Thousands of families need help with paying their rent, utility bills, food and other expenses during these difficult economic times. Luckily there are some places that people can turn to for help. One is the MAX program, and another is the Decatur-Macon County Opportunities Corp.
This organization is located on the upper level of First United Methodist Church. The program, which operates under the umbrella of Dove Inc., started initially as a joint effort among several local churches to provide monetary support and grants to people in the community with emergency needs. An individual can get financial help from the group every 12 months. The program was set up to allow local charities and churchgoers to give something back to the community. At least 14 churches in the city donate to the assistance program.
The MAX program will help with a variety of needs. It will not only help with rent, but with water bills, eye glasses, dental care, and even provide help for items such as prescription medicines. The average amount given will range from $50 up to $300, depending on the person's short-term financial emergency and needs. Find other ways to get help with dental bills, and also information on free medications from patient assistance programs.
What: Macon County Assistance Exchange Program. Dial 217.423.7349
When: 1 to 3 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
Where: Upper level, First United Methodist Church, 201 W. North St, Decatur Illinois
This non-profit, community action agency offers low to moderate income families and individuals several free resources and services.
Training and Education Programs : Provide individuals with access to various job training and resources to help people get jobs. Including computer training, resume review, and more.
Senior Services Program : This program provides noon meals and free transportation to anyone who is 60 years or older. The Senior Nutrition Program provides free hot nutritious meals, up to five days a week (from Monday through Friday) at 7 different sites within the county and the city of Decatur. Door to door transportation is provided.
Illinois LIHEAP : This energy bill program assists low and moderate income families with paying their home heating and energy bills. Each family is helped once during the program year, receiving a one-time payment to be used towards bills. The Illinois LIHEAP program will provide a one-time grant to eligible households. The amount of the grant will be determined by household income, household size, fuel type and geographic location in Illinois.
Rent, Housing and Emergency Services : This provides housing assistance and shelter for individuals and families in emergency situations which include: eviction, rent arrearage, burnout or other crisis situations. The Decatur-Macon County Opportunities Corp staff will assist the family in finding permanent housing, paying outstanding rent, working with area landlords, and in locating additional needed resources such as food, household items, clothing, furniture, and laundry services.
The Macon community action agency is located on 1122 East Marietta Street in Decatur, Illinois, and the phone number is (217) 428-0155.
Catholic Charities is an organization that may provide free food, used or discounted clothing and household vouchers, rent and utility and heating bill assistance, or special food baskets and gifts during the holiday seasons such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. Several other resources are offered by the Decatur organization, including self-sufficiency type services. This can include information on local employers and job training programs. The charity will also help address health care needs, including registering people for discounts on their prescription medications and administering free medical check ups. Dial (217) 525-0500, or click here.
Also try calling the Salvation Army of Decatur. (217) 428-4672. This agency can be a great referral for and information about local charities, non-profits, and government programs. In addition, from time to time they may be able to provide help with rent, housing expenses, and provide information on Illinois mortgage programs.
Other centers of the Salvation Army are in Macon County. In addition to the services above, the agency may have free food, clothing, and Christmas assistance programs. They also focus on the homeless and people facing eviction, and there may be one time federal grants for a security deposit or other housing needs of qualified low income families. More Macon County Salvation Army assistance programs.
Community Health Improvement Center can provide low cost, high quality health care to patients in Decatur and Macon County Illinois. The goal of the clinic is to provide exceptional, compassionate, comprehensive, and low cost or free health care to the underserved of Central Illinois and Macon. Dial (217) 877-9117.
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