One of the leading agencies in the region is Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. They administer a wide number of assistance programs for people in Hidalgo and Cameron County Texas, as well as surrounding areas. Their services are available to families of all religions and backgrounds, and they focus on the low income and working poor. Many of the assistance programs are listed below, however they may have others, as well as provide ongoing case management and social services.
Housing, rent, and eviction prevention is offered by the Emergency Solutions Grant Program (ESGP). This Catholic Charity program is focused on rent and housing needs for homeless and at risk households. The program provides temporary rent and financial assistance, housing relocation and stabilization services and more to low income families and individuals who are facing eviction. Additional programs and case management may be provided for people who are currently homeless.
This particular program has two main recipients. Many people in the Rio Grande valley area are struggling with paying their rent, so those who are faced with homelessness may qualify for support. Other potential beneficiaries of the Emergency Solutions Grant Program are people who are in a shelter or transitional housing unit in Hidalgo County, and who need temporary assistance with their rent or security deposits in order to obtain new affordable housing.
While funds are limited, when available they can help with paying rent, utility bills, security deposits, Hotel and Motel Vouchers, and moving cost assistance. Stabilization Services include outreach and engagement, case management, and housing search and placement.
Military Family Relief Project can help service members and their families. Catholic Charities will fulfill their mission by reaching out and offering services and aid to military members. It provides counseling and financial assistance to our servicemen and women deployed to Iraq or other areas.
Immigration Programs provides advice, support and assistance to foreign nationals and immigrants seeking permanent resident status in the U.S. and Texas. Receive support in filling out application forms, access counseling on eligibility requirements, and get help in filing procedures both in the U.S. and abroad. Immigrants who need help to legalize their Immigration status in Texas or the US can benefit here. Catholic Charities will also provide assistance to Foreign Nationals that qualify for Permanent Resident Status in the USA.
Summer Food Service Program, or SFSP, has a goal of ensuring that children in low-income areas of Cameroon and Hidalgo County Texas can continue to receive affordable and high quality, nutritious meals during long school vacations. The program tries to fill the void when children and students do not have access to school lunches or breakfast. Churches, parishes, non-profit facilities and community centers serve approved meals to qualifying children who range in age from 18 to younger. Lunch, breakfast, or snacks are all offered by SFSP, and food items include milk, meats, fruits, vegetables, and bread.
Another food assistance program that Catholic Charities is involved in is Children and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Children or adults who are enrolled in a participating facility/center after school program can get healthy snacks and food items. It promotes good eating habits and will integrate nutritious food services with organized day care providers and other resources.
Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Programs offer assistance for one or more of the following. The primary locations are 700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd., San Juan, Texas 78589, (956-702-4088) as well as 955 W. Price Rd., Brownsville, Texas 78520, (phone 956-541-0220).
A number of qualifications need to be met, including, but not limited to, proof of income, ID, birth certificates, social security cards and more. For example, if you need medications, then supporting documents must include medical consultation. If you need housing or rent help, then an eviction letter is also needed. Disconnection notices will be necessary for energy bill assistance. The bottom line is that Catholic Charities will require various forms of proof and support before offering aid, and all resources are limited. Be prepared to prove your hardship.
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