Low income families in Parker County can contact the Center of Hope for assistance. They can offer some financial aid or help with medical needs, such as prescription medications. Another focus is on helping people find a job or gain new skills, such as through the Next Steps service.
Food assistance is offered to hundreds of people each month. There may be free groceries from pantries and meals as well. Much of this comes from Center of Hope volunteers, as they prepare and serve hot meals to the less fortunate. At the free food pantries, the organization will offer clients the opportunity to shop for needed frozen meats, fresh produce, canned food and even dairy items.
Financial Aid, often in the form of grants, is available to clients who individuals who meet basic eligibility guidelines. These can change over time and are flexible. Needs, eligibility for any type of cash assistance, and benefit amounts offered by the Center of Hope are determined after an initial interview on a case by case basis.
After funds are issued, the next step is to develop a Plan of Action and provide short-term crisis assistance. Most of the requests received at COH are for assistance in paying bills for homeless prevention needs. This ranges from rent to utilities, such as electric or propane. Only a portion of an expense is paid by a grant.
Funds are issued by the Center of Hope after two or three meetings with the client. Other support in Parker County will include financial management education, the purpose of which is to examine the individual’s financial situation and create a manageable budget. Staff will also help the client plan for the future, to ensure that bills are paid on time every month.
Medical Assistance offers basic health care and prescription assistance to Parker County residents. The people applying are both uninsured and unable to pay for basic health care bills on their own. The aim is to ensure that the client is able to maintain their other expenses without creating a new financial crisis because of an unexpected medical need.
In addition, since many underinsured people tend to put off going to the doctor when they are ill, whether they have the ability to pay or not, there is a good chance that their medical issues will worsen and end up costing more than if they had received immediate care. Center of Hope helps to avoid that situation from occurring as well. They do this by helping clients access timely treatment for their condition, thereby reducing the need for hospitalization and other costly measures.
The non-profit will offer other services as well. These will be above and beyond offering them access to health care and prescription assistance or vouchers, the organization will occasionally be able to help by issuing money to help with co-payments for minor medical emergencies. Funding for this medical bill assistance program is provided through a grant from the Parker County Health Foundation.
In addition to that, COH believes that good dental health not only affects the appearance of teeth and general personal hygiene, but it also affects a person’s overall health. This will then trickle down to their success as an employee. After all, appearances matter, and a pleasant appearance is vital when looking for any type of job that involves working with the public. Therefore, assistance with receiving dental care can often be a key element to breaking out of the cycle of poverty.
To help accomplish this, the Center of Hope Kingdom Smiles Program assists clients in Parker County who have no other source for assistance with dental bills in times of emergency. Most of COH’s programs promote the concept that low income individuals should take on the responsibility of finding a solution and pay a portion of the costs for dental assistance as well, so it is a joint service. Staff also work with patients and providers in setting up payment plans. Funding for Kingdom Smiles is provided through grants from the untied Way as well as the Parker County Health Foundation.
The Jobs for Life Class follows curriculum in guiding students through a journey of discovery. This gives them the time to learn who they are and what principles are necessary for them to overcome their personal roadblocks to success. In addition, the class equips students with core work readiness skills, such as building a resume, IT classes, and developing a vocational plan.
The Next Steps Program also touches upon this employment component. The Center of Hope helps participants develop their assets and strengths, enabling them to move into a more sustainable way of living. COH also offers a basic language course to improve the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills of non-English speakers.
COH works in partnership with the Weatherford College (WC) Continuing Education resource. They combine forces to offer Computer Skills for Business classes, which improve the knowledge and skills of job seekers who have little or no computer expertise. Through mentoring and hands on sessions, they walk clients toward the goal of making a new beginning, with the goal of becoming more competitive in today’s job market.
The two main centers are 629 Palo Pinto Hwy., Weatherford, Texas 76086, (dial 817-594-0266) as well as East Parker County Location at 9901 E. Bankhead Hwy. Call 817-441-2442.
Like this site?