A maybe surprising number of people in Yakima, Benton, and Kittitas Washington are facing eviction or are desperately hungry. To help them, Catholic Family & Child Service and its staff offer support from their center. Or in some cases volunteers travel throughout the area to visit the needy in their home.
A pantry can offer groceries or a hot meal. A good portion of the donated food, such as day-old breads and baked goods, meats, diary items and produce comes from local retail stores or restaurants. These and other donated items are transformed into nutritious meals by dedicated volunteers.
Additional donations of canned goods and other nonperishable foods are collected throughout Yakima County during drives held by local charities or the local Feeding America food bank. While the main focus at Catholic Family is on feeding the hungry in the service area, the agency has learned that food is often just the first step in ministering to people in need. This main distribution center is at 2629 Main Street, Union Gap, WA 98903.
Housing and self-sufficiency is for Families in Transition. Catholic Family & Child Services is providing those in need with temporary shelter along with related support services that enable them to turn their lives around permanently. The apartments available at local Yakima and Kittitas County partners of the agency have been renovated. Depending on the center, there may be a laundry room, a community classroom, and a computer center.
Additional self-sufficiency programming includes life-skills training and counseling in the areas of conflict management, relationship building, parenting, budgeting, saving for a home, career building, and more. These services are provided by local debt or credit counseling agencies to enable each client to make positive choices that help him or her make a new beginning.
As part of the Health Program’s focus on fostering and facilitating "whole-person" health that includes the well-being, the Family & Child Services Ministries assist under-served, uninsured, and low income individuals in Washington with their medical needs. They also work to help them build relationships that enable them to better maintain their own long-term health care. Classes are held on nutrition, diabetes care, and who to apply for discount prescription programs.
Medical care operates from a clinic near the Union Gap Washington Center, and is staffed by professional nurses who volunteer their time. There are also local nursing students at the clinic who gain practical clinical experience helping our clients.
Many of the clients of Catholic Family & Child Services are in need of assistance with obtaining expensive prescription medications. To meet this demand, trained volunteers accomplish this by cutting through red tape and completing applications for long-term health care programs that allow clients to obtain life-sustaining medications directly from the manufacturer at little or no cost.
The application is quite involved, detail oriented and long, and a separate form is required for each medication. Each must must be renewed at least two times per year, and it typically takes about four weeks for a six-month’s supply of medication to be delivered to the client’s doctor's office.
Catholic Family & Child Services also makes health care referrals for residents with limited or no health insurance coverage. These are made to either the state of Washington health department if covered by Medicaid or private physicians, as needed. Through the partnerships with local providers, staff can help clients schedule appointments at the clinic.
The simple idea behind the Community Needs Assistance Program is that sometimes an individual or family just hits a short term financial challenge. What is often the case is that it just takes a temporary helping hand or short term aid to get around it and move on.
While a barrier can come up at any time, some examples of what Catholic Family & Child Service may see are the mother who accumulates some high medical bills and is unable to pay her light or water bill as a result. Or there is often help requested from the laid-off worker facing eviction or the family in need of transportation to another local job in a county such as Benton. Other prospective tenants need help in coming up with the money to pay a security deposit.
When possible, Catholic Family & Child Services offers that helping hand by providing limited emergency assistance with mortgage, rental costs, and utility bill payments. In some cases there is assistance for transportation and other basic needs for those dealing with temporary financial setbacks.
To help the large numbers of people in the community who are in financial distress, Catholic Services works in coordination with other area non-profit agencies offering this type of assistance. These referrals can lead to more extensive resources and benefit the greatest number of people in need.
At Catholic Family & Child Services, they believe that education is vital for the impoverished and the greater community to move forward and achieve self-sustainability. In response to this need, the agency will require the completion of courses in budgeting, credit repair and financial management as a prerequisite to receiving services. Their professional and volunteer instructors also provide job-placement training to clients. They will also arrange for education on maintaining employment once it’s gained.
Donated clothing for men, women, and children in need is available at no cost through Catholic Family & Child Services thrift store to low income families. The volunteers sort through the clothing every day and distribute shirts, coats, dresses, shoes, pants and more to people who visit the Clothing Closet. Catholic Family & Child Services will also work with Goodwill of Yakima County to ensure that they have access to items needed by clients that we can’t supply.
The main locations are as follows
1200 Canyon Road - Ellensburg, WA 99336, call 509-925-2167
120 North Morain Street, Kennewick, WA 99336, telephone - 509-783-7020
St. Vincent Centers of the charity is at 2629 Main Street, Union Gap, Washington 98903, phone (509) 457-5112
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