Charlotte County St Vincent de Paul are involved in giving a hand up to income qualified families that are facing a financial hardship. Several churches, such as St. Francis, are part of the charity. The food pantry on site may be their flagship service, as it will help prevent hunger in the community. Other programs which can help people in an emergency include placement into a shelter or limited financial help for energy bills or even paying rent.
No matter what the families income or background is, the food pantry at one of the churches is an option. It is open several days per month at minimum and supports hundreds of residents of Charlotte County. Guests to the pantry can select the groceries they need. If the center is filled to capacity, then there may be instances in which individuals can take as much food as they can use. The Society of St Vincent de Paul service will go a long way toward eliminating hunger in the region.
St Vincent de Paul partners with local churches and charities, including Feeding America. The pantry also receives support from businesses and foundations throughout the greater Punta Gorda and Charlotte County Florida community. Groceries, surplus USDA items and others donate, and volunteers keep it operating.
Students from the region can also enroll into the Snack Program. This will help tackle the problem of hunger among youth. Society of Saint Vincent churches provides snack to families that normally would get free or reduced priced meals. During the summer this service can help fill the needs of those students who will not be fed by the school.
St Vincent de Paul Seasonal Support includes school supplies and holiday assistance. The pantry can be used for this as well as other tools, such as a clothing closet or St Vincent de Paul thrift store. The goal will to help clients relieve stress and allow families to use their limited resources for paying for other expenses, such as rent, medications and utilities.
Financial resources from Charlotte County St Vincent de Paul are used to try to stabilize struggling members of the community. The non-profit may be able to issue small amounts of money to families or give them connections to resources from other non-profits which can move families toward self-sufficiency. A through internal screening criteria is in place when reviewing applications for a grant.
Any type of grants are limited and are only for people who are involved with a case management service. This is required as the goal is to assist clients by utilizing a best practice model of assessment. If all of this is done, then Saint Vincent Society may have funds for expenses such as rent to stop an eviction. Or for those Charlotte County households that have had their electricity turned off, there may be money for utility bills.
Any support is usually combined with Emergency Housing Assistance. This is for low to moderate income households or even the homeless that are experiencing a temporary housing crisis. For eligible applicants from Charlotte County, St. Vincent can provide funds for paying a security deposit and/or first month rental payments. If the person is homeless, then shelters are used for short term housing.
There are also referrals to tenants or the homeless that are facing housing discrimination. This ranges from HUD supported educational workshops for community groups to legal aid. All of this can be used to inform residents of their rights and responsibilities.
There are many instances in which Saint Vincent is unable to help. Maybe the applicant is not qualified, or the churches do not have funds. In these cases case managers or volunteers will help connect low and moderate-income individuals and families with potential state of Florida or federal government benefits they may be entitled to. Residents of Charlotte County can learn about the application process for home energy assistance, SNAP food stamps, child care subsidies, and more. This will help families bring in some form of “income” until they can gain a new or better paying job.
Staff from St Vincent de Paul can provide more information on all potential solutions. Dial (941) 575-0767.
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