SEVCA was founded on the belief that poverty need not be a permanent condition, that:
• people can be empowered to rise out of poverty, and
• the strength of our communities is measured by the quality of life of everyone within them.
Guided by those values, SEVCA has served low-income people in this area for the past 46 years. During that time, the problems facing that population have been diverse, complex, and constantly changing; consequently, the agency has had to develop a broad and multi-faceted approach that reflected the breadth and depth of the problems and enabled SEVCA to be flexible enough to adapt to changing needs and conditions.
The result is a wide array of programs and initiatives addressing the comparably wide range of poverty-related needs, in the areas of crisis intervention, affordable housing / homelessness prevention, home energy costs, business startup and support, education and skills training, early childhood development, family support, parenting, food and nutrition, affordable clothing / household needs, income budgeting / savings, information & referral, and service coordination.
SEVCA’s major programs are:
Family and Community Services – provides crisis resolution services for housing, fuel, clothing and food; housing stabilization, Food Stamp outreach and nutrition education; budget counseling; information & referral; and case management services.
Head Start – provides a full spectrum of comprehensive early child development and family support services for pre-school children and their families, with the goal of enhancing the social competence, school readiness, and later academic success of disadvantaged low-income children.
Micro-Business / Asset Development – provides training and technical assistance for start-up, retention and expansion of small businesses for low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs; business counseling and mentoring to foster economic self-sufficiency through self-employment; Individual Development Accounts, providing matched asset building accounts enabling low-income individuals to achieve financial goals such as homeownership, education, and business start-up and expansion; and Tax Preparation Assistance, helping low-to-moderate income residents obtain income tax refunds and Earned Income Tax Credits.
“Good Buy” Thrift Stores – provide clothing, furniture, and household goods at affordable prices or at no cost through the use of vouchers for those who are unable to pay, as referred by SEVCA’s Family Services Program and other programs and agencies.
Weatherization – provides home energy audits, heating system repairs and replacements, and a full spectrum of energy conservation improvements at no cost to low-to-moderate income households, and at a reasonable price to higher-income households on a fee-for-service basis.
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
– Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1937