Many families in Sangamon County are faced with hunger or struggle to keep up with their rent. Contact Ministries may be able to provide assistance in certain cases. While funding and resources are limited, if they can’t help, then the charity may have referrals to other programs that low income families can turn to.
People living paycheck to paycheck and facing hunger is a growing issue in Sangamon County Illinois, and Contact Ministries will help families obtain affordable, or even free food. In addition to running a pantry, they have partnerships with churches and soup kitchens throughout the community, so referrals are provided as needed. The agency can also refer individuals to free Christmas and holiday meals too.
The Emergency Shelter in Sangamon provides a temporary safe haven for homeless women, single moms, and women with children of any age. The organization will provide clients with a safe place to eat, access to showers, a bed to sleep in, and laundry facilities. Additionally, the on-site Director of Services offers links and case management, and this is available for guidance in determining long-term goals and plans.
More mid-term lodging is part of the low income Transitional Shelter. This location provides immediate relief to homeless children and women or others such as veterans. Besides a place to stay, the center will provide them with life’s basic needs, including clothing, free food, personal care items, laundry facilities, transportation, and work attire.
Available self-sufficiency type supportive services from Contact Ministries include employment assistance, family literacy programming, information on creating and following a budget, parenting classes, case management, and tutoring.
Case Management is a requirement of all Contact Ministries clients. Professional staff and case managers assess each client’s situation, in order to gather information that is then used to develop a restoration plan and future goals for the client’s future. The goals and plans are created based on level of need, and the case manager then provides links and referrals to appropriate services, such as job training or credit counseling, within Contact Ministries or other community service agencies in Illinois.
The program’s purpose is to help clients and families in Sangamon County facing poverty overcome the challenges of homelessness and unemployment. The Case Manager continues to meet with the client throughout the process to coordinate and oversee services, ensuring that the individual and the providers that are used in this process remain focused on assisting the client over the short and long term.
Contact Ministries partners with local businesses, both private and non-profit, to increase job opportunities for people from the county. The non-profit will offer resume preparation, employment counseling, interviewing tips and techniques, and more. The goal is to help low-income and working poor residents succeed in the world by supplying them with knowledge, skills and/or training to obtain and keep gainful employment.
Staff also furnish referrals to other community service agencies in Sangamon or nearby counties, such as one stop job training sites, daycare centers, or adult education programs, and so on. The shelter’s as well as transitional housing program’s overall goal is to ultimately find and retain stability and permanent housing.
Eviction help is administered from the Housing/Rental Assistance Program. There may be funds to help individuals and families avoid homelessness. For those who have lost their housing already and that need a place to live, Contact Ministries will provide services to assist them in obtaining suitable and affordable apartments, whether in a transitional program (see above) or in permanent housing. There may even be financial help to pay the rental deposit on the new home too.
Contact Ministries partners with clinics such as Capitol Community Health Care to offer free health or dental care to clients. When prescription medication is necessary, the agency will also provide financial assistance or cash grants to those who are uninsured or unable to afford it, however this will be very limited. Funding for this effort to pay for medical bills comes from grants from the state as well as from donations collected by area church groups.
A thrift store is part of the Contact Ministries Basement Boutique, and this clothing store is open Wednesdays and Fridays. It is actually run by volunteers from the shelter and from the greater community.
What may be available from the agency is furniture to shelter families in setting up their new homes. They also furnish free school supplies throughout the school year; suits or dresses for work; fans for use in the summer months; free winter coats, blankets, and warm clothing in the winter; gifts or toys at Christmas; and also food donations at Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Gas vouchers, transportation, and other aid is part of Contact Ministries services. They operate a Transportation Program to assist residents of the housing programs and those in case management. The agency may have gasoline vouchers, bus tokens and tickets for longer bus and train trips, as deemed necessary. The transportation is for people who need assistance with getting to job interviews, appointments, work and other social service locations.
The main office of Contact Ministries is at 1100 East Adams, Springfield, IL 62703. Call 217-753-3939 for information on their services.
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