Government benefits and public assistance in De Soto County is available from a partnership of the Division of Economic Assistance as well as Human Services. The federal and state funded programs available are extensive, and range from applications to SNAP food stamps, cash assistance from TANF, and much more.
Any type of financial aid will require the applicant to participate in job placement and training services, as the welfare provided by the state is a short term benefit. The human service department can help residents access these employment services though, and there are resources such as WorkFirst or One Stop Job centers available for this need.
Public aid can help De Soto County families prevent hunger as well. The main resources are Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as well as Emergency Food Assistance. Together they either provide vouchers to low income families to use for buying food, or they may distribute surplus government commodities from local pantries.
Food stamps are used by thousands of residents in the Hernando and De Soto County area. It helps households, including those with children as well as seniors, buy groceries on a monthly basis and it will ensure their nutritional needs are met. The EBT card, or voucher, can be used to pay for formula, canned fruits, meats, and other items as well.
Cash grants are paid out as part of TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This is mostly for households with children, that are in currently living in poverty or meet very low income guidelines. However TANF can also assist single parents or pregnant women as well. Human Services will provide guidelines on what can be paid for using this public assistance, but some of the expenses may include the following.
TANF will only provide short term relief, and it may be for a few years at most. Applicants need to be working or in job training, and the amount of the grant provided to them will depend on income and other criteria. Social workers can provide more details on this, including how the child care program that is referenced below can help with those costs while in job training.
One Stop Job Centers will involve the under or unemployed person partnering with a specialist on finding and keeping a job. A plan will be created and needs to be followed. The different components of this may include vocational education, job search and readiness, work placement, GED classes, and more.
The De Soto County Division of Economic Assistance provides assistance, guidance and other forms of support to working poor and low-income families. They partner with Human Services on this, and goal is to get people off of government benefits and break the cycle of poverty. So they rely on the job centers and other resources.
Case management is available from them as well. Services arranged include job training and supportive services focused on employment, applications for food stamps opportunities and counselors will review the client's eligibility for Medicaid. This is done in an effort to make the transition from welfare to work.
There are three other programs under high demand in De Soto County. They include child care, which is for parents that are in training or employed. While a waiting list is in place, Human Services can help pay a portion of costs for those that are found eligible. Other resource is for disability, and this is known as SSI. Lastly, Low income families can receive public assistance for utility and cooling bills from LIHEAP.
There are some of the options available for struggling families in De Soto County. For more information on these public benefits or other government support, call (662) 429-4461 for the Division of Economic Assistance or stop by a Human Service center at 3210 Highway 51 South in Hernando.
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