Christian HELP runs or has information on many services across Monongalia County. The charity will work to support low-income families in Morgantown and other areas. As the agency receives available funding, the number of people assisted may increase or decrease accordingly.
Families in a crisis can seek resources from EFA - Emergency Financial Assistance. There may be small dollar amounts provided, or no-interest loans, for a wide variety of expenses. Christian HELP may assist with medical needs, such as prescriptions. Or they will refer residents to a clinic.
As far as housing, EFA may help with rent, heating bills or a security deposit. Transportation for work, even including car repairs or gasoline may also be provided by Emergency Financial Assistance. So EFA can help in many ways, including money to pay for identification, and the team even give referrals too.
Christian HELP can also assist via the Back to School Program, in this is available at the Free Store This was created to help children from low-income families succeed in school by giving them necessary clothing as well as supplies. The program also educates families on making healthy lifestyle changes and ensuring preparations are in place for a successful school year for their children.
Those students, teenagers and infants that qualify will receive new backpacks with supplies while the whole family enjoys games, free health screenings, refreshments and interactive informational booths. There are hundreds of disadvantaged students from Monongalia County that received their new backpacks with the help of volunteers as well as donations.
Whether it is the Christian HELP pantry, or other resources, there is a variety of commodity foods from the USDA available on a quarterly basis for disadvantaged, low-income members of the community. One is called The Emergency Food Assistance Program and is available to all regardless of age or gender who meet the predetermined USDA income guidelines. As far as the pantry, it can provide up to 5 days of groceries at most once every 2 months.
The free store provides more everyday items in Monongalia County. Based on donation levels, there may be winter coats, used toys, kitchenware, free diapers, books, linens, and other household goods such as furniture or personal hygiene items.
For persons over the age of 60 years, there are Christian HELP sponsored Senior Dining Centers that offer free food, socialization, hot meals and fun to all who participate. These select dining centers in Morgantown are open a few days per week, however, hours of operation vary, therefore, interested parties need to call ahead for details. There is a suggested donation to help lower the costs of the program so it can run over the long term.
For low-income, homebound seniors 60 years and older residing in the Morgantown community, the Home Delivered Meals program offers them support and companionship. There are free nutritious, healthy meals and check ups done. This is for struggling seniors who are unable to prepare their own meals or cannot attend a Senior Dining Center run by Christian HELP or partners. Temporary home delivery is also available for extenuating circumstances such as post surgery or accidents.
Christian HELP Family Development is one of the services run. Another is Jobs for Life (JfL). This is required in order to apply for housing, food, or other aid. This is focused on eliminating the barriers of poverty and creating self-sufficiency in a disadvantaged family.
After all, independence is only established by helping the employable adult in the family attain basic jobs skills to secure long term employment. There may be referrals to GED or educational support and job placement. Christian HELP staff also helps struggling clients become independent thinkers and budget/make financially responsible choices. They will also receive guidance so they can keep a positive attitude and broaden their minds.
This is a long term process that can be quite costly and Christian HELP works to offer a variety of these services to qualified members of the community when deemed necessary. They offer referrals to government resources such as child care vouchers, transportation, and better housing. While Christian HELP directly provides many of the above services, however, some support is coordinated through the non-profit along with other community resources.
Other self-sufficiency is arranged too. There is the Christian HELP coordination of resources in support of family self-sufficiency, access to workshops for struggling clients on family development related subjects like AIDS, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, homelessness, domestic violence and personal finance, and even support for immigrants.
One resource is information on section 8 rental vouchers. This program assists struggling tenants that are seeking a place to live. It offers them a limited amount of rental assistance, and can be combined with Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA).
Interested low-income tenants in Monongalia County must complete a pre-application which will place them on a waiting list that is overseen by the local public housing authority. As the federal funded HUD program receives more money, names are then pulled from the waiting list where eligibility is assessed and determined.
If a resident from Morgantown is deemed eligible, they will receive a voucher in which HUD pays a portion of the monthly housing expenses based on the candidate’s income, household size and approved payment standards for the area. In turn, the participating tenant must pay the remaining portion of the rent directly to their landlord.
Christian HELP can help answer questions on this, including referring them to the application sites. Low-income tenants that are found to be qualified usually pay 30%-40% of their monthly adjusted gross income for their monthly rent. They will also need to pay 100% of their utilities, including water and electric bills.
All housing units or apartments across Monongalia County that are run by landlords that are participating in Section 8 housing must be inspected and meet a predetermined quality standard to be eligible for assistance. Landlords must also agree comply with the signed lease agreement between their tenant and the HAP contract signed with the agency.
For tenants, whether referred by Christian HELP or not, they will need to comply with the following things. All lease terms need to be abide by, they need to meet Section 8 Program requirements, keep their utilities running, pay their share of the rent in a timely manner, maintain the unit in good condition and notify the Public Housing Authority in Monongalia County West Virginia of any changes in their family size or income.
Weatherization is a much desired free of charge service for low-income families living in homes. This specifically makes changes to properties to make them more energy efficient, which in turn reduces energy bills. Priority is to conserve energy and maintain the health and safety of the residents in the dwelling, whether it is an apartment or full scale home.
This service has been available since 1976 in Monongalia County, when the Title IV Energy Conservation and Production Acts were set in place. The designated construction crew has countless years of experience installing weatherization materials to low-income homes.
For more details, Christian HELP is at 219 Walnut St, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505. The intake line is at (304) 296-0221.
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