Some of the common needs met by Duluth Cooperative Ministries and its partner churches include the distribution of free food, financial aid for expenses ranging from rent to medications or energy bills, and case management. The services are available across Duluth and Gwinnett County, and those are just some examples of what may be provided by the charity.
The agency operates a food pantry that can provide free groceries. In some cases, clients are given vouchers for critical needs such as medications or gasoline for a job interview. While always in high demand in the area, emergency funds or loans for expenses such as water bills, rent, or utilities will be very limited.
Another goal of the non-profit is to offer long term support. Duluth Cooperative Ministries will use both volunteers and trained case managers for this activity, including with volunteers from their partners of Perimeter Church, Old Peachtree Presbyterian, as well as Mount Tabor Baptist. It can, among other things, help a client find a new or better paying job, allow a student to enroll into Head Start, or maybe address financial matters, such as credit repair or debts.
Duluth Cooperative Ministries offers clothing vouchers for eligible individuals and families. The certificates may be redeemed at the Thrift Store, and are part of the Hands of Christ program. Note that this form of assistance is non-transferable among family members nor may they be redeemed for cash.
The Thrift Boutique has inventory such as shoes and clothes for men, winter coats for children, school supplies, and items for women and children. Other clothing and household items may be purchased by shoppers of the store at steeply reduced prices. The Thrift location is open to the general public and for those families from Gwinnett County who have qualified to receive their clothing vouchers.
The Duluth Cooperative Ministries Emergency Food Pantry is a practical way to address the basic needs of families and individuals turning to the non-profit for emergency help. Based on donations, the churches will provide emergency groceries or food, personal items, clothing and vouchers for the store located on Fox Street.
Income qualified households in need may acquire free food up to four times per year. The amount of assistance given out by volunteers at Duluth Cooperative Ministries is based on the number of individuals in the home as well as income. Also, donations are always needed. The site may pass out Boxed Dinners, Canned Fruit, Canned Lunch, Pasta Mixes, Macaroni & Cheese, Spaghetti Sauce and personal goods such as Conditioner, Body Soap, Toilet Paper, Tooth Paste, Deodorant, and more.
Struggling families with children, low income seniors or the disabled can contact DCM for rental and utility bill assistance. With the help of a program navigator, families discover what options are available to them across Gwinnett County that can lead people back to a self-sufficient life.
Those who enter into this program can apply for financial aid. If there current residence is too expensive, then they can choose where they want to live and enter into a lease agreement with the landlord of the dwelling for an affordable home and DCM may still help with a portion of rent when possible.
With a client’s permission, Duluth Cooperative Ministries will then work with the landlord to increase their eligibility for the housing. If an agreement is reached, the property is then assessed and inspected to make sure all health and safety requirements are up to code. The ultimate goal for these lower income families is to prevent a recurrent of homelessness.
General Education Development tutors are experienced in helping adult or younger students successfully complete each of the multiple exams that are required in Georgia to earn a GED. This is also known as a high school equivalency certificate. It may help the client obtain a job, which staff will provide referrals to local companies.
Program tutors from DCM or local churches have had great success in helping students who struggled in a public school setting complete the GED testing process and earn their certificates. All of these services are combined by Duluth Cooperative Ministries to help with employment needs.
The Duluth Cooperative Ministry is open a few days per week, but the hours are limited. The address is 3395 Fox St. Building 101, or dial 770-623-9563.
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