SCCAA gives back in school supply giveaway

By MARLAN JONES,

The South Central Community Action Agency hosted a Back to School Jamboree last Friday August 3.

This event is held annually and is sponsored through a Community Services Block Grant. Director of Social Services Jolyn Winn and others met at the SCCAA D’Lo office on Friday afternoon and gave back to the community. Winn explained that the SCCAA realizes the importance of education and since its inception has made an effort to ensure that children are prepared to start school.

The SCCAA provided a package of grade specific school supplies for each student who attended the jamboree. The supplies came in backpacks which can be used by students throughout the school year.

The event began at 1 p.m. and ended at 5 p.m. Supplies were dispersed on a first come first served basis. Winn said that the agency provided supplies for 150 students. She explained that they attempted to reach as many students as possible by reaching out to local churches and posting flyers. 

She said, “This is our way of giving back to the community and making sure that our students are prepared to start the year.”

She added, “We do this every year to help our families who are not able to provide school supplies for their children. We are continuing to give back.”

Winn also discussed SCCAA’s upcoming public hearing, which will be held this month at the agency’s main office located at 110 Fourth Street in D’Lo. The purpose of this hearing will be to discuss programs and services provided by SCCAA in reference to the submission of its 2019 Community Services Block Grant (CSGB) and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

The South Central Community Action Agency provides qualified low income families with access to several short and long term assistance programs. The non-profit provides coverage across the region, including in the counties of Hinds, Lincoln, Copiah, Madison, Pike, Rankin, Walthall and Simpson.

Much of the funding for their resources comes from the Community Services Block Grant; however, private donations may be used too. The bottom line is that resources are limited, however South Central Community Action does its best to provide activities and services that are designed to increase the clients overall self-sufficiency levels.

Staff from the agency offer case management, support in obtaining and paying the rent on adequate housing, information on affordable health care services, nutrition, and assistance to receive adequate education or employment as part of CSBG.

A very highly in demand program in Simpson County is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. LIHEAP, as it is often called, provides one time financial assistance or cash grants to income eligible households. The government originates the funding and the money is used to pay for a portion of a family’s home energy bills, including heating or cooling.

The exact amount and type of benefits paid out will vary based on many factors. They include income levels, the number of family members, and the funding that is made available to the South Central Community Action Agency.

After successfully applying, low income households may qualify for the Energy Crisis (Emergency) Intervention Program (ECIP) or the regular LIHEAP assistance. Funds will be used to pay for bills such as natural gas, electricity, wood, liquid petroleum propane/butane gas, and other related energy costs.

Finally for energy resources there is the Weatherization program. This provides funding to low income families, including the elderly and disabled. The money is used to make the homes of eligible homeowners healthier, safe and more energy efficient. It can address heating or cooling systems, add insulation, and in general help clients save money.

During the public hearing, SCCAA officials will take input from citizens to improve the services offered to the community. For more information on SCCAA contact the office at 601-847-5552.