The Tri-County Community Action Agency expects to receive extra funding to help community members in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency wants to know firsthand from community members what their needs are during the health crisis.

“Right now, we will help with anything that has adversely affected a family and their ability to thrive during this time,” said Petrina Carter, president and CEO of the Tri-County Community Action Agency. “We want all of our families to be healthy and thriving after COVID.”

The tri-county agency meets the needs of community members in Halifax, Charlotte and Mecklenburg counties.

The agency has created a community survey to give them a better understanding of community members’ needs so they can best allocate the extra funding it anticipates receiving. Carter said the agency’s additional funding is coming from a community services block grant through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“We want real data coming to us from the people who are affected by COVID-19,” Carter explained. “The survey will allow us to get a handle of where the heaviest needs are. Once we gather all of the data, then we’ll come back and build a program based on what the highest need is.”

The online survey can be accessed by visiting the agency’s website, www.tricountyva.org and clicking on COVID-19 in the tool bar at the top of the page. The survey asks questions about community members’ needs related to food, rent/mortgage, utilities, childcare, health care, prescription costs and transportation.

Carter encourages anyone in need to reach out to the tri-county agency, regardless of his/ her income level. She noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has relaxed income-level restrictions for some programs, while other programs have no income level threshold to qualify for assistance.

The Tri-County Community Action Agency offers a number of services to community members. According to Carter, those services include rental assistance, a Head Start Program for preschool age children, a Healthy Families program in which a case worker visits the home of a new mother from birth until the age of 5 to help the mother raise a healthy child, a program to help homeowners with household repairs, a housing program to help prospective home buyers with credit counseling and loan application and a domestic violence shelter.

Tri-County partners with other agencies to address the wide spectrum of needs in the community. Carter urges community members in need to reach out to them, because even if they do not have a program to address that specific need, they can put the person in touch with another agency that can address that need.

“With the strong partnerships we have with other agencies, the community should not be in need,” Carter said.

The agency’s employees are teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic but are still available to assist community members in need. Call 434-404-3455 to request assistance.

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at mbaines@gazettevirginian.com.

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at mbaines@gazettevirginian.com.