Financial support from Williamsburg - James City County Community Action Agency.

When facing a hardship, the Williamsburg James City County Community Action Agency is a non-profit that can assist. The organization offers resources including case management, emergency financial assistance for rent, as well as government resources such as weatherization and Head Start. If they do not offer a service, then they can act as the agency for referrals to other Williamsburg or James County programs.

Housing, rent, and emergency assistance

Emergency financial aid is available and is one of the most in demand services. Qualified applicants facing a one-time, short term hardship may qualify for one-time assistance. This is offered for Williamsburg area families for paying housing costs such as rent or utility bills. There may also be assistance for minor car repairs, shelter, and homeless services.

Referrals and case management from the Williamsburg/James City County Community Action Agency (WJCC) assists homeless individuals, low income families and those in need of help with finding assistance and resources. What is provided to them will help them work towards self-sufficiency. Services not available by the WJCC community action are referred out to other government agencies or service providers.

The number of residents needing help with paying their rent and homeless families has increased. Residents come in wanting shelter or funds for their housing costs. In many cases they not only get what they come for but so much more. Qualified applicants may receive housing support, information on interest free loans for security deposits, food as well as GED/ESL services. Children can be enrolled into Head Start and free legal aid can help as well.

A Christmas and holiday distribution program providing food, toys, and gift assistance to low-income residents of the Williamsburg and Greater Historic Triangle area is known as Feed the Need. It may pass out free Toys and winter coats for Head Start children, Thanksgiving meals, Angel Tree and Christmas food baskets. The Williamsburg James City County Community Action Agency helps individuals with first-time assistance due to plant closings, lay-offs, salary reductions, cost of goods, family crises, unemployment, and health crises.




Housing and rental assistance from the Continuum of Care is available. This was created by the federal government as a community-based plan that addresses the needs of the recently evicted and homeless persons in James City County and Williamsburg Virginia. It will help them reach maximum self-sufficiency and stability in their lives. The program was developed by the federal government as a thorough assessment of homeless needs. It coordinates resources resulting in a comprehensive and strategic approach to addressing evictions and homelessness in Virginia.

The state of Virginia and federal Weatherization Assistance program provides grants to low-income households for conservation. There is a focus on individuals with disabilities, the elderly, and families with children. Weatherization can help them reduce their heating and cooling bill to ensure their health and safety and help them save money.

Services available include from the community action agency caulking, sealing air-leaks, weather-stripping, repairing leaky duct systems, installing carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and also repairing and/or replacing inefficient or unsafe heating systems.

Legal aid provides free, pro bono or low cost legal advice to those in need. Community partners include the College of William & Mary Law School as well as the Williamsburg Bar Association. Transportation and low cost, on-site childcare is provided to working parents as well.

Community Action job training, placement, and educational services

Job Readiness and Employment Services is available for youth, adults, and even senior citizens who are underemployed or unemployed. It will help them develop skills needed to find and maintain living-wage employment.

Other resources from the agency include job readiness training and activities, outreach and intervention processes, assessment and employability planning, and much more.

Some of the assistance from the Williamsburg James City County Community Action Agency (WJCC) includes intensive case management to develop and create employment plan. Clients can get help from basic computer training, resume preparation advice, and education. Other support may include workshops in dress and interviewing skills, workplace behavior and interview practicing. Work experience is gained from clients through on-the-job training with job placement and development.





Financial literacy and Smart Money Management training for clients promotes smart spending, saving and advice on improving one’s overall credit scores. There are classes and workshop sessions that assist clients in offering information on education on predatory lenders, help with getting their finances in order, and support in becoming first-time homebuyers. Eligible clients receive free tax preparation as well from WJCC.

The Williamsburg James City County Community Action Agency Head Start program allows children to high quality pre-school services and educational support. Parents are also helped through individual and family partnership agreements. They can receive assistance with GED/ESL, job search, financial literacy, and health and wellness.

Parents get support as well. For example, fathers learn how to engage more with their children, by learning strategies and participating in training.  Immigrants and non-English speaking parents have learned English, have successfully found employment, gained new skills, or received Associate degrees.

Other support and referrals are offered as well. The Williamsburg James City County Community Action Agency is based at 312 Waller Mill Road in Williamsburg, Virginia 23185-3006. Call the center at (757) 229-9332.



By Jon McNamara

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