Operating in over 15 counties in South Carolina, the Midlands branch of Catholic Charities works to assist low income families, the elderly, and working poor, among other individuals. Many of their programs and services are available regardless of faith. Some of the main resources offered include free food, gently used clothing and household goods, Save a Smile dental care, and referrals. They often have information on both non-profit and government programs (such as LIHEAP) that may be able to assist with paying bills such as utilities or rent.
Services are available in a wide area, including the counties of Allendale, Richland, Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Chester, Clarendon, Edgefield, York, Sumter, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lexington, Orangeburg, Saluda, and more. Churches, religious groups, and other social service providers work with Catholic Charities to help those that are less fortunate or unemployed.
Homeless assistance is available in the Columbia and Richland County region from Clean of Heart. This is a shelter / basic needs resource for those that are homeless. Clients can get access to laundry, showers, meals, complimentary haircuts, counseling, and referrals to transitional housing. If interested, appointments need to be made with Catholic Charities. They can only be made one day per week, which is on Thursday, for the following week. Either dial 803.254.9776 or stop by the Catholic Charities of the Midlands main office at 1529 Assembly Street in Columbia South Carolina.
Clothing closets are located across the region, often in partnership with other non-profits. There can be centers in counties such as Richland, Chester, York, Lancaster, Barnwell and other regions. For those that are qualified, they can receive a pair of free, gently used shirts, shoes, underwear, and similar goods.
Some of the clothing banks also have an on site pantry, or have referrals to them. Items such as snacks, free food or toiletries are available. During winter, there may be items such as coats, gloves, and hats for children. Also, some school supplies may passed out to children from low income families in the Midlands area.
Free dental assistance is coordinated from the Midlands Save a Smile program. Among other things, it coordinates cleaning and subsidizes dentures for low income individuals, with a focus on seniors. It will offer improved health, employment opportunities, and self-esteem. Call 803.254.9776 for more details.
Referrals are available from Catholic Charities staff. They work collaboratively with other faith communities, social service agencies, and government assistance providers to serve low income clients. Some examples of what is provided includes.
Helping children as well as the homebound during the holidays is another service provided, often in partnership with groups such as the Agency on Aging or the Salvation Army. Children from the region, such as Richland, Bamberg, Clarendon, Allendale, or Clarendon, may get free toys or clothing. There are home delivered Christmas or holiday meals for seniors and the disabled. Much more can be passed out by both volunteers and the regional churches.
Thrift stores and clothing closets have various items for the general public. Families with a crisis, or that meet income levels, may get free items. Examples of what may be passed out by Catholic Charities of the Midlands, depending on donations, include coats (in season), toothbrushes, belts, paper towels, disposable razors, diapers, or warm hats/gloves (in season). Any items sold, and money raised, at a Catholic Charity affiliated thrift store will be used to pay for ongoing services. So the money spent goes back into the community.
The main regional office can be reached at 803-254-9776.
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