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Public Assistance

Families can lose their ability to provide for themselves through illness, injury, death to the breadwinner, desertion by a supporting mate, natural disaster, or unemployment and underemployment resulting from changes in the job market. When this occurs and families have exhausted personal resources, Social Services offers a helping hand through our public assistance programs.

Food Stamp Program:
Provides low-income residents access to nutritious meals. Eligibility for the program is based on the number of people living in the home, their combined income and assets and the shelters expenses of the home. Most families are working in low wage jobs. Able-bodied unemployed adults are required to participate and cooperate in work search endeavors with the assistance of the Employment Security Commission. An average of 2,494 households received food through food stamps monthly in Henderson County of which 63% is elderly or disabled.

Work First Family Assistance:
Provides short term financial and medical assistance to low-income families with children. In order to participate, a family must register with Employment Security Commission, cooperate with Child Support Enforcement, and meet work requirements. This program serves an average of 413 families each month. For more information on the Work First Family Assistance program please contact us at (828) 698-5170.

2010-2011 Work First Plan

Emergency Assistance:
This program offers a one-time cash payment to low-income or indigent families with children experiencing a financial crisis not of their own making. Funds assist primarily with rent and utilities. Emergency Assistance is a well-coordinated public and private effort with application for services available through Social Services outreach staff located at Interfaith Assistance Ministry.

Crisis Intervention Program (CIP):
Provides emergency funds to low-income or indigent clients who have no source of heating or cooling, are facing the loss of their heating or cooling source, or whose medical condition requires a constant environmental temperature.

Special Assistance to Adults:
This is a supplemental program to help cover the cost of care of individuals in adult care homes. An average of 270 individuals are assisted each month.

Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP):
This program provides a one-time cash payment intended to supplement and aid households to cover the winter heating expenses. Because the funding for this program is limited, the amount paid to each recipient is based on the number of applicants statewide and the anticipated heating expenses for a household based on the heat source. Payments are mailed to individuals during the month of February.

Work First Employment:
Through our community's support, Work First has proven to be highly effective. Our number of welfare families average about 1,000 in 1995. In fiscal year 2002/2003, it was down to about 300, in fiscal year 2005/2006 we assisted an average of 319 participants. Work First Employment Services provides employment counseling and assistance, short term training and supportive services. The program's goal is to assist participants to secure and maintain employment as quickly as possible by linking them with resources and helping them acquire necessary job skills. Outposted at Blue Ridge Community College, our Work First Employment staff works closely with the Job Link Center, Employment Security Commission and other resources to help Work First participants find and keep appropriate jobs. For more information on the Work First Employment program please contact us at (828) 698-5170.

Child Support Enforcement:
This service is available to ALL Henderson County residents regardless of income. Located in the Henderson County Courthouse, staff are highly trained in the steps necessary to procure child support from parents who are not meeting their obligations. With the able assistance of the Henderson County legal department, Henderson County Sheriff's Department, and court officials, cases are acted upon in a timely manner and within legal guidelines. Individuals in need of Child Support services may contact the staff at (828) 694-6331, or by visiting their office located on the ground floor of the Henderson County Courthouse. Also, if you currently receive child support services in North Carolina you can find information about your child support case at www.ncchildsupport.com.

Child Day Care:
Partnering with Child Care Resource and Referral program and other early childhood programs offered through the Children and Family Resource Center of Henderson County, the Child Day Care Program helps young working families access safe, quality, affordable child care. Parents can work knowing their children are in a safe place where they can learn and grow. In addition to providing the federal child care subsidy program, Social Services also administers North Carolina's Smart Start child care subsidy program. On average, 850 children receive assistance each month. Child Care Subsidy, a Department of Social Services program, provides financial services to families in need to help them pay for daycare. Funding for Child Care subsidy is composed of state and federal funding as well as Smart Start. The Child Care office is outposted at the Children and Family Resource Center, currently located at 851 Case Street (one block east of Spartanburg Highway off of Upward Road). Office hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. For more information on the Child Care Subsidy program please contact:
Amelia Cox
(828) 698-4440, Jenny Pace (828) 698-4439, Laura Jiminez (828) 697-4554, or Rachel Tankersley (828) 698-4441.
For more information on locating a child care facility, click here.

Notice: Free Language assistance services are available and will be provided to those persons identifying themselves as needing such services.