Marion, Jefferson Davis, and Covington County region assistance programs.

The community action agency for the region is the Pearl River Valley Opportunity, Inc. They provide a number of services and assistance programs to the low income and working poor in the community.

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program is offered in the counties of Jefferson Davis, Covington, and nearby towns. Both federal and state funding contribute to this. Cash grants are used to pay for rent/mortgage payments, food, shelter expenses, and utility bill assistance. The aid is passed out from regional non-profits.

The Senior Citizen Program will help disabled and low-income seniors maintain a healthy, nutritional diet. This can include serving them meals, passing them bags of groceries, helping individuals apply for food stamps, and providing education. Click here help for seniors.

The Prescription Assistance Program from Pearl River Valley Opportunity will provide financial assistance and vouchers to the indigent and uninsured for buying prescription medicines. Much of the medication provided can also help prevent a more serious condition too.

The Community Services Block Grant is what funds many of the community action agency programs. Money can be used to pay for housing, nutrition, food, employment, emergency financial assistance and more. Any clients who enrolls will need to go through an extensive case management program which will, among other things, help them increase their education levels, get a job (if needed) and more.

The federal government Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program will offer energy conservation and direct financial aid. The goal is to help people both pay their current energy bills and to also save money from conservation. LIHEAP funds are used to purchase heaters or even air conditioners during the hot Mississippi summer months.

Head Start/Early Head Start is administered by Pearl River Valley Opportunity, Inc. in partnership with other non-profits, schools, and government agencies in Jefferson Davis and Marion County. It is the nation's leading childhood development program for both low income children, the disabled and their families. It can prepare children for school by offering health care, food, education services and much more. The parent can also benefit from social services that are targeted right at them.




Save money on utilities from the Weatherization Assistance Program. It will help low income families reduce their energy costs by making their homes more energy efficient. Most of the weatherization assistance in the state is for the disabled, senior citizens and low-income families with young children. All improvements are free to clients and can both address energy needs as well as some minor safety issues.

The agency's Families First Resource Center is to provide resources in an effort to break the cycle of poverty. For example, it can provide parenting workshops, help individuals find employment, and even take steps to reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies. However a focus is on offering educational opportunities for low-income individuals that will promote education, increase basic skill levels, and also enhance employability skills in Jefferson Davis and Covington Mississippi.

Homeless Prevention may be available as a result of federal government grants from Emergency Food and Shelter. PRVO may be able to help individuals from the Forrest or Marion County region that are facing eviction or that are currently homeless. There may be loans to pay a portion of back rent, landlord / tenant mediation services, or funds for paying a security deposit. All of this is very limited and relies heavily on the CSBG program, as noted above.

The Pearl River Valley Opportunity, Inc, which supports all of the counties, can be reached at (601) 736-9564. Learn more on their programs. Continue.

Christian Care Ministries Center is a regional non-profit agency that provides assistance for the needy. Resources offered include food, utilities, meals, rental assistance, programs for medical bills, gasoline, and other basic needs. 321 Williams Avenue, Picayune, MS 39466, telephone (601) 799-3593

Southern Mississippi St. Vincent - This charity operates in several counties in the southern part of the state, including in Pearl River. Applicants will need to meet certain conditions and volunteers will determine your exact need and what you are qualified for. Programs available include financial assistance for rent or energy bills, food, medications, and referrals. However much more may be available as well, depending on funding. Click more St. Vincent southern Mississippi.

Food pantries and distribution centers

Cherith Ministries is for the Jefferson Davis County region. It operates a food pantry for families in the county and is based in Carson. Call (601) 943-6963

Marion County Food Pantry – If you have a voucher from a local church, the center will provide up to two food boxes every 90 days to those who qualify. 424 Bullis Street, Columbia, MS 39429. Dial (601) 736-5105

Christian Care Ministries Center is based in Picayune and serves food to Pearl River County. Dial (601) 799-3593.





Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church runs a free food pantry for the poor. It may have fresh fruits, formula for babies and new mothers, and holiday meals too. (601) 798-4779

Brother's Keeper offers food and mentoring services to residents of  Pearl River County. (601) 795-3173.

Several other free food pantries operate in the region. They operate across the entire state of Mississippi as well. Learn more.

Regional community clinics and health centers

Family Medical Associates Of Covington County is a federal government Certified Rural Health clinic that offers general care to the needy. A sliding fee scale is in place for patients without health insurance and/or who meet low income guidelines. Telephone number is (601) 765-3180

Green Tree Family Medical Center is located at 603 Main Street, Mount Olive, Mississippi 39119. Telephone number is (601) 765-3180.

Family Clinic Of Seminary is located on 215 Bobby Beasley Street. Telephone (601) 722-4300. The center will offer quality health care in an efficient and cost effective manner to qualified patients. A sliding fee scale is in place too.

Family Health Care Clinic
There are several locations around the region, including, but not limited to, the counties of Perry, Lamar and nearby regions. This non-profit clinic offers several services and assistance programs including Dental Care, Family/General Practice, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, and Nutrition.

  • 910 Second Street, Prentiss, MS 39474, call (601) 792-2078
  • 501 Eagle Day Avenue, Columbia, Mississippi 39429, main phone number is (601) 736-6877
  • While dental assistance is limited, read more dental clinics.

Family Practice Clinic also has a few separate sites. The organization is a state and federal government certified rural health clinic that offers general medical care.

  • 14 Rose Street, Prentiss, MS 39474, main number is (601) 264-6000
  • 102 Shelby Speights Drive, Purvis, MS 39475, (601) 794-8065

Sumrall Medical Center is another health clinic that offers medication, referrals, check ups and more. 1238 Highway 42, Sumrall, Mississippi 39482, dial (601) 758-3100

Forrest General Hospital, Columbia Family Clinic – Phone (601) 736-8282




Internal Medicine Columbia is located on 914 Sumrall Road. Dial (601) 731-1470

Picayune Health Service is a general  medical and pediatric health center for Pearl River County. Services such as X Rays, lab work, medications, and more is available. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals may donate their time to the center as well. (601) 798-3989

Poplarville Clinic, 1407 South Main Street. Call (601) 264-6000 for intake.

Doctors Clinic is a certified, rural government clinic for the low income and uninsured. 210 Bay Avenue, Richton, MS 39476. Telephone number is (601) 788-9222


By Jon McNamara

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