The people who turn to Francis Center are most often working poor, facing a crisis and their children. Often, the families across Multnomah County who need assistance are not only coping with health issues or struggling to find work in an unstable job market, but are also behind on their rent, threatened with eviction or utility shut-off. To help in these cases, the Emergency Assistance Program exists to help qualified, financially disadvantaged residents break the cycle of poverty.
A focus is on the vulnerable, no matter their age, race, or religion. So emergency programs, whether food or financial, are available to those that qualify. There are even services available in Spanish, Cantonese, Lithuanian, or Russian for immigrants or non-English Speakers.
For working poor members of the community, there is a free Food Pantry that provides short term emergency assistance. Each and every income approved, participating client will ideally receive a three day supply of food or a box of groceries that is nutritionally dense and hits all the major food groups. The Francis Center pantry is available due the result of donations, volunteers, and national groups. They include the following.
Free clothes are available from Francis Center for all adults and children in an eligible low-income household. The support is available at the Family Clothing Center. The locations encourages clients to select clothing for their family at each of six visits within a 12-month period.
The non-profit is especially committed to offering items for work as well as new school clothing and/or uniforms in conjunction with the Francis Center fall school supplies program. This is for younger children as well as upper grade children who are returning to school. Support is also for children from Portland Oregon who are beginning school for the first time.
The agency has information on programs that offer up to 30 months of lodging. Francis Center affiliated Transitional Housing is available to area families in need. During their time in the unit, participants work with case managers to eliminate barriers to self-sufficiency. Together they will tackle challenges such as lack of education, mental health issues, physical disabilities, drug and/or alcohol addiction, unemployment, or a host of financial issues.
Francis Center Rental Assistance Program offers financial aid toward unpaid rent payments for residents of qualifying Multnomah County cities, including Portland. The funds can be used for preventing evictions and keeping them in their homes, and in some cases loans are issued. The non-profit requires that the tenant be in a verifiable crisis situation that has caused him or her to be behind with payments, such as an illness, unexpected car repairs that impacts them getting to work, or unpaid sick leave. The tenant must also be able to show that the rent will be paid the next month or that the need for additional financial assistance will not recur.
Any type of financial help is combined with a requirement for self-sufficiency. Francis Center, in collaboration with local colleges, employers and universities runs, an in school training and employment program. It is for seniors, the jobless, and disadvantaged students. This resource offers them a chance to work part-time after school with some local employers in Portland Oregon. The main focus is to provide them with valuable work experience, and maybe a small income too. It will also help people increase their knowledge base and enhance the importance of furthering their education.
The Francis Center supports healthy wellness initiatives in the Multnomah County community. These are run by partners and volunteers, and can include classes on diabetes, cooking and nutrition course, recipes for meatless meals, and healthy desserts.
All of these health care type services are also offered in partnership with local agencies, doctors, and Portland area hospitals. Together they offer health programming for neighbors. There are even annual health fairs held by agencies that share information ranging from diabetes prevention to applying for Medicaid or spiritual health.
The Francis Center provides other support as well. Whether it is referrals or a hot meal from a soup kitchen, support is offered from the charity at 6535 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, Oregon 97266. Call (503) 775-6784.
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