While resources are limited, Catholic Charities may have funding available for qualified low income families in Fayette County to help them in their time of need. Other services may be non-monetary and include referrals, information, or workshops such as budgeting counseling.
The primary financial assistance program for rent and utilities is known as Bridging the Gap. It can help low income families with emergency needs. Applicants need to be employed but are just experiencing some type of unplanned crisis or hardship. This is not a charity program that just disburses money to those who are struggling. Those families in Lexington who are found to be qualified can only apply at most once per year. In addition to grants and money for housing related expenses, Bridging the Gap also offers assistance with basic needs such as toiletry items, clothing and God's Food Pantry referrals.
The nearby St. Vincent Mission helps families achieve stability through concrete programs that encourage development, discovery and use of personal gifts. To meet this goal the agency offers individualized budget counseling for participants of the Christmas program.
When a disaster strikes, Catholic Charities may be there to help Fayette County and Kentucky families. Tornadoes, floods, ice storms, fires and other forms of severe weather or events can render a home uninhabitable, cause extensive damage to personal property, or can ruin a vehicle. In addition, such disasters often disrupt regular employment so people have a reduction in income.
The agency will often have funds available to help households who demonstrate a financial need as a result of the disaster, whether it be a fire, tornadoes, or some other event. When funding is available, the money can assist an individual with car or home repairs, new clothing, or payment for a bill that can't be met due to loss of job or unexpected expense. Dial (859) 253-1993 when a disaster hits.
The Disaster and Long-Term Recovery Fund may be able to assist families with purchasing food, building materials, water and even essential appliances.
Lasting Change is a Catholic Charity financial literacy program which is geared toward working poor or low-income individuals in Lexington who rely upon non-profit community organizations to supplement their basic needs. Case managers and social workers from Lasting Change utilize a holistic asset building approach by using peer support groups, obtaining mentors, facilitation-based workshops, and organizing banking incentives. By discussing attitudes about money and underlying belief systems, participants may be more likely to make changes to escape poverty.
Nutrition support and education includes dinner and other meals. The items are provided free of charge before the start of each Catholic Charity sponsored workshop. Staff and volunteers from Seedleaf, which is a local, nonprofit organization in Lexington, facilitate two nutrition education classes during the course of the program.
A number of credit, budgeting, and other educational workshops are offered. Some, such as Making Money Work!, are taught by Local Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) who will facilitate the hands-on workshops. They can be made up of multiple modules for helping people build credit and assets. Many were created in partnership with the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).
Community volunteers from across the county can also serve as asset mentors. They will offer individualized case plans and attention to address the specific financial needs of participants. These teachers and mentors are made aware of various community resources and supply participants with helpful, relevant information.
For people who go through all of these Catholic Charity organized workshops, they may be provided banking incentives such as matched saving accounts. The money will help them on their way to building savings and assets.
The Catholic Charities Diocese of Lexington has a main office at 1310 W Main St, Lexington, Kentucky 40508. A second center is at St Martha's Catholic Church, 60 Marthas Vineyard, Prestonsburg, KY, 41653-1700. Call (606) 874-9526 for information on their programs.