With wages in Lowndes County still somewhat flat, and many families struggling with their housing or facing homelessness, the programs from Lowndes Associated Ministries to People can help a low income family meet a short term crisis. Any financial assistance provided is a hand up and not a hand out. Among other things, the client will need to participate in a variety of case management services so they can pay their bills, on their own, if any help is given to them.
When seeking help, whether homeless or not, proof of residency, income, and hardship is needed. If the staff from LAMP can assist, they may offer shelter or basic needs such as food. In some cases there will be funds for living expenses, such as rent or energy bills. Other assistance may be a Christmas gift for a child, clothing from the thrift store, or back to school supplies. Some aid is offered directly by the churches or Day Center that are part of LAMP, and other aid is from the clearinghouse services administered.
The LAMP Shelter Network serves the homeless through case management and the coordination of support services provided by neighborhood agencies. There is additional capacity added during the summer and cold winter months as well. Several support services are given as well, as follows.
The shelters in Lowndes County support veterans, parents with children, and the mentally competent. All applicants need to be free of substance abuse issues. Shelter is available for a limited number of days, with case management provided to each area of the LAMP operations. All guests must be screened and referred to the program by a staff member of the charity or even a local social worker.
Lowndes Associated Ministries to People has a Day Center Program. This is a place for anyone, whether they are facing a one time crisis, are underemployed, or homeless, to drop in at. While at the location they can gain access to important support social services as well as placement into the shelter above.
The location is for anyone. Clients may be living in poverty or chronic or mental illness, be homeless or facing addiction. The services offered include referral to community resources such as food pantries or medical clinics, help with job searches, laundry room access, bath as well as shower facilities, and transportation to local job interview. There may also be free meals and hot coffee served. LAMP fills a critical need for many low income people in the community.
Meals may be served daily by LAMP. This can range from a breakfast to lunch, or senior citizens in the Lowndes County region can get some food delivered right to them if they are homebound. The assistance is mainly for families who are faced with hunger. Applicants need to be going through a crisis. While some applicants from Valdosta need food, others just need fellowship.
The staff at the soup kitchen from LAMP will obtain food, prepare a meal, serve it, and also cleanup. Those stopping by include the low income or unemployed. Other clients may be homeless, senior citizens, teenagers, or children. There may be a breakfast served as well as lunch. This also incorporates the Meals on Wheels service, so the homebound can have goods delivered right to their home.
Donations from the the community are needed. In total, over 50,000 meals may be served per year. Sources of this include local church groups, restaurants, civic organizations, surplus USDA items. To donate or volunteer, just call the soup kitchen.
The ultimate goal of Lowndes Associated Ministries to People is to empower people. Therefore Job Readiness and Employment Services provide career counseling and related support. There is help for the underemployed or unemployed adults and youth. The non-profit will try to arrange education and skills training needed for successfully completing the process of looking for and retaining employment.
The goal is to create employment opportunities across Lowndes County or other Georgia communities for their clients. This is done through case management, supportive services, and education. This will lead to a higher income and greater independence and self-sufficiency. Components of this job service include the following.
Referrals are given to many services from the clearinghouse. The LAMP affiliated Homeless Prevention and Utility Disconnection Program works in collaboration with area churches, the United Way, federal government and service groups to help clients avoid eviction or a shut off of their power. It can offer funds to help prevent homelessness and allow clients to remain in their homes. Clients are assisted with partial rental assistance or utility bill assistance, including water costs.
The qualifications process for this program is specifically set up to address each client's emergency housing needs. Available services include once-per-year, partial financial assistance with rent or utilities, Counseling on Public Aid, and referrals to programs offered by other community service agencies. Please note that many charities that work with LAMP do not help with payment of utility bills that are in default, and that assistance is not guaranteed.
There are other non-financial programs available as part of the Hand Up Process. If someone is ill and needs mental health counseling, that can be arranged. There is also information on post-secondary education services in Valdosta Georgia and much more. LAMP - Lowndes Associated Ministries to People is located at 714 Charlton Street, Valdosta, GA 31601. For more information the clearinghouse, the phone number is 229-242-5267.
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