Designed to lessen the impact of poverty in communities, this federal block grant provides core funding for 28 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) in Virginia and three statewide community action organizations.
CAA anti-poverty programs, which serve low-income individuals and families, provide direct services including: education (including Head Start and Project Discovery), child care for working parents, employment, housing (including Weatherization, housing rehabilitation/repairs, Section 8), transportation, health and nutrition, community and economic development, and special population services (e.g., elderly, ex-offenders, homeless). The community action organizations work through the CAAs, local governments, and other community agencies to address specific problems: water/wastewater treatment (Southeast Rural Community Assistance Program), offender re-entry and support (Virginia CARES), and dropout prevention and first-time college options (Project Discovery, Inc.).
The Neighborhood Assistance Act Tax Credit (NAP), passed in 1981 by the Virginia General Assembly, is designed to encourage businesses and individuals to contribute directly to an approved 501(c) (3) or 501(c) (4) nonprofit organization that provides services to low-income persons.
A donor who contributes to an approved NAP organization may qualify to receive a tax credit for 65 percent of the donation value.
Contributions from businesses foster partnerships between private and public sector agencies and may take the form of: cash, merchandise, health care services, stock, real estate, professional services, contracting services, mediation services, or rent/lease of the participating nonprofits' facilities. Individuals may qualify for a tax credit for a donation of cash or marketable securities.
Starting in SFY 2010, the Neighborhood Assistance program funding was split between the Department of Education (DOE) and Department of Social Services (DSS). In SFY 2013, NAP received an increase in federal funding from $11.9 million to $15 million, of which DSS administers $7 million. The chart and table includes total credits issued by DSS.
The table below shows the value of tax credits issued under the Neighborhood Assistance Act Tax Credit by type of contribution.
A donor must claim the tax credit on their Virginia Income tax return in the year in which the donation is made. If the tax credit is greater than the donor’s tax liability, any remaining tax credits may be carried forward for up to five succeeding taxable years.
The Refugee Resettlement Program, which is 100% federally-funded, provides support to men, women and children from all parts of the world forced to flee their homelands because of wars, armed conflicts and/or human rights violations. The goal of the program is to promote economic self-sufficiency and social integration into Virginia communities among refugees (also called “arrivals.”)
The program is open to: refugees (including unaccompanied minors), asylees, Cuban/Haitian entrants, special immigrant visa (SIV) holders, and victims of human trafficking and torture.
Working through non-profit agencies and local departments of social services, the program provides the following types of services: employment assistance, English Language Training (ELT), cash and medical assistance, health screenings, and child care.
The Office of Volunteerism and Community Service (OVCS) serves organizations that strengthen their communities through volunteerism and service.
Working with the Virginia Corps, the Volunteer Center Network of Virginia and the Governor’s Advisory Board on Volunteerism and National and Community Service, OVCS promotes a sustainable, collaborative statewide system of volunteer service. OVCS leads the Department’s Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI) and manages the AmeriCorps-State grant program, which provides funding to a broad network of public and nonprofit community-based organizations.
AmeriCorps engages members in direct service and capacity-building to address crucial community needs. AmeriCorps service members serve full-time, part-time for one year, or during the summer. Examples of member activities include: tutoring and mentoring youth, building affordable housing, teaching computer skills, cleaning parks and streams, running after-school programs, and helping communities respond to disasters.
Operating through six regional call centers and a web site (www.211virginia.org), 2-1-1 VIRGINIA provides confidential information and referral to services provided by community-based resources. These services include temporary financial assistance, support for families, employment and training, physical and mental health care resources, nutrition services, volunteer opportunities, arts and recreation, transportation, housing and utilities assistance.
The program provides information and referral to children, youth, families, adults, elderly, and people with disabilities and serves as the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s public inquiry number during times of disasters.
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