Heart and Hand Community Center programs.

Everything from housing assistance to information on medical programs are available from Heart and Hand Community Center. While all the resources are limited, a key focus of the charity is on helping families in Kanawha County that are faced with a short term crisis.

The staff also realize that short term support is not enough in its own to solve a problem. Therefore, they will work with clients to help them stabilize their life. This can range from referrals to one stop job centers or other forms of educational support. Examples of what may be provided are below.

A day type program, including shelter, offers a place for the homeless to get help. They can use the location to get a free hot meal, or spend their day in an effort to gain access to important support services. All types of people can use this center. The staff will also try to help the person enroll into other support, such as transitional housing.

The other services available at the day center include referral to community resources, counseling, help with job searches in the state of West Virginia, laundry room access, and transportation to medical appointments. The location can also have free personal hygiene items passed out, or maybe a free box of food. Volunteers will also help the client access other support they need.

It is available to the homeless, regardless of their age. Other clients are people confronting mental illness or addiction. Shelters across Charleston will always be used to fill a critical need for emergency stability.

Eviction and homeless prevention may be available using a combination of funds from private and government sources. Any type of grants from Heart and Hand Community Center for paying a rental expense is intended to prevent evictions and end homelessness. So the applicant will need to meet many conditions in order to apply for support. Applicants must also have received a Notice to Quit from their landlord or a letter indicating possible foreclosure.

The service is available through emergency assistance, or maybe a short term loan, to pay arrearages on rent. There may also be some funding available for a portion of the security deposits to those searching for low income housing that live in Kanawha County. The program covers singles, parents with children and entire families as well, if they meet certain income limits. Any financial aid will always be contingent upon the availability of funding.




Advice is available too. Staff will coordinate mediation to help tenants/landlords and even homeowners with a mortgage resolve conflicts over back rent or mortgage owned. In some cases, pro-bono attorneys are brought in to offer information on all the rights and responsibilities that occur in this process. In general, this service is free, confidential, and voluntary.

Another focus is on helping Senior Citizens. Case managers from Heart and Hand Community Center can help older adults age 60+ by meeting one-on-one to offer advice. The goal is to resolve issues that may challenge independence. It covers many topics, including crisis assistance, applications to Medicare or prescription programs, transportation, Meals on Wheels and more. They refer people to resources in Kanawha County.

No matter the person's age or need, Information and Referral is available. Volunteers as well as social services staff from Heart and Hand Community Center provide linkage to a wide range of health and human services. There are dozens of emergency food pantries in the region for the low income. Other need is often for affordable medical care, so clients can be referred to community clinics as well.

Thrift stores and items such as Layette and diapers are available in Charleston. The Community Center will receive items such as baby diapers, shoes, cribs, furniture, clothing and more. These goods are then sold to the public, or in some cases, very low income residents will be given clothing for free. Or there may even be critical supplies such as winter coats.




A free Christmas toy drive is run as well, during October to December. This will provide parents, including single moms, items for their child. The staff from Heart and Hand Community Center may also serve meals, or even bring toys and gifts to homes of the child or visit a senior person in a nursing home. The goal is to spread holiday cheer.

In addition, prescription medication assistance may be arranged. The purpose of this voucher program is to help residents who are unable to afford the items on their own, maybe due to lack of income or health insurance. So for these individuals, they may get help in obtaining prescription medications through other resources, such as from pharmaceutical assistance programs from drug companies. Medications are limited, and with any resource, amounts and availability are subject to determination by staff.

The primary community center is at 4963 MacCorkle Avenue, South Charleston, West Virginia 25303. Appointments are needed.



By Jon McNamara

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