Assistance programs from Virginia community action agencies.
Low income families and the working poor can receive assistance from a community action agency in Virginia. Programs can help individuals gain self-sufficiency, and maybe also assist with paying an emergency bill or help a family meet their need for food. The non-profit agencies listed below can help the unemployed find a job, provide food for seniors, and assist people with applying for emergency or government aid. Dozens of resources are available across the state of Virginia.
Counseling and general advice services
Legal aid can be arranged for low income residents, with a focus on older individuals 60 years of age that have economic or social needs. Services are only offered for civil matters. Some counseling or other appropriate legal advice may be offered by a law student or paralegal under the direct supervision of a full time attorney. Virginia Legal Aid programs can provide outreach, representation, and education on a number of matters, including consumer credit, health care, denial of government benefits, and more.
Veterans Independence Program is a resource for seniors in the region. Many community action agencies work with area aging offices. Together they offer many excellent programs and services to veterans who are older. It is everyone’s goal to work with other health care providers and the low income in order to bring people the best possible care.
Headstart has been offered in Virginia since the mid 1960s. It is the state’s most successful school readiness program for children under the age of 5. The Headstart program addresses the educational, nutritional and social needs of children 1 to 5 years old as well as their parents.
Staff will take a comprehensive look at family and child development. Staff from the agency will offer guidance to parents interested in obtaining their General Equivalency Diploma (GED). They will also facilitate classes in child care, mental health, nutrition and physical care. Head Start will also assure that immunization, basic checkups and other medical needs are met.
Virginia CARES is a statewide program. The goal of this community-based effort is to assist newly released parolees and prison inmates in making a successful transition from prison back into society. It focuses on assisting ex-offenders in their transition. It should help prevent further criminal activity.
Community action grants and emergency assistance programs
Cars To Work is offered in some Virginia communities. People who need transportation for work, and who meet other qualifications, may be able to receive a reduced priced used car. Or clients may be provided a low interest rate loan to use to purchase an automobile. Many of the beneficiaries are welfare-to-work clients, and people can also be referred by the Virginia Department of Social Services. Donations of vehicles are always appreciated, so if you can please donate a used car for a tax write off.
There are also other government and non-profit programs for free cars. Community Action Agencies in Virginia can often provide information or referrals to them. They will almost always require work or some form of job training, and find government free car programs.
Emergency services and financial aid is limited. Many locations do not offer this, or they will only be able to offer help if funding happens to be available. Low income citizens can look into rent and mortgage assistance, emergency food and clothing, utility bills transportation, medical assistance, and other basic needs. Usually any type of cash or grants paid out will be to help prevent homelessness, suffering, or hunger in the community.
Some transportation assistance may include vehicle repairs, basic car maintenance education and/or referrals for other services. Beneficiaries tend to be TANF (Temporary Assistance) families or people who need a car or transportation for work or an interview. It will only be for work related reasons. So anyone who needs a free car may be able to get help.
Rental assistance is provided from the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Many local town and county Housing Departments work with community action agencies to serve low income families. Receive assistance in obtaining affordable, safe, clean, and decent housing. Someone that enrolls will still need to pay a portion of their rent, but Virginia and the federal government will subsidize the amount you owe. Also, annual housing quality inspections are conducted by the state to ensure that all apartments and homes are maintained in a safe manner.
Apply for the Weatherization Assistance Program at a community action agency. This is the states and nation’s leading energy conservation program. The government has been paying for the insulating, caulking, weatherstripping, air-leak sealing and repairing/replacing inefficient heating or cooling systems of single-family and mobile homes.
These numerous energy-efficiency and saving measures are performed for low income and working poor families who can't afford to make the retrofits themselves. In addition to the work being done, participants in the weatherization program will be instructed in energy conservation, provided free tips and advice on additional weatherproofing once work is completed.
Another housing assistance resource is the Homeless Intervention Program (HIP). This is Virginia's initiative for providing temporary rental and mortgage assistance to low-income households facing eviction or foreclosure. HIP seeks to eliminate homelessness in Virginia due to foreclosure or eviction, and aid is only offered for those who are faced with unavoidable circumstances, such as an unexpected medical bill or job loss that is not of their doing. If you are evicted or lose your home, the Homeless Intervention Program also assists individuals and families in securing permanent housing. You will work with your local community action agency on this. Anyone who receives help from HIP also receives free financial counseling.
Financial assistance for paying for your utility (including heating and cooling bills) is offered by LIHEAP and EnergyShare. They are both year-round energy-assistance programs for low-income households. Priority is for those homeowners that pay a higher proportion of their income for home energy, or people who have a young child or senior living with them.
Both offer cash grants for cooling, heating, utility bill and fuel assistance. EnergyShare is funded with contributions from Dominion Power and donations from your Virginia “neighbors.” On the other hand, LIHEAP is paid for by the federal government. Heating assistance starts in mid-October and is offered until mid-June. Cooling bill assistance, when it is offered, begins in June and runs until mid-October. The applications need to be processed earlier, and learn more on the programs to pay cooling bills.
Crisis Intervention and Emergency Assistance Program provides financial assistance and cash grants to individuals and families faced with imminent eviction or loss of a utility service. The emergency program offers at most one-time per year voucher payments to your landlord or providers of essential utility and fuel services. For example, you can pay your Virginia electricity, water, gas, wood and heating oil bills. This is offered in close collaboration with other area agencies and non-profit organizations. While more limited, as funding allows the program also offers emergency mortgage or rental assistance. If you are homeless, then receive relocation support as needed and get help finding a new home.
Discount prescription medications may be offered. Many agencies can provide discount cards from groups such as NACO. Another service offered in some regions is “Meds Project.” The program, and others, can provide vouchers for clients allowing them to buy life threatening needed prescription medication and supplies. Many on-profit agencies work with local pharmacies in Virginia. Medications can be used help prevent, manage or stabilize such ailments as diabetes, hypertension, heart condition, cancer management, high blood pressure and many other diseases and illnesses. Locate a list of prescription drug discount cards.
Other emergency services include case management and distribution of items from clothing closets, food pantry and a household supply storage facility. Many community action agencies work closely with local food banks and grocery stores. They can provide individuals and families of all religions and backgrounds with basic food items, such as boxed and free canned food, fresh fruits and vegetables and meats. Some pantries also offer basic household staples and supplies such as soap, toilet paper, paper towels, basic toiletries and cleaning supplies.
Virginia community action agencies also give other free stuff, including appliances or household goods. A number of area churches, organizations and individuals provide in-kind donations to clothing closets or furnitre centers. Charities or non-profits provide or sell at a low cost to the general public household furniture, small appliance, items like washing machines, linen, and other goods. Find places for free appliances.
Home repair assistance is offered in an emergency for seniors, the disabled, and very low income families. The state will do what they can to ensure your home is safe and livable. Most of the local programs operate with funding from Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to address urgent home repair needs with regards to safety and accessibility. Receive plumbing rehabilitation, which can be repairs to owner-occupied dwellings that have no water or wastewater systems. Electrical work can be done, or maybe fixing a leak. Improvements or repairs can be made to address the client's entire dwelling. At completion, the home must pass a HUD Housing Quality Standards inspection. If a Virginia family is not qualified, they can apply for other home repair assistance.
Virginia employment and job programs
Increasing your income or gaining skills is very important to overcoming poverty or “becoming middle class”. So case managers from community action agencies offer employment services. This can include career counseling, job seeker services, and coaching. Get help with conducting free job searches and resume writing assistance. Employment services programs focus on helping clients find and keep a job, or maybe gain a new technical skill.
A job program in Virginia is the federal government WIA, or Workforce Investment Act. This service is part of a national workforce preparation and employment system that was designed to meet both the needs of job seekers as well as the nation's businesses. So your community action agency will form partnerships with local Virginia employers. There are a couple main components to it.
The WIA Adult and Dislocated program will help individuals gain job placement. Case managers will review your skill set and background, and they will help determine which training programs and/or local employers may be a good match.
The One-Stop system is for people age 18 and over. It is the basic delivery system used by community action agencies for services to Adult and Dislocated Workers. Use this resource to learn about career development and work preparation services. People can also access a range of employment, training, and educational services. Receive so called core, intensive training, and employer services.
The Work Experience Program is a job training and work activity through which food stamp recipients and TANF clients gain needed experience through on-the-job training. People can be placed into a public or private non-profit agency for this work experience.
Participants of this program will have the opportunity to learn or improve skills, develop basic work habits, and gain current experience to be used on a future, full time job application. While program terms will vary, in general the individual’s initial placement will last for six months, unless they find full-time employment before that period ends. Supportive counseling, guidance and other services are provided by your case manager as well. For example, receive assistance with paying for day care and other services needed to support the participants’ involvement in the program. For example, Virginia may provide grants for transportation to work. They can pay for bus tickets or provide free gasoline vouchers. The state may also provide day care for children.
Summer Youth Employment offers the opportunity for high school students or people in college to gain meaningful work experience. Students can be placed into jobs during their summer breaks or during an extended holiday, such as college students over the winter break.
Smartphone apps can be used for making money. While a Virginia community action agency will encourage more long term stability, these are short term solutions. As an example, find Android apps for making cash.
The Center for Employment Training (CET) program offers real life experience and/or job training in certified occupations, such as nursing. Students will be provided with a host of services, including intensive Job Search Readiness Training. Staff from the Virginia CET program also work closely with students who are in need of proper communication skills, clothing, grooming, etiquette, and interview technique. Case managers and staff will also provide ongoing support and follow-up services for up to 90 days.
Employment Services Program can help those who are without a job, or who have a reduction in income or hours at work. Community action agencies can offer a range of necessary services at no-cost to people seeking a new or better job. These services are free, and can include resume reviews, access to a computer for job searches, and other counseling.
Virginia Project Discovery provides educational sessions, tutoring, college visits, SAT preparation and other educational assistance to low-income middle and high school students. The program is for students and teenagers who have aspirations of being a first generation college student.
Veterans' Program will help honorably discharged and otherwise displaced veterans. Services and counseling can help veterans in Virginia secure meaningful employment and can help people apply and access other government assistance/benefits. Many veterans need assistance with paying for day-to-day necessities such as housing, medical care, child care and other basic needs that are not covered by the Veteran’s Administration healthcare system. The state of Virginia is committed to helping veterans meet these basic needs for help and a job. Case managers will also help people secure the long-term employment necessary to become self-sufficient.
Project Pipeline is a life skills and career development program. It helps people with developing the so called soft skills that are needed to both find and keep a job. For example, work with a specialist on proper job application completion, interview skills, resume writing, communications with employers and colleagues, conflict resolution, time management and more. Classes and workshops are help for participants, and local employers contribute as well.
Resources for seniors in Virginia
Non-profit and community senior centers are scatted around Virginia. They provide a wide range of services for the low-income, elderly persons and their spouses. Examples of programs may include the daily Capital Area Nutrition Project feeding program; blood pressure screening; budget management; cancer screening; health nutrition, and exercise. Many centers are located at area on aging offices.
Free food is offered for seniors. One of the main programs is Meals on Wheels. The elderly and homebound can receive free USDA approved meals, and all of this is delivered by volunteers in your local town and county. Food, groceries, and meals are delivered to the homebound, frail and seniors. Many church groups also participate in the program.
Transportation may be provided for senior citizens. Rides can be provided to congregate meal sites, medical appointments, grocery stores, the post office and other essential services. Often other charities and non-profits participate in this service, such as the Salvation Army or a local church.
Financial, budget, and credit counseling services
Free Income Tax Preparation is available throughout Virginia. Thousands of individuals and low income seniors get help preparing and filing their state and federal income taxes. IRS trained and certified volunteers will ensure any clients receive the maximum tax refund and they will also help determine if someone is eligible for the earned income tax credit, which can increase the amount of their refund.
The filing can be done online or in person. In either case, federal and state of Virginia income tax advice and recommendations are free for the low to moderate income. Find more details on filing taxes for free.
The Virginia Individual Development Account (VIDA) are matched savings accounts. They were created by your local agency as well as the state to help families acquire assets or pay for skills. The statewide VIDA program is an innovative resource helping low- to moderate-income families acquire the habit of regular savings and it can also help them become familiar with mainstream financial institutions. When you save money on your own, the VIDA program will match a portion of that with a grant. The money may ultimately be used to assist with paying for tuition for college, purchase a home for the first time, pay to start a small business or provide vocational education.
Housing and foreclosure counseling is offered at some not for profit agencies. The centers offer a wide array of services, and the main objectives are to stop foreclosures and expand homeownership opportunities, including some of the more expensive parts of Virginia. Counseling and aid can assist clients who are facing homelessness by directing people to rent assistance. Or get access to affordable housing in Virginia. The services and agencies will always be Certified HUD Counseling agency.
Money Management classes and workshops are help with housing and credit counseling agencies. Having a budget, lower debt levels, or a higher credit score, can go a long way towards self-sufficiency. Counselors work with clients to review budgets and create spending priorities. Learn about how to live within your means.
Location of Virginia community action agencies
Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services
Address is 2525 Mt. Vernon Ave., Unit 9
Alexandria, Virginia 22301
Telephone number - (703) 746-5975
Appalachian Community Action and Development Agency, Inc.
190 Beech Street, Suite 103
Gate City, VA 24251
This is the non-profit for the counties and regions including the city of Norton as well as the Counties of Scott, Lee and Wise. A big need from this center is on heating bill assistance and energy type programs. Read more.
Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development
Office address - 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 700
Arlington, Virginia 22201
The community action agency focuses on eviction prevention and rehousing, however other financial aid and referrals are available. Continue.
5306 Old Virginia Street
Urbanna, VA 23175
Regions and counties of Essex, Westmoreland, Gloucester, Lancaster, Matthews, Middlesex, Richmond, and Northumberland. Seniors are a focus, but other emergency services are offered. Programs include meals on Wheels, respite care, low income housing, and free legal aid, among others. More information.
Capital Area Partnership Uplifting People (CAPUP)
1021 Oliver Hill Way
Richmond, VA 23219
Call (804) 788-0050
Provides services for the City of Richmond, Petersburg, and Powhatan, as well as has information and referrals to Henrico County assistance. Some of what may be offered is emergency rental and utility bill assistance as well as job training. The homeless can explore rapid rehousing including funds for paying security deposits and help in locating a permanent home in the Henrico County area. More on assistance from Capital Area Partnership.
Clinch Valley Community Action - - Tazewell County
200 East Riverside Drive
North Tazewell, VA 24630
Commonwealth Community Action Partnership (Fauquier Community Action Committee), Inc.
Location is 50 Sullivan Street, Suite A
Warrenton, Virginia 20186
Call (540) 347-7000
Low income families of Fauquier, Loudon, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Prince William, and Rappahanok County can apply here. Or find more details on Community Action in Prince William County.
Community Action Agency in Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro
250 S. Wayne Avenue
Waynesboro, VA 22980
No direct financial aid is given - only referrals. Call (540) 942-6757 for intake.
This is a regional center that covers this area. It is not a dedicated agency. More on Community action agency in Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta.
11484 Washington Plaza West
Reston, VA 20190
Supports Fairfax County Virginia. Services include EnergyShare, a shelter, food pantry and Emergency financial aid for rent and other needs, including basic health care. Other services include free foreclosure counseling and financial literacy. Learn more.
County of Loudoun, Department of Family Services
102 Heritage Way, NE, Suite 102
Leesburg, VA 20176
Call (703) 777-0353
Eastern Shore Area Agency on Aging CAA
Main address is 5432 Bay Side Road
Exmore, VA 23350
A number of low income resources and programs are offered. Some help is focused on seniors as well. The agency covers counties of Accomack and Northampton. Call for information on job training, food, and homeless prevention. Read more Eastern Shore community action Virginia.
Fairfax County Department of Family Services
12011 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, Virginia 22035
Telephone number - (703) 222-0880
The largest community action agency in the state of Virginia. May have direct assistance, and can help people apply for Virginia or federal government public aid, including grant or loan programs for housing expenses and bills. Read more.
Goochland County Department of Social Services
Location is 1800 Sandy Hook Road, Suite 200
Goochland, VA 23063-0034
Call (804) 556-5880
Hope Community Services, Inc.
Address is 103 South Main Street
Farmville, VA 23901
Telephone: (434) 315-8990
Counties covered are Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Prince Edward, Lunenburg, and Nottoway. Call the community action agency for information on weatherization, job placement, and many other financial aid programs. Find help from Hope Community Services.
Lynchburg Community Action Group
926 Commerce Street
Lynchburg, VA 24504
Phone (434) 846-2778
This non-profit offers resources, including employment services, for people in the counties of Amherst, Appomattox Bedford and Campbell as well as cities of Bedford and Lynchburg. Click more information.
Monticello Area Community Action Agency
Main address - 1025 Park Street
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Call (434) 295-3171
Supports counties and City of Charlottesville as well as the surrounding counties of Albemarle, Louisa, Nelson, and Fluvanna. Low income housing, weatherization, and energy bill assistance from LIHEAP are offered. Other assistance includes rent/eviction prevention, funds for deposits, and information on government housing, such as section 8 vouchers. Read community action Monticello area.
Mountain Community Action Program, Inc.
Mailing address - P.O. Drawer 1008
Marion, Virginia 24354
Call (276) 783-7337
Administers resources and services in Bland, Smyth, and Wythe. Examples of what is offered can include LIHEAP applications or more federal resources, such as Head Start or weatherization services. They also offer eviction prevention, and the community action agency can also help clients locate transitional housing. Click Mountain Community Action.
New River Community Action, Inc.
Main address is 644 West Main Street
Radford, Virginia 24141
Call (540) 633-5133
Counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulask as well as city of Radford can call this non-profit. Click here.
Office of Human Affairs
Location of office is 2410 Wickham Avenue
Newport News, VA 23607
Main phone - (757) 247-0379
Cities of Hampton and Newport News. The community action agency offers funds for bills such as rent and housing costs from the emergency services program. Other resources include low income housing, referrals to government benefits in Virginia, food stamps applications and job training. Continue with Office of Human Affairs community action programs.
People Incorporated of Virginia
1173 West Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210
Supports the Virginia cities of Bristol, Manassas, as well as Manassas Park. Programs are also for the counties of Buchanan, Clarke, Dickenson, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Prince William, Rappahanok, Russell, Shenandoah, Warren, and Washington. Partners with area aging offices for senior assistance, and they administer their own resources as well. This is one of the larger Virginia agencies. Find more information.
Pittsylvania County Community Action, Inc.
514 N. Main Street
Chatham, VA 24531
Telephone number - (434) 432-8250
Programs are offered for the Cities of Danville and Martinsville; Counties of Henry and Pittsylvania. Call to speak to a case manager on what they can do, if anything, to help. Various programs are offered for the low income, such as Head Start or apply for weatherization.
Powhatan County Department of Social Services
3908 Old Buckingham Road
Powhatan, VA 23139
Project Discovery of Virginia, Inc.
Main location is 1200 Electric Road
Salem, VA 24153-0009
Quin Rivers, Inc.
New Kent, Virginia 23124
Telephone: (808) 966-8720
If you live in Charles City County, King William, King and Queen, New Kent, or Caroline, call this non-profit organization. They offer eviction prevention in the form of emergency rent or energy bill help. Other services include low interest loans for starting a small business, a mobile food pantry, and job training from Career Ready 101. More on financial help from Quin Rivers community action.
Rooftop of Virginia Community Action Program
206 N. Main St.
Galax, Virginia 24333
Main telephone: (276) 236-7131
Services are for the city of Galax as well as surrounding counties of Carroll and Grayson.
Skyline Community Action Program
Mailing address is P.O. Box 588
Madison, VA 22727
Phone number to call for information is (540) 948-2237
Counties supported are Orange, Greene, and Madison. For more information on this community action agency and the grants as well as job training they administer, click here.
Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc.
Main address - 347 Campbell Avenue, SW
Roanoke, VA 24016
Operates resources for all of Virginia, with a focus on rural programs.
Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project, Inc. (STOP)
Main address is 2551 Almeda Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23513
Dial (757) 858-1360
Regions supported are counties of Southampton and Isle of Wright as well as cities of Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Franklin, Norfolk, Virginia Beach. Use the job finding programs, or learn about homeless prevention and emergency food. A combination of government grants or private funds, such as loans, can be used for rental expenses, energy bills, and other basic needs such as food. Continue.
Support to Eliminate Poverty (STEP)
Address - 200 Dent Street
Rocky Mount, VA 24151
Both Franklin and Patrick County.
The Improvement Association
Address is 1750 East Atlantic Street
Emporia, Virginia 23847
Phone - (434) 634-2490
Programs are for City of Emporia, Surry, Sussex, Brunswick, and also Greenville. Find more information on the Improvement Association assistance programs.
Telamon of Virginia
The non-profit services the majority of the state. They offer resources such as loans for home repairs, weatherization, as well as mortgage and rent delinquency counseling. There may be some grants available for housing or rental expenses. Read more Telamon community action.
Total Action Against Poverty, or Progress, Inc. (TAP)
145 Campbell Avenue
Roanoke, VA 24001
Telephone: (540) 345-6781
Residents and low income families in cities of Buena Vista, Clifton Forge, Covington, Lexington, Roanoke, or Salem can call. Services are also for the Virginia counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, Roanoke, and Rockbridge. Limited emergency financial assistance may be offered, or apply for government and public aid. Click here.
Tri-County Community Action Agency, Inc.
1176 Huell Matthews Highway
South Boston, VA 24592
Counties of Halifax, South Boston, Charlotte, and Mecklenburg should call this location. They offer resources such as Supportive Services for Veteran Families, free medical care, and job placement in Virginia. More on financial help from Tri-County Community Action.
Virginia CARES - Community Action Re-Entry System, Inc.
108 Henry Street, NW, Third Floor
Roanoke, VA 24016
Call (540) 342-9344 for information.
Williamsburg/James City County Community Action Agency
Center is located at 312 Waller Mill Rd., Suite 405
Williamsburg, Virginia 23185-3006
The center is for residents of county of James City as well as City of Williamsburg. The non-profit agency offers emergency rental and security deposit assistance, free Christmas assistance, legal aid, and other support services to the community. Click more information.