There is an network of churches in Allegheny County Pennsylvania that work to support families living in poverty as well as the vulnerable, such as senior citizens, children, and immigrants. The faith based organizations offer everything from free car rides to doctor appointments to medical equipment, meals to the homeless, and financial aid. They also help children in the community by offering after school care, clothes, and more.
Each parish arranges their own programs. Arguably the most extensive services are arranged by the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches, and there are many congregations that are part of this. The assistance is non-denominational, meaning that any religion, ethnicity, and age of person can apply.
Emergency financial assistance is offered from the Association of Churches (address 1913 Freeport Road, Natrona Heights, PA, 15065 call 724-226-0606). There are almost ten types of help offered, not including referrals. The association also has other churches across Allegheny County that are part of the organization. They coordinate their social services so they are most effective and eliminate duplication. What is offered is the following.
Emergency travel assistance is available from this association as well as other local churches. There may be free gasoline vouchers provided for travel in the immediate Pittsburgh area. Or services such as Faith in Action Program has volunteer drivers to take seniors and the homebound to a critical doctor appointment. Even a portion of some bills can be paid by a church, such as rent, heating costs, or water bills.
Free food vouchers are also given from parishes including Allison Park Church, which is at 2326 Duncan Avenue, Allison Park, PA, 15101. Dial 412-487-7220. Many other parishes also provide nutritional support. The voucher is normally redeemable at a local pantry.
Grocery boxes and clothing closets are available at multiple churches in the community. A couple examples include Central Presbyterian Church 305 Allegheny Street, Tarentum, PA, 15084, phone 724-224-9220) as well as Grace Community Church (56 Prestley Road, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania 15017, phone 412-221-9000). There are multiple services available.
The charity organizations may offer free gently used clothing for families in poverty. It can be available for immigrants, children, and the working poor. The clothing closets have shoes for women, men and children. Some of the clothes are sold by the church at reasonable prices, and that money is used to pay for the rental and energy bill programs. Other items are free, and those goods are given as donations to people in need.
Allegheny County food banks are used to feed the community. There are free food boxes as well as “non-food” supplies. This includes diapers for new or single moms, personal hygiene supplies, household goods, and more. Sometimes a pantry may also offer winter coats, or a church conducts health screenings too.
Churches support the homeless in the community. The Allegheny Valley Association of Churches operates across Pittsburgh, West Mifflin, Monroeville and other towns are available. They offer shelter as well as transitional housing to families, the disabled, veterans and individuals who are currently homeless (per HUD definition). Additional services are arranged for the homeless too.
The assistance is wide ranging. In addition to transitional housing, there will be free meals, clothing, and case management. The housing assistance is intended to break the cycle of homelessness. Units are scattered across Allegheny County Pennsylvania.
Counseling, Training, and After School Programs are arranged in partnership with the federal government as well as National Association of Biblical Counselors. Bethany Baptist Church (7745 Tioga Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15208, phone 412-242-3255) helps with everything from marriage issues to per-marital support.
Children from households living in poverty can benefit from After School Care. There are also day care programs arranged as well at some faith based charities. The Crafton United Presbyterian Church (location 80 Bradford Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15205, dial 412-921-2293) holds many activities. There are various after-school youth clubs arranged. There are also teachers and staff that provide low cost care for kids during the day, when the parents are at work.
Some of the programs include homework study time, games with peers, music, bible studies, and more. The kids may also be given a free school snack or even dinner if the parent's income qualifies them. For parents seeking more support, locate additional free government day care programs.
Volunteer Caregivers partner with many local Allegheny County Pennsylvania churches as well. A leader in this space is Hiland Presbyterian Church (address 845 Perry Hwy, Pittsburgh, PA, 15229, dial 412-364-9000). There are two main programs administered by this parish for the elderly.
One is a medical equipment loan closet for senior citizens that have a low income. They pass out, for free, durable equipment including walkers, shower chairs, portable commodes, canes, wheelchairs, and raised toilet seats among other items. Some financial assistance for housing and energy costs may also be offered, and locate additional senior citizen benefit programs.
Another resource available from the caregiver program is when a church recruits volunteers from Allegheny County. These individuals then drive low income senior citizens to local places in the community. This transportation program comes with a low cost, but it helps with light housework caregiver relief, transportation, shopping, visiting, and there is also a telephone reassurance program.
For the phone number, address, and a list of social services available from a church, text the applicant's zip code to 898-211. Clients can be referred to a parish near them in Allegheny County.
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