Financially struggling families that are facing a short term crisis can call upon Christian Support Center affiliated churches for guidance. Not only may the agency be able to offer direct financial aid, but they also offer basic needs such as clothing or food. All of this is offered on top of case management, which can tackle the cause of the crisis.
Homeless prevention includes referrals as well as rent and energy bill assistance. This is available through some of the local churches that are part of the Christian Support Center network. Any aid is for low income residents in the community who are at an extremely high risk of becoming homeless. A deciding factor in distributing funds to clients is they must have been given notice to pay their rent or vacate the premises, and this is often referred to as a 5 day notice in Hendricks County.
They also take part in non-profit programs such as the Continuum of Care in Indiana. After all it is more financially sound to keep an at-risk person in their current home or apartment than attempting to use various resources to find them new housing. So whether it is an application to a government grant program, money for paying security deposits or free motel vouchers, Christian Support Center follows trends in offering appropriate rent or deposit help to struggling clients.
The at-risk client who is facing an imminent eviction meets with a housing case manager or volunteer from the church to discuss the situation, determine how great the threat of homelessness is and then work on an action plan to keep them in their current home. This would include a process used for accurately assessing their housing expenses going forward.
Case management is just as important to a low-income family as the money received to eliminate the threat of homelessness. The funds that Christian Support Center uses for rent assistance comes from various resources including Emergency Solution Grant funds, FEMA funds and other smaller foundation grants from non-profits across Hendricks County, such as the United Way. Many people from the immediate communities also donate to a parish.
Christian Support Center Housing Advocate program counsels and offers referrals to people who are facing issues such as housing discrimination and violations of the Landlord – Tenant Act. The Advocate service also runs educational workshops for local residents in the Hendricks County community to teach them about their rights and responsibilities under the law as well as how to avoid an eviction.
The Weatherization service is an option. The staff at the churches can refer people to it. The government resource has funding available for financially struggling households to decrease their heating and cooling bills which also makes sure they are safe and healthy in their home. This program is specifically geared toward indigent families, senior citizens and those living with a disability.
Based on an assessment done by Christian Support Center and its partners such as community action, it can cover the following cost effective and energy saving repairs including fixing unsafe heating systems/furnaces, sealing air-leaks with insulation, caulking, and weather-stripping, repairing leaky duct systems, and installing smoke detectors.
Christian Support Center can refer people to the Commodity Food Program. This government service appropriately distributes USDA Commodity items to needy families in the community. People can enroll up to 3 times per year. Any low-income, at risk person or family interested in the program needs to contact the office to apply.
The clothing bank is run by Christian Support Center and has inventory that includes new and gently used clothing for men, women, children and infants. Participants of the service have access to shop every 30 days for their entire household. Several articles of clothing may be obtained per visit. In addition to clothes, the center also carries winter coats, shoes, new underwear, school supplies and work attire. Please note that there are some limited items available like jeans and coats.
The Hendricks Based based clothing closet also has many household items available for eligible clients including bedding, pots, pans, forks, spoons, couches, small electronic items (radios), blankets. The availability of these items also changes daily based on incoming donations to Christian Support Center. All of these household items need to be requested through counselors.
The USDA Summer Food Service was designed to specifically meet the dietary needs of children from families on the verge of poverty when school is not in session. This program offers free meals that meet the guidelines established by Federal Government.
The hot meals as well as snacks are distributed to eligible children at designated Christian Support Center affiliated sites or churches in Hendricks County. The Summer Food Service Program runs during off school times such as school vacations, usually through the months of May to August. This program for needy children is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as the state of Indiana Department of Human Services.
There is a Christian Support Center affiliated transportation service available to elderly low-income clients. They can be given a ride from a volunteer or can request bus tokens through their assigned counselor. There is a limit to this service which includes one round trip a few times per year. These vouchers for transportation are given for specific requirements for eligible people from the community including attending doctor appointments, job interview, and attending school-related activities.
For more information on the Hendricks County center, which is based in Plainfield Indiana, dial (317) 767-0365. Note that funding is limited and focused on emergencies.
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