganton, NC 28680, call (828) 322-8061. This is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. While funds are limited, they work to support needy families in the county. Applications are needed.

Programs and services offered include free food, clothing from thrift stores, referrals to services such as education, and more. There are also seasonal programs including free back to school supply events as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners/toys. If at all possible, the non-profit will try to help qualified low income families in the county with paying utility bills and they will offer rental assistance too. More on Salvation Army assistance programs Burke County.

Emergency Assistance is offered by the Burke County Social Services. Money can be used to pay a mortgage, rent, security deposits, or heating and electric bills. The total amount of the Emergency Assistance benefit is set at $300 per year beginning with the month of the application. The low income can only apply at most once per year, and not more than two years in a row.

Social services is also involved in government and public assistance programs. A major one is cash aid in NC, which is for very low income families. But there is also Medicaid, SNAP food stamps, and other benefits. Verifiable proof needs to be provided as well. 700 East Parker Road, Morganton, NC 28655, dial (828) 439-2039





Burke United Christian Ministries is a partnership of local churches. Programs and resources include a food pantry and soup kitchen. Hot meals can be provided at lunch. Clothing and emergency financial help is provided to help with delinquent electric bills, rent or other utilities. A program known as Our UpLift Housing provides people who were evicted and homeless families with children a temporary home while they actively work to reorganize their lives, improve their skills and reach their goal of housing independence.  Clothing can be provided for free, and a thrift store will also sell gently used clothing for a reduced price. 305-B W. Union St, Morganton, North Carolina 28655, telephone (828) 433-8075


By Jon McNamara

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