Reaching Avery Ministry assistance programs.

The financial relief provided by Reaching Avery Ministry is for struggling Avery County residents. They offer clients referrals to any number of government or local non-profit programs, including many local churches. The charity will also offer their own forms of financial aid, with a focus on eviction prevention and also helping with food needs.

Specifically, some of the programs, as indicated below, range from emergency shelter to grants for paying rent for residents with an eviction notice. The Avery County agency also provides food from Meals on Wheels or referrals to the WIC voucher program as well.

Shelter and Housing services performs assessments and coordinates various resources to meet the needs of homeless individuals and families. There is also help from the the ministry for those facing eviction or the shut off of their power. The goal is to offer a grant for these bills or direct the applicant to a local resource for their needs.

Reaching Avery Ministry partners or contract with a number of nonprofit community organizations to provide the most comprehensive array of services. There may be cash aid for certain bills or rent, outreach, emergency shelter, or placement into transitional or permanent supportive housing in Avery County North Carolina. Some funds may also be available for utility bills as well as a security deposit for those seeking stability.

Clients also participate in case management to ensure that all are linked with any and all needed services, which can include housing referrals, any necessary treatment, employment assistance, and applications to entitlements such as disability or low income housing.

In limited cases, the ministry may be able to offer foreclosure help, often in the form of referrals to programs for paying a portion of the mortgage. Also, Avery County families that need help in getting to a job can inquire with the local churches for either a ride or a voucher to pay for a little gasoline.

Families living in poverty in Avery County as well as low-income persons can turn to The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) or the Reaching Avery Ministry pantry to support their dietary needs.




  • TEFAP is a federal government funded program provides emergency food and nutritional assistance. Under TEFAP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) supplies state agencies in North Carolina with surplus commodity food, and state agencies, in turn, allocate the goods to local agencies such as RAM.
  • The pantry uses donations from the community to feed families, children, and struggling residents.
  • Another Reaching Avery Ministry service is classes on shopping to save money, educational workshops, and Meals on Wheels.

The Holiday Food Basket is available for low-income families during the months of November or December. This includes both Thanksgiving and the Christmas season. Please note the Holiday Food Basket program is based on donations and is limited in scope. It is generally first come and served in Avery County.

RAM Emergency Shelter Program offers short-term, night-by-night accommodations. This is for families or children who have lost their homes. The shelter is provided at a local motel in Avery County, and it is either for one night during the week, or for three nights over a weekend. To apply for these accommodations, applicants must be able to document at least 30 days of residency in the area, and participate in follow-up programming as well as case management as noted below.

Case management from Reaching Area Ministries (RAM) includes a federal program known as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), job placement, and general guidance. Trained staff as well as some volunteers provide free tax return preparation for senior citizens and other low-income residents.

There are also classes that cover ways to effectively confront daily problems and make life easier, by learning the skill of prioritization. These are often held at churches in the service area. Anyone can sign up for case management, no matter the age, from teenagers to seniors.

The faith based charity is based in Newland North Carolina. For referrals to local churches, or more information, call (828) 733-5127.



By Jon McNamara

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