Mid-State Opportunity assistance programs.

The local community action agency, which is Mid-State Opportunity, offers several assistance programs in the region. The organization, and its case workers, cover the counties of Desoto, Panola, Quitman, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Tunica in Mississippi. While some of the aid is funded by the government, such as weatherization and the Emergency Food and Shelter program, other resources are overseen by the agency itself.

Both one time and emergency utility bill assistance is part of the LIHEAP - Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This particular resource is funded by the state, DCS/MDHS, and the federal government. It was designed to assist low income and poor families from counties such as Desoto and Tate to meet home energy needs.

Weatherization is also offered at the same time as LIHEAP. This is also paid for by DCS/MDHS. Staff from Mid-State certify a families eligibility and makes referrals for the free weatherization services. When successful, it can save homeowners hundreds of dollars per year on their utility and cooling bills.

The Power to Care is another statewide utility program. It provides financial assistance and cash grants with paying the electric bills of disabled and low-income elderly Entergy customers. Staff from the community action agency will complete and submit applications for the program.

The CSBG - Community Services Block Grant is funded by the Mississippi Division of Community Services. Mid-State Opportunity provides case management services to clients. This can include assistance in education, employment needs, health care, nutrition, transportation, free child care, housing, income management, emergency financial assistance, and self-sufficiency.

Federal government aid from Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program will have shelter, food, rent help and utility bill assistance. This is offered for struggling families in Quitman, Panola, Tallahatchie and Tunica Counties.

Desoto Garbage Free Waiver Program was created by the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors. The financial assistance program provides for low income and working poor families to have their garbage fee waived if they meet certain low income guidelines.




Help for seniors in Tunica County is offered as a result of a program that was funded by the Tunica County Board of Supervisors. It provides free congregate and home delivered meals, homemaker services and energy bill assistance to the elderly in the service area. Mid-State Opportunity and local agency on aging offices are key partners.

Senior SELECT Program provides employability skills and work experience training to low income and disadvantaged high school seniors. It will help them earn their high school diplomas, improve their education levels and prepare them for school or either to work transition. It is paid for by the Delta Workforce Investment Area as well as from the South Delta Planning and Development District.

Similar is the Out-of-School SELECT Program. However this will help disadvantaged people under the age of 21 that are low-income, out-of-school youth. Students need to attend basic skills workshops that are arranged by Mid-State Opportunity to prepare them for the GED Examination. This and other classes will increase their employability skills.

The Summer Youth Employment Program was also funded by DWIA. It can help students and teenagers under the age of 24 get a job.

The non-profit Mid-State Opportunity community action agency has several offices. They are as follows.

  • Desoto County,  9607 Hwy 178, Olive Branch, Mississippi 38654, 662-895-4153
  • Panola County office is at 1545 Industrial Park Road, Sardis, MS 38666. Dial 662-487-3076
  • Quitman County, Courthouse Annex Bldg., 341 Pecan St., Marks, Mississippi 38646. Telephone 662-326-8131
  • Tallahatchie County,  204 North Church Street, Charleston, MS 3892l. Call the center at 662-647-2463
  • Tate County, 100 Scotsdale St., Senatobia, MS 38668, 662-562-7733
  • Tunica County, 3092 Highway 61 South, Tunica, Mississippi 38676, telephone 662-363-2751



By Jon McNamara

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