South Central Human Resource Agency assistance programs.

The regional community action organization known as South Central Human Resource Agency provides help to the less fortunate and vulnerable. Most of the support is from the Crisis Intervention Program, however they also offer referrals and other forms of assistance, such as job training, to clients.

The agency provides coverage to several counties, ranging from Coffee, Franklin, Bedford, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Perry and Lewis Counties. Most of the funding comes from the federal government and the Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG). If an applicant does not qualify for help, then referrals may be provided instead.

The agency offers free meals for seniors aged 60 and older, either through home delivery for those who are unable to leave their homes or prepare meals for themselves or at congregate (group) settings in counties such as Maury or Hickman. These free, hot congregate noon meals are served at Senior Citizens Centers or other designated locations in all the South Central Tennessee counties.

The other service is the low cost Home-Delivered Meals. As resources and volunteers allow, these are provided up to five days per week, with the goal of keeping frail senior citizens or even disabled residents in their own homes and out of facilities such as nursing homes. This is done by SCHRA ensuring that they receive hot, nutritious meals on a regular basis. Both of these resources also furnish free nutritional education services, and among other things this will keep seniors abreast of updated health and nutrition information.

Funds for emergency bills and expenses are part of the Crisis Intervention program, and this solution offers grants or other forms of cash assistance to households facing eviction or maybe the shut off of their heat or AC units. Funds are provided to the low income in the form of a cash payment, made directly to the landlord or energy provider. To prevent similar issues in the future, the South Central Human Resource Agency program also includes case management and budgeting support.

LIHEAP applications are processed too, and this is a form of financial assistance with home energy bills to elderly handicapped, seniors and other low-income residents, with priority given to those with the lowest income levels. The amounts of grants paid out to clients are calculated to offset a portion of the amount due.




There may be one time Heating Bill Assistance, which provides grants to a utility company or to a coal or wood supplier on behalf of the client. The second part of LIHEAP is the Crisis Heating Assistance, and this resource is provided to qualifying households who have received official shut-off notices, or who are out of fuel.

The purpose of the South Central Human Resource Agency Weatherization Program (WAP) is to improve the energy efficiency and conservation levels of the homes of financially disadvantaged families. It will in effect reduce energy bills, improve the hygiene, health and safety of the home and also protect the environment.

The Health Program offers eligible individuals in the service area, including the counties of Coffee and Bedford, with financial assistance with the high costs of medical care. The program covers the costs of expenses such as prescription medication, vision care, dental visits and other medical services that are not covered by insurance.

Other services are provided too. For those from the community without access to public transport, community action can provide transportation to medical appointments. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is also available through SCHRA, to provide assistance with completing forms to receive help with the payment of Medicare Premiums.

The budgeting as well as Income Management Program from SCHRA provides assistance, guidance and information in regard to household savings and budgeting. Counselors work with clients on assistance with rebuilding credit or income tax return preparation is also available. There are also computers and printers for clients’ use.

The Representative Payee service helps those who are unable to manage their money on their own, and this focuses on seniors in Tennessee. It works by creating and maintaining budgets, and staff from South Central Human Resource Agency are involved in keeping track of financial matters. To be accepted into this program, the recipient must have a doctor note that he or she is not capable of managing finances on their own.

SCHRA offers programming to assist clients who are seeking employment in the region, such as Hickman, Moore, or Lewis. Staff from the center are prepared to provide guidance in resume preparation and other job-search necessities. There are also referrals to employers, and the goal of each office is to place people into any known job openings in the area.

SCSEP - Senior Community Service Employment is the largest federally-funded resource in the US or state of Tennessee that specifically targets older adults seeking employment and training. Participants are assigned to a host agency, where they perform at minimum 20 hours of community service per week to gain work experience and skills.





Participants of the SCSEP program benefit from the experience, while the host agency benefits from having the help of willing and enthusiastic workers who work for minimum wage. In some cases they will be offered benefits as well. All of this will be helpful as people prepare for finding more permanent employment.

Often combined with the services above is the Education Assistance Program, which assists eligible students with paying for post-high school education expenses other than tuition. There may be grants to help pay for books, fees, uniforms, and so on. This program also helps with the payment of GED testing fees.

The Homemaker and Respite Care Service from South Central Human Resource Agency has expanded to better serve the needs of those in our communities who may not otherwise qualify for this type of care. The In-Home staff is well-trained and highly qualified to assist eligible clients in their homes by performing routine light housekeeping duties. They also provide support in the form of preparing meals on a limited basis; and running errands to purchase medicines, groceries, or pay bills.

Disabled and Elderly individuals are often isolated and lonely. To address this, the SCHRA Companionship Services are available to visit clients who have person or family to check on them. Beyond providing contact and concern, these visits from volunteers and staff serve the purpose of ensuring the clients’ well-being and safety. Low cost transportation to medical appointments and grocery stores may also be arranged for the client, if needed.

These are just some of the programs available from the community action agency. The site is prepared to provide clients with information, either in regard to their resources or, if we don’t provide the service in question, case managers are familiar with a good number of other agencies and programs in the community that do. The main locations are below. Dial 931-488-3062 for intake.

Locations of SCHRA offices

Bedford County Neighborhood Service Center, 200 Dover St., Shelbyville, TN 37160

Coffee County office is at 414 Wilson Ave., Tullahoma, TN 37388

Franklin County Neighborhood Service Center - 107 N. Porter St., Winchester, TN 37398

Giles County, 937 West College St., Pulaski, Tennessee 38478

Hickman County Neighborhood Service Center address is 101 College St., Centerville, TN 37033

Lawrence County - 15 Public Sq., Lawrenceburg, TN 38443

Lewis County - 43 Smith St., Hohenwald, Tennessee 38462




Marshall County Neighborhood Service Center is at 1572 Old Columbia Hwy., Lewisburg, TN 37091

Maury County Neighborhood Service Center – Address is 1740 N Main St., Ste. E, Hamilton Plaza, Columbia, Tennessee 38401

Moore County Neighborhood Service Center is at 251 Majors Blvd., Lynchburg, Tennessee 37352

Perry County is at 100 Poplar St., Linden, TN 37096

Wayne County address is 525 B Hwy., 64 East, Waynesboro, Tennessee 38485


By Jon McNamara

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