Community Services Block Grants

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COMMUNITY SERVICES BLOCK GRANT

Bertie McKie-Senior Administrator
Patricia Thomas-Program Assistant III
291 Beaufort Street, NE Aiken (803) 648-6836

Sharon Dallas-Area manager/EEO
Nancy McClary-Program Assistant III
650 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce (803) 794-6778

Sharon Dallas-Area Manager
Dianne Brown- Program Assistant II
Litchfield Street, Barnwell (803) 259-3145

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The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) provides funds to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in communities across this country, having been created by the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1998. It is designed to provide a range of services which assist low-income people to attain skills, knowledge, and motivation necessary to achieve self-sufficiency.    Local programs create, coordinate, and deliver essential services to poor and near poor Americans.

In general, CSBG programs emphasize both preventive aid as well as extended assistance, when necessary, to enable individuals to become economically self-sufficient.  Emergency help is sometimes essential, but the programs use this opportunity to begin moving individuals away from the need for stop-gap aid.  In our service areas of Aiken, Barnwell, and Lexington counties, we are coordinating a response to emergency conditions and providing case management/employment supportive services such that there can be stabilization of household acute conditions.

Education-and-EmploymentAdditionally, in our three county area of service, the General Emergency Assistance Project (GEAP) provides an immediate response to household emergency needs.  This includes prevention of court-ordered eviction, financial assistance for establishing affordable housing, and assistance with limited medical emergencies.  Budget counseling and referrals to other community resources and/or services are provided where appropriate.  GEAP services are provided in collaboration with a myriad of community partners, including local faith based entities.

The Case Management/Employment Supportive Project is designed to respond to documented community needs.  Barriers to employment are exacerbated by protracted periods of high unemployment.  Further compounding the poor economic conditions, is that recovery from 2007/2008 across our service area has been unbalanced.  The Case Management Team approach focuses on providing services to those needing assistance to remove barriers to initial or continuous employment.  The main objective is to provide supportive services for individuals who are under-employed or unemployed and needing skills training or education.  The primary goal for these individuals is to become self-sufficient by obtaining viable rewarding employment.

diverse-childrenThe Youth Leadership Project (YLP) provides low-income households with at-risk youth with a goal of developing leadership and character building skills. YLP operates in collaboration with Helping Hands, Inc., an Aiken county residential facility that provides transitional shelter, education, advocacy, and counseling to high risk youth.

All projects operate each calendar year with limited funding within each county.  Customers must meet income and program eligibility, and assistance may vary with household situations.  Income eligibility is based on the annual Federal Poverty income guidelines and is determined by previous 30 days gross income for the household.  Additionally, prospective customers must be able to document and establish federal, state and county residency through officially issued IDs and Social Security Cards.