Potomac News Online | Social services

There are many private, nonprofit groups in the Prince William area that provide assistance to people in need of housing, clothing, food, shelter and substance abuse treatment. The Prince William Department of Social Services has many programs available including long- and short-term financial assistance, counseling, child and adult protective services, crisis hotlines and services for the disabled.

The county operates two social services offices: one at 7987 Ashton Ave., Suite 200, Manassas, (703) 792-7500; and another at the Ferlazzo Building, 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge, (703) 792-4300. They can be located via the Internet at?http://www.co.prince-william.va.us/dss.

Hours for both offices are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Residents must meet eligibility requirements to receive aid. Requirements differ for each program. Programs include:

? Temporary Assistance to Needy Families: Provides payments to families or persons caring for related children who need support because of death, disability or absence of a parent,

? Emergency assistance: Help for needy families in case of natural disasters such as fire or flood,

? Food stamps: Extra purchasing power for income-eligible residents,

? Fuel assistance: Payments to defray heating costs of needy persons,

? Medical assistance (Medicaid): Payments for medical and/or hospital costs of income-eligible persons,

? Refugee assistance: Assistance for needy persons who have recently come to the United States as refugees,

? Homeless intervention program: Provides short-term rental and mortgage assistance to prevent individuals from losing their housing.


? Protective services: Investigates reports of child abuse or neglect. Helps families provide better care for children through counseling, day care or homemaker services.

To report child neglect or abuse, call (703) 792-4200. After office hours the phone is answered by the Prince William Police Department. If there is no answer, call the Prince William police directly at (703) 792-6500 or the state Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (800) 552-7096.

? Foster care: Recruitment and supervision of foster homes that care for children whose families cannot adequately care for them,

? Adoption: Help for parents who wish to release a child for adoption or families who wish to adopt a “special needs” child. Most children are over the age of 8,

? Day care: Payments for day care for public assistance families that may allow a parent to work or prepare for employment,

? Kids Care/Children’s Medical Security Insurance Plan: Health care for low-income children over the poverty level who are ineligible for Medicaid.


? Adult protection services: Investigates reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of adults, and helps arrange for adequate care for those who cannot fully care for themselves,

? Employment services: Helps public assistance applicants and recipients to become self-supporting,

? Family services: Provides help with household chores or child care, and teaches family members better home management and child care skills. This program is for families who are having severe difficulties,

? Youth employment service: Provides training and referral service for low-income teenagers looking for jobs,

? A mental health and substance abuse hotline: Help is available 24 hours a day. In Manassas, call (703) 792-7800. In eastern Prince William, call (703) 792-4900; western Prince William, call (703) 792-7800,

? Information and Referral: Provides information for people who don’t know where to go for help with a personal or family problem,

? Homeless Prevention Center: Located at 14945 Jefferson Davis Highway, Woodbridge. Call (703) 680-5403. A 24-hour, 30-bed facility for singles and families is funded by Prince William County and operated by Volunteers of America, which has a Web site at?http://www.voa.org

The organization offers free clothing at the same address beginning at noon Sundays and continuing while supplies last.

During the week, the group holds one Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, two Narcotics Anonymous meetings and one Cocaine Anonymous meeting. Call program director Gayle Sanders for more information at (703) 680-5403.

? Men’s Transitional Program: Private town house for four men in recovery from substance abuse, funded and operated by Volunteers of America. Eligibility depends on successful completion of a 51-day program at Homeless Prevention Center. Call (703) 680-5403.

Volunteers of America also has an Internet site at?http://www.voa.org.

? The cities of Manassas and Manassas Park provide similar services to residents. Programs include food stamps, housing, emergency assistance, general relief, adoption services and family planning.

Both departments are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for holidays.

The Manassas office is at 8955 Center St. Call (703) 361-8277.

The Manassas Park office is at 1 Park Center Court. The phone number is (703) 335-8880. Manassas Park social workers can be reached after hours for crisis counseling by calling the Manassas Park police, (703) 361-1136, and asking for social services.


Action in the Community Through Service, at 17866 Main St., Dumfries, is open Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (703) 441-8606.

ACTS-sponsored programs include:

? Emergency food and financial assistance for families unable to meet bills because of a short-term crisis,

? Periodic food drives,

? Helpline for human services information and 24-hour referral service at (703) 368-4141, and a Spanish helpline (ayuda con ternura), (703) 368-8069, that operates from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday,

? TELETEEN and Phone-A-Friend hot lines manned by teenagers from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at (703) 368-8069,

? Two-week shelter for crisis housing is available to anyone over 18 years old at (703) 221-3188,

? Turning Points, a domestic violence intervention program offering individual and group support for men, women and children. Other programs include parenting, couples, court advocacy, safe house and community education (safe house is shelter for victims of domestic violence). For more information on any Turning Points program or to ask questions about abusive relationships, call (703) 221-4951. The line is staffed 24 hours a day and all calls are confidential,

? Day care center for children between the ages of 3 and 12 years with tuition assistance on a sliding scale available. Call (703) 670-8808. Hours: 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Centers are in Woodbridge,

? Two ACTS thrift shops in the area that provide clothing and food to needy individuals at low cost. One is at 3661 Canal Road, Dumfries, and can be reached at (703) 221-3298. The other thrift store at 14410 Jefferson Davis Highway, Woodbridge, can be reached at (703) 490-9697. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The store is open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Donations are accepted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday,

? Operation Turkey provides free Thanksgiving dinners to needy families in Prince William County. Call (703) 221-3186.


Securing Emergency Resources through Volunteer Efforts, 10056 Dean Drive, Manassas, helps needy residents in the west end of the county. SERVE’s 40-bed transitional housing center is open 24 hours a day at the same address, while the emergency assistance office is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 to 11:45 a.m. and 1 to 2:45 p.m. Call (703) 368-2979.

Programs include:

? On-site life skills classes and computer classes and GED tutoring on Fridays at 10 a.m. and workfare counseling Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

? The SERVE thrift store, at 7234 Nathan Court, open Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.; Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (703) 330-8777.

? Also available: a food closet, financial assistance for emergency prescriptions and utilities and shelter for the homeless.

For information, call the SERVE office, (703) 368-2979, send fax to (703) 368-2004 or visit its Web site at?http://www.serveinc.org.


The American Red Cross Prince William Chapter is at 9317 West St., Manassas, (703) 368-4511.

Emergency services for disaster victims are available around the clock. The agency aids residents in disaster relief and preparedness, casework assistance for servicemen, veterans and their families, and teaches health and safety measures like cardiopulmonary resuscitation, HIV-AIDS education, water safety, lifeguarding, first aid. It also offers baby-sitting classes for teens.

The Red Cross also recruits blood donors and helps with other community services.

Other Red Cross Services include:

? Walking programs: daily walking for health at Potomac Mills and Manassas Mall every day of the year except holidays. Daily registration at a table near the food courts at 8:30 a.m.,

? International tracing service through a center, allowing individuals to trace loved ones who have been lost,

? Blood pressure screening provided free of charge,

? International and national disaster relief,

? A Web site is located at?http://www.pwarc.org


Sexual Assault Victims Advocacy Service Inc. is a nonprofit, volunteer group organized to help sexual assault and rape victims in Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park. Call (703) 497-1192 for the Woodbridge office. With SAVAS, a 24-hour companion service available through Helpline, volunteers will accompany victims to legal and medical facilities. Call (703) 368-4141.

The organization also sponsors support groups for survivors of rape and adults molested as children. It operates a teen-age support group, ages 12 to 17, for survivors of sexual assault. It also has support groups for the parents of children who have been sexually assaulted. Supported by donations and some state and federal funds, all SAVAS services are free.

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