Harrisburg Crisis Assistance Ministry programs.

HCAM will try to meet basic needs of struggling families. Whether it is a box of groceries from a pantry, clothes for a child for the new school year, or personal hygiene items, the Cabarrus County based charity has resources available for those that qualify.

Most of the assistance is targeted at basic needs, which can provide a family time to locate long term support. While Harrisburg Crisis Assistance Ministry will very rarely have financial aid available for bills or rent, in some cases they do. Or they can direct the client to other sources of funds, such as loans or government grants from ESG. The bottom line is that the team at the agency will do their best to help less fortunate families in the area.

The homeless often turn to Harrisburg Crisis Assistance Ministry for shelter and meals. There are hundreds of people in the Cabarrus County area. It may be single woman, veterans, and families with children. These families or individuals, when they find themselves alone and facing what appear to be insurmountable odds, often turn to the HCAM for help.

Participants of the emergency shelters spend their days developing job search skills and addressing the issues that led to their circumstances. At night, they are given a meal and access to a bed at a local shelter.

The program works. The Crisis Assistance Ministry has been successful in empowering homeless families to become independent. They have the ability to learn new skills for a job. Or they can get support as they work to reclaim their lives. The staff assist families who are already homeless families with making the transition to self-sufficiency.

HCAM may also be able to assist those that have a pay or quit notice. While the funding for expenses such as rent is limited, there may be small dollar amounts available in Cabarrus County. Also, staff can refer clients to other local housing programs.

The goal of the Nutrition Center, which also serves as a food bank, is to ensure that no neighbor leaves the main office hungry. The pantry run by HCAM is arranged like a grocery store, and is staffed by volunteers who stock shelves, sort donations, take applications, and fill grocery bags.





Qualifying families from across Cabarrus County can come in and shop for food items that fit each family’s nutritional needs. Harrisburg Crisis Assistance Ministry also runs low-income Senior Food Programs, and these participants receive supplemental groceries each month.

Harrisburg Crisis Assistance Ministry also helps children. Options include vouchers to pay for a portion of day care, Head Start and Early Head Start. These are offered from HCAM partners and are available as federal programs that promote optimal development for young children from families who meet income guidelines. Head Start serves children aged three to five years, with an emphasis on promoting school readiness through activities that lead to development.

The other option, Early Head Start, serves children from birth to age three. Both programs in Cabarrus County provide developmental and educational services in a safe, nurturing environment, either in centers or in the families home. The goal is to help all children succeed, including the disabled.

Other programs from HCAM for children may be information on affordable day care. This is combined with Head Start and Early Head Start services and they all can offer healthy meals and snacks, free vision and hearing screenings, developmental goal setting, links to community resources, referrals to other agencies for additional screenings or evaluations, and emotional assessments. The programs also offer services for pregnant women.

Help for utilities from Harrisburg Crisis Assistance Ministry

HCAM may be able to provide Energy Bill Assistance. A program provides help with the payment of ever-increasing home heating and lighting bills, including those for natural gas, propane, electricity, wood, air conditioning and oil. Payments are made directly by HCAM to service providers on the clients’ behalf. The exact dollar amounts are determined according to type of housing that the person lives in. Other factors include the applicant's income, household size, and home energy usage. Assistance with a small portion of water bill arrears may also be available to qualifying households.





Referrals are given to the state of North Carolina Weatherization Assistance Service, which provides free energy-efficient home alterations and repairs to reduce energy usage and save money for the low-income Cabarrus County. The resident will need to meet 200 percent of the federal government income - poverty guidelines. Program services include Furnace Repair, Cleaning, and Tune-Up, Air Sealing activities such as Caulking, Sidewall Insulation, Window Repairs, and also Energy Education.

The location is Harrisburg United Methodist Church. Volunteers are on site, and the assistance is first come and served to those that qualify. The phone number is (704) 455-2311, and address is 4560 Hwy 49 South Harrisburg, North Carolina 28075.




By Jon McNamara

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