Operating from several locations in Broward County, the Family Success Centers provide emergency financial aid and other social services. The staff from the sites partner with the county's Human Services Department to help struggling families obtain self-sufficiency. As part of this, short term crisis support is provided to families facing eviction, foreclosure, or hunger.
The goal of these centers is to serve as one of the primary locations that residents can stop by for help with their needs, no matter what that is. So they provide information on government benefits, social services, and if the Family Success Center can meet the clients needs, then referrals are offered. All information is provided for free and in confidence.
The centers work closely with government and non-profit agencies in Broward County in an effort to coordinate services and eliminate duplication, and this allows them to be a one stop center. So coordinating resources is a key goal of the locations, and the teams that work at the sites are dedicated to helping low income, the unemployed and otherwise struggling families. Another focus is on assisting the large number of senior citizens in Broward County.
Addressing housing needs is a priority. Tenants with an eviction or pay or quit notice from their landlord can receive emergency, one time rent help or some form of low interest loan for those expenses. Another focus of the Family Success Center is on offering both free foreclosure counseling and mortgage help to homeowners.
Self-sufficiency from the centers includes everything from Job Training and Employment to Budget Counseling and Information on Debt Reduction. This is almost required in all cases from applicants.
Other social services include Government Subsidized Child Care, Elderly and Veterans Services, and Help for Children. These needs are met from public aid such as applications to SNAP food stamps or Medicaid to SSI disability information.
Housing First is one of the main services available. This combines case management with short term, subsidized rental assistance. If the client needs help in moving into a low income apartment to begin with, then grants from programs such as ESG may be able to help with paying the rental or utility deposit on the new home. There may be financial aid to help keep water service connected too. Also, the Family Success Center will require the client to work towards self-sufficiency by saving money, budgeting, and obtaining employment and/or increasing their income. There are also life management skills workshops held and other action taken.
Most of the Housing First applicants are either facing imminent eviction or are now homeless. They also need to show the ability to achieve and maintain self- sufficiency over the mid to long term, and this is the only way they will qualify for any funds.
During the summer, the centers can process applications for LIHEAP - Low Income Home Energy Assistance. This can help pay high cooling and air conditioning bills, with an emphasis on the elderly and families that are most at risk, such as single parents with young children. Government grants from LIHEAP can also be combined with Care to Share funds and FP payment plans, and all of this is intended to prevent a disconnection of power.
Any financial aid is generally limited to the following scenarios. The applicant’s household income needs to have been reduced or they are faced with unexpected expenses. The client may also have received a mortgage, default letter or eviction notice. Other qualifying conditions may be water or utility shut off notices.
When seeking help in Broward County, be prepared with documentation. The funds are limited, and the Family Success Center is not in the business of providing a handout to people who are chronically struggling and lack initiative. So any grants from the county, or other forms of financial support, are for families that were otherwise stabile but are facing a one time crisis.
What may be required when applying for help includes some or all of the following. Applicants need to have identification for all family members, proof of income and expenses (such as leases or utility bills), document their Broward County residency, and information on the hardship. If the person is a veteran or senior seeking assistance, then documentation on their service or age is required too. Those are just some examples of what may be needed, and the staff at the Family Success Centers will probably ask for much more.
The centers are located across the county. The main addresses are as follows. Call a location that is in your area.
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