Monticello Area Community Action Agency programs.

People from the City of Charlottesville as well as the counties of Albermarle, Fluvanna, Nelson, and Louisa can turn to the Monticello Area Community Action Agency for assistance. The non-profit and its case managers will help individuals become self-sufficient and they coordinate emergency services, housing/rent programs and other aid for the less fortunate.

Unfortunately the demand for financial help is very high but resources are stretched thin. The MACAA agency will often refer those seeking financial assistance to government benefits or other Monticello non-profits or charities. So referrals are often available. Some of the primary resources available are below.

Emergency assistance from Coalition Assisting Residents in Emergency Situations (CARES) is for income qualified individuals, senior citizens and families living in Charlottesville Virginia and Albemarle counties. Another rural out reach program is available in other communities. Any money paid from CARES is only for one-time emergencies and this is not a government subsidy. Also, cash assistance is paid out only once per year. Many charities, churches, and faith based groups also participate in CARES.

As government funding and private donations allow, clients of MACAA may be eligible for cash assistance. Applicants will need to be working and/or have some source of income. People that receive VIEW/TANF, SSDI/SSA, child support, disability, or a pension may be eligible for CARES. Or even income such as child support may qualify you.

The Monticello Area Community Action Agency Emergency Situations program is for expenses such as rent (eviction prevention), mortgage payments (foreclosure prevention), and utility bill termination prevention. A focus is on preventing homelessness in the area. Some money may be used to buy prescription drugs.

As noted above, rural outreach is a form of financial assistance administered by MACAA for the low income in the counties of Louisa, Fluvanna and Nelson Virginia. Any aid is available through a crisis intervention program. Hundreds of families may get help with needs such as utility bills, food, clothing, housing or rent assistance, medical emergencies, foreclosure or eviction prevention. Some grants, including from the federal government LIHEAP program, may be for paying heating or cooling bills.




Some of the application conditions include income levels, people must have a verifiable income, only partial financial aid is paid out, and several others. Proof of hardship, expenses, and income will be required.

The non-profit is involved in administering the main federally funded comprehensive preschool program for children. This is known as Head Start. Families that are applying must meet 100% of Federal poverty guidelines and it is for children ages three and four. Services are also for children with disabilities. Head Start will offer low income families from the Charlottesville, Albermarle County and other towns with the following.

It provides free dental, medical, developmental, snacks, and nutritional screening for all children. There is a  holistic approach to child development with an strong emphasis on early literacy. Other focuses are social, cognitive, emotional, and physical aspects along with free meals.

Parents may explore their adult education opportunities. The fact is that parents are critical to the child development, so the staff work to help them get a job and gain stability. MACAA operates 10 Head Start centers in the area.

Family Self Sufficiency Program from MACAA will address the root cause of poverty and a families struggles. The main goal of the non-profit community action agency Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program is to provide low-income people with a path out of poverty. This is for people in the counties of Fluvanna, Albemarle, Louisa and Nelson as well as Charlottesville.

Family services (FSS) is the umbrella name for several family service and youth programs for low-income and working poor citizens. FSS will offer clients the following.

  • Information on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
  • Credit counseling and Financial Education workshops.
  • The Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program, which is a matched saving account.
  • Debt reduction and job search assistance.





Local public housing centers, charities, and other non-profits partner with MACAA on the Family Self Sufficiency Program. Numerous groups advocate and fight poverty in Virginia.

The EITC / Earned Income Tax Credit as well as VITA program helps the working poor ensure they receive all refunds they are entitled too. There is free tax preparation assistance from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, counseling, and other support. Most of this is done from the MACAA Charlottesville Virginia office.

Budgeting workshops and financial education is a key resource for the agencies asset-building programs. Get assistance and advice on managing money and the proper use mainstream financial services. Financial education might highlight the fact the clients can choose to make a budget and then choose to treat monthly deposits as if they were bills. The goal is to make people more aware of their options, reduce debts, and rebuild credit.

The Individual Development Account program is a matched saving program. All participating residents get help with down payment towards the purchase of a home or funds to start a business. The match incentive part of IDA (which is fairly similar to an employer match for 401(k) contributions) is available only as a result of government and private sector sources. Participants also work with staff from Monticello Area Community Action Agency to improve their credit history and will enroll people into financial literacy classes.




Transitional Housing Program is known as The Hope House. This is a small apartment building in the City of Charlottesville. Homeless families that use the site will also get help in finding a job, managing finances, reducing debt, repairing their credit, and building savings. Residents of Hope House are also required to attend and complete a financial literacy class through MACAA’s FES program. Case mangers work with the client to address the root cause of poverty and homelessness.

During the stay, residents will be linked to other MACAA programs, such as section 8 vouchers, Head Start, Project Discovery, or the CARES program as well. When they are ready to leave the facility, assistance with locating an affordable home or apartment is offered.

Locations of Monticello Area Community Action Agency - MACAA are as follows.

  • Fluvanna County, P. O. Box 371, Fork Union, VA 23028, call 434/842-2521
  • Louisa County, P. O. Box 826, Louisa, Virginia 23093, telephone 540/967-9522
  • Nelson County, P. O. Box 633, Lovingston, VA 22949, main number is 434/263-8119
  • City of Charlottesville MACAA office is 1025 Park Street, Charlottesville, Virginia 22901, call 434-295-3171


By Jon McNamara

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