Focusing on the less fortunate and working poor in Utica as well as Oneida County, Johnson Park Center is a leading organization to contact for help. They offer a number of assistance programs to qualified residents, and this is combined with case management and self-sufficiency support.
Emergency Services from JPC are available to those experiencing an unexpected loss of income due to a medical emergency or some other crisis. There may also be help for those dealing with an expense that is beyond their control, including things like a car repair bill.
These challenges need to be adversely affecting their ability to pay rent, a mortgage home loan, utility bills, or maybe a security deposit. When possible, the non-profit may have funds to help with those expenses. Additionally, Johnson Park Center works to prevent utility service shut-offs, circumvent eviction and homelessness, and minimize hunger.
In order to receive any type of financial assistance, applicants are required to document all household expenses and income. In addition, an applicant needs to demonstrate future ability to pay household bills as well as their rent without further assistance.
The Family Shelter provides beds for homeless women with children, single moms as well as traditional and non-traditional families of all sizes. Clients who are homeless and who meet income requirements are referred by the Oneida County Department of Social Services.
The Women and Children’s Program (WCP) as well as Johnson Park Apartments, or JPA, offer homeless women and their children the opportunity to make a new start, by providing apartments with one to four bedrooms. The agency will also offer them child care and an array of support services.
The non-profit also enables each woman to successfully focus on completing a treatment program in a structured, supportive and safe environment that eliminates any survival-related anxiety. Case managers from the organization also provide assistance in establishing life goals, learning how to live independently, guidance on becoming a better parent, and reuniting parents with children. Available educational services in Utica include job training, free GED courses, assistance with getting a college education, and general support with the goal of helping a client establish a career and obtaining employment.
They also operate several other housing-related programs and services. They include:
The homeless can look into Rapid Re-Housing Services and/or Homelessness Prevention. This is federally funded and will provide clients with short-term financial assistance. It will usually be provided in the form of a grant, and it can help with security deposits, arrears, rent and so on. These housing programs were designed to protect citizens who, through no fault of their own, are unable to make their rent or monthly mortgage payments.
Most of the resources are for people in the inner-city and greater Utica community, and many of those residents live in poverty. A good number of JPC’s clients qualify as working poor or unemployed, and are simply trying to make ends meet.
In the local community, a great need exists for access to food supplies in order to prepare nutritious meals. It is the goal of the JPC Food Pantry to provide a stepping-stone to self-sufficiency by meeting this very basic need of nutrition for the needy. To that end, the Pantry furnishes an array of canned items, fresh fruits, and a nutritious staple foods. All low-income Oneida County residents are welcome, up to twice a month and no referral is needed. The location is 1404 West Street, First Floor.
Teenagers and students can benefit from the programs at the JPC Drop-In Youth Center. The agency will offer the young people opportunities for life skills development, enrichment, educational support, positive recreation, and bonding with caring adult role models, in a safe, nurturing environment. Programming is available both after school and in the evening hours, when many other Oneida County programs are not in operation.
The program is Utica Weed and Seed Youth Safe Haven, and it is heavily involved in working as part of a larger system that keeps local kids and really entire neighborhoods safe. The services are offered at no cost, and everyone is welcome. Johnson Park Center is also aware that many visitors to the Youth Center in downtown Utica are hungry and in need, and, as an official Youth Feeding Site through the Child and Adult Care Food Program of the New York State Department of Health, the organization will also serve a free nutritious meal and a snack later in the evening.
With a strong focus on helping residents of the city, Johnson Park Center is located at 26 Johnson Park, Utica, New York 13503-0160, telephone 315-734-9608.
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