Head Start Centers Closed Until March 18, 2020

Due to growing health concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, Hinds County Human Resource Agency Project Head Start will extend Spring Break until Wednesday, March 18, 2020.  Children will not attend school on Monday or Tuesday.  All teachers and central office staff will report to work as normal on Monday, March 16 to prepare for the return of our Head Start students on Wednesday, March 18.

We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation while we seek guidance from our local and state officials to determine school plans moving forward.  We will be sure to keep you informed of any new developments.

A Message from Our CEO about the Coronavirus

What You Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Over the past few weeks, a lot of news about coronavirus has been reported as the infectious disease continues to spread worldwide.  It was reported that north Mississippi residents who came in contact with Tennessee residents infected with the disease had to been quarantined as a precautionary measure to prevent further infection.  And most recently, three new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Forrest County.

As the disease gets closer and closer to our community, everyone is concerned.  I want you to know that the health and safety of our employees and the children and families we serve is our first priority.  Here are a few of the most important things you need to know about the coronavirus.


  • The virus spreads easily between people through close contact (within 6 feet), or being in proximity of a carrier when they cough or sneeze. It is most contagious when the carrier is showing the symptoms, which can appear within 2-14 days of exposure to the virus. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  • It is suspected it may also be contracted through touching contaminated surfaces as some have been infected with the virus just by being in the area where it is present.


  • There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The recommended way to avoid contagion is to avoid close contact with those who are sick. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces regularly. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol content before you eat and after you use the bathroom, blow your nose, cough or sneeze.


  • If you are sick, you must stay home from work, school or any other social activities that would expose others, and call a doctor immediately. If you need to go to the hospital, please call the facility and report symptoms, recent travel and possible exposure BEFORE going there. Let them know if you have visited an area or come in contact with someone who has the coronavirus. They will determine with the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if you need to be tested for the disease. If you HAVE to travel in public it is recommended that you wear a facemask to keep from infecting others and avoid public transportation like trains, buses and taxis. When you sneeze or cough use a tissue and throw the tissue away.


  • If you become sick, it is important you stay away from others at home. Stay in an isolated room and even bathroom if possible. Keep frequently touched objects and surfaces cleaned and sanitized. It is recommended that you avoid contact with pets as well during your illness. Do not share everyday items like dishes, silverware, drinking glasses, towels, or bedding with others in the house, and those items should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
  • If your symptoms worsen (e.g., it becomes harder to breathe), contact a healthcare provider immediately and inform them you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19.


  • For every HCHRA employee and family member covered under our health insurance plan, UnitedHealthcare will waive copays, coinsurance and deductibles for COVID-19 diagnostic testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines for all covered members.
  • Call your primary care provider right away if you believe you might have been exposed to COVID-19. Your provider will have special procedures for you to follow.  UnitedHealthcare members can find a network provider by visiting myuhc.com.

At the center of HCHRA’s purpose is our desire to help families and strengthen communities.  We are committed to taking care of our team and those we serve.  In the coming weeks, we’ll be sure to provide guidance and additional information to help keep you and your families safe.  To learn more about COVID-19 and for the most up-to-date developments, you can visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov at any time.

Safe regards,

Kenn Cockrell
President and CEO

March 7th is Super Tax Day!

On Saturday, March 7th, you can get professional tax help, on us!

HCHRA has partnered with Entergy to provide a team of IRS-certified volunteers who will help with the entire process – from identifying all available credits to submitting your paperwork – and you get your full refund at absolutely no cost to you.

Super Tax Day
Saturday, March 7, 2020
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jackson Convention Complex
105 E. Pascagoula Street – Jackson, Mississippi

Boil Water Advisory for Jackson Has Been Lifted

According to local media sources, the boil water advisory issued by the City of Jackson on Thursday, February 13, 2020, has been lifted and is no longer in effect.  Water samples were taken on yesterday and tests were all clear.

If you need more information on the boil water advisory, Jackson residents may call 601-960-2723 during business hours or 601-960-1778 after 4 p.m. and on weekends.


Join the Global #GivingTuesday Movement on December 3, 2019 Support HCHRA, Help Families in Hinds County

Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) is a part of the #GivingTuesday movement, and we ask you to join us in our commitment to helping families, especially during this holiday season.

Occurring on December 3rd this year, GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.).  We have two days for getting deals – Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  On GivingTuesday, we have a day for giving back to a charity or cause in which we believe.  We hope that you will choose HCHRA.

HCHRA’s primary mission has been to empower disadvantaged Hinds County citizens to become self-reliant and realize their full potential.  For each and every family it serves, HCHRA takes a comprehensive approach to identify the causes and effects of poverty in the home.  The agency then works in partnership with the family to develop a plan and identify opportunities to overcome the barriers they face.  “Our mission is to move families from poverty to self-sufficiency,” explains HCHRA President & CEO Kenn Cockrell.  “We do that by providing individuals with opportunities to attain higher education and improve work skills, while helping to stabilize their home environment.  But before we can truly help someone get on the path to success, often times we have to first address their needs for things such as food, warmth and a safe home – things that many of us take for granted,” said Cockrell.  “How can anyone believe that things can get better when they go to work every day, but they aren’t sure they can afford to keep their lights on or provide enough food for their children?  That’s where agencies like HCHRA kick in.  For every dollar we raise, we can secure an additional $2.41 in program funding.  That goes a long way in educating children, caring for seniors and those with disabilities, and providing opportunities for hardworking individuals who are striving to become self-reliant.”

HCHRA offers a range of programs and services year-round to help move families out of poverty to self-sufficiency.  The holiday season, however, always come with an increased demand for housing, food and utility payment assistance.  Participating in GivingTuesday provides HCHRA with a platform to encourage giving, especially at such a critical time.  HCHRA uses the funds it receives from private donors to secure additional funds to support programs such as home-delivered meals, rural transportation, and emergency services..

Please consider giving to HCHRA on today, GivingTuesday.  Your gift will help HCHRA provide families who live in poverty in Hinds County with greater opportunities for a stable home.

About #GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. This year, #GivingTuesday falls on December 3rd. #GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners
to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. It inspires people to take collective action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they believe in, and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together.


Website: www.givingtuesday.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday

Twitter: twitter.com/GivingTues

HCHRA’s 5K Poverty Awareness Run/Walk: And the Winner Is…

Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) held its first Walk in My Shoes 5K Poverty Awareness Run/Walk on September 7, 2019,  with the racecourse beginning at the Martin Head Start Center located in downtown Jackson.  Participants say it was a beautiful course that was fun to run. It went through the historic Farish Street district over to Midtown Head Start Center, which incidentally was the midpoint, and then ended where it began, back at the Martin Head Start Center. Race day began at 6:00 a.m. and ended at 8:30 a.m. with an awards ceremony.

The event was created to bring awareness to the insufficiencies some Hinds County residents and communities face concerning family and economic security. Proceeds from the race will support the programs and services offered by HCHRA to provided families with opportunities and resources to address their unique needs for emergency assistance, food, housing, health, education, and/or job development.

Not only did the 5K run/walk create greater awareness about the services and opportunities HCHRA provides to the community, it also got Agency employees, community partners, friends and families with children of all ages involved.  Trophies and “braggin’ rights” were given to the team with the most miles, the one with the loudest/craziest outfits, and the team with the most HCHRA spirit, and awards were given to the fastest male and female in each age category ranging from 7 to 60, and above!

“Race organizers told us that we shouldn’t expect too much during our first year,” said Roger Lutrell, HCHRA’s vice president for Planning and Development.  “They told us if we get 40 people to participate, we’d be doing well, and if we got 60, we would be doing really well.  Needless to say, we are ecstatic about the turnout.”  Over 100 people participated in the race as either individuals or teams, all vying to beat the clock and promote health and well-being.  The race was even more success due to the generous support of sponsors. Mississippi Group Marketing, the largest donor, served as the finish line sponsor. Other sponsors included Jackson Area Federal Credit Union, Covington Electric and Phelps Dunbar, Waterview Casino & Hotel, and Atmos Energy.

“We appreciate every employee and supporter who got involved to help support our cause and mission to foster self-sufficiency for the clients we serve,” said HCHRA President and CEO Kenn Cockrell.  “We look forward to greater participation next year and making an even greater impact in the community.”











HCHRA Family Literacy Night a Huge Success: Read All About It!

HCHRA hosted Family Literacy Night and the event was a huge success.  Approximately 424 families of children enrolled in Head Start came out for the event which was created to promote parent participation and encourage community literacy.

Families returned to Head Start classrooms with their children to experience an evening of fun learning activities related to the children’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”  The book is about a boy who shares a cookie with a hungry mouse, and that one act creates a chain of events that lead to an endless stream of demands from the mouse that leave the boy worn out in the end.  The book teaches concepts of sequencing, cause and effect, and self-sufficiency. Parents and children worked together to complete math and literacy exercises inspired by the concepts and lessons revealed in the book.

Interim Children’s Services Director Dr. Twana Mallard stated, “We saw the children exhibit an increasing excitement in regards to math and literacy. We saw families develop greater awareness of ways to assist their children in learning.  Families saw their children learning, and children saw their families’ support in their learning and school environment.  It was a wonderful experience.”

For more information on Head Start programs and services, please call 601.923.3930 or go to www. ITFrontdesk.com to register.