Most of the resources from Metrocrest Services are for addressing a crisis situation, such as potential eviction or utility disconnection. The organization also wants clients to gain the skills they need for self-sufficiency. Programs such as the client choice food pantry as well as employment counseling can help with that goal.
The Metrocrest Services Food Pantry was set up to be equivalent to a grocery store. The center is providing clients with the opportunity to shop and select food supplies that fit their preferences and needs. Volunteers from Metrocrest are available to help families as they shop and with loading items into vehicles.
Food quantities available in Dallas County are determined according to family size and availability. Based on individual need, case managers may provide one voucher or more, with each covering a visit to the Pantry.
The non-profit will also depend on donations to keep the Food Pantry running. So the support of the greater Dallas community is critical. They do have a number of regular donors, including several area stores; the community gardens in Addison, Coppell and Farmers Branch; the Northern Texas Food Bank; and many generous individuals throughout the community. Each person selects the items they prefer with quantities based on family size and available stock.
The contents of the pantry will change over time. Due to the wide variety of food sources, the stock varies from week to week. On a typical Pantry day, shoppers may have Dried Beans, Canned Vegetables, Fruits and Meats, Seasonal Fresh Produce, Helper-Type Mixes, Household Cleaning Supplies and more.
The Metrocrest Services Eat Smart, Live Strong Program is for the elderly. The resource provides Food Pantry access for all senior citizens in Dallas who qualify for monthly People and Nutrition (PAN) commodity food boxes. This enables seniors to shop at the Pantry and select fresh vegetables, fruits, milk, ensure, and other foods to supplement their diets. A key corporate sponsor of this service is the Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton.
The homebound and elderly also benefit from the Home Delivered Meals Program. This is a service that brings restaurant-prepared meals to the residence of homebound seniors in Dallas every Monday through Friday, either on a short or long-term basis.
In addition to delivering meals, Metrocrest Services volunteers provide a daily check-in service. If no one responds when a volunteer arrives to deliver a meal to them, the senior’s emergency contact is immediately notified. So this helps ensure the client is safe and healthy.
On Saturdays throughout the summer break from school, Metrocrest’s Sack Summer Hunger for Kids service distributes easy-to-prepare, kid-friendly meals and snacks. This is for students as well as other children whose families reside in designated areas. The intent of this service is to assist children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals during the school year. It can also help those who may not have access to regular nutritious meals when school is not in session.
Distribution for the Sacks of food is carried out by volunteers on Saturday mornings at designated sites within the non-profit’s service area. The program is made possible through the generosity of corporate sponsors, charities in Dallas, local church groups, and individual volunteers.
The threat of eviction or termination of electrical service represents a major crisis. This is a challenge for anyone living paycheck to paycheck. Depending on each applicant’s circumstance, Metrocrest Services’ Emergency Rent/Utilities Program is often able to help clients in crisis remain in their homes or avoid utility shut-off. Professional case managers work one-on-one with clients to address immediate crises and provide support as they work toward stabilizing their finances.
Metrocrest also partners with Jewish Family Services of Dallas to provide timely resources for clients who are seeking employment. Together they run the Employment Counseling Program. As part of this, trained counselors work with clients of all ages who are unemployed or under-employed, as well as those who need help locating and identifying job opportunities.
Available services and job-seeking tools include assessment of work history and barriers to employment, Training Opportunities, Goal Setting, and Resume Review. There is also financial aid for people looking for a job. This may be Bus Vouchers, Gasoline cards, or money to pay for Haircuts and Work Attire
Metrocrest Services’ Financial Education workshop offers one-on-one case management sessions. It will offer individualized financial literacy and training to address the immediate crisis and help the client gain long-term stability. This is accomplished through the development of a workable household budget and reasonable financial goals.
Those who receive financial aid from any program above, such as rent or utility bill assistance, are required to complete self-paced online financial education instruction in the computer lab. Once an individual has completed the program, the case manager continues to stay in contact to monitor progress and provide guidance as the client works toward achieving goals.
Made possible through the generosity of numerous donors, local churches, and individual community members, Metrocrest Services provides several free large-scale holiday distributions. This is for low-income clients as well as seniors. It may include including the following:
Thanksgiving assistance meals are offered. This is for children who do not have access to school-provided services, and parents may have fewer wage-earning hours or lack a paycheck altogether. So this seasonal food distribution will ensure that families have several days’ worth of nutritious food.
The free Christmas program is for Holiday Toys, Gifts, Winter Coats, and Meals. This service offers families with unwrapped toys and gifts, boxes of food, and new or gently used winter coats. Items are distributed by appointment only at a temporary holiday site in Dallas County.
Home-delivered holiday baskets are available from Metrocrest. This is for area seniors who place advance orders. At the time they make their requests, the elderly or disabled client has the opportunity to specify which items they would prefer to receive.
The last service is for Medical equipment. This is available on 30-day-loan to individuals of all ages who reside or work in Farmers Branch, Addison, Coppell, Carrollton or the city of Dallas in Denton County. Available items include wheelchairs, bedside commodes, canes, shower/transfer benches, walkers, and Rollators.
For more information, Metrocrest Services can be called at 972-446-2100. Or stop by 13801 Hutton Dr., Ste. 150, Farmers Branch, Texas 75234.