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 Services / Crisis Intervention – provides crisis resolution services for housing, fuel, clothing and food; homelessness prevention; housing stabilization; Food Stamp outreach; 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.
Home Repair – provides emergency home repair for low-income homeowners to ensure that they and their families have safe, healthy, secure, warm, energy-efficient, and accessible places in which to live.
Economic Development – Micro Business Development provides training, technical assistance, counseling and mentoring for start-up, retention and expansion of small businesses for low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs to enable them to be self-sufficient; Individual Development Accounts provide matched asset building accounts enabling low-income individuals to achieve financial goals such as homeownership, education, and business start-up and expansion; Workforce Development provides job retention supports, and job skills training and work experience for incumbent and unemployed disadvantaged and dislocated workers; and Tax Preparation Assistance helps low-to-moderate income residents obtain income tax refunds and Earned Income Tax Credits.
“Good Buy” Thrift Stores / Textile Recycling – provides clothing, furniture, and household goods at affordable prices for all, or at no cost through the use of vouchers for those unable to pay; and recycles unsold clothing, shoes, and other textiles to reduce the amount going into landfills and generate additional revenue for vital services.
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.
Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.
-Jane Addams (U.S. social worker, 1860-1935)