Financial help from Shore Up! community action agency.

Families living in poverty or facing a crisis can turn to Shore Up for help. The community action agency works with clients to help them break the cycles of living in or near poverty. They combine emergency financial help with self-sufficiency, such as Adult Basic Education or VITA, as part of a case management plan.

Staff provide support to families in several counties, including Queen Anne's, Kent, Talbot, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester. In an effort to support even more people in this region, Shore Up also partners with Second Harvest, the United Way, and other non-profits in the area.

Emergency food, housing, medical and financial help

The community action agency assists those households experiencing crisis situations. Using funding from the United Way and other sources, they provide emergency housing, medical care, food and financial services.

Utility bill assistance for electricity as well as heating bills is available under contract with the City Utility Department. Additional funding, such as LIHEAP or the United Way, also offer grants for paying both electric and gas utilities, depending on availability of funding.

Federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds assist with housing needs. Shore Up may help with rental or mortgage payments or heating expenses, as long as money is available. There may also be emergency housing assistance in counties such as Talbot, as allowed.

Weatherization lowers home-energy costs and increases energy-efficiency of the homes. It really assists with heating bill costs, and can benefit low-income homeowners and renters in Queen Anne's or Worcester Maryland. It works by eliminating sources of heat loss and improving the efficiency of heating systems more efficient.

Other emergency help is free food supplied by the USDA, which is purchased from Second Harvest. There may be aid for medical needs, such as medications or a ride to a clinic. When possible, the non-profit will also furnish referrals to other organizations, including the Salvation Army, City Utilities, Second Harvest, and more. Additional housing-related programs available through Shore Up! Include those below.




Subsidized housing from Loretta Village is located in Princess Anne Maryland. There are dozens of apartments for low-income families as well as units for seniors. Each apartment includes sewer, use of a stove stove, refrigerator, carpet, trash, water access and a laundry room.

ousing Repairs and Rehabilitation are both used by Shore Up to improve living conditions for eligible low-income homeowners. There is foreclosure prevention counseling as well as financial aid from grants to pay for home rehabilitation and repairs.

Shore Up provides a number of assistance programs to meet the emotional, social, recreational, physical and educational needs of the senior citizens as well as disabled residents of its service area. The Adult Day Program is another source for center-based services for the elderly as well as others aged 16 and over who have disabilities. Specific programming provided by Adult Day Services includes therapeutic activities, help with personal care, meals served, and help for other daily tasks. Much of this is provided by social workers and an on-site registered nurse.

Wicomico Senior Citizens is a center partnering with Shore Up that offers center-based programming that includes Meals on Wheels. Volunteers from the community action agency deliver hot, nutritious meals to the homebound. Respite services are available through Senior Center Plus Program-licensed centers as well.

More care is arranged for the elderly as well if needed. Shore Up! also offers residential services and home-based care in Maryland. This is provided by certified nursing assistants who assist with rides to appointments, light chores, housekeeping, cleaning, and cooking, as well as personal care.

Senior Employment is available part of Foster Grandparents Program. Eligible seniors in counties such as Wicomico or Talbot aged 55 and older earn tax-free stipends working part-time with children. Options include working watching children enrolled in day care while parents take job training; working one-on-one with a child who needs extra help; helping preschool teachers with their students; or help them participate in another type of programming.

Shore Up education and financial literacy services

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program provides free federal and state (Maryland, Delaware and/or Virginia) income tax return preparation. Shore Up will also help clients with e-filing, for qualifying families and individuals. VITA services include preparing incomes taxes on wages (W2); pension and retirement (1099R); Unemployment (1099G); Social Security/Disability; and completing Schedules for C-EZ, A, B, and D.





When applying for VITA, people need to bring Photo Identification, including State of Maryland or Driver's License for everyone aged 18 and over, the IRS Intake/Quality Review Form, Social Security Card or ITIN for each individual listed on the return, and all tax as well as income forms such as W2s, 1099s, and so on.

In an effort to break the cycle of poverty, education and training at Shore Up! includes courses in Adult Basic Education (ABE) or GED General Equivalency Diploma preparation. Instructors as well as partners of the community action agency provide assistance and also monitor progress as students work at their own pace using individualized, computer-based programs.

The Office of Employment and Training, which is another Shore Up partner, focuses on aiding employable clients as they move toward gaining skills as well as finding employment. This is done to help people gain greater self-sufficiency and building self-confidence. All training programs offer instruction in skills that increase employability in the difficult Maryland job market and help with job placement.

Job Program for Youth is a free, 40-week training course offering adjudicated 16 to 19-year-olds in Maryland. The agency will give people the opportunity to advance in or to obtain skills from General Equivalency Diplomas (GED). Also includes training in interpersonal or job skills as well as job readiness.

Another service is Health Assistant Training. The Shore Up multiple week program includes classroom and hands-on experience, to train participants to become Geriatric Nursing Assistants or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA).

Shore Up! Inc. helps children as well. The programs include Head Start, Early Head Start, and Wicomico Family Support programming. The last one is for pregnant women, as well as parents and their newborn to five-year-old children. The components of it are as follows.




Social as well as Recreational Activities facilitate family bonding, and there are also Parental Involvement workshops held in the community. This is to support in their children’s education, including volunteer opportunities, with an emphasis on encouraging fathers to participate. Wicomico Family Support and the federally funded Early Head Start offer nutritional services, hot meals, prenatal education, assistance with accessing medical care, and instruction in the care and development of infants.

While the agency offers support in several counties, the main office is at 520 Snow Hill Rd., Salisbury, MD 21804-6031. Or call SHORE UP at 410-749-1142.


By Jon McNamara

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