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Assistance programs from Metropolitan Action Commission.

Nashville and Davidson County Tennessee low income families can get help from the Metropolitan Action Commission (MAC), which is the regional non-profit community action agency. The organization will assist qualified people with basic needs. Assistance programs and resources are offered for education, employment and job training, food and nutrition, energy bills, housing, and senior services.

A main goal is on ending poverty, homelessness, and assisting low to moderate income families so they can get the support they need. This includes everything from grants for paying bills or rent to free healthcare, debt counseling, employment, and more.

Employment, income, and financial literacy programs from MAC

GED, or General Educational Development, services include Orientation, Classes, and Examinations. This is for residents that who did not graduate from high school and that are lacking an education. The student needs to be motivated to gain self-sufficiency. MAC will arrange classes and training for adults ages 18 years old or older. The costs and fees of the GED exam is covered by the agency. All of the assistance will prepare them to take the state of Tennessee General Educational Development or GED exam, which may then lead to increased employment opportunities and a higher income.

Orientation and many classes are held at the Morgan Park Community Center located at 411 Hume Street. Classes and training will also be at the Metropolitan Action Commission main office which is at 800 2nd Avenue North in Nashville. Another benefit is for students who regularly attend classes. They may be offered some basic financial assistance such as free bus passes, gasoline vouchers and weekly stipends. Students and adults will also receive class study materials.

For graduates of the GED program referenced above, College Prep Course may be available and people can participate in the agency’s program. This provides students with guidance, college admission support and government grants can even pay for the cost of college application fees as well as book expenses. (615) 862-8860.




MAC4JOBS, or Making a Change 4 Jobs, is the Metropolitan Action Commission workforce development initiative. It offers participants and clients of MAC the opportunity to plan a career path that will ideally lead to gainful employment. Note that students that are enrolled in the Adult Education (such as GED and College Prep) programs are able to participate in workforce development  from MAC4JOBS. The jobs may fall within high demand occupations in Nashville Tennessee and Davidson County.

Financial help from Metropolitan Action Commission

The main government program overseen by Metropolitan Action Commission is Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). You do not have to own your own home to obtain assistance. It provides assistance to seniors, individuals and families to help pay utility bills (e.g., electric, gas, propane, wood, kerosene, coal, or other energy resource bills). The aid can be in the form of a grant or credit on your energy bill.

If you need utility bill assistance your services must be in active status and can’t be disconnected. LIHEAP aid cannot pay on an account that requires a deposit or reconnection. Applications are located online or in the Clifford Allen Building, 800 2nd Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37201

The Davidson County Early Head Start program is for children from poor and low-income families. Infants, toddlers, pregnant women and their families can all benefit. Early Head Start and its teachers will enhance the child's physical, emotional, social, health, and intellectual development. Metropolitan Action Commission programs will also assist pregnant women and help them to access comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care; help parents move toward self-sufficiency and also support parents' efforts to fulfill their parental roles. There are three centers in the county.

  • McNeilly Center for Children, 400 Meridian Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37207, call 255-2549.
  • McNeilly Infants & Toddlers Center, 611 Stockell Street, Nashville, TN 37207, call 780-5427
  • Nashville Child Center, 4119 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216, telephone 262-3358





The Head Start Program is also overseen by the Metropolitan Action Commission. It is for the city of Nashville and Davidson County Tennessee and it provides free pre-school education for income-eligible children under 5 years old. There are several Head Start Centers and a few different non-profit partner sites located throughout Nashville and the county. This program run by the non-profit is also the largest provider of early childhood education in Davidson County.

Families with disabled children may qualify for enrollment in Head Start regardless of their household income or financial situation. All classrooms and teachers promote an inclusive learning environment for all children of all backgrounds and races. Phone (615) 862-8860.

Summer Food Assistance for Children serves free breakfast, snacks and lunch meals at approved sites such as churches, youth summer camps, community centers, and other programs. It is a key federal government food assistance program and sites are located in Davidson County areas that are populated by families with low-incomes.

The MAC community action agency provides training meals and snacks according to the regulations established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This federal government supported program is designed to ensure that children and students who normally receive meals through the Free and Reduced Lunch Program during the school year receive nutritious food and meals during the summer months. More on summer food for kids.

Energy Bill Assistance is for families and individuals in need of assistance to pay for air conditioning, heating and utility bills. All grant based assistance is one-time only per year. People may be eligible for one or more programs overseen by MAC. To qualify for the programs, applicants must live within Nashville and/or Davidson County. In addition, residents must meet the Federal Income Guidelines and other program criteria prior to the approval.

Air Conditioner and Fan and Program is for the summer months and the very high temperatures. The MAC community action agency offers disabled residents with medical conditions, seniors, and families with children less than six years of age, and the elderly a free fan and/or air conditioning unit. They are passed out during the summer months from May until August. Read more on free air conditioners near you.

The Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) offers other Household Assistance. This can include Homeless Services, the Emergency Assistance Program, and Senior Services. Applicants for any financial assistance from MAC must live within Davidson County. An intake process with a case manager will take place. All assistance or grants paid out are one-time only and depend on funding levels. For more information or to apply for emergency aid, please call (615) 862-8860.

MAC coordinate free debt counseling in the region. They work with local non-profit credit counseling agencies in Tennessee to help borrowers with everything from unpaid credit card bills to mortgages, medical or health care needs, and even bankruptcy advice.





EAP - Emergency Assistance Program provides financial support to income qualified individuals and families that have had a loss of income. Most of the financial support comes from the government, both state and federal. This needs to have occurred within the last 60 days from the time you request help. This EAP program assists with paying rent, mortgage payments, water bills, delinquent property tax payments, prescriptions, special diet food, and even medical supplies. Phone number is (615) 862-8860, or find a wide variety of other government financial assistance programs.

Homeless program services were created for individuals that have located and secured housing or an apartment after being homeless. The Metropolitan Action Commission program provides financial assistance with security deposits, for rent, electric and water costs. Call (615) 862-8860. Clients must be referred to the program from an agency, charity, church or other program or individual.

Help for seniors is available from MAC. The program are focused on assisting senior citizen who are 65 years of age or older. Seniors and their spouses can receive assistance with paying their mortgage, rent payments, water, and property taxes. As funding and resources all, this senior program also provides assistance with prescriptions.

Location of Metro Community Action in Davidson County

There are a few satellite offices. But the main location for referrals and case management as wel as applications is below.

The MAC Metropolitan Action Commission is located at 800 2nd Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37201. Call (615) 862-8860.


By Jon McNamara











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