Skip to main content

Human Services

Human services are a wide range of organizations, programs, or services that aim to improve the well-being, safety, and quality of life for individuals and communities. These services may address unique social, economic, health, and psychological needs of specific individuals or certain communities. Resources could include direct support, physical resources, education, and advocacy. Organizations in Jackson County address the needs of senior citizens, populations with physical or mental disabilities, historically marginalized groups of people, and survivors of interpersonal violence.

Listed below are Human Services organizations. Organizations with volunteer opportunities are notated. For all volunteer opportunities, visit the CCESL Engage page.

Alzheimer's Association WNC

Volunteer Opportunities Available

In North Carolina, more than 180,000 are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and over 356,000 family and friends are providing care. Serving 49 central and western counties in North Carolina, the Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina Chapter is here to help. We provide education and support to all those facing Alzheimer’s and other dementias throughout our community, including those living with the disease, caregivers, health care professionals and families. We are also committed to advocating for the needs and rights of those facing Alzheimer’s disease and advancing critical research toward methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure.


Adults Working and Advocating for Kids' Empowerment (AWAKE) is a nonprofit organization focused on advocating for victims of child abuse. AWAKE coordinates services for victims of child abuse in Jackson County. AWAKE provides a child friendly environment where the child and their families receive services and support. Our motivated, caring staff work vigorously on educating the community to recognize signs of child abuse while also helping them understand the importance of reporting abuse. 

Center for Domestice Peace

Volunteer Opportunities Available

Center for Domestic Peace is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that takes a holistic, community focused approach towards ending interpersonal violence in Jackson County, North Carolina. Center for Domestic Peace provides a wide variety of services to those experiencing interpersonal violence in our community.

Circles of Cashiers/Glenville

Volunteer Opportunities Available

Circles is a national non-profit, non-partisan organization that equips communities to end poverty and thrive. Its three-part strategy empowers individuals and families to develop and implement their own plans over an 18-month program; connects families to well-placed and trained allies across class lines who also live in the community; and together family leaders and allies work for systemic change in their communities to overcome economic and social barriers experienced by Circle members. Circles is committed to building just, equitable, and caring communities that ensure the dignity and respect for all.

Cornbread and Roses

Volunteer Opportunities Available

Decrease WNC’s regional gap in LGBTQ+ supportive services by offering access to safe community spaces, wellness and therapeutic services, and queer-focused education.

Disability Partners

Volunteer Opportunities Available

A nonprofit organization, Disability Partners works with individuals and the community to enhance, advocate for and support personal choices, independent living and community inclusion for people with disabilities. They offer four core services: information referral, peer counseling, independent living skills classes, and advocacy. Home care services are available through Medicaid and private pay. The CyberPals program places low cost donated, refurbished computers in homes of people with disabilities as well as providing basic computer training. The Person First program is a day program for those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

EBCI Cooperative Extension

Volunteer Opportunities Available

The agency is an educational organization supported by the federal, state and local governments. The mission of the agency is to put research-based knowledge to work for economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, and an improved quality of life. It is committed to sustaining agriculture and forestry, protecting the environment, maintaining viable communities, developing responsible youth, and developing strong, healthy and safe families.

Eblen Charities

Volunteer Opportunities Available

The Eblen Charities exist to reach out to the many children, adults, and families in western NC who are battling the effects of illnesses, disabilities, and situations that make obtaining the basic essentials of life more challenging. Eblen fosters such programs as Emergency Food and Shelter, Emergency Assistance, Eblen Energy Project, Crisis Intervention Program, Project Share, Eblen Children's Vision Program, The MANNA/Eblen Grocery Program, the Buncombe County Drug Treatment Court, and a host of other worthy ventures.

Equinox Ranch

Equinox Ranch provides a program for U.S. combat veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The program's goals are to awaken the mind, body, and spirit of warriors whose traumatic memories and attempts at repressing have left them emotionally numb, volatile, and closed off to the world. The program focuses on building the skills that help veterans readjust to the civilian world and their work, relationships and communities.

Full Spectrum Farms

Volunteer Opportunities Available

The mission is to serve people with Autism Spectrum Disorder in WNC by providing a farm community where affected individuals can live, work and play in a healthy, enriching environment. Full Spectrum Farms provides art therapy, farm therapy, and pet therapy to clients & cargivers.

Guardian ad Litem

Volunteer Opportunities Available

Be A Voice For The Children In Our Community. A volunteer Guardian ad Litem is assigned in cases where the Department of Social Services removes a child from the home due to allegations of abuse and/or neglect. As a volunteer, you represent the best interest of the child in court proceedings.

Hands On Asheville-Buncombe

Volunteer Opportunities Available

Hands On Asheville-Buncombe is the volunteer center of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. Hands on Asheville-Buncombe brings people together to strengthen our community through meaningful volunteer action. We support people looking for volunteer opportunities, and support agencies or schools that need volunteers in order to complete their mission.

Haywood Vocational Opportunities

HVO believes that individuals have the right to be respected, to have equal opportunities, to work, to earn a fair wage, and participate in activities that enrich their lives. The Board of Directors and staff support the concept that through meaningful, satisfying work and leisure, people are able to live more independently, successfully and productively. HVO offers qualifying individuals in Haywood County opportunities to train and make informed choices as they strive to achieve their goals.

Haywood-Jackson Volunteer Center

The agency is a program of Mountain Projects, Inc., a Community Action Agency, with a mission to promote community service by engaging volunteers and linking them to opportunities addressing community needs. The Volunteer Center recruits and places volunteers in non-profit agencies in Haywood and Jackson Counties and coordinates special projects and events to serve the communities.


HIGHTS is a non-profit serving vulnerable youth and their families across the 7 most western counties of our state. Our name is an acronym that stands for Helping Inspire Gifts of Hope, Trust, and Service. HIGHTS continuum of care includes clinical mental health services, a workforce development and education program, skill building programs such as free after school groups and summer adventure camps, and a mentoring program.

Jackson County Senior Center

Volunteer Opportunities Available

The Jackson County Department on Aging is a one-stop resource center dedicated to providing services and support to the aging population of Jackson County. Older adults and caregivers can meet social, physical, mental, and some financial needs through programs offered at the Department on Aging. Mission Statement: We aim for the highest quality of life for seniors in Jackson County.


Volunteer Opportunities Available

LIFESPAN, a North Carolina non-profit organization, empowers children and adults with disabilities by providing education, employment, and enrichment opportunities to live, work, and play in their communities. 

Mountain Project, Inc.

Volunteer Opportunities Available

As a community action agency, out mission is to advocate for the well-being of our clients, who include the disabled, elderly, and families in need. Our 21 programs, from head start and housing to senior resources and public transportation, change lives for the better, embody the spirit of hope and community, and make the mountains of Western North Carolina a better place to live.

NAACP (Jackson County Branch)

The NAACP was founded Feb. 12. 1909 and is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots–based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

Pisgah Legal Services

Volunteer Opportunities Available

We are a nonprofit that provides free civil legal aid to the most vulnerable people in WNC: disadvantaged children, seniors, at risk families & domestic violence victims.

Project C.A.R.E.

Volunteer Opportunities Available

Project C.A.R.E. (Community Action to Reach the Elderly) is a home repair program for senior citizens and is part of the Jackson County Department on Aging.

Project F.I.R.E.

Volunteer Opportunities Available

Project F.I.R.E. (Fuel Intervention for Rural Elderly) is a heating assistance program that cuts, splits, and delivers firewood to elderly in need. This project is part of the Jackson County Department on Aging.

Region A Partnership for Children

Region A Partnership for Children (RAPC) serves families in the seven westernmost NC counties (Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson Macon and Swain) and the Cherokee Indian Reservation. RAPC strives for regional and local collaboration among public, private and non-profit partners to build and maintain a comprehensive and integrated system of services for young children and their families. RAPC manages Smart Start, NC's early childhood initiative designed to ensure that young children enter school healthy and ready to succeed. Smart Start creates and supports high quality early care and education, health and family support services to promote integrated prevention and intervention for all children.


 “Students Against Destructive Decisions” is a national non-profit dedicated to the safety and wellness of all students. Using 40 years of expertise to facilitate educational and engaging programming, SADD operates through school and community chapters (like student clubs) dedicated to advocating healthy decision-making. SADD was founded on the simple philosophy that young people, empowered to help each other, are the most effective force in prevention.


Volunteer Opportunities Available

Safelight is a nonprofit agency that provides support for victims of interpersonal violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Making it possible for families who want to be free of violent relationships to succeed. We make hope real. Safelight offers a broad range of services, provided by staff and over 100 dedicated volunteers. Safelight continues to rely on the generosity of the community for donations of money, time, and goods for our shelter, store, and other programs. Over time, the organization has evolved from a strictly crisis-driven agency to one striving to develop longer-term services addressing community needs such as low-income housing and the unavailability of medical, mental health and substance abuse resources.

Special Olympics North Carolina

Volunteer Opportunities Available

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Sylva Pride

Volunteer Opportunities Available

Sylva Pride is dedicated to celebrating and uplifting the experiences of our LGBTQ community throughout western North Carolina.

Teen Challenge of the Smokies

Volunteer Opportunities Available

Men's Challenge of the Smokies' Mission is to provide men with an effective and comprehensive Christian, faith-based solution to life-controlling drug and alcohol problems in order to become productive members of society. By applying Biblical principles, Teen Challenge endeavors to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive.

The Arc of Haywood County

Our mission is to enrich the lives of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, as well as their families. People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities reach their highest potential in an accepting community.


A science outreach organization committed to spreading love and acceptance through the joy of science.


Education, advocacy, and support for non-binary and transgender people in Western North Carolina

Westbridge Vocational

WestBridge Vocational is a social enterprise connecting people to opportunity through our quality-driven manufacturing. We are dedicated to empowering all people with barriers to employment by providing training opportunities that inspire them to learn, earn, and thrive in a world that may not understand their needs.We support our mission mainly through the production of disposable medical devices such as surgical drapes and wraps. Our products are purchased by leading medical suppliers who rely on quality workmanship. 

WCU University Participant (UP) Program

The WCU UP Program provides an inclusive, two-year, on-campus living and learning experience for college-aged persons with intellectual disability. The goal of the program is to facilitate UP students' transition from secondary school to adult life with education, employment, and independent living. UP students live in on-campus residence halls distributed throughout university under the same university policies that apply to all WCU students. On-campus life is fully integrated and inclusive. There are no separate facilities, settings, or classes for UP students. WCU undergraduate students are recruited to provide paid and unpaid support to facilitate UP Students living on campus, attending classes, engaging in social and recreational activities, becoming involved in student organizations, and developing friendships.

Office of Web Services