Mississippi emergency assistance.
The state of Mississippi coordinates several emergency assistance programs for residents. Many use federal government funds, and resources are coordinated by the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The state also works with local organizations, such as your local Human Resource Agency office and also Community Action Agencies. Get details on the numerous social service programs and financial assistance programs below.
Mississippi Community Food and Nutrition Program, which is called CF&N for short, offers free food, groceries and a wide variety of other nutritional needs to low-income people in communities. The program can provide assistance for Mississippi individuals and families to help them increase the amount of food that is available to them.
The funds from the government funded CF&N program are used to purchase a variety of meals and groceries for income qualified households, and these items are provided to local food banks and pantries to help with meeting the nutritional needs of eligible low income Mississippi families. Individuals will need to stop by local food pantries or apply for government food assistance to access CF&N as this is not a service available to the general public.
Various emergency needs can also be funded by the Community Services Block Grant. This can provide a wide range of resources or activities that can address the underlying causes of poverty in Mississippi. For example, low income individuals can get financial help for finding and retaining employment, help people develop job skills and educational opportunities, and improve their income over time. Other grants can help meet food needs, assist people with finding and paying for housing and rent, provide health services, and address other community affairs.
The Community Services Block Grant is run by local Human Resource Agencies as well as Community Action Agencies in counties and towns across Mississippi. The statewide Division of Community Services distributes emergency funds to both garner local resources and stimulate community participation. Case management, social services and referrals to emergency financial assistance programs can be provided too.
Save on your energy bills in Mississippi from the Weatherization Assistance Program. Low income families with children, the elderly, and disabled can save money on their energy bills from this government funded resource. Weatherization can help make homes more energy efficient, and updates and improvements are made for free to qualified individuals. In addition to free updates (such as insulation, windows, and caulking) additional support includes energy efficiency education. This is also provided for each household that is weatherized as part of the program.
Weatherization crews that are paid for by the state and federal government will visit homes to install the most energy efficient and cost effective measures. The goal is to improve the comfort and air quality in a home, address safety and health concerns, and to of course help people save money on their utility bills.
Mississippi Department of Human Services also coordinates the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This may be the most effective emergency program for paying electric and air conditioning bills, and it is the most well known. The government created LIHEAP provides cash grants and other forms of financial assistance to qualified households to help them pay the cost of their home energy bills, prevent disconnections, and other related services.
The exact amount of benefits distributed will vary depending on families’ income as well as household size. Households across Mississippi may qualify for one of two components.
- Regular LIHEAP assistance – This is more for paying ongoing bills on a recurring monthly basis. A limited cash grant can be provided for expenses.
- Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) – If you are faced with a disconnection or are running out of fuel, this component can help in an emergency. Money can pay for liquid petroleum propane/butane gas, wood, kerosene, natural gas, electricity, and other energy related services and bills in a crisis.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services (phone 1-800-345-6347) runs these emergency programs and can also coordinates other social service agencies as noted above. Applications for most of the programs are accepted at your local Human Resource Agency.
Applying for Human Service programs in Mississippi
Since many of these services are also available in towns and cities across the state, you can stop by other locations such as the Salvation Army or Community Action Agencies to apply. Dial 1-800-421-0762 to get the address or location of an office to apply at if need be.