TAP offering free guidance for first time home-buyers
ROANOKE, Va. – Hoping to help 50 first-time homebuyers by the end of March, TAP is now offering a housing counseling program. Offering free services to first-time homeowners or people in danger of foreclosure, TAP will be guiding people on the major financial investment. With the pandemic affecting the housing market, TAP is working with people’s mortgage companies to determine available funding options and housing deals. Helping people as young as 18-years-old, TAP Housing Counselor Sierra Sallah said they will walk with clients every step of the way. “Through home internship... from when you first apply to maintaining homeownership when you are in your home.”If you are interested to learn more, you can sign up for the program on the TAP’s website.
Free tax clinic searching for volunteers as coronavirus prompts changes
For nearly 20 years, Total Action for Progress (TAP) has used volunteers to prepare people’s taxes for free. Tax preparer volunteers are trained, but after adding new safety precautions, TAP realized it also need volunteers to perform temperature checks, health screenings and help with traffic flow at the entrance of the tax clinic. Before, the free tax clinic would help about 1,100 people a year, but that was with face-to-face appointments. For information on whether you qualify for this free tax clinic, click here. You are required to complete and pass an Ethics training prior to tax clinic opening.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia to close, but mission will continue
Effective Jan. 31, 2021, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia will close; however, that doesn’t mean the end of the organization’s mentoring program. “We determined over time that the expense of running the program, as Big Brothers Big Sisters was just too much of a financial capacity for us and so in the past several months, we started looking out to other organizations who could assist,” BBBS Board President Laura Carini said. “While we are sad to close the area’s largest and longest-running youth mentoring program, we are confident it is the right choice. We are forever grateful to TAP and confident the organization provides the experience and resources necessary to best serve our children.”TAP will not use the name Big Brothers Big Sisters due to the expense of the affiliation fees that accompany the name and branding. The mentoring program will become a component of TAP’s Super Hero Kids program and be called Super Hero Kids Connections.
1 dead, dozens wounded in tribal clashes in southern Tunisia
French Prime Minister Jean Castex, right, poses with Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, prior to their meeting at Matignon, in Paris, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/Pool photo via AP)TUNIS – Tunisian authorities ordered a curfew in regions in southern Tunisia after at least a man was killed and dozens of people wounded, two seriously, in tribal clashes that broke out over a land dispute. The security forces union reported 83 wounded who were transferred to nearby hospitals using ambulances from surrounding areas. TAP reported that four security officers were injured in the clashes and a security vehicle ransacked. Mechichi, who is on his first trip abroad since he took office on Sept. 2, is scheduled to visit Italy on Tuesday.
TAP needs community support to continue helping people in poverty
ROANOKE, Va. – Total Action for Progress, or TAP, has announced a new initiative to help families get out of and stay out of poverty. Tuesday morning, TAP announced a campaign to raise $150,000 called Bringing Home Hope. This will help support TAP’s work in education and employment, domestic violence and family services, as well as in housing and financial services. And so Bringing Hope Home gives the community an opportunity to say, ‘TAP, we value you. We want you here, so here’s our support,’” TAP president and CEO Annette Lewis said.
Sabrina’s Place continues to help those struggling with domestic violence in the Roanoke Valley
ROANOKE, Va – A rise in domestic violence in the Star City means one nonprofit is working around the clock to provide survivors with a safe place to access resources. Sabrina’s Place is a program ran by Total Action for Progress out of Roanoke. It is a safe haven for families struggling with domestic issues to spend time together. While the pandemic may have exposed more domestic violence cases, Stacey Sheppard said at least now they can help. If you or someone you know may need the services Sabrina’s Place offers, you can visit its website here.
Big sale with a bigger cause: TAP hosts book warehouse sale to fund programs
SALEM, Va. Total Action for Progess (TAP) books program is approaching its first anniversary and is hosting a warehouse sale to celebrate. The proceeds from your purchase goes towards the 30+ programs TAP runs for the community. We have three in Roanoke right now one in Blacksburg, we have two more we need to have homes for, said Ben Wilborn, book coordinator for the TAP books program. If you cant shop there are still ways to support TAP and its books program. TAPs books program is looking for other businesses and community center parking lots to place its donation bins.
How the pandemic is shedding light on need for parenting classes like Fathers First
ROANOKE, Va. Fathers Day is just a few short days away but theres a local program that celebrates fatherhood 365 days a year. Fathers First is a 10-week program through Total Action for Progress (TAP) on discipline, communication, parenting and handling emotion in healthier ways. That, along with the pandemic becoming a parenting lesson itself, is why they decided to move on with the class virtually. Ed Hrinya, fatherhood development specialist for First Fathers said he wants to help give local fathers the tools they need to handle conversations like that. So really giving our parents the tools they need to help their children during this time is very important, said Hrinya.
Fleet Feet Roanoke selling special T-shirts in wake of nationwide protests
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. A local running apparel store is contributing to the nationwide movement for racial justice by selling special T-shirts. About 60 shirts had been ordered from Fleet Feet in Roanoke as of Thursday afternoon. Its the Roanoke Way.100% of the proceeds will go to TAP and Humble Hustle in Roanoke. Were welcoming to all, were inclusive, said Fleet Feet Marketing Manager Casey Lewis. As of Thursday, about 200 shirts were available but more could be ordered if the demand is high enough.
Black History Month celebration honors Roanoke’s African American railroad history
ROANOKE, Va. – African American history in local railroads is getting the spotlight in honor of Black History Month. The Roanoke nonprofit “Total Action for Progress” held its annual Black History Month celebration on Tuesday. Prominent African Americans associated with the Norfolk and Southern Railroad were featured. “Across our country, as well as in the Roanoke Valley, many African Americans started their journey to becoming self-sufficient though the railroads. In years past, TAP has focused on highlighting historically significant African American neighborhoods in Roanoke.
Total Action for Progress to absorb therapy program for kids affected by domestic violence
ROANOKE, Va. - One local program is making sure children affected by domestic violence get the treatment they need. Total Action for Progress is absorbing a children's therapy program from Mental Health America Roanoke Valley, which is closing. This support group is for children who live in a home that's experienced domestic violence. "They have trauma, you know, they've gone through domestic violence, they're survivors of violence and so that trauma needs to be treated. So if we don't treat that trauma, then it's going to repeat itself," said Stacey Sheppard, director of Housing and Human Services for TAP.
TAP launches new program for women in recovery
ROANOKE, Va.- - There's a new program to help women recovering from the opioid epidemic. Total Action for Progress, also known as TAP, announced the program Monday. It helps women and their families impacted by the opioid crisis in three regions, the Alleghany Highlands, New River Valley and the greater Roanoke area by providing career services and job training to women. "Similar to our Swift Start program, we will have career mentors that will work with the women from the time they enter the program all the way through job placement. TAP plans to serve 120 women through this grant.
Tunisia bans full-face coverings in public institutions after bombings
Photo by Michele Mossop/Getty Images(CNN) - Tunisia has banned people from wearing the niqab -- a full-face veil -- in public institutions, citing security concerns. Prime Minister Youssef Chahed signed a government order Friday that prohibits anyone wearing a niqab, which covers everything but the eyes, from accessing public offices, according to official news agency TAP. On June 27, twin suicide bombings in the capital, Tunis, targeted Tunisia's security forces and killed at least one person and injured several others. There have been reports that terrorists have been using niqab to disguise themselves, TAP said. The niqab and hijab, or headscarf, were banned under secular governments until the ouster of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's regime in 2011, Reuters reports.