Western Carolina Community Action Agency.

The three counties supported by the Western Carolina Community Action Agency are Henderson, Polk and Transylvania. The non-profit and its staff work to help the less fortunate and poor overcome their hardship. They are also involved in some short term financial assistance programs and other social services.

The main resources that offer are below. However the location is also a great place for referrals, guidance, and information on other non-profits and charities, including federal government benefits. Do not hesitate to check with them.

Very low income tenants can get help with rent from the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. This is the primary government housing/rent subsidy program that provides assistance of up to 70% to very low-income families in Henderson and Transylvania Counties. Families and individuals who avail of the assistance are expected to contribute the balance 30% of their total adjusted monthly income toward rent and utility expenses. The balance, subject up to established ceilings as set by the government, is subsidized. Very low-income individuals or families whose total income is below 50% of area median are eligible to apply to this program, however application criteria can change.

Each unit or apartment that is inspected by the community action agency staff will be done to ensure that the unit meets minimum housing quality standards. This needs to occur before a lease and Rental Assistance Payment contract are signed with the landlord or tenant. There are also other Henderson County rent assistance programs for low income tenants that the community action agency can refer people too.

Every year the assisted families and working poor are re-evaluated to determine whether their incomes still permit them to qualify for a subsidy under the program and to adjust the family's portion of the rent. Units also undergo annual inspection and safety checks to ensure compliance with the federal government HUD's Housing Quality Standards. Lists of available, affordable housing are also made easily available to the general public.





The Western Carolina Community Action Family Self-Sufficiency Program helps residents in the HCV program to become less dependent on Governmental assistance. This will give them time to escrow and save money which can ultimately be used as a down-payment for homeownership.

The Gardens Program provides low-income and working poor families and individuals in Polk and Henderson County with a voucher to purchase plants, seeds and fertilizer for a garden. This will enable them to stretch their food dollars and save their income for other bills. Vouchers are distributed on a First-Come-First-Serve Basis to the needy. Canning, perishable food and freezing food produced through this program becomes a year round source.

Children, seniors, and those that are sick can look into the Nutritional Supplement Program. It provides liquid nutritional supplements to low-income persons with compromised nutrition due to health problems. Subsidies and financial aid may also be available for low-income individuals over 60 years of age provided that they have a certificate from their physician to certify their qualifying health condition. A very limited number of subsidies are available for those under 60, and they are not the focus.

Apple Country Transportation provides consolidated transportation services (in other words a ride) for Human Service agencies and charities in Henderson County. They also run the Elderly and Disabled Transportation Assistance Program (EDTAP). It is for local doctor and/or medical appointments or other critical trips. The program also helps eligible elderly and disabled citizens with their medical and grocery shopping. All rides are in Henderson County only. Or find other forms of free disability transportation programs to apply at.

The non-profits Self Sufficiency program helps individuals and families on their path from crisis to long term stability by working together to meeting basic needs. Case managers from the organization are assigned to clients and offer support. This includes finding employment, reducing debts, locating affordable rental housing, healthcare, child care, maintaining a budget and finding ways to increase a household income.

The program conducts free financial workshops that are open to all. Depending on the funding available, self-sufficiency also offers supplemental assistance with food, transportation, uniforms, budget counseling and educational assistance as well as referrals to other agencies when necessary. This Western North Carolina Community Action Agency service is funded by the Community Services Block Grant administered by the N.C. Office of Economic Opportunity with occasional funding from other sources.




Head Start and the related Early Head Start provides services in Transylvania, Henderson, and Polk Counties for infants from the ages of birth to five years old. Participants are served in several different centers and schools in Henderson County, two centers in Transylvania County, and one center in Polk County North Carolina. Some of the schools utilize Wrap-Around services which are designed to provide child care for parents of children who are working, in school or in job related training. While the Head Start or Early Head Start services are offered free of cost to those that qualify, parents pay for the Wrap-Around services on a sliding scale basis.

The Home-based components conduct home visits to offer support and assistance to participating children, their parents and families in Polk, parts of Transylvania, and Henderson Counties. All eligibility criteria are the same as for enrollees in a Head Start center per above. Home-based children also get the opportunity to visit the centers for socialization experiences.

Children from the area that enrolled in the Head Start home-based program are from families who prefer to keep their children at home during their preschool years and/or live in remote areas of the three western North Carolina counties. They also need to lack transportation.

Other services are offered too. Head Start provides comprehensive services of social service, education, parent involvement, free nutrition and health to children in both center and home-base programs. Parents are also involved in all facets of the program.

The State Pre-School Program provides NC Pre-K Center services for four year old children in Henderson and nearby counties. These services operate on almost all school days during the school year and these children are served in classrooms with Head Start children. Staff and teachers in these classrooms have a minimum BA degree and must be working toward a B-K teacher certificate.

Locations Western Carolina Community Action, Inc.

Transylvania County, Head Start Center, 181 Hillview.
Henderson County, 220 King Creek Blvd, Hendersonville, NC 28793, call (828)693-1711 or Toll Free: 866-670-WCCA
Or call Brevard, NC 28712 office at (828)884-2255



By Jon McNamara

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