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; 3SVT 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 – 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. Store locations in Bellows Falls and Springfield, Vermont.
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.