Helping is what brings a community together, and Aiken County offers numerous ways for you not only to help but also to get help. For the past few weeks, the Aiken Standard, with the assistance of the United Way, reached out to compile a resource list. The resources found so far provide a variety of services, from building job skills and providing emotional support to medical assistance and giving food. It is not a complete list of county and/or state agencies, but is a good starting point to provide a comprehensive guide. The Aiken Standard plans on continuing this project. If you would like to see your organization listed in a future list, please call Stephanie Turner at 803-644-2372 or email her at sturner@aikenstandard.com.


NECESSITIES (Food, clothes, etc.)

Aiken Area Council on Aging


Description: To provide socialization, arts and crafts, nutrition/wellness programs and field trips in addition to a hot meal; to provide home-delivered meals; offers transportation services – medical transport through the Medicaid program, nominal fee service for disabled individuals, public fixed route bus service, rural transportation fixed route for shopping and hair appointments and transport to and from meal sites and field trips.


Location: 159 Morgan St. There are five meal sites: Aiken, Gloverville, Jackson, Wagener and Windham House.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: The general policy is a HDM may be provided to a person 60 or older, who is homebound by reason of illness or incapacitating disability. The spouse of the older person can receive a meal, too, if it is in the best interest of the homebound person.


Contact: Call 803-648-5447


Area Churches Together Serving (ACTS)


Description: Provides food, clothing, prescriptions and medications, help to keep utilities on, fans and oil-filled portable heaters, baby food and formula, diapers, housewares and furniture (with Cumbee Center referral), Benefit Bank appointments. The third Saturday of every month is Senior Food Distribution day from 8 to 9:30 a.m.


Locations: 340 Park Ave. S.W.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Serves residents of school districts 1, 4 and 5. Services are free for people with incomes up to 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Documents required are picture ID, Social Security cards for all household members and proof of household income for entire family. Eligibility for Benefit Bank appointments requires quick checks and applications for state and federal benefits. Must be 60 and older for Senior Food Distribution day.


Contact: Call 803-642-5919


Christ Central Aiken/Graniteville


Description: Provides food, clothing, prayer, education which includes free preschool, mentoring for school-aged children and free fast-track GED and Jobs for Life program to help the unemployed and under-employed to find and keep jobs.


Location: 3605 Richland Ave. W.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: The costs vary based on the program and person's needs.


Contact: Call 803-640-1708


Golden Harvest


Description: Provide food to local pantries and shelters who assist those in need.


Locations: 81 Capital Drive


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Golden Harvest's partner agencies are certified organizations that distribute out the food. To identify the agencies, visit www.goldenharvest.org


Contact: Call 803-648-0752


Hope Ministries of the Valley, Inc.


Description: To serve the Valley area of Aiken County with food and clothes under guidelines of the Golden Harvest Food Bank. Clothes and food are also available for the homeless.


Locations: Physical address is 2331 Augusta Road, Gloverville. Mailing address is P.O. Box 550, Langley, SC 29834.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: To qualify, one must live in the Valley area, have proof of residence, a picture ID and the names and birthdays of all who live in household.


Contact: Call the office at 803-380-9025 or cell number 803-270-4430


Salvation Army


Description: Offers homeless shelter, soup kitchen, food pantry, utility assistance, clothing vouchers, fire victim services, seniors program, has Boys & Girls club and character building programs


Locations: The homeless shelter, soup kitchen, food pantry, utility assistance, clothing vouchers, fire victim services are at 604 Park Ave. The seniors program, Boys & Girls Club and character building programs are at 322 Gayle Ave.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Appointments are needed for the homeless shelter, soup kitchen, food pantry, utility assistance, clothing vouchers and fire victims services. All programs are free, but the Boys & Girls Club, which is $5 a week for the school year.


Contact: Call 803-641-4149 for the homeless shelter, soup kitchen, food pantry, utility assistance, clothing vouchers or the fire victims services. Call 803-641-4141 for the seniors program, Boys & Girls Club and character building programs.


United Way of Aiken County


Description: Project VISION provides home repairs necessary to make the home safe.  


Location: 235 Barnwell Ave. N.W.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: For low-income disabled and senior homeowners. Homeowner must complete application.


Contact: Call either 803-648-8331 or 803-279-1593


MEDICAL HELP

Aiken County Health Department


Description: Offers help with vital records, immunizations, preventive health (family planning and STD testing/treatment), TB control, WIC, postpartum, newborn home visits, home health and children with special healthcare needs


Location: 222 Beaufort St. N.E.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Payments are rate-scaled according to a client's income. Medicaid is billed when appropriate.


Contact: Call 803-642-1687


Aiken Regional Medical Centers – Health Information Center


Description: Provides blood pressure checks, body fat analysis, weight measurement, health information, physician referral service, healthy information for children with Kid's Corner and health information for teenage children with Teen Scene. Offers hemoglobin A1C, total cholesterol, lipid panel and glucose screenings. There are the Health Lifestyle Membership programs, Women Enlightened for Better Health, Senior Wellness and support and educational programs. A Quality of Life magazine comes out quarterly and has healthy lifestyle and educational articles.


Locations: Services at the Aiken Mall, 2441 Whiskey Road, #209, and the Aiken Family Y, 621 Trolley Line Road, Graniteville.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: In the programs listed above, from the blood pressure checks to the Teen Scene program, there is no cost. An appointment is necessary, and there is a low cost for all the screenings. The magazine is free and can be mailed or picked up at the locations. Contact: Call 803-641-5926 or, for appointments, 803-641-5808.


American Red Cross Aiken Area Chapter


Description: American Red Cross Disaster Relief Services are provided at all times to meet disaster victims' immediate needs following an emergency. Temporary shelter, emotional counseling, blankets, toiletries and financial assistance to replace lost food, clothing and medication may be provided. Service to the Armed Forces provides members of the military, veterans and their families with needed comfort and care in military and veteran's hospitals, vital social services support and emergency communications to keep families connected when they need it most. Emergency services, such as financial assistance, suicide prevention actions, emergency communications and family follow-ups, are available at all times.


Location: 1314 Pine Log Road


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Disaster Relief Services are available to any individual who has been affected by a house fire or other disaster at no cost. Service to the Armed Forces are provided for members of the military, veterans and their families at no cost.


Contact: Call 803-641-4152 or 877-272-7337.


Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County


Description: Provides medical office visits and medications for chronic health conditions


Location: 244 Greenville St. N.W.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Clients must not have health insurance, a household income at or below 200 percent poverty guidelines and be diagnosed with chronic health condition. There is no cost.


Contact: Call 803-226-0630


Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina


Description: Offers residential services and provides education, medical care, counseling, parenting classes, and life skills training for the pregnant youth of South Carolina.


Location: 19 Saint Margaret St., Charleston


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Must be before 28 weeks of pregnancy and between ages of 10 and 21. There is no cost if family is below or meets 200 percent of the poverty line.


Contact: Call 843-722-7526.


Hitchcock Healthcare


Description: Offers outpatient physical, occupational, speech and aquatic therapies to adults and children


Locations: Main location is on Aiken Regional Medical campus, 690 Medical Park Drive. Southside satellite office is at the Village Health and Wellness building, 440 Society Hill Drive, Suite 101. The Barnwell satellite office is at 10588 Dunbarton Blvd. Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: A prescription form is needed from physician. Cost varies on service and financial qualifications.


Contact: Call the main office at 803-648-8344, the Southside location at 803-226-0136 and the Barnwell location at 803-259-5838.


Savannah River Cancer Foundation


Description: Provides financial assistance for cancer-related prescription medication, transportation to and from cancer-related medical appointments. An emotional support group is also available; the group meets every third Wednesday of the month, except December, at Aiken's First Baptist Church.


Location: 235 Barnwell Ave. N.W.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Clients must reside in the counties of Aiken, Allendale, Barnwell or Edgefield. Financial assistance is offered to those who meet requirements; applications are available at the office or online at www.savannahrivercancerfoundation.org. No cost to attend support group.


Contact: Call either 803-649-5433 or 866-870-5433


JOB AIDS

Goodwill's Job Connection


Description: Services include local and regional job leads, computer and internet access, weekly classes that include résumé writing, interviewing, job search fundamentals, dress for success and financial literacy. Goodwill Staffing Services provides temp-to-hire and direct placement services. WorkKeys, GED and ESL classes are available. Veteran services are also provided through Aiken Warrior Project.


Location: 1015 Pine Log Road


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Core services are free with no eligibility or special qualifications required. An annual registration is all that is required to access these services. 


Contact: Call 803-649-7694


S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation Department


Description: Offered locally are work readiness training, job preparedness instruction, work keys, GED prep, job retention services, interpreter services, supported employment, training (technical or college) and job search and placement


Location: 855 York St. N.E.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: A person must have a physical or mental impairment that hinders him or her from competitive employment. Services are available to all eligible South Carolinians with disabilities except the blind, who are served by S.C. Commission for the Blind.


Contact: Call 803-641-7630


ABUSE ASSISTANCE

The Aiken Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Services


Description: The service delivery system consists of community based outpatient counseling and treatment, alcohol and drug safety action program, alcohol diversion program, youth services program, employee assistance program and prevention. Treatment, counseling, education and referrals are a few services offered within this system. Also available is accurate alcohol, tobacco and other addiction information; assistance in gaining self-sufficiency and assistance in accessing other community resources.


Location: 1105 Gregg Highway


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Must be at least 12 and have an issue caused by their or others' use of alcohol and/or other drugs; have other addiction, i.e. food, sex, gambling; be an employee assistance program referral or people ages 12 through 15 must have a co-signed consent to treatment by the person who is legally responsible for them. Insurance, Medicaid and payment arrangements are available. Fees are charged for services on a sliding scale basis determined by family size and income. The Center does accept Medicaid reimbursement.


Contact: Call 803-649-1900 or email info@aikencenter.org.


Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County


Description: To provide the prevention of child sexual abuse training and “Stewards of Children” training for the community.


Location: 4231 Trolley Line Road.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: For children who have been reported to law enforcement and DSS for forensic interviews, medical examinations and counseling. There is no cost.


Contact: Call 803-644-5100


Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons, Inc.


Description: Offers a full services shelter, assessments and referrals counseling; assists clients needs, clothes and medication; and offers a batterer treatment program. 


Location: 135 Lancaster St.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Must be a domestic violence or sexual assault victim. Services are free, except for the batterer treatment program.


Contact: Call 803-641-4162


FAMILY OPTIONS

Children's Place, Inc.


Description: Offers day treatment services for children and their families and an afterschool child care program – GOTCHA, aligns parenting with preschool children's needs through Parenting Partners (these services are delivered in the home) and helps improve social skills through drama coaching in the fall and spring with InterACT. Voluntary services are required for families who are referred to the organization for being reported to the Department of Social Services for Child Abuse and Neglect and screened out for lack of safety concerns; this is through the Family Matters program.


Locations: 310 Barnwell Ave. N.E. InterACT takes place at St. John's Methodist Church.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: For the day treatment services, the client must be a resident of Aiken County, and the child must be between the ages of 2 and 6 with significant behavior problems or who have experienced trauma. There will be an assessment of need, Medicaid reimbursable fee and sliding fees for aftercare or extended care. For GOTCHA, ABC vouchers are accepted and sliding fees are offered; children with developmental delays and behavior problems and children based on need are accepted. For Parenting Partners, the parent must be in Aiken or Barnwell County. InterACT is open to those ages 5 to 21; it is $85 per season. The Family Matters program is free and extends to Aiken, Barnwell, Bamberg, Saluda, Edgefield and McCormick counties.


Contact: 803-641-4144


Family and Marriage Coalition of Aiken, Inc.


Description: To aid in marriage preparation, enhancement and restoration


Location: 1651 Banks Mill Road


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Couples must be either planning to get married or are married, even though there are exceptions.


Contact: Call 803-640-4689 or fax 803-648-2447


AFTERSCHOOL OPTIONS

Brothers and Sisters of Aiken County


Description: Offers tutors and mentors, life skill and leadership development


Location: 132 York St. N.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Students ages 5 to 17 attending Aiken County Schools. No cost.


Contact: 803-641-3888


Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands, Inc.


Description: To help young girls build courage, confidence, and character while developing life skills and providing leadership experiences through community service. Plays off what girls learn in schools, by working with the S.C. State Academic Standards.


Locations: Headquarters are at 5 Independence Pointe, Suite 120, Greenville. There are locations throughout Aiken County and 21 other counties in central and western South Carolina.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Open to girls in grades K5 to 12. Annual membership fee is $12 per person through September 2013; then its $15 per person. Positions for adult volunteers are now available.


Contact: Call either 803-461-3728 for Aiken's information or 800-849-4475, ext. 2720 for general information.


The Family Y of Aiken


Description: Provides afterschool childcare, summer camps, fitness and wellness, art classes, swim lessons youth and adult sports


Location: 621 Trolley Line Road, Graniteville.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Financial assistance, based off income, for all programs and membership is offered.


Contact: Call 803-349-8080


MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

NAMI Aiken


Description: NAMI is dedicated to the eradication of mental illness and improving the quality of life of all whose lives are affected by these diseases. NAMI Support Groups are a source for families who live with severe and persistent mental illness in their daily lives. Knowing that other have the same experiences can be a relief and to know who others work through the problems associated with mental illness can give hope and encouragement.  Support groups are offered the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at 7:15 p.m. Other type of classes also are offered.


Location: Aiken Aurora Pavillion, 655 Medical Park Dr., Aiken, SC 29801


Contact: 803-257-2388


Mental Health America Aiken County


Description: Provides support group for Survivors of Suicide with Suicide Prevention and Mental Health advocacy, a program for homeless single mothers and their children with Nurture Home, a program for parents of newborns with Welcome Baby and program to support adults with mental health conditions with Operation Santa.


Location: 233 Pendleton St. N.W.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Services are at no cost.


Contact: Call 803-641-4164


PET ORGANIZATIONS

Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS)


Description: Supports the Aiken County Animal Shelter. The organization's activities include promoting responsible pet ownership, reducing pet overpopulation, reducing and eventually eliminating euthanasia of adoptable pets and raising awareness to problem of pet overpopulation.


Locations: P.O. Box 2207, Aiken. The Aiken County Animal Shelter is at 411 Wire Road.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: The adoption fee from the shelter is $70, which includes rabies vaccination, microchipping, and spay/neuter. Those wishing to volunteer can apply online.


Contact: Email info@fotasaiken.org.


SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare


Description: The shelter has a spay and neuter clinic and offers vaccinations and heart worm testing, boarding and day care and education.


Location: 199 Willow Run Road


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Costs differ depending on service.


Contact: Call 803-648-6863


OTHER AGENCIES

Aiken County Help Line


Description: Provides information and appropriate referrals to agencies and service providers within Aiken County to all ages. There is also a 24-hour crisis intervention, such as with domestic violence, substance abuse or suicide prevention.


Locations: Mailing address is 1055-B Silver Bluff Road, Aiken, S.C., 29803


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Free and available at all times.


Contact: Call 2-1-1 or 1-877-648-9900.


Aiken County Veterans Affairs


Description: Provides assistance with filing claims for VA disability, pension and survivors benefits


Locations: Physical address is 902 Vaucluse Road. Mailing address is 828 Richland Ave W., Aiken, S.C., 29801


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Eligibility can depend on period of service, nature of discharge, service connection of disability and income level.


Contact: 803-642-1545


Lower Savannah Council of Governments Aging, Disability and Transportation Resource Center


Description: Provides assistance finding rides with mobility management, information and referral including assistance with Medicare, has a family caregiver program, the Area Agency on Aging program, a long-term ombudsman and legal assistance and medication assistance program


Locations: Physical address is 2748 Wagener Road. Mailing address is P.O. Box 850, Aiken, S.C., 29802.


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Eligibility differs with programs.


Contact: Call 803-508-7033 or 866-845-1550


Tri-Development Center of Aiken County, Inc.


Description: Operates numerous vocational programs and other facility and community based day services and a variety of residential supports, such as group homes and supported apartment living, for eligible individuals with disabilities and special needs. Serves as the representative payee for a number of other individuals in the community who need assistance with money management. Also works to prevent disabilities whenever possible. Examples include advocating for proper use of child passenger safety restraints, seat belts, bicycle helmets, providing education about shaken baby syndrome, preventing neural tube defects, avoiding drinking during pregnancy, taking pre-natal vitamins, refraining from driving under the influence or driving while texting, etc.


Locations: Main office is at 1016 Vaucluse Road


Qualifications/Eligibility/Cost: Services are generally no cost, unless the person is not DDSN eligible; if he or she isn't, private pay is possible. There is a cost for non-Medicaid covered services such as room and board for individuals who are served in the homes.


Contact: 803-642-8800