Catholic Charities is a good place to turn to for advice and referrals. They do offer a large number of non-financial assistance programs. One service that may be considered more financial in nature is Medication Application Service (MediAppS). It is a patient assistance program that may be able to provide free or low cost medications to qualified low income applicants. Basically representatives from Catholic Charities will look into assistance programs that are operated by the drug company that manufactures your prescribed medicine. If you do qualify for Medication Application Service, your representative will work with you and your doctor on your behalf to enroll you in the patient assistance program operated by that particular pharmaceutical company. The Winona office can be called at (507) 454-2270.
Steele County Food Shelf is a great non-profit to call for one or more of the following. Food Distribution, Advocacy, Nutrition Education, and Information and Referral to such options as other Minnesota food banks and pantries. Call the Owatonna MN agency at (507) 455-2991
Children can get free or low cost dental care and services from Children's Dental Health Services, and call them at 507-273-7257. This facility is available for low income children, and those who either have no or limited health insurance. If they can’t provide the care themselves, then they can always refer the family to another dental center in Minnesota.
Some limited financial assistance, and more importantly information and referrals, are offered by the Salvation Army (507-437-4566) which services Mower, Steele, Winona Minnesota. While funding is always limited, from time to time they can provide vouchers for rent, food, or medications. Those in a crisis with utilities may have some options available too.
Semcac is the leading non-profit organization to call for assistance and advice. If you are faced with a financial hardship or crisis, the agency may be able to have you work with a counselor in order to access the community action agency's assistance programs and services and other community resources. Learn about federal government and state of Minnesota programs too.
Meet with a counselor and go through the application process, and learn how the assistance may be able to help you make it through a difficult period. Some of the services and support include hotel and motel vouchers, food emergencies, financial assistance for utility and heating bills, transportation, or other emergent needs that can help the low income either sustain or create improved self-reliance of an individual or family. Clients of the community action agency that are receiving crisis assistance or grants will also meet with staff to establish a plan for stability over the long term.
Budgeting and debt reduction programs are administers as well. Counselors provide training and classes that cover credit repair, budgeting, savings and spending, credit reports, debt reduction, identity theft, and credit card hardship programs.
Food shelves are located throughout the region. A total of four sites are available around the four counties. Get nutritious food and personal care items.
Mortgage and rent assistance is part of the Family Homeless Prevention Program. This housing assistance program was created to keep people in their homes or apartments, and therefore decrease homelessness by providing one-time financial assistance with helping to pay rent or mortgage payment for households that need a short-term “bridge” until their financial situation is improved.
Weatherization and an Energy Bill Assistance Program. EAP is a federal government funded heating and utility assistance program administered through the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The program provides financial assistance and cash grants to help with paying a household’s winter heating bills. On the other hand, weatherization is a conservation program that is free to low income renters and homeowners. It will install energy conservation updates to a qualified applicants home.
Head Start helps all children up to five years of age succeed. Children participate in a variety of programs that can include educational activities that encourage lifelong healthy habits as well as a love of learning. Children of the Head Start program receive free or low cost dental or medical care, are provided with healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy creative play in safe settings outdoors and indoors.
Call Semcac, the local community action agency at (507) 864-7741.
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