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Emporia, Dinwiddie, Surry, Sussex, Brunswick, and Greensville assistance programs.

Get financial help from churches, charities, and government Social Services Department programs. Income qualified single people or families can get assistance with paying their rent, utility bills or a mortgage. There are also free boxes of food from pantries in regions such as Sussex or Emporia, free health or dental care from community clinics, and even school supplies for students.

Many residents in the region, including Brunswick and Dinwiddie and other cities, can get short term or long term financial aid. Or they can get counseling, such as free credit repair services or medical or credit card debt help. There may also be job support, including free wireless internet access, computers, or even gasoline vouchers. Or find other resources, including low income housing in Brunswick, furniture, Christmas toys for children and more.

Emergency financial assistance and referrals

The Improvement Association is a community action agency that supports those facing poverty, the low income and poor in the area. Resources are available across all counties, including Dinwiddie as well as the City of Emporia Virginia.

  • Homeless prevention services are available. Staff work to prevent homelessness by providing limited and targeted financial or rent assistance (grants or loans) to households who are likely to be evicted or become homeless. The Association may also have information on foreclosure counseling services.
  • Several other assistance programs and social services are available. They range from Head Start and Early Childhood development for young children. Case managers also work with clients on employment, job search, application for benefits such as Food Stamps, and adult education.
  • The agency is HUD certified as well, so there is a strong focus on housing matters. This ranges from home repairs for seniors to foreclosure counseling. Clients of the Improvement Association can also learn about loans for rent or mortgage expenses, transitional housing, and section 8 vouchers, among other resources.





  • Career development programs are available by the community action agency and partners. There is advice for gig workers, ESL classes, computer coding, and job retraining. Even find tips on starting hobbies for an income.

For more information on programs offered, referrals, and support, call Improvement Association. The address is 1750 East Atlantic Street, Emporia, Virginia 23847. The main phone number is (434) 634-2490, or click more Improvement Association.

Homeless shelters and transitional housing programs can provide a place to stay and other support. This can include free food, meals, and case management for self-sufficiency services. Some of the main locations are as follows.

  • Salvation Army in St. Petersburg - 804-861-0561
  • CARES is for Women & Children. Call 804-861-0849
  • Union Mission is in Roanoke Rapids and is for Men. Dial 252-537-3372
  • District 19 Community Services Board has a few locations in the area, including in Emporia. The address is 1101 Greensville County Circle. Telephone number is (434) 348-8900.
  • There are numerous other shelters and short term units available in the state and nationwide. More details and background on transitional housing programs.

For the unemployed and job seekers, they can try the Virginia Employment Commission. The main offices are below.

  • Brunswick/Greensville/Emporia, 1781 Greensville County Circle, Emporia, Virginia 23847, call (434) 634-2326
  • Sussex/Surry/Dinwiddie, 5240 Oaklawn Blvd., Hopewell, Virginia 238607, telephone number is (804) 541-6548





Sussex County Housing Office runs the HUD Housing Choice Vouchers program, or Section 8. They can also provide information on affordable, low income housing in Sussex, Surry, Greensville, and Emporia County. This is a rent subsidy for the low income, seniors, and disabled. Find more details on section 8 housing in Virginia.

The Department of Social Services for each county can be a great resource for the low income, the unemployed and less fortunate to contact. Among other things, the organization processes applications for low income energy bill and fuel assistance programs. These government programs can help residents pay for heating and even cooling bills during the summer months. Only a partial payment is made. For those households that heat with oil, wood, kerosene, coal, propane/bottled gas, they need to be in danger of losing their primary source of fuel and have a disconnection notice. There is also a Crisis Assistance program.

The department can often provide referrals and information on other government benefits as well. Low income households can learn about public and government benefits such as SNAP food stamps, low income housing, and other state resources. There is also information such as Medicaid applications, home care for senior citizens or the disabled, SSI disability loan applications, and more. The primary social services offices are below.

  • Brunswick County Social Service Department, (434) 848-2142. Address is 201 Sharp St # 100, Lawrenceville, VA 23868
  • Greensville/Emporia Social Service Department, (434) 634-6576. Address is 1748 E Atlantic St, Emporia, VA 23847.
  • Surry County Social Service Department, call (757) 294-5240. Address is 45 School St, Surry, VA 23883.
  • Sussex County Social Service Department, (434) 246-1068. Location is 20103 Princeton Rd, Sussex, VA 23884.

The Salvation Army of the Tri-Cities covers the counties in question as well. The phone number is (804)732-8449. As funding allows, the agency provides limited amounts of financial assistance in the areas of rent, food, prescription drugs and utilities. The Case Managers from the Social Services Ministry also offer counseling as well as budgeting sessions.




However there are other programs for the low income, poor, and less fortunate. Soup kitchens and homeless shelters give free hot meals or housing. There are seasonal programs such as free Christmas toys from Angel Tree, back to school supplies or backpacks, and even free Thanksgiving turkey dinners. Read more about Salvation Army in Virginia.

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul has resources in the region including Brunswick, Sussex, and other Virginia counties. It is a volunteer driven charity. They can pass out free clothes or give a few dollars to pay a bill in a crisis. Or the low income or poor can get a meal, voucher to pay for a critical prescription drug, counseling or other support. Many churches make up this charity. Read more and find St. Vincent de Paul assistance near you.

District Area Agency on Aging assists low income housing in applying for electric bill help and may have free fans or cooling equipment. When available, free air conditioners will be provided to the low income and elderly only when the household does not have a working air conditioner. Free fans may be passed out as well. Call (804)732-7021.

Alliance for Social Ministry operates in a limited area, such as Dinwiddie. The faith based group can offer free food from an outreach program, a Thanksgiving Meal Package, and there may be emergency funds or government grants for expenses such as utilities. Click here Colonial Heights Ministry.

Medical care in the region

Most of these centers offer the uninsured and low income medical care on a sliding fee scale. So this means that patients will be charged only what they can afford to pay.

Southern Dominion Health Systems, Dinwiddie Medical Center offers comprehensive, primary health care to families and individuals in need of its services. Some of the medical care includes primary gynecology, infant and child care, adolescent medicine, geriatrics, preventive health care, minor surgery, dental assistance, counseling and even behavior services. 13855 Courthouse Road, Dinwiddie, Virginia 23841. Call (804)-469-3731 for information.

Emporia Medical Center/SDHS Women's Care, Southern Dominion Health Systems, 702 North Main Street, Emporia, Virginia 23847. (434)-634-7723





Southside Community Health Center is a local, nonprofit medical practice that offers comprehensive, affordable, and high quality dental, medical and pharmacy services. The clinic accepts most insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare but also provides assistance on a sliding fee scale. (434)949-7211.

By Jon McNamara

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