The coordination of the Network of Community Ministries assistance programs that are offered to low income families is done by their Services Division. This is the department that assists working poor individuals and seniors with obtaining needed shelter, food, prescription medications, and clothing. While more limited, the non-profit will also try to provide financial support to qualified Dallas County residents who are having difficulty making their utility or rent payments.
The Thomas Family Food Pantry’s goal is to address the ever-growing issue of hunger and overall food insecurity among Dallas County families. While the amount of aid offered will change, the pantry often provides personal care items, groceries, and free food to dozens of families per week. They also operate a Client Choice Hybrid Model for food distribution.
At this center, families from Dallas have the opportunity to select the most needed items for their family, rather than receiving prepared groceries or boxes of food that they may not need. Assistance is available from Network of Community Ministries to each family on a monthly basis, but resources are limited.
It is important to note that families who are awaiting SNAP food stamp notification have access to groceries or meals every two weeks. Not only that, but the Network also partners with the North Texas Food bank to provide on-site SNAP food stamp interviews.
Another option is the Big Meals for Little Kids Project, which was created in response to the needs of more than 20,000 Richardson ISD students. Clients of this service depend on the free or reduced lunch program when school was in session. However, it should be obvious that their needs for a meal didn’t disappear during summer break, and many were going hungry due to lack of funds or lack of transportation.
The Project from Network of Community Ministries, which is a mobile summer program, furnishes two to three days’ worth of shelf stable lunches on a twice-weekly basis to children over the summer or vacations.
The aid is targeted at those that are residing in certain low-income apartment complexes in Dallas. The program has reduced this additional strain on already-stressed families by delivering nutritious food right to the homes of thousands of children.
The Richardson-North Dallas Family Clothing Center provides free, new or gently clothing for children and low income adults from qualifying households. The Ministry will also put special emphasis on ensuring that new school clothes, professional work attire or uniforms are available in conjunction with the fall school supplies program for children returning to school.
This is also a client choice model, as both parents and children are given the opportunity to select their own free clothing for their needs. There are limits of course, but in some cases it can be as high as $250 per family, six times year.
Tools 4 School is Network’s free fall school supplies program that helps children from Pre-K through 12th Grade. The goal is to help them start the school year off right. Using donations from the Dallas County community, students will be given bags loaded with supplies to help them begin year.
This is the only Network project that extends into the Plano, Dallas, and Garland ISDs, in addition to the Richardson Independent School District. Parents and children will have the opportunity to select their own free clothing with a maximum per visit of a valued $250 clothing bundle per family.
The national One Warm Coat campaign, which is a key Network of Community Ministries partner, provides free winter coats to adults and children who are in need. The non-profit Network Ministry has become the North Dallas hub for winter garment donations. In addition, they distribute the jackets to the needy and low income as well.
The Network Adolescent and Children’s Clinic is in operation throughout the school year, and this is one tool that can meet the immediate health needs of uninsured or uninsurable children living within the 14 Zip Codes of the Richardson Independent School District in Dallas County. The majority of eligible families cannot afford the costs of paying for hospital bills or private medical care on their own. Many others that use the clinic do not qualify for Medicaid, and cannot take an entire day off from work to wait for services at Parkland Hospital.
Professional staff from the Children’s Clinic, which is made up of volunteer physicians, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, and hygienists set their schedules up to one year in advance. The care is free, as they charge no fee for much-needed acute care and dental treatment.
The Network of Community Ministries supported clinic hours have expanded to include bi-weekly evening services in order to help working parents. This has another benefit of decreasing hospital emergency room congestion in Dallas, and it will also increase student attendance by rapidly returning treated students to the classroom.
The clinic provides free or low cost medical services to address the following medical and dental concerns, such as Tooth Extractions, Dental Cleaning, Flu Symptoms, Upper Respiratory Infections, Bronchitis, Pharyngitis and Tonsillitis, and much more.
ViewPoint Bank and Network Ministries work together to offer the Women’s Financial Empowerment Class. This covers ways that women, as single parents and heads of household, can take action in gaining knowledge, breaking down financial barriers and accessing the skills that fully prepare them to stabilize their households and improve their life skills.
Specific topics from classes include budgeting; money management; credit repair; finding creative ways to cut expenses; and restoring or establishing credit. Students are also provided with take-home materials for continuous learning and real-life application.
With the help of local businesses in Dallas as well as churches and teams of volunteers, the Network Santa Holiday Project collects thousands of donated toys and distributes them through the Network Santa Corner. The assistance is for Dallas County children from low income families. Another option, the Angel Tree Project, is supported by donations from local companies, churches, and organizations, is an additional component of the Santa Project.
If the charity can't meet the needs by the programs above, then Network of Community Ministries may have referrals. The main office is at 741 S. Sherman St., Richardson, TX 75081, or dial 972-234-8880.
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