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Eastern West Virginia Community Action Agency programs.

Working to address the causes of poverty, the Community Action Agency of Eastern West Virginia is one organization to turn to for help. Case managers can often direct qualified low income families and individuals to programs to fit their needs. There may also be help in applying for government benefits, such as food stamps, disability, or low income utility bill assistance. The non-profit is a leading organization to contact for help in the region.

The agency supports a wide area, including the counties of Hampshire, Grant, Hardy, Mineral, Morgan, and Pendleton. While the services they offer themselves will be limited and vary by office, case managers will often have referrals.

An in demand service is West Virginia and the region is Head Start. This is for children under the age of 6. There are centers in the area, including the counties of Grant and Morgan. The federal government supported program will promote early childhood health, nutrition, education and development. EWVCA can also offer social services, family development, and parent education. So the program is really targeted at the entire family.

Early Head Start is an option for children up to 3 years old and new mothers. There are center-based and home-based options as well. They help with education, health, and social services and Eastern West Virginia Community Action Agency is a key partner. Services are also for lower income families with children up to three years of age as well as pregnant women.

Energy conservation - Weatherization will provide for the repairs and improvements to low-income residences in the region. The goal of this government sponsored program is to increase the home's energy efficiency. By doing this, it will reduce total residential expenditures and the families monthly utility bills.

While conditions will vary, some of the typical services from Eastern West Virginia Community Action Agency include repairing drafty duct systems; the free sealing air leaks with insulation, caulking, and weather-stripping; ventilation fans; Installation of energy efficient lighting and also repairing and replacing inefficient or unsafe heating and cooling systems. A number of other updates can be done as well though.




Low income utility bill assistance is available in the region, including Pendleton, Grant, and Morgan County. As many West Virginia families know, it can be a challenge to pay costly winter heating bills. To help with this, the EWVCA Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) program provides financial assistance or cash grants to qualified low income families. All aid is paid out on a first come and served basis, with the application period starting in November or so.

LIHEAP offers financial assistance to pay home heating bills, including gas, propane, and others. A focus is on homes with a senior member, disabled person, or families with young children. In some cases this program can also help with servicing and repairing home heating systems in a crisis situation.

Clients and the working poor can also learn about public aid such as SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This is a key program that can offer consumers with additional dollars for their monthly food budget. Case managers from EWVCA can advise on the different forms that are needed to be complete. Or learn about resources such as section 8 and many others.

West Virginia community action agencies can also refer clients to job training, such as Dislocated Worker Programs or One Stop Centers in the eastern part of the state. After all, employment, income and education are key to ending poverty. The resources can help job seekers upgrade skills, obtain employment, increase earnings, and even improve job retention.




The Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) will help clients with the creation of a pattern of regular savings. It is for modest income (so both low and higher earners) and working families. It will help them build assets using matching funds. Clients will be put into position to build savings and achieve long-term economic security.

The Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) from Eastern West Virginia Community Action Agency is used to pay for many of their resources. The funding levels change from year to year. Some of the other resources may include referrals for food or other household items, intervention, and information and referral, and limited financial support for homeless prevention.

For more information or referrals, the Eastern West Virginia Community Action Agency is located at 401 Maple Avenue, Moorefield, WV 26836. As noted, the program terms and conditions will change, and referrals are often used. Call (304) 538-7711.




By Jon McNamara











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