Households across Allen County may be able to receive help or referrals from Associated Churches. The non-profit provides support to the less fortunate, and various people can be assisted. There is assistance for senior citizens, the disabled, unemployed, new born babies, and others that may be struggling in the community. They partner with the state of Indiana Anti-Hunger Coalition to offer emergency food, address the lack of housing, and more.
The Emergency Food Program is a partnership of local pantries and soup kitchens. As resources allow, Associated Churches, working with these groups, is able to provide a household with a large assortment of free groceries, fruits, canned goods and other nutritious foods. Clients of the pantry may be able to receive packages up to 12 times a year based on an assessment of their household income. The pantries that are part of the Neighborhood Food Network provide a supply of food to prepare healthy meals as recommended by the USDA and other experts.
A Baby Closet is for newborns, and low income families can access it. It also often supports single moms. The Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County ministry may have cribs, free diapers, clothing, and referrals to places to get formula. Other services may be advice on having children’s immunizations up-to-date or coupons for free goods.
Seasonal and holiday support is provided too. There will be an annual Thanksgiving meal service for eligible clients, as well as help at Christmas, maybe even including a small present for a child. The holiday packages typically consist of donated foods (such as Turkeys and the toppings) from the community, personal toiletries and cleaning supplies. If funding is available, then the seasonal support may also be eggs, meat and produce to add to the packages.
Students that are enrolled into a free school meal program may be candidates for the Weekend Snack Pack Program. This offers, for free, healthy snack food to low-income children at risk for hunger and it fills this hunger void by giving children healthy, easy to prepare foods. There may also be free meals served around the region at local churches during the summer months. When it comes to the snacks, each enrolled student will be given a sealed snack packs a few weekends a month or during a break, such as over the holiday.
Members of the community can receive information on local food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency providers not just in Allen County, but really anywhere across the state of Indiana. The goal of the coalition is to educate the community what hunger truly is and find solutions for low-income, poverty stricken people.
Transitional Shelters are available for the homeless. They will offer guests (or even entire families) food, clothing and of course a place to live or stay. These various supportive services are intended to address the cause of the homelessness, and assistance is for anyone who is temporarily without housing.
A proactive approach is always taken too. The Associated Churches ministry works with individual clients, their landlords and even entire families to prevent homelessness in Fort Wayne and other cities. Other resources may be turned too as well, such as the Continuum of Care of local government human service departments.
The program consists of working directly with landlords regarding unpaid rent and security deposits. Or people can be referred to non-profit HUD counseling if they are behind on their mortgage. If an unpaid utility bill may cause the eviction, then that is addressed as well. The goal of any service available is to prevent evictions or assist clients with moving to more affordable, safe housing.
Case managers will help people apply for financial aid, whether from a government grant program or another local charity. Any cash payments are made by the charity directly to utility and heating oil companies, or their landlord, on the client’s behalf in order to prevent homelessness.
Any type of support from Associated Churches is combined with Life Goals and Plans. Clients of the charity will need to discuss their needs and progress weekly with the social worker or volunteer case manager. The Life Plan process will also involve many on-site services including healthy relationships, parenting, money management, credit repair, and more.
A poverty breaking service known as Community Connectors is available from the faith based group. This will provide clients with the tools and advice they need to improve their educations and gain other support, such as employment or education.
Other aid and support services are offered too. If someone needs transportation to a job interview, volunteers may provide that. Or if clothing is needed for school or work, then that is a possibility too. The point being that Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County will do its best to help the individual regain stability, and this often includes basic needs such as clothing or a ride to work.
Many charities make up Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County. For more details on this organization, call (260) 422-3528.
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