Staff and volunteers from Lutheran Services Florida (LSF) assist the disadvantaged, including low income families, seniors, children, the disabled and immigrants. Resources are available across Florida and a number of assistance programs are available to those that qualify. The charity will offer their support and services regardless of the individuals religion or background.
Some of the primary assistance programs they offer the less fortunate are below. While the organization does its best to help as many people as possible, their resources are limited, especially when it comes to financial assistance for paying expenses such as rent. If a center can’t help you, then Lutheran Social Services in Florida will offer referrals to other local agencies or government benefits.
Lutheran Social Services in Florida can coordinate shelters, transitional, and also permanent housing. This is offered for people behind on their rent, the evicted, and currently homeless families. Many services are for single parents and also families with young children.
Transitional housing programs can also gradually move families through several stages until they are able to gain self sufficiency and become independent on their own. The permanent housing programs from LSF will also help clients with locating and moving into their own housing or apartments in Florida.
In most cases, participants will be assigned a Case Manager from Lutheran Services who conducts an initial assessment to determine the services and any financial assistance that is required to assist them. The family is then placed in the most appropriate transitional housing unit within the program.
The Case Managers will also work closely with parents and provide referrals to other resources as needed. This can include information on day care assistance, free medical care, food, government benefits, and other aid. The Employment Program (see below) also helps parents find jobs and Case Managers help them plan to budget and build credit.
The Permanent Housing Programs in Florida are run in partnership with Lutheran Services Florida and other organizations. Staff will help people find an apartment, pay security deposit as well as first and last month's rent and the agency can also supply them with free or low cost basic furniture and household items. If the family or individual has a qualifying disability, they may be placed in even more affordable or subsidized housing.
The name of one resource is CHANCE, or Children Having a New Choice Everyday. This will provide longer term rental subsidies. Additional support is available for paying utilities and move in costs.
The Matching Grant Program was created to help immigrants gain self-sufficiency within the shortest timeframe possible, usually a few months. It can help Cubans, Haitian, and other newcomers gain stability without utilizing public assistance or government benefits. Lutheran Services Florida can provide the grant and they work with other non-profits to donate other in-kind contributions to the needy.
In addition to the support from the Matching Grant, LSF counselors, volunteers and also accredited Internal Naturalization Services representatives assist people with obtaining US citizenship, receive Work Permits, and satisfy other needs.
Services provided by Lutheran services to immigrants and refugees will give them help, opportunity, employment opportunities, self-sufficiency services, and financial support. What may be offered includes rental /housing assistance, Referrals to Medical Professionals and Other Service Providers, Linking Refugees with Church and Community Groups, and even Translation and English as a Second Language Tutoring.
Lutheran Services in Florida also coordinates general case management. This is offered free of charge to income qualified immigrants and refugees who recently arrived in the United States. Multilingual social workers and case managers assess clients' needs, offer referrals and support such as Educational Opportunities, Mental Health Counseling Assistance, and Employment Assistance.
Employment services are available for the homeless as well as immigrants. LSF, its volunteers and partner churches have created relationships with local employers and businesses across Florida that provide employment opportunities. The programs are for residents who are homeless individuals, WAGES participants, or newcomers. The charity has information on a wide selection of jobs catering to both skilled and unskilled individuals.
A program known as Work And Gain Economic Self-sufficiency Act, or WAGES, was created to help both current and prospective recipients of TANF / Temporary Aid to Needy Families get a job and make the transition from government assistance to the work force. The goal of WAGES and Lutheran Services is to help people become self-sufficient.
Some of the other employment assistance programs include classes on how to prepare for job interviews and evaluate their work skills, Employment Preparation Sessions, counseling and free guidance to help people keep their jobs and succeed in the workplace, and placement services.
Employment counselors work with both immigrants and the homeless in Florida to provide assistance. The goal is to help these people find jobs, gain an income and otherwise become contributing, productive, and independent members of the community.
Various programs are administered for different groups in Florida. The charity is involved in Head Start, helping homeless youth, runaways, and they are even involved ved in Florida Covering Kids and Families.
The Youth and Family Services department will try to reunite families torn apart. Some of the LSF programs include short-term, emergency residential shelters for troubled youth and runaways ages 10-17. Counseling is a major part of this. The family will receive shelter, Case Management, Intervention, and, if needed, Aftercare/Follow-Up for Six Months from a professional.
Health Insurance is offered for children as part of a program known as Florida Covering Kids and Families. Lutheran Social Services works collaboratively with government and non-profit agencies and stakeholders to educate and conduct outreach for the Florida KidCare health insurance program.
Some locations will have on site Head Start Child Development Center. This will assist preschool children from low income families. The program will offer comprehensive services to families and children. Every student in the program learns basic educational skills in a safe and clean environment. Not only that, but children will also receive a free, well-balanced breakfast, lunch and maybe even a healthy mid-afternoon snack daily. Parents of the children will receive social services, referrals to dental, free medical and mental health professionals as well.
The Early Head Start programs are available in family child care home settings. Federal government funding is used to pay for this child development and educational program. It is targeted at low-income families with toddlers or infants. Its primary goal is to enhance the development of very young children and to promote the overall functioning on the family. Lutheran Services Florida works with other groups such as the YMCA and local government to administer this assistance program.
As mentioned, support is also provided for parents. They will be assisted with transitioning their children into services such as Head Start or other preschool programs when the child reaches the appropriate age. In addition, families and children are linked to community resources such as clothing, free food, housing, child care, employment, rental assistance, health care and mental health counseling if needed.
The main centers are below. The exact services and assistance offered at each office and in each town will vary based on funding and other conditions.
Central Services, 3627A West Waters Avenue, Tampa FL 33614, 813-875-1408
Miami Dade, Employment, Refugee Resettlement and Matching Grant, 8532 SW 8th Street, Suite 270 Miami 33144, telephone 305-567-2511
Miami Dade County, 9740B SW 24th Street, Miami Florida 33165, dial 305-559-117
Miami Dade Housing Ministries, 16201 Southwest 95th Avenue, Suite 300, Miami FL 33157, 305-969-8700
Miami Dade, Access and Partners Management, 16201 Southwest 95th Avenue, Suite 300, Miami 33517, Call 305-969-7030
Milton Office, 5139 Elmira Street, Milton FL 32570, call 850-626-4730
Northeast Florida, 10450 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, Florida 904-900-1075
Northwest, HOPE House / DeFuniak Office, 5127 Eastland Street, Crestview Florida 32539, dial 850-682-2374
Northwest, Fort Walton Beach, 51 B Yacht Club Drive, Fort Walton Beach FL 32548, telephone 850-664-0145
Northwest region of state, Currie House / Administration, 4610 W. Fairfield Drive, Pensacola FL 32506, call 850-453-2772
Northwest, Gulf Coast Guardianship, 4600 Mobile Hwy. #9-343, Pensacola FL 32506. Call the center at 850-469-4600
Northwest, SATP - Gulf Coast Kid's House, 3401 North 12th Avenue, Pensacola FL 32503, 850-595-5815
Northwest, Ryan White / HOPWA program, 7008 North Palafox Street, Pensacola Florida 32503, 850-497-7157
Pinellas CMO, Eckerd Community Alternatives, 8550 Ulmerton Road Suite 130, Largo FL 33771, call 727-456-0600
Southeast Florida, PEPPI Head Start, 301 Southwest 8th Street, Belle Glade FL 33430, dial 561-996-1718
Southeast, Prevention / Intervention (CINS/FINS), Lakes Town Center, 4185 North State Road 7, Lauderdale Lakes, dial 954-486-4222
Southeast Florida, Lippman Youth Shelter, 221 Northwest 43rd Court, Oakland Park FL 33309, dial 954-568-2801
Southwest, Family Centered Services, 3615 Central Avenue, Suite 4 Fort Myers FL 33901, dial 239-278-1140
Southwest, Case Management Organization, 4150 Ford Extension, Suite 1C, Fort Myers FL 33916, 239-461-7640
Southwest region of Florida, OASIS Shelter, 3634 Central Avenue, Fort Myers FL 33901, 239-278-1030
Southwest, Case Management Organization, 21175 Olean Boulevard, Unit B, Port Charlotte FL 33952. Telephone 941-613-3870
Southwest Florida, Sarasota Guardianship, 1748 Independence Boulevard, Suite E-4, Sarasota FL 34234, dial 941-358-6330
Tampa Bay, Pinellas Head Start/Early Head Start, 2210 Tall Pines Dr., Suite 220, Largo 33771, 727-459-5979
Tampa Bay, Pasco Manpower, 4440 Grand Boulevard, New Port Richey FL 34652, call 727-816-1714
Tampa Bay, Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services, 427 Magnolia Avenue North 2nd Floor
Orlando32801, dial 407-869-0988
Tampa Bay, Pinellas Manpower, 7901 4th Street North, Suite 308, St. Petersburg Florida 33702, dial 727-563-9400
Tampa Bay, Administrative Office, 3625 West Waters Avenue, Tampa FL 33614, telephone 813-877-9303
Tampa Bay, Employability Status Assistance, 3641 West Waters Avenue, Tampa FL 33614, 813-341-2880
Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Manpower, 3625 West Waters Avenue, Tampa 33614, call 813-877-9303
Tampa Bay, 3625 West Waters Avenue, Tampa 33614, 813-877-9303
Tampa Bay, Early Head Start, 3635 West Waters Avenue, Tampa 33614, 813-877-9303
Tampa Bay, Child Care Food Program (CCFP), 3635 West Waters Avenue, Tampa FL 33614, call 813-676-9402
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