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Missouri Valley Community Action Agency programs.

Helping both low and moderate income families, Missouri Valley Community Action Agency administers several assistance programs and self-sufficiency services for clients. Case managers can help families apply for government sponsored programs such as Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Head Start, weatherization and many more.

The resources available from MVCAA assist residents of the counties of Chariton, Johnson, Lafayette, Carroll, Pettis, Ray, and Saline. While not everyone will qualify for their programs, referrals to other local non-profits may also be provided.

Energy and emergency financial aid

LIHEAP - Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is targeted to the elderly, the disabled, and families with young children. There is both regular Energy Assistance and also a Crisis Intervention Program, or ECIP. These are federal government funded and are designed to assist low-income residents whose home utility bill costs amount to more than half of their income. Eligibility requirements for LIHEAP are based on total income, responsibility for payment of home energy costs, location, household size, and of course available resources.

MVCAA operates a Home Weatherization Program in the counties of Ray, Carroll, Saline, Chariton and other regions. It can help community residents with reducing heating and cooling bills. Other benefits include enhanced comfort during summer and winter, an increase in home value, better health for families, and it allows people to save money on their bills.

Subsidized rental assistance is offered. For information in regard to eligibility for cash grants to pay a portion of your rent, the agency can be reached at 660-886-7476. Funding is limited, and this will only be for very low income families in Missouri.

Missouri Valley Community Action Agency offers Back-to-School Services in counties such as Johnson and Chariton and other towns. It is for school-aged children that include on-site health and wellness services as well as free back-to-school supplies at no cost to qualifying families. There may be clothes, books, and more. Families who are already recipients of MVCAA services are automatically eligible to receive access to these free school supplies for their children.




Additional services and support

Case management services from MVCAA have as a goal the mission of assisting low-income families, seniors, and the disabled. Staff will work with clients on escaping poverty. This is achieved by first identifying needs on an individualized basis, then determining which support services or solutions are most appropriate for them.

Then the agency will provide referrals to social services offered within the community action agency itself or in the surrounding area. The organization is also working in partnership with other charities and non-profits, including Family Resource Centers throughout the service area. They are based in the counties of Pettis, Lafayette, Johnson and others. The agency will provide the most comprehensive set of services to clients.

MVCAA has joined forces with charities and other members of the community to establish an initiative to help families in need with rising out of poverty. The program is known as New Directions and is based on a hand-up rather than a hand-out approach. It offers comprehensive life-skills training services, including mentoring and weekly support meetings, to provide information and education.

New Directions will coordinate education, financial and employment opportunities. The goal is to help families gain the skills needed to move in a new direction, such as a better paying job or more education. It can elevate them to greater self-esteem, a new self-image and ultimately self-reliance.

Family Support and Development offers comprehensive services of the highest quality to each Missouri Valley Community Action Agency client. Individuals can receive intensive family support through one-on-one case management, assistance with paying utility bills, targeted coaching to remedy crisis situations, and also pre-GED test tutoring, among other aid.

Head Start provides comprehensive child-development services to lower income families with children. It is for those youth that range in age from birth to age five, with a strong emphasis on parental involvement.





The goal is to help prepare these young children and even infants from income-eligible families to be successful in kindergarten and beyond. Staff from Missouri Valley Community Action Agency are supporting healthy social, physical and emotional development of the child. Head Start also welcomes children in special circumstances, such as those with disabilities, the disabled, and children from homeless families.

Children will benefit from Daily Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack, Social Services, Educational Activities, Medical and Free Dental Services, and more. The parents can also participate in gaining Access to Community Resources as well as Family Literacy and GED Services. Call 660-886-7476, or stop by a Head Start Center.

The Early Head Start, or EHS, from Missouri Valley Community Action Agency promotes home or center-based quality care for children birth to age three. It works in partnership with family and group homes, community child care facilities, and other centers.

Affordable child care may be arranged. This will offer activities for the child, and include education on parental roles and family self-reliance. Family Advocates from the non-profit are also available to provide support through transportation for program services, connections with community resources, and family goal setting activities. To be eligible for child care, parents must be working, meet program income requirements, or attending courses or in a job training program.

Family Literacy programming is another resource that focuses on early childhood. It supports the child and the parent with solid, research-based literacy instruction for the entire family. The aim is to give families the tools they need to liberate themselves from poverty. Some of the services offered include GED Test Preparation, Early Literacy Activities, Adult Literacy Instruction and Support, tutoring and more.

The main location of the Missouri Valley Community Action Agency is at 1415 S. Odell Marshall, Missouri 65340, 660-886-7476. There may also be some satellite offices.



By Jon McNamara


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