Highland Rim Economic Corporation assistance programs.

Residents of Stewart, Humphreys, Dickson, and Houston County that meet income guidelines may be able to receive help from Highland Rim Economic Corporation. The organization is the local community action agency, and the programs administered are intended to provide clients with a hand up so they can work towards and eventually gain long term stability.

Income-qualified households that also agree to case management can make use of resources available via the community action agency to offset food expenses. The organization has information on local pantries as well as soup kitchens. There are also government programs, such as SNAP food stamps as well as TEFAP emergency assistance, that give assistance to help low income families purchase food.

The staff can also refers client to additional supportive services. They have information on USDA as well as University of Tennessee programs in counties including Houston, Dickson Tennessee and other regions.

Throughout its service territory, HREC assists with this critical need. One way they do this is under the auspices of The Emergency Food Assistance Program, or TEFAP. This was designed to provide nutritious, supplemental groceries to residents of Stewart and Houston County whose income level is below 150% of poverty guidelines. This is also for people who reside in public housing.

TEFAP is also available to individuals who are eligible for the food stamp - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Families First program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Under TEFAP, the Highland Rim Economic Corporation allocates food in January, April, July and October of each year at its service centers.

What may be provided includes fruits and juices; dried beans; canned meats or vegetables, such as peas, tomatoes, baby formula, spaghetti and sauce; dried fruits, such as raisins, prunes and figs; oats; peanut butter; vegetable soup; instant and 2% milk; and applesauce. So different types of items are offered by TEFAP. Also, it is important to note that it is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Homebound senior citizens or disabled residents of counties such as Houston can have free meals delivered to their home. Staff members and volunteers from Highland Rim Economic Corporation are key to this service. They will deliver hot, nutritious meals. In addition, senior citizens receive a week long supply of frozen meals if that is easier for them.





Grants for heating and paying utility bills are part of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This resource helps qualified households afford to pay for their home-energy bill expenses. LIHEAP is specifically designed for clients who use a large percentage of their income to heat or cool their home.

All aid is paid out on a first come and first serve by HREC, or Highland Rim Economic Corporation. This program begins each year on October 1 and runs through September 30 of the following year unless funds are exhausted earlier than that. Or find other sources of Tennessee low income energy programs.

Individuals and families experiencing an emergency can turn to Highland Rim Economic Corporation for financial assistance. The agency provides cash when available from FEMA and other grant based programs. However, much more likely will be staff offering information and/or referrals.

If income-eligible families have a verified crisis that can be resolved by a monthly payment, they may be able to receive grants or loans cover rent, mortgage, utility, security deposits and/or food expenses. This service, like anything else indicated here, is contingent upon the availability of funding.

Another option for financial aid is from the federal government. The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program strives to prevent homelessness and also rehouse those that need it. Rapid rehousing services provided include temporary financial assistance with security deposits as well as rent payments. There may be funds from Highland Rim Economic Corporation for utility bills, as well as other support such as housing search and placement; and case management.




A variety of services are provided to help families make the best use of the resources that are available to them. The Highland Rim Economic Corporation offers budgeting and financial literacy classes. These can help clients pay down debts, access loans and credit for paying bills, and offer other support. Much of the budgeting is trying to help Houston County families break the cycle of debts and payday lending.

Furthermore, the agency helps clients file state and federal government tax returns and enroll in social welfare programs in Dickson, Humphrey, and other counties in Tennessee. There are many benefits available for the working poor in the region, and HREC is a source of information.

Highland Rim Economic Corporation uses family-needs assessments to provide individualized case management. Companionship and advocacy is available for elderly, disabled and/or isolated persons to help such individuals achieve their potential for self-sufficiency, and the staff from the non-profit help place qualified clients in job-skills training to improve their employment opportunities.

Basic needs can be satisfied as well. This is done when the agency partners with clothing closets and other service centers in the Houston and Dickson County region. Together they receive and distribute donated clothing and household goods. There can be items for school, work, or a crisis situation.

Highland Rim Economic Corporation is based at 213 College Street, Erin, TN. Dial 931-289-4101.




By Jon McNamara

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