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    Bucks County Opportunity Council: Serving those in need for 50+ years

    As the lead anti-poverty non-profit agency in Bucks County, the Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC) has served low-income individuals and families for over 50 years.

    Last year, BCOC assisted a total of 11,051 Bucks County residents in 4,783 households in five program areas.

    Their Emergency Services Program includes: housing services, street outreach, housing location, rapid rehousing, homeless prevention, transportation assistance, and utility shutoff prevention programs.

    These crisis intervention services are designed to help families address a specific issue and to stabilize the household.

    Once the crisis is averted, clients are encouraged to join their nationally recognized Economic Self-sufficiency Program (ES), and gain the additional training/education they need to become self-supporting.

    BCOC is the lead food agency in the County, distributing public and private donations to over 60 distribution sites, senior centers, and other partner locations.

    Last year, there were 77,796 food pantry visits and over 1.7 million pounds of food was distributed.

    Their Fresh Connect Program, funded by the United Way of Bucks County, provides fresh fruits and vegetables weekly at three sites centrally located within the county.

    Their weatherization program reduces energy bills for low income households and addresses health and safety issues for the homeowner, with an emphasis on helping mobile home owners with serious habitability standards.

    The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) provides low and middle-income clients with free tax preparation services, eliminating fees and maximizing credits and returns.

    Returns are often spent in local businesses, supporting the local economy, as clients purchase food and needed household items.

    In all that it does, BCOC relies on the dedication of its volunteers, who assist with programs, events, and committee work, as examples.

    Last year, 2,618 committed volunteers donated 96,537 hours collectively to help their neighbors in need.

    BCOC works diligently to create and maintain partnerships with government, other non-profits, businesses, places of worship and educational institutions to maximize benefits to residents with low incomes and reduce duplication of services.

    They offer “Bridges Out of Poverty,” a nationally-known training program that teaches a multi-sector approach for working with people in poverty.

    All are welcome to attend. To learn more about BCOC’s services, programs, or volunteer opportunities, or to donate, visit www.bcoc.org.