LUCEDALE, Miss. (WKRG) — The ribbon was officially cut at the front doors of the new Community Action of South Mississippi (CASOMS) office Friday.

The agency previously operated the field office out of George County’s senior center. The new location at 11 Holmes Street in the center of Lucedale makes the office more accessible and easier to expand in a building of their own.

“It’s been a challenge for our community to get to our offices so being right here, I foresee us not only being able to help more people in the community but to partner with more agencies in the area,” said Lee Ann Kendrick, CASOMS’ adult services director.

The Lucedale office provides energy bill assistance based on household size and income and have recently started providing support to pay water bills.

“I’m able to help everyone that comes through that door who qualifies. We have funding, so call and get an appointment to see if you can get help. We don’t want nobody going hot. We want to help everybody,” said case worker Terra Johnson.

The office also partners with contractors to do weatherization to make homes more energy efficient with maintenance like window caulking and door stripping after a home assessment and energy audit is performed.

Trained volunteers also help prepare free tax returns for people making less than $57,000. Free financial counseling and community service block grants are available to help anyone within 125% of the federal poverty line overcome obstacles that prevent them from being self-sufficient through individualized plans.

“If you’re in school, we can probably assist with some schooling, we’ve done nursing uniforms, and rent assistance, whatever someone might need a little help with” Johnson said.

Appointments can be made by visiting the office, calling (601) 947-7454, or visiting the website