Thankful Thursday: A Message of Thanks

Hinds County Human Resource Agency would like to express appreciation to our HCHRA Board Members, Policy Committee, staff and volunteers for your unwavering support of our mission.

Your dedication allows us to give back to the Hinds County community in meaningful ways. We are deeply grateful for your commitment and efforts.

 

Beat the Heat: Six Essential Weatherization Tips for Spring and Summer

As the warmer months of spring and summer approach, bringing longer days and rising temperatures, it’s crucial to ensure your home is properly weatherized to maintain comfort and energy efficiency. This preparation not only helps to keep your living spaces cool and pleasant but also reduces energy consumption and lowers utility bills, ensuring that your home remains a sanctuary from the heat without incurring unnecessary costs.

Below are some tips to help you stay cool:

  1. Seal Gaps and Cracks: Inspect your home for any gaps or cracks around windows, doors, and other openings. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal these areas and prevent cool air from escaping and hot air from entering. This simple step can make a significant difference in maintaining indoor temperatures and reducing energy bills.
  2. Upgrade Window Treatments: Consider installing energy-efficient window treatments such as reflective blinds, shades, or thermal curtains. These can help block out the sun’s intense heat during the day, keeping your home cooler and reducing the strain on your air conditioning system.
  3. Enhance Attic Insulation: Proper insulation in your attic is key to keeping your home cool in the summer. Check the current insulation levels and add more if necessary. Good insulation helps prevent heat from penetrating your living spaces, leading to a more comfortable indoor environment and lower cooling costs.
  4. Maintain Your HVAC System: Schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioning unit to ensure it operates efficiently. Clean or replace the filters monthly, as dirty filters can impede airflow and reduce system efficiency. Additionally, have a professional check the system for any potential issues and perform a thorough cleaning and tune-up.
  5. Utilize Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans can be a cost-effective way to enhance cooling. Set your fans to rotate counterclockwise in the summer to create a cooling breeze. This can allow you to raise your thermostat setting by a few degrees without sacrificing comfort, further saving on energy costs.
  6. Implement Smart Home Technology: Invest in a programmable thermostat to optimize your cooling schedule. Set the thermostat to higher temperatures when you are away and lower it when you are home. Some smart thermostats can even learn your habits and adjust settings automatically for maximum efficiency.

By taking these steps, you can ensure your home remains comfortable and energy-efficient throughout the spring and summer months, helping you beat the heat without breaking the bank.

For more information on weatherization tips or help with energy assistance, click here.

Source: Energy.gov.

From Both Sides of the Desk: Insights from a Head Start Teacher and Parent

Meet Chelsea Robinson, a dedicated Family Opportunity Advisor at the Eulander P. Kendrick Head Start Center, part of the Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA). Chelsea wears two hats in the Head Start community—she’s not only an integral member of the staff but also a parent.

Her son, Chase, is almost five years old and is on the autism spectrum. As Chase prepares to embark on his kindergarten journey this year, Chelsea brings a unique perspective to her role, understanding both the professional and personal challenges and triumphs of navigating early childhood education, especially for children with special needs.

Head Start is committed to ensuring that children, ages 0-5, with disabilities are afforded the same opportunities for inclusive classroom settings as other students throughout the state. Priority is given to children with disabilities who have been diagnosed with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP).

Registration is now open for the 2024-2025 school year. For more information on our services, please contact 601-923-3950.

 

Head Start Children Celebrate Community Action Month 60th Anniversary with Huggie Hearts

As Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) celebrates the 60th anniversary of Community Action Month, we’re excited to engage our little ones in a special activity that spreads love and creativity.

The Huggie Hearts initiative isn’t just about coloring; it’s about fostering a sense of compassion and connection among children and their communities.

Why hearts, you may wonder? Well, hearts symbolize the universal language of love and empathy. They remind us of the importance of kindness, compassion, and understanding in building strong, resilient communities. And what better way to celebrate Community Action Month than by spreading love one heart at a time?

So, as we commemorate the 60th anniversary of Community Action Month, let’s celebrate the power of love and compassion embodied in the simple act of coloring a heart. Together, let’s continue to nurture a culture of kindness, generosity, and empathy that uplifts and strengthens us all. After all, in a world where we can be anything, let’s always choose to be kind.

Take a look at the beautiful artwork from the children in our Head Start centers. We would like to thank the Head Start teachers and staff or helping to coordinate this activity.

HCHRA Celebrates 60 Years of Community Action

May is Community Action Month and this year marks the 60th anniversary of the Community Action Network. Join Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) as we honor the past, present and future of this milestone all month long.

For over sixty years, the Community Action Network has been a beacon of hope, providing support and resources to individuals seeking to improve their lives and communities across the United States. By partnering with Community Action Agencies at the local, state, and national levels, leaders can promote effective solutions that create family opportunities, ultimately leading to a higher quality of life for all Americans.

Through this collaborative effort, the Community Action Network continues to make a significant impact in empowering individuals and transforming communities for the better.

The Economic Opportunity Act (P.L. 88-452) was signed on August 20, 1964, marking a new movement’s beginning. Over time, in almost every county in America, people from rural, urban, suburban, and remote areas came together to establish a Community Action organization. For almost 60 years, local people have supported their local CAA. Today, around 1,000 agencies are responsible for addressing the causes and conditions of poverty that hold people and places back. Community Action is unique because it has a national network of CAAs with a standard set of core principles and precepts rooted in the governing legislation and the history and knowledge developed over six decades. America’s CAAs connect millions of individuals and families with more significant opportunities, transforming their lives and strengthening their communities and the nation.

The genesis of the Community Services Association in Hinds County can be traced back to the summer of 1967. Although its operations temporarily ceased in 1975, the organization was re-established in 1976 under a new name – the Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA). The association’s mission was considered crucial; hence, its revival was necessary.

The agency aimed to comprehensively support Hinds County residents, addressing the community’s various social and economic issues. HCHRA has been a constant source of aid and welfare for the Hinds County community, actively working to improve the quality of life and promote prosperity for the residents. Therefore, re-establishing the agency is seen as a vital step towards uplifting the community and positively impacting the lives of the people it serves. The non-profit organization commenced operations in 1977, backed by the Hinds County Board of Supervisors. The City of Jackson also contributed resources and space to facilitate the agency’s operations.

HCHRA continues to be a pillar of service to Hinds County assisting thousands of residents daily with Head Start and Early Head Start, Career and Training Support, Transportation Services, home-delivered and congregate meals for the elderly, and low-income energy assistance.

Applications are now open for enrollment at HCHRA Project Head Start for the 2024-2025 academic year. To learn more about Head Start, click here or call 601-923-3950.