When facing a crisis, churches and their outreach centers across Nassau County may be able to provide both advice and some form of support. Most of the aid will be for basic needs, such as an emergency box of food or placement into shelter. However the many volunteers and staff from the non-profit will do their best to offer other support, and this may include occasional one time funds for an overdue utility bill or rent payment.
Staff from the charity will also refer low income or unemployed residents of Nassau County to self-sufficiency type services, ranging from career centers to referrals to government social service offices. These solutions and the partnerships that the charities have in the local community can help people find a long term solution solution to their hardship, and the fact is that many of the people seeking assistance never had to ask for for help in the past but are now struggling due to the challenging economy. Some examples of the services that may be provided are below.
Vouchers for basic goods, ranging from food to clothing. In some cases, if a resident is facing a life threatening condition or medical emergency, there may be some assistance for prescription drugs. While terms of the program and funding vary for this as well as every other resource, in general the charity has some form of support for basic needs.
Clothing for work, an interview or school for children is always a focus of groups such as St. Rose of Lima Parish. This is the case as for an individual that is low income or struggling, having proper work attire can help individuals not only get a job, but also keep it. In some cases, not only will free gently used pants or maybe a dress be provided, but volunteers may try to arrange local transportation on Long Island.
The food pantries, thrift stores, and local soup kitchens may all provide assistance, or they will process any vouchers from income qualified families. There are also restrictions and limits to many of the services, such as pantries. For example, residents can't turn to the pantries every day, but the local centers in Nassau County will limit to a certain number of visits per month or week.
Special holiday programs are administered, and these also rely on donations from the community. There will be free hot meals served. Seniors or the disabled in nursing homes or that can't make it to a holiday event may have a free box of food or hot meal delivered to them as well.
The faith based charities and churches such as St. Mary's-Roslyn can refer people to other local programs as well, such as the Salvation Army and their Angel Tree. The goal of these different groups is to give children some form of holiday joy, and this will often mean a toy, small present, or gift basket. The entire family may even be given a hot meal too.
Churches in the area may have small amounts of money for emergency expenses, or they can provide referrals. Families with a disconnection notice may receive funds for utility or paying electric bills. In order to apply, proof of the hardship will be required, and this will also include household income and more.
When facing an eviction or if the tenant has a pay or quit notice from their landlord, there may be limited funding for back rent. This maybe provided in the form or a repayable loan as well. If a family or individual is to far behind, then staff can refer individuals to shelters or local transitional housing programs in Long Island. When applying for help, bring proper identification as well as supporting information for all members of the household.
As with any program or non-profit organization, churches such as St. William the Abbot can decline an application. People are not guaranteed to receiving any type of financial help from the charity, and any funds paid out are at their discretion. In general, money is reserved for people that show initiative, are willing to help themselves, and that are facing a one time crisis vs. ongoing poverty. Also, any type of financial aid will usually come required with case management and job training, and applicants may be required to participate. In some cases, partner groups, such as community action agencies, run these for the county.
While resources vary by church and are limited, some of the places to try include St. Mary's-Roslyn Parish Outreach Center at (516)733-7045, St. William in Seaford New Yor, St. Paul in Brookville (phone (516)822-3132) and others. The funding and resources are change and the list above is an example of what may be offered from time to time..
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