SEVCA is inviting participants to register for its upcoming “Financial Fitness” workshop series, to be held in Brattleboro starting September 10. This 7-part workshop series will help participants improve their relationship with money, develop strong financial habits, and take steps toward prosperity. SEVCA’s instructors will utilize tools from the acclaimed Your Money Your Goals curriculum developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Topics covered include: saving, budgeting, credit, home buying, insurance, purchasing a car, and saving for college. The instructor will also provide individualized financial coaching, as needed, to help participants and their families become more financially secure.
Those who complete the course may be eligible to join SEVCA’s SaVermont matched savings program. Participants earn a match for every $1 they save (up to $1,000) if they save a minimum of $25 each month toward home purchases or repairs, obtaining education or job training, starting or enhancing their own business, or car purchases or repairs needed for transportation to work.
Last updated: August 19, 2019
Services available to low-income households to help them avoid eviction or keep their homes heated may be resources for federal workers affected by the extended government shutdown. Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is reaching out to unpaid federal workers who are temporarily unable to afford their basic living expenses to let them know about programs that could help avert a crisis.
“Federal workers impacted by the shutdown may not be aware of the many programs SEVCA offers because they haven’t needed our help before,” said Steve Geller, SEVCA’s Executive Director. “In addition to offering services like homelessness prevention and crisis fuel assistance, SEVCA can work with them to access other community services they might need due to this predicament that has nothing to do with them. We want them to know that we value the work they do, object to the way they’re being treated, and sympathize with the difficult position they’ve been put in because of this senseless shutdown.”
Windham and Windsor County residents in need are invited to call SEVCA toll-free at (800) 464-9951 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday to learn about ways the organization can help. They may also contact SEVCA’s local offices at the following numbers:
Brattleboro area: (802) 254-2795
Springfield area: (802) 885-6153
White River Junction area: (802) 295-5215
Those who currently qualify for assistance programs, such as 3SquaresVT (food stamps), and are worried about how the extended shutdown may impact their benefits are also invited to call SEVCA for information and assistance, or they can get information to contact the relevant state office directly at https://dcf.vermont.gov/mybenefits.
While the furloughed workers and those forced to work during the shutdown won’t necessarily meet the specific eligibility criteria for all programs, SEVCA will use some of its existing flexible resources and seek additional donations to try to help where possible. The organization will also gladly accept donations of gas cards, grocery cards, and cash contributions to its “Share the Warmth” emergency fuel assistance fund to help meet the need. Individuals may donate online at http://www.sevca.org/share-the-warmth or send checks or gift cards to 91 Buck Drive, Westminster, VT 05158.
WASHINGTON D.C. – The National Community Action Partnership released today the first National Community Action Impact Report: Building Opportunities for All. This unique and comprehensive report looks at how Community Action Agencies across the country impact the lives of 15 million people each year, creating pathways to prosperity.
The Community Action Network is robust local force of 1,000 local Community Action Agencies, reaching children and families in 99 percent of all U.S. counties. Agencies connect families to approaches that help them succeed and promote community-wide solutions to seemingly stubborn challenges in cities, suburban, and rural communities. This report outlines the needs families face in today’s uneven economy, the reach of Community Action coast to coast, and the impact Community Action has in communities every day.
“This report tells the broad story of Community Action and all of the incredible ways our members are making an impact in their local communities,” said Denise Harlow, Chief Executive Officer of the National Community Action Partnership. “For 55 years, our network has developed innovative solutions to improve family well-being and directly impact and engage local communities.”
Spotlight stories throughout the report highlight successful initiatives across America relating to jobs, asset building, health and well-being, community development, children and families, and housing. One spotlight, for example, discusses a successful community project in Clare, Michigan which not only created jobs and stimulated the local economy, it brought the community together to preserve a historic landmark. Another featured spotlight reviews a Community Action initiative which dramatically reduced the wait time to get recovery treatment for Ohioans suffering from addiction.
“Community Action addresses a number of factors that contribute to poverty, and it does so at the local level,” said Harlow. “Our network’s holistic approach to assist families in their journey to economic security is inspiring. We believe this report illustrates how their work strengthens lives, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live.”
To access the report, visit www.communityactionpartnership.com/impactreport.
Johnny Eudaly, Communications
FREE TAX ASSISTANCE
2020 Tax Season Information
Income-eligible Winsor and Windham County residents can now schedule an appointment for free tax preparation assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, offered by SEVCA in collaboration with Granite United Way. Experienced IRS-certified volunteers are trained and ready to prepare tax returns for area taxpayers with household income up to $66,000. Appointments are available on select dates in Westminster, White River Junction, and Windsor 1/27- 4/9. Residents of nearby communities in New Hampshire may also make appointments at these sites.
SEVCA will provide free tax assistance by appointment only at the following locations:
· SEVCA’s main office in Westminster on Tuesdays
· St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in White River Junction on Mondays
· Windsor Resource Connection Center on select Thursdays
VITA volunteers can help with special credits, such as the Earned Income Tax and the Affordable Care Act’s Premium Tax Credits. They also prepare state income tax returns, Homestead Declarations for property tax adjustments, and Renter’s Rebate claims. In addition to free tax return assistance, VITA sites offer free electronic filing. Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper — even faster, when tax refunds are deposited directly into a bank account.
Appointments will fill up quickly, so taxpayers are urged to make an appointment as soon as possible. Appointments in Westminster can be made by calling 800-464-9951or simply 2-1-1 from a NH phone, or use the online scheduling system at http://nhtaxhelp.org/ (go to “Schedule an appointment now,” navigate to the White River Junction or Windsor site listing, and click on an available date and time). Be sure to provide your contact information, including address, email, and phone number so you can be notified in case of weather cancellations.