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Help of all kinds can be found at Pearl River Valley Opportunity Inc.

Pearl River Valley Opportunity can help people in need of assistance find the path to independence.

Case Manager Lillie Crawford said those services can help people find employment, write resumes, obtain their high school diploma, receive employment training through Pearl River Community College or even replace a water heater or HVAC system in their home.

PRVO can do this by helping those in need apply for that assistance through a number of local programs. Some of the programs are funded through a Community Development Block Grant or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program while other offerings are provided by state universities or the local community college.

If someone is looking for employment training, Crawford said she can match them up with the Picayune Early Head Start program, where they can receive training in child care.

Adults who are interested in obtaining their diploma can be paired with an online program that can help them reach that goal, Crawford said.

Those interested in learning the trade of shipbuilding can come to the local office of PRVO where Crawford can help them with tuition assistance for classes at PRCC. 

Workshops geared toward helping people lead healthier lives are also hosted by PRVO. Crawford said the programs are offered through Mississippi State University Extension Service and cover heart disease, nutrition, safety and cancer prevention. She said that partnership has been ongoing for the past four years.

There are also workshops with the Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative that provide health screenings for blood pressure and glucose levels.

Under LIHEAP, those who qualify can receive a new HVAC system or hot water heater. That program can also help people with their electricity or natural gas bill if they qualify.

The local office can also help county residents find weatherization services to help lower their utility bills and provide conservation tips.

Eligibility is determined on a number of factors, some of which include household size, income, whether a person is disabled and age, Crawford said.

To apply for the programs, the applicant will need to bring a Social Security card of each resident in the home, a  picture ID of every person in the home 18 years and older, proof of household income, a deed or rental/lease agreement and recent utility bill.

Free federal tax preparation services are also offered to any resident of the county.

According to a public notice, PRVO intends to apply for funding through CDBG and LIHEAP for the 2019 fiscal year. A public hearing will be held concerning that intent will be held Sept. 11, at 10 a.m. in Chimney Square, located at 917 Goodyear Blvd., Suite E.