When it comes to basic needs, Catholic Churches scattered across the area may be able to help. They mostly rely on donations from the public as well as medical professionals, but as the result of this they may offer food or holiday help. Another focus is on helping the homeless, or people threatened by it, across the city of Huntsville Alabama.
There are various holiday and school programs available for eligible low-income individuals and families through the Madison County. The resources are noted below.
-A School Supply Giveaway provides students from low to moderate income homes free educational supplies to support them in their endeavors. Children living in shelters can also enroll.
-Easter food and gift baskets are for families with children and seniors in Madison County. It will help them thoroughly enjoy Easter.
-Turkeys and a Thanksgiving Meal will help financially struggling and/or homeless individuals. It also assists seniors in home care. There is a free Thanksgiving meal to celebrate the holiday.
Christmas assistance and Adopt-A-Family will give personalized offerings. It is for an entire family with a focus on children. Based on donations, the Catholic Churches will assist those in need which includes gifts of their choosing, a food basket, or an invitation to a holiday meal. This program includes clients who are older adults, low-income families, children, a person living with a disability, or anyone in the community who is unable to afford to celebrate the holidays without some form of assistance.
There is a holiday party as well in Huntsville. This is mostly focused on children age 0-12 years that is hosted by a private funder. For those who attend the party, items are given out freely and include the following soap, crayons, a coloring book, blankets, pencils, a spiral notebook, toys, and a $15 gift card to Wal-Mart.
There is an emergency Food Pantry which provides supplemental groceries for low income families on a monthly basis. The goal of the Catholic Churches will have pantries to ensure that no participating resident of Madison County goes hungry at any time during the month.
Most of the distributed food is bought from local donors such as grocery stores or restaurants. Fresh food, fruits and bread is donated and provided by several local grocery stores and USDA commodities.
There is criteria that must be met prior to a client having access to the Catholic Churches Food Pantry. This criteria is noted below.
The uninsured or families in poverty can seek prescription vouchers. This is available a couple times per year at most for residents in a crisis. Staff from Catholic Churches from Madison County work with local pharmacies, doctors and drug companies on offering this form of assistance.
Housing programs are offered to eligible clients to prevent homelessness or resolve a crisis situation in the home. Some of the programs include.
Short term, emergency shelter is available from churches that are part of the Catholic Churches network. This is for people of all backgrounds, including struggling single women and parents with children of any age who need a safe environment. It can also help victims of violence.
Guests of the shelter are given a place to sleep, hot meals (lunch or dinner) and access to shower and laundry facilities. Any interested party who is struggling with any number of housing issues may come to the walk-in area of Catholic Churches to find out about supportive services.
Catholic Churches will also offer Transitional Housing, which is for mid term support in Madison County. This is for people that have gone through the shelter program. Housing is offered as well as support with meeting basic life needs like transportation, food, clothing, laundry facilities, personal amenities and telephones to make appointments.
As part of transitional housing, case management is required. People will take part in everything from employment assistance to budgeting classes. There will also be family literacy, parenting classes, tutoring, and referrals for things such as daycare, treatment centers, adult education and other community agencies. These are all made per the client’s needs.
The Catholic Center of Concern also works in collaboration with local schools and community agencies to ensure that the children of these women are in school with proper attendance. The goal of this program is to find these unfortunate, disadvantaged clients a safe, stable and long term home.
Basic needs such as clothing, food, hygiene items and household items are available for clients in the community. The thrift store is open and run by shelter residents and volunteers a few days per week. There is a variety of clothing and household items available in a limited space for residents and any community members struggling with obtaining basic necessities. Homeowners or renters can also obtain donated furniture. This will help the person establish their new home in Huntsville.
For people in dire need of financial assistance regarding their utilities or rent, the Emergency Food and Shelter program may be able to provide funding. There are government grants from Catholic Churches, but this will rely on them having funds.
Churches or the Huntsville based Catholic Center of Concern may be able to help with natural gas, electric, heating oil and partial bulk fuel payments. Some participating non-profit groups that partner with Catholic Center may pay water and/or sewer bills or make a utility re-connection deposit for a struggling family. In many instances, a minimal amount of copay is still needed from the person seeking help.
Also, homeless prevention is also a main focus of Catholic Churches. Working with local non-profits, they will often help unfortunate families by paying a portion of back rent or a late mortgage payment. Eligible tenants or homeowners must note that only one month’s worth of expense are paid, therefore, there is no long term payment plan available for them.
As part of this service, families and individuals may work with a case manager on eviction prevention tactics and establishing action plans to make timely rent payments going forward as part of EFSP. So various issues are addressed when it comes to housing.
To reach the center, residents of the county can dial 888-421-1266. The hours and resources are very limited.
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