Several of the programs offered by Loaves and Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley include the following. People that are truly struggling, or even homeless, may be able to turn to the churches for a meal, shelter, and maybe even limited financial aid for an overdue rent or utility bill payment. They are offered in partnership with local churches, charities, and other faith based organizations.
Emergency Assistance may be provided in some situations. Most of it resolves around homeless prevention and/or rehousing. They rely on a combination of federal government funds from programs such as ESG to private donations.
The main program that is available, known as Vera Naumann FEA, provides assistance for rent or maybe utilities. The homeless may be provided shelter, or maybe assistance with a security deposit. Other aid may be available too, even including loans, as resources allow.
There may be some very basic medical needs met by the Great Physician Healthy Living service. Local churches in counties such as Cameron may be able to provide vouchers to pay for a prescription medication in certain situations. Or the uninsured may be able to borrow medical equipment. Referrals are also available to local clinics, and Loaves Fishes also administers various Life Classes to those who need them in the Rio Grande Valley region.
Meals are available from the Loaves and Fishes Rio Grande Valley Bread of Life Dining Hall. This location can serve a free breakfast, lunch, or maybe even a dinner. On average, an incredible 10,000 or so meals are served per month. Some basic needs such as clothing may be distributed too. Please donate or volunteer if you can.
Job training and education is part of the New Hope Job Shop. Anyone who needs new skills can stop by for access to GED classes. There will also be instructions that offer training in Microsoft Office and other latest software. In addition to that, Loaves and Fishes will coordinate classes such as on resume review or practice interviews. Clients can also get leads and maybe job placement into Cameron and Willacy employers.
The volunteers from these churches want people to gain self-sufficiency. So any help offered is in the form of a hand up and not a so called hand out. This is why services such as Life Skills are so critical.
Shelter is available. They operate year round for women, men, and children. There can also be accommodation for single parents or moms. Many of the guests will also access case management services and get eventual placement into transitional housing units.
Learn how to conserve energy from the local Weatherization Program. Loaves and Fishes, as well as partners such as a local community action agency, are heavily involved in this. They can provide clients with information on conservation, and maybe even free improvements. Weatherization may provide for energy efficient light bulbs, solar screens, adding extra insulation, refrigerators, and new air conditioners or cooling fans for qualified clients.
The churches that are part of Loaves & Fishes help people regardless of faith, ethnic, cultural or socio-economic background. After all, people from the Cameroon County region and nearby towns are struggling, no matter their race or age. Churches and faith based groups of every denomination partner together to help the less fortunate and vulnerable. They cooperate to serve meals, distribute food from a pantry, or raise money as a form of emergency financial aid. In addition, many local governments and businesses support the charities efforts to assist the less fortunate. They all try to stabilize the lives of those who are in trouble.
For more information, or details on local churches to contact for help, Loaves and Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley is located at 514 South E Street, Harlingen, Texas 78550. Call 956-423-1014.
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