Martin Head Start Center and The Della J. Caugills Early Head Start Center Are Closed Today – Wednesday, September 25, 2019 – Due to Water Main Break

Martin Head Start Center and The Della J. Caugills Early Head Start Center are experiencing water outages due to a water main break.  The centers will be closed on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.

We will provide updates as they become available from the City of Jackson. If you have questions, please call your center administrator.

HCHRA Unveils Annual Report During National Community Action Month Celebration

In honor of National Community Action Month, Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) met with its board of directors and sustaining partners to report on the agency’s achievements this past year.  Observed annually in May, National Community Action Month was created by the Community Action Partnership to call attention to the Community Action programs that help thousands of families achieve self-sufficiency.

During the May 15th dinner meeting, HCHRA leaders showcased their 2018 accomplishments and gave partners a first-hand look at the struggles low-income families face.  HCHRA showed how Community Action Agencies such as theirs empower these families to become self-reliant.  Guests got the first look at the agency’s 2018 annual report, which detailed the outcomes of more than a dozen Community Action programs operated by HCHRA. The report revealed that of the more than 239,000 people residing in Hinds County, approximately 48,378 live in poverty.  Last year, HCHRA provided home energy assistance, nutrition, transportation, education, and employment opportunities to over 14,000 disadvantaged citizens in 4,000 different households to help families and individuals become stable and more self-reliant.

Perhaps the most notable occurrence for HCHRA in 2018 was the overhaul to its customer service model.  Roger Lutrell, vice president for planning and development, explained how the agency merged its social and community service program divisions to create the newly formed Department of Family Opportunities to conduct family assessments in a thorough, more efficient way to promote sustainability and/or self-sufficiency for everyone in the home, not just for the individual who walks through the doors of the agency.

Following Lutrell’s presentation, David Knight, the agency’s executive vice president and chief operations officer, talked about HCHRA’s investments in staff training and development, new technology, and facility maintenance and upgrades to help make sure the agency provided the right opportunities for success to produce even greater outcomes than the year before.  Knight also talked about the cooperative agreements the agency established with 78 different community partners to ensure that HCHRA was able to link customers with any service they may need that is not provided directly by HCHRA.  “While we can’t be all things to all people, as a Community Action Agency, we should be able to refer people to a community partner where they can get help with the services we do not provide,” said Knight. “And that’s what we do, we link people with resources and opportunities.”

Some of HCHRA’s major accomplishments for 2018 include educating 2,247 children through its preschool education program; providing the training and support for 54 classroom staff persons to meet the standards necessary to become certified under the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, which measures the quality of interactions between teachers and students in PK-12 classrooms; improving access to medical and dental care for Head Start children; providing 3,281 families with energy, fuel and utility assistance; delivering 19,285 meals to senior citizens and people with disabilities who are unable to leave home without assistance; serving 6,631 congregate meals to senior citizens to promote health and well-being; and transporting 35,673 individuals to work, school and doctor’s appointments.

“I am very proud of the work we do here at HCHRA and the impact we made in 2018,” said Kenn Cockrell, the president and CEO of HCHRA. In addition to helping families live better lives, we made a $35.7 million economic impact in Hinds County in wages, taxes, job development and contract opportunities.  HCHRA is truly living up to its mantra of helping families, strengthening communities.”

A limited number of copies of the 2018 Annual Report are available at Hinds County Human Resource Agency.  Click here to view the full report.  To request a copy or get more information about the Hinds County Human Resource Agency 2018 Annual Report, call HCHRA’s Planning and Development Department at 601.923.3930.

HCHRA Offers Summer Food Service Program to Make Sure Children Receive Nutritious Meals During the Summer

In an effort to fight child hunger, Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) will offer the Summer Food Service Program from June 10 through July 23, 2019, at two locations in the Jackson metro area.

Children 18 years and younger can receive lunch at absolutely no cost.  The meals will be served Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at South Jackson Head Start Center located at 3020 Grey Boulevard, and at Mary C. Jones Head Start Center located at 2050 Martin Luther King Jr. Dive.

“During the summer, families typically have to buy more food, and that’s an increased expense that many families simply cannot afford,” said Kenn Cockrell, HCHRA president and CEO.  “By offering the Summer Food Service Program, we hope that we can relieve some of the financial strain and ensure that children receive nutritious meals across the summer.”

Both of the food service sites are open to the public.  Children are not required to show proof of age, income or residency.  For more information about the program, parents can call (601) 923-1780.





HCHRA Receives Donation to Help Promote Literacy

Hinds County Human Resource Agency’s (HCHRA) Early Head Start program received a cash donation and a collection of children’s books from Ms. Mary S. Jones to help promote early childhood literacy.

Jones, standing on the left, is photographed presenting a $200 donation to Dr. LaTessa Long, HCHRA’s director of Children’s Services, in support of the agency’s Early Head Start literacy program.  Jones said she wanted to make the donation because she enjoys helping children.  She specifically requested that the books be donated to The Della J. Caugills Early Head Start, which was named in honor of her sister, Mrs. Della J. Caugills, who worked at HCHRA for more than 41 years and served as education director for the agency’s Head Start programs.

HCHRA is a public nonprofit Community Action Agency dedicated to helping families and strengthening communities.  For more than 41 years, HCHRA has built its solid reputation in eradicating poverty by empowering disadvantaged Hinds County citizens to become self-reliant and realize their full potential.  For more information on the agency’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs, click here.  To learn how you can support program development and provide additional opportunities for disadvantaged citizens, call (601) 923-3930 and ask for Planning and Development.

Shop on AmazonSmile. Get Low Prices. Benefit HCHRA.


The Christmas holiday season is the busiest shopping time of the year. Visit AmazonSmile at and 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 (HCHRA).

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon.  The difference is when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to HCHRA.  Before you make that next purchase on Amazon, please go to AmazonSmile at and select HCHRA as your charitable organization of choice.  Every donation we receive helps us to do more for the families and communities we serve.

If you’ve shopped on Amazon before, log in with your usual sign-in info.  If you’re new to Amazon, create an account and begin enjoying the savings while making a tremendous difference in the lives of others. Anytime you and your friends or family members shop on Amazon throughout the year, be sure to log on to AmazonSmile in support of HCHRA.

Happy shopping!

For more information about HCHRA and its programs and services, click here.

For more information on AmazonSmile, visit

HCHRA Makes $30,000 Investment in Community Landmark

Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) recently invested $30,000 in the replacement of the roof at the Edwards Neighborhood Service Center.

Formerly the Edwards Attendance Center, the Edwards Neighborhood Service Center is a well-known landmark that now serves as the home for HCHRA’s Congregate Meals Program in Edwards, Mississippi.  Seniors from throughout the community come to the center each weekday to enjoy a hot, nutritious, “sit-down” style fellowship lunch with their peers.

Due to the normal and usual exposure to the elements and the impact of father time, the 50-year-old building began to experience roof leaks that were beyond repair.  Given the importance of the Congregate Meals Program to the livelihood and wellness of the area seniors, HCHRA dug deep and made a huge financial commitment to replace the roof to ensure that the center remained open.  “Every program we operate is vital, but our senior programs are among the most important,” said Kenn Cockrell, president and chief executive officer of HCHRA.  “Seniors are extremely vulnerable. Without the meals and socialization opportunities provided at our congregate sites, many of them would live in isolation and suffer from malnutrition and undetected health risks.  Although there’s no type of reimbursement funding available for the $30,000 we spent on the roof replacement, there was never a question about whether it should be done.  The safety and well-being of the seniors was and is our number one priority.”

HCHRA also operates Head Start and Early Head Start programs on the same campus as the Congregate Meals Program in Edwards.  While the roof replacement is underway, seniors gather in a portion of the Head Start center’s cafeteria to partake in their meals, education seminars, and socialization activities.  The temporary move has not dampened the mood nor the activities that the site manager, Vivian Johnson, and her seniors enjoy.  Seniors from the surrounding areas continue to congregate and revel in a sense of independence and meaningful interaction, which contribute significantly to their health and happiness.

Cockrell explained that HCHRA is always exploring opportunities to strengthen its community presence and enhance the services it provides.  Though plans have not been finalized, the Agency is looking at turning the Edwards Neighborhood Service Center into one of its full-service locations where, in addition to providing the Congregate Meals Program and other senior services, area residents can also receive utility payment, rental, tuition, and employment assistance.

The Edwards Neighborhood Service Center is one of three sites in Hinds County at which HCHRA offers the Congregate Meals Programs.  The other sites are the Little Bethel Neighborhood Service Center and the Mt. Wade Congregate Site, both located in Terry.  To participate, seniors must be 60 years of age or older and reside in Edwards, Terry, Raymond, Utica or Bolton. Transportation for all participants is provided by HCHRA.  Funding for the Congregate Meals Program is provided by the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services through the Central Mississippi Area Agency on Aging.  For more information or to sign up, call (601) 923-3930.


HCHRA Head Start Posts Exceptional Gains in Literacy for 2017-2018

As three- and four-year-old students begin to return to Head Start classrooms for the new school year, HCHRA teachers are beaming with pride from last year’s results. According to newly released HCHRA data from the 2017-18 Head Start school year, HCHRA students showed a 19% gain in Star Literacy test scores.

Star Literacy scores represent how well a student understands concepts and possesses specific skills that are important in the development of reading. These scores represent a snapshot of where the student currently stands as it relates to literacy.

At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, data showed that HCHRA had an average student score of 400.  A score of 300-487 places a child as an Early Emergent Reader.  Students in this category are beginning to understand that reading involves printed words and sentences, and that print flows from left to right and from top to bottom of the page. They are also beginning to identify colors, shapes, numbers and letters.

To ensure that each student was ready for kindergarten, HCHRA’s Head Start Program developed the “Early Literacy Race to 500” campaign. The goal of “Race to 500” was to ensure that HCHRA students transition from Early Emergent Reader to Late Emergent Reader.  Late Emergent Readers score 488-674. Students in this category identify most of the letters of the alphabet and can match most of the letters to their sounds. Students are also beginning to read picture books and familiar words around the home.

By the end of the school year, test results showed that HCHRA reached an average score of 476 among all four-year-old students tested.  “While short of our goal, I am proud to say that our Head Start staff delivered high-quality instruction and provided an excellent learning environment to ensure we saw exceptional gains in our students,” says Kenn Cockrell, president and CEO of HCHRA.  “We had multiple centers to surpass the 500 mark, and a few students even scored over 800 – a remarkable accomplishment.”

The gains came a year after HCHRA made curriculum changes and implemented evaluations that were better aligned with their curriculum. HCHRA also recognizes parents as the child’s first and best teacher.  To reinforce the learning that takes place in the classroom, HCHRA provides parents with at-home activities they can practice with their children to help them strengthen literacy skills until they return to the classroom.

Just last year, all Head Start programs across the state were wrongfully categorized as not having positive results in early literacy.  “When you group all students together, without considering income or opportunity, data is not properly analyzed, inaccurate generalizations are espoused, and programs are not fairly evaluated apart from the others,” said Cockrell.

Cockrell went on to explain that the teachers and staff at HCHRA are held to a high standard of accountability, which often surpasses federal requirements.  “In addition to ensuring that our education tools and methods produce results, we utilize measurement systems that ensure accountability and clearly communicate results to funders, community members and leaders throughout Hinds County.”

HCHRA operates 16 Head Start centers and satellite locations throughout Hinds County and has successfully run the Head Start program for more than 41 years.

Head Start Parents Are Invited to Open House – Tuesday, August 7th

Welcome Head Start Parents and thank you for entrusting HCHRA Project Head Start to jump-start your child’s education.

We invite you to attend Open House at your child’s Head Start center on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, anytime from 10:00 a.m. up until 7:00 p.m.  This is a great time to meet your child’s teacher, visit their classroom, and tour the center.  It will also give you an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

If you need assistance before the Open House, call (601) 923-3940.  We look forward to meeting you.