SEVCA Receives Funding to Help Windham & Windsor County Residents with COVID-Related Impacts:
Resources available for those needing information, referrals and assistance
April 28, 2020
(Westminster, Vermont) Generous local, regional and statewide partners have given Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) funding to provide critical services to local residents who need help to alleviate the negative effects of COVID-19 and achieve or re-establish financial security, whether or not they were previously eligible for SEVCA’s services. Grants from the Vermont Community Foundation, Couch Foundation, Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, and Danforth Charitable Fund will enable SEVCA to provide needed services to an expanded number of households seeking emergency relief and recovery. SEVCA also anticipates receiving additional funding to help people experiencing COVID-19’s impacts navigate the resources available to them that can resolve their crisis and provide greater stability at this time and into the future.
Although SEVCA’s offices are currently closed to the public and many staff are working from home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, most services are still being provided but in different ways: remotely, by phone, email, or internet, by appointment, and/or by mailing or drop-off of documents. Steve Geller, SEVCA’s Executive Director, wants everyone living in southeastern Vermont to know that “SEVCA is still here to help, and we’re helping scores of people every day, even when we can’t meet with them in person. We’ve become very creative at devising ways of meeting people’s needs without having to sit face-to-face with them.”
“In fact,” he went on to say, “due to the additional COVID-19 relief funding and relaxed eligibility thresholds in some programs, many more households are now eligible to receive existing services and expanded and new programs developed specifically to remediate the devastating effects of COVID-19 for even more people. So even if you thought you weren’t eligible for any of these services, this is the time to set aside those assumptions and contact us to find out for sure.”
SEVCA will now be able to serve a wider range of local residents with a diverse array of services, such as: Navigating relief & recovery resources; 3SquaresVT (Food Stamps) application assistance; unemployment & health insurance access; fuel and utility assistance; eviction & foreclosure prevention, housing case management, and landlord mediation; financial management counseling & support; job readiness training & assistance; small business support; SEVCA Windsor County Head Start registration; weatherization and heating repair & replacement; and many other available services, connections, and referrals to other area and state-wide providers. At times such as these, it’s crucial to access all available resources to alleviate the short-term crisis and build future financial security. In order to do this, additional resources have been made available for SEVCA to support households who previously were not eligible to receive services. Those interested in getting help or finding out more should contact SEVCA at 800-464-9951 for information or an appointment.
In addition to offering expanded services to Vermonters who require emergency assistance due to COVID19, SEVCA continues to provide all services in a different format in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Orders. Currently no weatherization or home repair work can be done, yet the agency is arranging for emergency heating system repairs & replacements to take place and continues to accept applications for the other services. At this time, the Springfield, Hartford, and Bellows Falls Good Buy Thrift Stores are closed to the public, yet people can request and obtain vouchers for one of the stores from SEVCA’s Family Services staff. Vouchers can be used for specific items and are available at no cost for emergency situations. SEVCA’s Economic Development program now has available enrollment for ongoing Financial Fitness and Ready for Work online training; small business counseling is offered via phone; and trained staff are available to work with anyone interested in planning their financial security.
As the region’s designated Community Action Agency (CAA), SEVCA works with local and state partners, and in coordination with CAAs nationwide, to help resolve crises, create opportunities for all people to thrive, build strong, resilient communities, and work toward a more equitable society. SEVCA was founded on May 12, 1965 and has been meeting needs and changing lives in southeastern Vermont for 55 years. It is still here – and will continue to be here – regardless of the crisis, as they were during the Great Recession in 2009, Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, and now the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2020. More information can be found at www.sevca.org or (https://www.facebook.com/SEVCAorg/), or by calling 800-464-9951.