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Assistance programs in Norton, Lee, and Wise County Virginia.

A number of agencies operate in the region, and many of them provide services to the low income in Wise, Lee, and also the City of Norton Virginia. Whether you are faced with an eviction and need help with rent, funds for paying electric bills, or if you need food, then there are some options. Find the leading non-profits and social service programs to call below.

Appalachian Community Action & Development Agency, Inc. (AppCAA) is the community action agency. They run many of their own programs, or can refer individuals to local resources.

Mortgage delinquency and assistance - Certified housing counselors are part of the community action agency. If qualified, you can meet one on one with a HUD Certified Housing Counselor, who will thoroughly review your situation and evaluate your finances.

After that consultation is complete, the counselor will provide you with advice on how to avoid foreclosure, default, and even bankruptcy. Most of the advice is free, and you can learn how many banks and mortgage servicers offer Virginia homeowners payment plans and loan modifications. The counselor can help City of Norton and other homeowners in the community apply for help.

Rent assistance and low income public housing - The main program AppCAA can refer people to is the Section 8 housing voucher program. Rental assistance applications for this option can be offered to clients who haven't already signed up for any other forms of housing or rental assistance. The resource is often called the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Click here for more info on Section 8 in Virginia.

Appalachian Community Action & Development Agency also has information on the Homeless Intervention Program (HIP). This Virginia housing programs does its best to prevent the displacement and eviction of Lee and Wise County families and individuals from their homes. Whether your issue is the result of foreclosure or eviction, HIP can help those on the verge of homelessness, or currently homeless individuals and families. Get assistance in securing permanent housing, and provide educational and job training to increase your income and ensure self-sufficiency.




Eligible clients can receive case management and counseling. Financial assistance for paying for housing is offered from either grants or loans for paying mortgage or rent payments, utility deposits, and rental security deposits. Aid is offered for those facing a temporary and unavoidable financial crisis that was not created by them.

Emergency Financial Assistance - One-time cash grants and funding is offered to low-income residents who are experiencing a very difficult financial hardship and who may have had their power disconnected, or who may lose their home due to late mortgage or rent. Financial assistance is available to pay for past due energy bills to avoid the cutting off of services such as water or electricity. Also the emergency program provides groceries, meals, and vouchers for buying food.

Free debt/money management counseling – Develop strong financial skills, including budgeting and credit repair. Workshops and sessions are offered for those who need assistance in the community. Read more on credit counseling.





Eye Care - AppCAA, Inc. has a partnership with New Eyes for the Needy. This non-profit provides fee waivers to uninsured and working poor individuals. Aid is offered if their health insurance policy does not pay for glasses or eye exams. Vouchers for eyeglasses, exams, or tests are made available to low-income people. Financial assistance for paying for eye examinations are also available from the United Way of Southwest Virginia and local optometrists.

AppCAA, Inc. can be reached at 147 Plaza S.W., Ste 229, Wise, Virginia 24293 (276-679-5988) or 119 Hill Street Jonesville, VA 24263 (call 276-346-0054). Read Appalachian Community Action Development Agency.

Regional Social Services – The program in highest demand is energy bill assistance. However also get information on other government assistance such as food stamps, WIC, medicare, and much more.

  • Heating and Fuel Assistance – Offered during the winter. Provides help with the cost of paying for heating bills. Money is also provided for costs such as fuel or oil delivery charges, furnace re-starts, late charges, connection or re-connection fees, and installation charges.
  • Crisis Assistance – Is offered when someone is faced with a disconnection. Emergencies and crisis situations paid for by social services includes lack of heat, extreme hot weather, inoperable or unsafe cooling or heating equipment, or when a utility cut-off is imminent. Money can be used for payment of bills, deposits, and equipment. For example, buy a portable space heater, fan for the summer, or the repair of heating or cooling units. More on LIHEAP crisis programs.
  • Cooling Bill Assistance – Is available when extreme heat hits the city of Norton, Lee, and Wise County. Aid is offered for people with at least one vulnerable person, which is a family with a child under six, disabled, or someone who is a senior. Receive money for paying for utility bills, free fans or air conditioners, or the repairs of units.

The Social service offices are located as follows.

  • Wise County, 5612 North Bear Creek Road, Wise, Virginia 24293, dial (276)328-8056
  • Lee County Social Services, Jonesville, Virginia 24263, call (276)346-1010
  • Norton City Social Services, 644 Park Avenue, Norton, VA 24273, telephone (276)679-2701

The Salvation Army has a regional office in Big Stone Gap. it covers all the counties including City of Norton. The location has a Family Store (that sells gently used items); emergency financial aid; free back to school supplies as well as Christmas toys; food; and case management. They also help people that need drug or alcohol abuse counseling. More on Salvation Army Big Stone Gap assistance programs.

Food distribution centers

Jonesville First United Methodist Church - Distribute food and groceries to people who are in emergency situations. The church is always looking for donations and is holding food drives, and requesting support of the community. 100 Church Street, Jonesville, VA 24263, phone (276)346-2062

Friendship Baptist Church – Another local food pantry. Helps people regardless of their religion. Call (276) 346-1622

Marathon Ministry – They offer a program known as Free Food for the Needy. Over 20 million pounds of food has been given to the needy over the last 25 years. Gate City, Virginia 24251. Phone (276)690-2130

Clinics as well as medical and dental care

Pennington Family Health Center is part of Stone Mountain Health Services. Variable rate billings and a sliding fee scale are available to patients with no health insurance, low incomes and others who qualify. Services and health care includes a free prescription medication program that is available to patients with no insurance and who qualify.





All medical services are provided by Licensed Nurse Practitioners and Physicians. The Mother and Infant Care Center(MICC) program is available. Also lab work is done on site, and X-ray services are available through referral. 1800 Combs Road Suite 12, Pennington Gap, Virginia 24277, dial (276)546-3001


By Jon McNamara

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