Tri-County Community Council (TCCC) is a private non-profit corporation founded in 1965. It’s a Community Action Agency which develops and implements comprehensive programs to serve the residents of Bay, Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington Counties. Their vision is to unite both the public and private sectors to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities by enhancing and seeking new opportunities for success with the goal of eliminating poverty, and their mission is to identify and provide needed services to the citizens of the communities served by TCCC. TCCC offers a variety of programs to assist our members. They are:
• Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – TCCC can assist WFEC members with paying their electric or gas bills. This program provides assistance to meet the cost of home heating and cooling needs for eligible individuals and households and can also provide assistance in emergency situations eligible to individuals or families who are without home energy or in danger of losing home energy during a crisis. LIHEAP is income-based and applicants must meet 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines to be eligible. Online applications for LIHEAP assistance are available. Applicants must have the ability to upload all required documents, which are: proof of household income for the past 30 days; electric or gas bill; current photo ID for the applicant and social security cards for all household members. If applicants can’t upload the necessary information, they can visit the Services Outreach office for assistance.
• Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) – services included in this program include self-sufficiency, transportation, education, supportive services, youth development, emergency assistance food pantry, and teen gifts. To find out more, call for assistance or come into the office. TCCC staff will also make a home visit if the client isn’t able to get to the TCCC offices.
• New Program: CSBG Disaster Relief Supplement Funds (DRSF) - These funds are available to households impacted by Hurricane Michael that are in need of assistance in Bay, Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties. This could include housing; education, training and employment; medical and transportation assistance. Anyone applying for CSBG Disaster Relief Supplemental Funding must meet 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Housing: debris removal, rent, mortgage payments, furnishings, FEMA trailers, mold inspection and remediation, various permits and relocation permits, roof repair, wheelchair ramps and HVAC
Education, training & employment: tuition, books, uniforms, driver’s license, GED, etc. Medical: co-pays, prescriptions, glasses, dental, minor medical procedures
Transportation: NOS co-pay to doctor visits, trolley passes, medical treatment and other transportation needs
To find out more, call for assistance or come into the office. TCCC staff will also make a home visit if the client isn’t able to get to the TCCC offices.
• Head Start/Early Head Start - Head Start programs promote school readiness of children ages birth to five. Applicants may apply online or at one of the Head Start locations. From one tiny center in Chipley with a small enrollment Tri-County has expanded to five Head Start centers in Washington, Holmes and Walton counties which now serve hundreds of children annually with an impressive curriculum centered on educational advancement, physical and mental enrichment, socialization, and a whole-family approach. The program has also expanded from the summer months only mode to operations which coincide with the regular school year. The Early Head Start program is a comprehensive, year round child and family development service. The program assists infants, toddlers, and pregnant women in Holmes County. Head Start and Early Head Start are based on 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. It is the desire of the Early Head Start program: to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women; to enhance the development of infants and toddlers; to promote healthy family functioning, and to create partnerships with families and the community.
Transportation - Tri-County Community Council, Inc. is committed to providing the safest, most efficient, most courteous, and reliable services to the transportation disadvantaged residents of Holmes, Walton, Washington, and Santa Rosa Counties. TCCC provides public transportation trips for local non-emergency medical treatment, nutritional, shopping, education, recreation, employment/training, and other daily needs. Eligibility for transportation services are based on age, income and/or disability. Apply online, call or visit one of the Transportation offices.
WFEC members have historically received crisis benefit and a home energy benefit once per calendar year. However, TCCC currently has additional funds through the CARES ACT to assist multiple times, depending on the situation. The CSBG Cares Funding can assist with rent/mortgage; utilities, education; birth/marriage certificates; medical assistance; school supplies and transportation. Anyone applying must meet 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
TCCC will also assist WFEC members with paying deposits for electric service. The deposit must be in the name of the person in the household over the age of 18. Tri-County Community Council recently assisted 3,493 families through the LIHEAP program (including LIHEAP CARES) and 1,405 families through the CSBG (including CSBG CARES).
“It is a pleasure to work with the TCCC staff. They go the extra mile in trying to help our membership. Our members, in Holmes and Washington counties, have benefited greatly from the funding available through the LIHEAP Home Energy, weather assistance, and LIHEAP CARES ACT programs,” said Beverly Anderson,
Manager, Member Services, in WFEC’s Bonifay district office.