Churches and charities in Anderson County partnered together to create Interfaith Ministries. They offer a wide range of support to the less fortunate, and can refer people to the Manna Food program, help with savings from Individual Development Accounts, and much more.
All clients of AIM will need to agree to other guidance and support as they work toward independence and self-sufficiency. This is a requirement as the assistance is offered as a hand up and not a hand out, so application conditions need to be met.
There are two main sources of food, and they include Hershel Buck Buchanan Fishes and Loaves Pantry as well as the Manna Food Distribution network. Both rely on volunteers and donations to keep operating, and more details on their services are below.
Buchanan Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry is based at 1206 S. Murray Avenue in Anderson South Carolina. The center can provide non-perishable food as well as groceries to the less fortunate in the community, and hundreds of local families get help from it on a monthly basis. Any bags of groceries and other items are passed out first come, first served basis, and the Buchanan pantry is only open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 11:30 am.
Manna Food Distribution will usually occur on the second Saturday of each month. Various groups and volunteers from Anderson County and AIM sponsor the distribution, providing funding for the delivery of groceries and canned items by the Golden Harvest Pantry.
Locations of this service vary from month to month, depending on which organization is sponsoring the event. The main Anderson Interfaith Ministries will post information on the location, and direct needy clients to the correct distribution point. The staff make it a point to publicize each distribution several weeks in advance.
One time funds may be provided from the AIM Emergency Assistance Program. The charity and its church partners help low-income residents with the payment of certain expenses. For those that qualify, funds may be issued for rental costs, utility bills, security deposits for new low income housing, and employment-related needs.
This is not just a hand out though. So in addition to financial assistance, the ministry offers assessment, counseling, and referrals to those in need. This needs to address the root cause of the hardship being faced.
Anderson Interfaith Ministries provides support and limited financial help to those who show a desire to make a change to a state of self-sufficiency from from their present dependency. They do not want to simply provide funding to families who are happy with receiving all of the government subsidies or an entitlement, while making no effort to improve their circumstances.
So to this end, the objective to struggling help clients identify their core problems (lack of education or training, depression, unemployment, lack of budgeting skills, etc.) so that they can then address that issue, rather than simply providing financial support or a loan.
The EAP works to help people who are may be falling through the cracks of the system, but are taking steps to improve themselves. There is the possibility of financial aid for the working poor, families experiencing temporary crisis situations, or those dealing catastrophic illnesses.
Savings can be accumulated using the Individual Development Account (IDA). The non-profit provides matching accounts to qualifying Anderson County residents. Each dollar deposited is matched with dollars from the program, as funding allows. The money needs to be used toward the purchase of a productive asset, such as a home, business, or to pay for college.
AIM will also require applicants attend thirty hours of financial literacy courses and rebuild their credit, among other steps. The program runs up to three years for each client, and even then they will be paired with a one-on-one financial counselor, who helps with ongoing management of budgets and finances.
The Women and Children Succeeding Program provides parents with needed services and guidance for to further their education or job training at a technical school, local community college or even at Clemson University. Besides providing limited amount of grant funding and support for the families’ education efforts, Women and Children Succeeding offers services such as support services, affordable daycare and life skills education.
Home Repairs can be made, and this is paid for by using South Carolina Trust Fund Grants. The ministry and its churches will make thousands of dollars of repairs to the homes of low-income households residing in owner-occupied single-family home to fix hazards, such as with plumbing, electrical systems. There may be some money for roofs or fixing compromised structural integrity; and lack of handicap accessibility.
This can help the disabled as well, as many disabled homeowners find themselves in need of ramps, safety rails, safety updates, or minor home repairs. They often can't afford them as many are also living on fixed incomes (SSI social security, disability, or veterans benefits), leaving them without the resources necessary to make the needed improvements.
Anderson Interfaith Ministries Ramp and Minor Repair Program partners with area civic organizations, church groups, and clubs to match eligible clients with the labor and resources needed to make improvements that will enable them to remain self-sufficient in their own homes. AIM is always seeking dedicated groups desiring to volunteer their time to help our clients.
Children and students can benefit from the Back to School Back Pack Program. This is offered during the summer and fall, and it provides backpacks and free school supplies for elementary and middle schools in all school districts within Anderson County service area.
For more information or intake, Anderson Interfaith Ministries is located at 1202 S. Murray Ave., Anderson, SC 29624. Call the charity at 864-226-2273.
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