There are hundreds of locations of the Episcopal Church across the nation. The assistance available at each site will vary, but the charity will try to help the vulnerable in the local community. The Relief and Development service from the church is where this assistance will originate from.
Each site will have a completely different type of offering for members of the community. They also only support families faced with poverty in the immediate vicinity of that particular Episcopal Church. Much of what they offer will depend on the hard work of volunteers as well as donations from the community. Some examples of their services will be as follows.
This will fall under the basic needs. This will be one of the more common programs from the charity as it is more common to be able to raise these types of goods from the community.
Food banks and soup kitchens will be available at many of the sites. The pantry will be for addressing a crisis, such as if a vulnerable family is about to go hungry then they may be given a few days worth of groceries. The other option, an Episcopal Church soup kitchen, is mostly for serving a hot meal to the homeless across the nation.
If a family uses one of the food programs from the charity, while they do this the charity will offer other support. In addition to supplemental food from the pantry, staff will also provide nutritional information. They will show people from the local community how to budget properly so they can by their own groceries on their own in the future.
Another service from the Episcopal Church volunteers is reviewing food stamp eligibility for that local state. The goal is to move the family beyond the need for emergency support.
Some of the local parishes offer other basic needs. There are several Episcopal Church charities that will provide some clients with Gift Cards. There may be small dollar amounts for purchasing a bag of groceries at a local store. This is mostly for people with some form of proven, special dietary needs.
Episcopal Churches may offer personal hygiene items. As with all of their services, this will be for the poor and is not offered at all locations. The goal is to help those very low income or indigent families that are in need of self-care products. The items passed out may be shampoo, soap, toothpaste and tooth brushes, laundry soap, lotion and combs. Volunteers from local centers gather these items from the community. The distribution will usually take place at the local Churches’ Outreach Ministry.
Clothing closets as well as thrift stores are available at a wide number of centers. The store is generally open to anyone, and this is where people can shop for gently used but affordable goods. Everything from furniture to kitchen appliances, utensils, cribs, and clothing may be sold at an Episcopal Church charity. The money raised will also go to pay for the services they offer.
Local clothing closets are mostly run by volunteers. They are for disadvantaged men, women, and children in the community. Clothing closets sell jeans, shirts, coats, dresses, school uniforms, shoes, socks, underwear and other types of goods. The hours of the center will vary by local site, but a clothing closet is usually open a few days per month.
Donations can come from many places in the local community. The church accepts goods from area schools, student donations, businesses, and even other local parishes. In some cases, a local Episcopal Church will have grants to use to buy new socks, backpacks, winter coats, underwear, children’s clothing and shelving for the clothing closet.
Breakfasts may be served to the homeless. Volunteers for a local Episcopal Church may serve a free, hot, nutritious breakfast meal. Where it is available, there may be dozens of homeless, needy residents served to people in the local community. The breakfast from the charity will be cooked on-site by volunteers in a kitchen dedicated exclusively to this service.
The resources below will tend to be rare. As noted, all of the programs administered vary widely, but some local sites of this national charity may administer the following as well.
Loans may be issued for car repairs or even the purchase of a vehicle. This service will be very uncommon though. Some local parishes will be able to help individuals find an appropriate automobile at a reasonable price. It needs to be for employment reasons. When qualified, the Episcopal loans the funds to the applicant to buy the car or pay for repairs, such as new tires. The church will be the First Lien Holder on the Title though until the funds are repaid.
Shelters are available at some of the parishes. They can house those in need of overnight lodging and also serve them a hot meal or provide an article of clothing. During the winter months in some of the northeastern or Midwest states, the Episcopal Church may offer additional emergency housing from November to April, or the cold winter months. Volunteers cook dinner, provide counseling, and there is other support from the charity.
Episcopal Churches social services can offer other emergency financial aid. This will tend to be the least common service offered by the charity. Where available, there may be money for transportation, emergency utility and rental assistance, or medical needs. Only a very small amount of funding will be offered.
Some of the churches have a doctors or a dentist on site for basic medical care. Or there may be a nurse-practitioner or hygienist that will provide health or dental care. This will be for basic needs. More complicated conditions will be referred to clinics for further treatment. Episcopal Churches also partner with veterans’ groups, the counties department of mental health, and other social service agencies.
The volunteers at the local parish also offer referrals. The centers have information on local and national agencies that provide job training, clothing, low income housing, identification cards and even counseling which is often for addressing drug- and alcohol-addiction.
Many other programs may also be run for the vulnerable. Everything from free legal clinics to help in screening for benefits or placement into low income apartments can be arranged. The charity may also have meals for the elderly and arrange home care for the disabled in a parish. Those are just a few more examples.
As noted, the programs run at each local Episcopal Church location will vary widely. Those are only some examples of what a family faced with poverty will find. To find a local parish, use the search box at the bottom of this page, or use the site www.episcopalassetmap.org.
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