Programs from Mobile Community Action Agency.
Financial support from the Mobile Community Action Agency is combined with self-sufficiency and job training type programs. While funding is limited, the organization will do its best to help address the immediate needs of qualified low income families, including those with children, the disabled, and senior citizens.
Some of the services administered include utility bill assistance from LIHEAP as well as an emergency water bill program. They also disburse funds as a form of homeless prevention, which is one time rental or mortgage payments. While more information is below, Mobile MCA also offers free income tax preparation, Head Start, and Christmas assistance.
Energy and rent programs
For those facing a shut off of their water, the agency may have some cash assistance to be used for paying water bills. Applying households must be income eligible and can be assisted with this at most one-time only.
Financial aid includes mortgage, rent, move in costs, and security deposit assistance. Available funds or loans from Mobile Community Action Agency assist clients with making at most one-month rent or a partial mortgage payment. The money needs to be used to keep a family from becoming homeless, so it needs to stop an eviction or foreclosure. Funds are limited, and when available, only a couple hundred dollars may be paid out once per year per family.
LIHEAP - Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is another federally funded grant program. While there are no guarantees, there may be help for paying utility bills. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, or ADECA, is another key partner.
Mobile MCA assists eligible very low low-income and working poor households with their heating and cooling costs. The LIHEAP program is especially vital during the hot summer months and also the cold months of winter when the process of both heating and cooling a home can place a major strain on the family budget. This program also helps to reduce the risk of health and safety problems such as eviction, illness, or fire, especially for the disabled or elderly.
The Community Action Agency of Mobile runs the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program. This is offered in an effort to permanently reduce the dollar amount of heating and utility bills of qualified low-income families. The program will provide them with assistance including home repairs that are both cost-effective and result in improved energy efficiency.
Some of the more standard energy saving measures from weatherization include door weather stripping, installing attic and wall insulation, replacing broken glass panes, reducing air infiltration with caulking, performing basic tune-ups to heating and cooling systems, replacing some appliances for free with more efficient units, and also swapping out incandescent lighting with compact fluorescent bulbs. If someone qualified, and if resources are available, then the program is available at no cost.
Christmas Wish List is focused on children in the Mobile region. People can give back, and donate clothing, food, games, toys and more to assist those who are in need. During the holiday season, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, Mobile Community Action Agency and several other churches and charities work together to help ensure that children and family needs are met.
A local Thrift Store is open to the general public, including residents of Washington County. The center specializes in selling affordably priced clothing, household, Christmas items and home improvement goods. It is located at 1315 North Wilson Avenue in Prichard, Alabama. Some families, such as those impacted by a disaster, can receive a voucher that can be used to buy free items.
Mobile Community Action Agency education, employment, and financial literacy
Children under the age of 5 can enroll into Head Start. This is the largest government organized early childhood program that operates anywhere in the Mobile, Alabama area, including Washington County. Staff offer parents and children comprehensive early childhood development and a proven track record of serving students from low-income families.
The program strongly encourages school readiness by enhancing the cognitive as well as social development of children. The non-profit will address educational needs, health care, food and nutritional, social and comprehensive services. All of this is for enrolled children, their parents and entire families. Children can receive Nutritious Meals, High Quality Education, Family Case Management, Free Health Screenings (including Vision, Dental and Hearing), and other support.
The free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA, is for income qualified individuals and families. The program is sponsored by the state of Alabama as well as the federal government and the Internal Revenue Service. They work with local non-profit agencies, such as the community action agency in Mobile. By utilizing the advice and support from this free service, clients can avoid paying high fees to do this. They can also be assured that they receive qualified help and information on a number of different deductions.
Free use of a Computer Lab is offered at most of the Community Services Centers. They are available to the public on a first come, first serve basis. The usage is limited to one hour per. Use it to search for jobs, create a resume, or train on the latest applications. To reserve system, or to get a schedule, call the Community Services Center in your part of Mobile to speak with a case manager.
GED and Adult Education was created in an effort to help those that are income eligible. They can work with a teacher in an effort to attain skills and knowledge to gain employment and therefore achieve self-sufficiency.
There are several center of Mobile MCA in the county and nearby towns. They are as follows.
13280 N. Wintzell Ave., Bayou La Batre, AL 36509, dial 251.824.7026
19165 N. Main St., Citronelle, AL 36522, telephone 251.866.7386
6024 Lorma Dr., Mobile, AL 36608, main number is 251.343.3351
Center is at 1600 Boykin Blvd., Mobile, Alabama 36605, call 251.476.6425
1200 Park St., Mt. Vernon, AL 36560, telephone number is 251.829.6362
658-A Donald Street, Mobile, AL 36617, main number 251.457.9883
Plateau/Prichard location is at 204 E. Main St., Prichard, Alabama 36610, main number 251.452.4801
South Mobile County, 8740 McDonald Rd., Irvington, AL 36644, 251.957.6722
Washington County office - 56 W. Pelham St., Chatom, AL 36518, 251.847.2721
Wilmer/Semmes, 3810 Wulff Rd., Semmes, Alabama 36575, main phone 251.645.5266