Virginia CARES was founded in 1978 as a statewide, community-based effort to assist prison inmates and newly released parolees in making a successful transition from prison back into society. This program focuses on assisting ex-offenders in their transition in an effort to prevent further criminal activity; therefore, recreating a bond between the program participants and their families and/or the communities in which they will live and work.
Service Area: Central Virginia — the cities of Bedford and Lynchburg and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell.
Since 1979, Virginia CARES, Inc. has been the Commonwealth’s only statewide provider of offender reentry services. Virginia CARES provides transitional assistance, financial aid, job readiness training, temporary employment, job search and career development, human relations and self-awareness training and ongoing support services to prisoners, ex-offenders, and their families in Virginia. The program’s mission is to prevent recidivism by assisting offenders and ex-offenders in safely and responsibly transitioning from incarceration to a productive, normal life.
Clients are assisted with obtaining birth certifications, picture ID cards, driver’s licenses, and referrals to other resource and support service agencies and organization in the area. Our program provides assistance with rent and utility payments, as well as, issuing items from our food pantry and clothing closets. The Lyn-CAG program also provides Life Skills Training classes at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail facility in Lynchburg, as well as, other state facilities. This class is a mandated program for prisoners prior to their release date from the system.
Clients who are eligible are encouraged to participate in the program’s Restoration of Rights component.
Over four thousand individuals get their lives restarted every year with the help and support of Virginia CARES.
Lyn-CAG operates one of the largest programs in the state. The Lynchburg Community Action Group’s Virginia CARES Program services the highest volume of clients in the state of Virginia (Cities of Lynchburg and Bedford, and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell, Halifax, Nelson and Pittsylvania.
Program initiatives include:
- Department of Corrections Pre-Release Life Skills curriculum classes
- Emergency Support Services (e.g. shelter, food, clothing, and transportation)
- Counseling Services are provided to devise short and long range plans for education, employment, and housing
- Referrals for medical and legal assistance
- Job Readiness Training, Job Search Skill Training, Resume Writing, and Interview Technique Skills Training
Virginia CARES staff assists clients with some of the following services:
- ID documentation for employment and other purposes ( Birth Certificates, Photo Ids from DMV, Social Security Cards, and other forms of ID.)
- Housing: Short -term, Long – term financial asssitance
- Financial Assistance: Rent, Utilities, Medications, and sometimes the cost of bus tickets to relocate to another area after coming to our office.
- Counseling: Individual, Family, Groups (support group counseling includes visits to the office for one-on-one discussions and collaborations with weekly support group meetings held by the Lynchburg City Jail.)
- Clothing/shoes: Distribution of items from our clothes closet
- Personal Hygiene Kits: Toothpaste, tooth brush, soap, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, hair products, etc
- Food: Food and household supply items distribution through the agency’s Food Pantry
- Transportation: Single ride bus tickets with verification of need
- Employment: Group and one-on-one services provided by the CARES staff and the Lyn-CAG Employment Services Program (Job leads, referrals to employers, assistance with resume writing, application referral, use of open computer lab, interview techniques))
- Referrals and other assistance: Assistance with filling out documents in reference to Department of Social Services, Disability, referrals to Virginia Legal Aid Society and other human resource agencies.
ORIENTATION AND SERVICES ARE PROVIDED BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Virginia CARES Office Location:
915 Main Street
Lynchburg, Virginia 24504
Office #: (434) 455-1601 – Option #1
Fax #: (434) 455-1604