Shop on AmazonSmile and They Will Donate to HCHRA

#StartWithaSmile at for your holiday gifts and Amazon will make a donation to Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA).

November is officially the start of the holiday season and Cyber Monday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. That means a lot of shopping for gifts, decorations, and a whole lot more.

Visit and shop for all of your holiday gifts.  At, you’ll enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices and convenient shopping features as on, while making a contribution to Hinds County Human Resource Agency.

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon.  The difference is when you and your family and friends shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to Hinds County Human Resource Agency.

To start shopping, copy and paste the following link in your web browser:

If you’ve shopped on Amazon before, visit and log in with your usual sign-in info.  If you’re new to Amazon, create an account and begin shopping thousands of items at low prices, while making a contribution to Hinds County Human Resource Agency.

When you first visit AmazonSmile, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization.  In order to browse or shop at AmazonSmile, you must first select a charitable organization.  The easiest way to select HCHRA is to copy and paste in your web browser, or just click here.

Happy shopping!

Smile with holiday shopping


4-Year-Old Julius Jones Burial Donations Now Being Accepted

On Friday, October 28th, 4-year-old Julius Jones was struck by a vehicle and killed.  Julius was a preschool student at Mary C. Jones Head Start Center and had attended school just before the tragic accident.

Julius was very kind and joyful.  Everyone lucky enough to meet him, instantly felt the joy and love he so freely gave.  His family, friends, teachers, and the community are truly devastated by his death.  He leaves behind his parents and an older sister.

Please consider donating to help this family with the financial burden of burying Julius and to help create a financial safety net for his parents — neither of them has the luxury of paid time off as they mourn the loss of their 4-year-old son.

Persons interested in contributing to the family can click on the Donate button below to access our secure donation page via PayPal.  Be sure to write Julius Jones under “Add special instructions to the seller.” You do not need a PayPal account to donate, just a valid credit card.

HCHRA Hosts Its 22nd Annual Awards & Recognition Gala


Over 400 area residents, community and business leaders gathered at the Jackson Marriott Hotel on September 23, 2016, to celebrate Hinds County Human Resource Agency’s 22nd Annual Awards and Recognition Gala.

The annual gala brought supporters from across the state to celebrate individuals who are living out the mission of Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) to empower disadvantaged citizens to become self-reliant and realize their full potential and to acknowledge those who have given of their time and resources to make that mission possible.

The Bootstrap Award was presented to six individuals who, with HCHRA resources and great personal effort, overcame challenging life situations and achieved great accomplishments.

HCHRA also presented the following awards to individuals and organizations for their community service and Agency support: Medgar Evers Humanitarian Award – presented to BankPlus for its commitment to supporting low-income initiatives; J.B. Carr Community Service Award – presented to Hope House and Midtown Partners; Volunteers of the Year Award – presented to Alexis Harvey (Head Start Policy Council member), Shamsie Ruffin (Head Start Policy Council member), Keishawna Smith (Head Start Policy Council Chairman) and the Hinds County Human Resource Agency Advisory Committee; Agency Support Award – presented to the Hinds County Board of Supervisors and the Mary C. Jones Head Start Center staff (Ms. Almeta Roberts, Center Administrator); Bill Cooley Agency Development Award – presented to Angelique Rawls (Director of Communications and Development); Board of Directors Award – presented to Ann Burton (Chairman of the Board) and DeJohn Hampton (Board of Directors Development Committee Chairman); Cedric Morgan/Betsy Smith Team Leadership Award – presented to David Knight (Executive Vice President & COO) and Kathleen Williams-McGriggs (Senior VP, Administrative & Board Services); the President & CEO Award – presented to Dewayne Frederick (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Atlanta, Georgia) and Johnny Donaldson (President, BankPlus – Jackson).

Corporate partners recognized for their support included BankPlus, M3A Architecture, The Mississippi Link, Mississippi Group Marketing, Phelps Dunbar, Jackson Advocate, AT&T, Atmos Energy, C Spire, Entergy Mississippi, Hinds CAP Lions Club, Institute of Government at Jackson State University, Jackson Memorial Funeral Service, Mississippi Development Authority, Risk Management Partners, Shady Grove M.B. Church, Walker & Son, and Watkins Ward & Stafford.

“Hinds County Human Resource Agency has been serving the community for more than 39 years,” said Kenn Cockrell, HCHRA president and CEO.  “Because of a dedicated staff and strong community support, we have been able to improve the quality of life for thousands of Hinds County residents, including almost 2,000 children, daily.  The gala is our opportunity to celebrate those who work tirelessly and give so generously to help create positive change in our communities.”

Mr. Johnny Donaldson, president of BankPlus – Jackson, served as keynote speaker for the gala and delivered an inspiring message on the importance of faith, family, education and hard work in order to succeed against all odds.  Ms. Joy Redmond, weekday morning anchor for WLBT 3 On Your Side, served as emcee.  Entertainment was provided by world renowned saxophonist, Dr. Jessie Primer III.

Head Start students created centerpieces for each of the banquet tables.



Atmos Energy Payment Assistance Available on the Spot — Thursday, September 8, 2016

Share the Warmth_September 8 2016_Promo Flyer

Atmos Energy is announcing its “Fueling Our Communities” Day in partnership with Hinds County Human Resource Agency to assist those who have been disconnected or struggling to pay their natural gas bills, past due gas gills, deposits and services charges.

Atmos Energy and Hinds County Human Resource Agency are long-standing community partners who work together every day to “make a difference” — helping individuals and families who have a need and are struggling with paying their natural gas gills, and helping to improve safety and health by staying connected.

If you are an Atmos Energy residential customer and need assistance, come to the Metrocenter Mall Event Center on Thursday, September 8, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to receive Atmos Energy payment assistance on the spot.  You must bring your account number and a copy of your last bill, if possible.  The bill must be in the applicant’s name, and you must have a valid I.D.  No appointment is necessary.  Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Head Start Students Return to School on Friday

Hinds County Human Resource Agency Project Head Start looks forward to the return of its students on Friday, August 12, 2016.  After a much-deserved summer break, Head Start center administrators returned to work four weeks before the start of school to participate in meetings and training sessions to prepare them for a successful year.  Other center staff, including teachers, cooks, family services workers, custodians, drivers, and security guards, joined the center administrators on August 1st for pre-service training and spent an entire week going over federal and state-required mandates, classroom skills and teaching strategies for the upcoming year.  Staff also received training from certified experts on topics such as health and safety, serving children with disabilities, active supervision, responsive care through reflective supervision, positive disciplining, menu planning, goal setting with families, behavior management, quality teacher-child interaction, and family engagement.

“Hinds County Human Resource Agency places a great deal of emphasis on the training we provide to Head Start staff,” said Kenn Cockrell, president and chief executive officer of HCHRA.  “Our goal for pre-service training is to make sure that our staff fully understands what is expected of them, and to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and tools to give the students what they need to excel academically, socially and emotionally.”

The first day of school for all HCHRA Head Start and Early Head Start children is Friday, August 12, 2016.  Parents are encouraged to attend Parent Orientation and Open House on Thursday, August 11, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Head Start center at which their child is enrolled.

This school year marks the 40th year that HCHRA has operated Head Start.  According to Chelsea Luster, associate vice president for Head Start and early childhood programs, HCHRA has a total of 1834 slots to accommodate students in both the Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Hinds County.  Though school starts on August 12th, Head Start staff will continue to accept applications to fill a limited number of slots that remain open at specific locations, and families can be placed on the waiting list for enrollment at centers that have already been filled.  Priority placement will be given to families of children with disabilities, regardless of income.

If you have questions about Hinds County Human Resource Agency Project Head Start, you may contact the Division of Family and Community Services at (601) 923-3940 or click here for more information.

HCHRA Head Start Recruitment, Family Services & Job Fair Extravaganza and Fish Fry – Friday, June 17th

On Friday, June 17th, Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) will host a Head Start Recruitment, Family Services and Job Fair Extravaganza from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at our central office located at 258 Maddox Road in Jackson.  HCHRA will also host a fish fry from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in Head Start, starting a new career, or receiving assistance with utility bills, transportation, education or child care assistance, come out to the HCHRA Extravaganza.

Parents of children who are at least 3 but not yet 5 by September 1st can complete an enrollment application for one of 16 Head Start centers in Hinds County.  Be sure to bring proof of income, Hinds County residency, child’s age and child’s Social Security number.  Children with disabilities or suspected disabilities will be given priority for enrollment regardless of income.  A complete list of Head Start sites and application requirements can be found on our website under the Head Start & Early Head Start tab.

As an additional service to our Head Start families, staff will be available to see if families qualify for utility assistance payments, education tuition, child care assistance, or a number of other services we can provide.  You must be a resident of Hinds County and meet income guidelines.  To apply, bring your current utility bills, proof of residence, a valid photo ID, Social Security cards and birth certificates for all household members (regardless of age), and proof of income.

There will also be a job fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  HCHRA is hiring in all areas and has positions available for teachers, social workers, management information, family services, security guards, quality assurance, cooks, bus drivers, facilities, custodians, personnel director, vice presidents and many more.  Anyone interested in employment should come by and apply for one of several positions.  Hiring managers will be on site.  For a complete list of job openings, visit the employment page on our website.

As part of the Extravaganza, HCHRA will also host a fish fry from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to support community programs.  Join us for lunch and support a great cause.  Fish plates are only $10 and will include catfish, spaghetti, coleslaw, dessert and a beverage.

Head Start Recruitment, Family Services and Job Fair Extravaganza
Friday, June 17th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hinds County Human Resource Agency
258 Maddox Road
Jackson, Mississippi
HCHRA Extravaganza Flyer


Head Start Recruitment Fair with Disabilities Awareness – Saturday, May 14th at the Mississippi Children’s Museum

On Saturday, May 14th, Hinds County Human Resource Agency Project Head Start will host a Head Start Recruitment Fair with disability awareness.

If you have a child who is at least 3 years old but not yet 5 by September 1st, come out to the Mississippi Children’s Museum on Saturday, May 14th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and join Hinds County Human Resource Agency for free admission to the museum, free food, and games.  Registration is from 11:00 a.m. to noon and is required for participation.

Hinds County Human Resource Agency Project Head Start staff will be available to answer questions about the Head Start program and provide information on the highly specialized services we offer for children with disabilities.  Parents who wish to enroll their children will receive on-site assistance with the application process for the 2016-2017 school year.

If you have a child with disabilities, we will help you understand your rights, the school’s responsibilities and how to insure the success of your child in school.

To apply to the Head Start program, parents should bring proof of child’s age, family income, residency, and child’s Social Security number.  Children with disabilities or suspected disabilities receive priority for enrollment regardless of family income.

For information, call Hinds County Human Resource Agency Project Head Start at 601-923-3940.

To begin the registration process, click here.

Recruitment Fair with Disability Awareness_POSTER_May 14, 2016

HCHRA Provides Drinking Water Lead Test Kits for Head Start Parents

At Hinds County Human Resource Agency, the health and safety of our Head Start children and families is very important to us.

In response to the City of Jackson reporting higher than normal levels of lead in the drinking water, Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) is taking every precaution possible to protect Head Start children from the exposure to lead that may be present in the water.  In an effort to assist our families, HCHRA has partnered with the Mississippi State Department of Health and has purchased lead testing kits for each family who has a child enrolled in a Head Start center located in the Jackson city limits, and for families at the Gertrude Ellis Head Start Center.

Lead testing kits will be available for pick up at the Head Start centers on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, and need to be returned no later than Monday, May 2, 2016. Along with the test kits, parents will be given a set of instructions on how to collect a water sample.  Once the samples are returned, HCHRA will submit them to the Mississippi Public Health Lab for testing.  In 2 to 4 weeks, results will be mailed directly to the homes of Head Start families.

As a reminder, parents are asked to continue taking safety precautions when using tap water for cooking and drinking while the City of Jackson makes the necessary changes to stabilize the pH levels in the water system.

If you are a Head Start parent and you have questions about test kits or safety precautions, please contact your center administrator and he/she will be happy to assist you.

HCHRA Hosts Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Recertification for Seniors and Citizens with Disabilities on March 24, 2016

Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) will host its 2016 LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) Awareness Day for Seniors and Citizens with Disabilities on Thursday, March 24, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Jackson Medical Mall Community Meeting Room located at 350 Woodrow Wilson in Jackson, Mississippi.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally-funded program that helps low-income households with paying their home energy bills with special provisions made to serve homebound, elderly and citizens with disabilities.  LIHEAP helps to keep families safe and healthy by reducing the risk of problems that arise from unsafe heating and cooling practices. In addition to bill payment assistance, the program also provides energy crisis assistance, weatherization and minor energy-related home repairs.

During the March 24th LIHEAP event, HCHRA case managers will be on-site to help Hinds County seniors and citizens with disabilities certify for LIHEAP assistance and learn more about the program and its benefits.  “Though HCHRA provides LIHEAP assistance to any household that meets the eligibility requirements, we created LIHEAP Awareness Day specifically for seniors and citizens with disabilities as a way to streamline the application process and improve delivery of services,” said HCHRA President and CEO Kenn Cockrell.  “HCHRA is very sensitive to the challenges of our aging populations and of those with limited mobility that may prevent them from visiting our central office,” said Cockrell.  “HCHRA organized this community outreach effort to make it more convenient for them to apply and become certified to receive services.”

Energy companies Entergy and Atmos will be in attendance to provide energy-saving tips, information about their services, and information on how to remain safe when trying to keep homes warm or cool in extreme temperatures.  Refreshments will be served.

Any senior and any citizen with a disability who lives in Hinds County and receives SSI, Social Security, or VA benefits from the government is encouraged to attend the 2016 LIHEAP Awareness Day.  All other Hinds County residents, including heads of households who have a senior or person with a disability living in their household, should contact HCHRA at 601-923-3950 to schedule an appointment at the Agency for case management.

Clients who were served by HCHRA in 2015 will need to bring their 2016 award letter from the government (or printout from Social Security Administration), proof of sources of income, and current copies of their energy-related utility bills (i.e., lights and gas).   Persons who have never been to HCHRA will need their 2016 award letter, proof of sources of income, current utility bills, as well as their birth certificate, Social Security card (or printout from Social Security Administration), and a government issued picture ID.

LIHEAP funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Division of Community Services, Mississippi Department of Human Services.  To qualify, applicants must meet income guidelines set by the state and federal government for LIHEAP assistance.  For additional information about the 2016 LIHEAP Awareness Day for Seniors and Citizens with Disabilities in Hinds County, or other community programs and services offered by HCHRA, call 601-923-3950.

HCHRA Takes Safety Precautions in Response to Reports of Lead in Drinking Water

As recently reported by the City of Jackson, some homes in the Jackson area have recently shown higher than normal levels of lead in their drinking water.

Although the majority of home testing performed identified no lead, the Mississippi State Department of Health is issuing the following recommendations as a special precaution, especially for households with young children or pregnant women.  These precautions should remain in place at least six months while the City of Jackson makes the necessary changes to stabilize the pH levels in the water system.

Please take the following steps any time you wish to use tap water for drinking or cooking, especially when the water has been off and sitting in the pipes for more than 6 hours:

  • Do not use hot water from the tap for cooking or drinking.
  • Before using tap water for drinking or cooking, run your tap on cold for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • You should also fill a few clean containers to use for drinking, cooking, preparation of baby formula or other consumption after flushing the tap.
  • Any child five years of age or younger and any pregnant woman should use filtered water or bottled water for drinking and cooking.
  • Baby formula should be “ready-to-feed” or prepared using only filtered or bottled water.
  • Parents with children five years or younger should contact their child’s pediatrician or primary care provider to make sure lead screening and testing have been performed.

The health and safety of our Head Start Children children and families is very important to Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA).  HCHRA will follow each of the precautions listed above when using tap water.  As an additional precaution, HCHRA has ordered water filtration systems to be installed at each of our centers immediately.

If you have questions or concerns about the water at your child’s Head Start center, please contact your center administrator.

If you would like to have the water in your home tested for lead, you may purchase a testing kit from the Mississippi State Department of Health Public Health Laboratory.  The cost is $20 per kit.  For more information on purchasing a testing kit, call 601-576-7582.

Thank you for your attention to this very important message.