The staff from New Orleans InfoLine can direct struggling families to support services across the greater Orleans Parish area. Some of the government run programs, such as LIHEAP or weatherization, are available to a small number of families. However the InfoLine also partners with non-profits on coordinating other assistance, such as food or emergency assistance for paying bills or even affordable health care.
Support services as well as information on stable housing is available for both the homeless and those facing evictions or foreclosures. Specialists from New Orleans InfoLine support services can help clients secure permanent affordable housing. This will also include assistance for maintaining it. So there are referrals to programs to find and maintain employment and in general improve the families long term income opportunity.
Shelters across New Orleans Louisiana can accommodate a homeless individual for a few nights. There are centers for a wide range of individuals, such as single parents, children, or veterans. The center will also address basic needs by serving a meal or providing personal hygiene items.
The next step is Transitional Housing. This is more long term support. It provides short term housing to homeless clients. They will also be able to enroll into case management, budget coaching and this will eventually lead to assistance to secure a more permanent home, such as affordable apartments.
Very low income families with a job can apply to Below Market Rate (BMR) apartments. These are managed by non-profits on behalf of the the InfoLine. Applicants must qualify based off HUD established income limits per household size. The Helpline service will enable local low-income families access to quality rental and maybe even for-sale housing at an affordable rate.
Housing counseling services are available from non-profit HUD certified as well as credit counseling organizations. Services available include pre- and post-purchase counseling or free foreclosure prevention for people behind on their mortgage.
New Orleans InfoLine support services can also offer information on many other counseling type resources. There is rental mediation, home improvement and rehabilitation and counseling to the homeless. The agency utilizes budget and debt management to address many of these housing challenges, as those will help people overcome barriers they are faced with.
Pantries in the community helps clients supplement their nutritional needs. The use of a center can also assist with reducing grocery expenses. Low to moderate income clients, or someone facing an emergency, can visit the pantry to pick up fresh food. There may also be canned items such as canned, rice, beans, and dried goods.
Some partners in New Orleans also operate Mobile Pantries. This provide nutritious food to people that can't otherwise make it to a location above. Other services from the site include applications for Meals on Wheels services or support to individuals with barriers to transportation.
Government support in Orleans Parish is available from SNAP food stamps or the TEFAP - Emergency Food Assistance Program. This can offer long term assistance, or in the case of TEFAP, a quarterly distribution of food. They are paid for using state funds as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Emergency Financial Assistance, while limited, is an option. There is one time support for paying rent to prevent evictions. Other grants can be used for paying utility or water bills, or some transportation programs can addresses those needs. Some of the resources available to stabilize families in the community are below.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) is for paying cooling bills during the summer as well as winter gas or heating bills. A one time cash grant can be arranged by partners of the InfoLine. There is even help in paying for a connection fee for those with disconnected power. Funds are usually for household's in which the combined income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Free energy conservation is from Weatherization. This is available in Louisiana as the result of Federal and State Government sources, such as grants from the US Department of Energy. A focus of Weatherization is on disabled as well as seniors that live in Orleans Parish.
A wide range of housing costs can also be addressed by emergency solution grants, or ESG. This is a homeless prevention program that the federal government funds. The money from it can be used for everything from security deposits to rent or utility bills. When applying, the family will need to meet with a case manager. They also need to bring them proof of income as well as expenses, and the funding is limited.
Low income families struggling with their medical bills can look into private or government supported health care. Clinics across Orleans Parish use sliding fee scales to make their services more affordable. Whether it is a check up, immunization, or more in depth care needed, the billing rates will be flexible. If the patient is considered to be indigent, then some medical providers will even offer them free care.
Any type of support from New Orleans InfoLine will require enrollment into financial and legal workshops. The agency will give clients information on budgeting, credit, counseling services and legal consultation. The intent is to help people make sound financial decisions for the future.
So matter when the need is, the InfoLine is a key resource. The specialists from the call center provide referrals to SNAP Food Stamps, SSI disability, and Earn Income Tax Credit (EITC) services. Many other human services can also be arranged for families living in poverty. The agency helps make public assistance & long-term solutions more accessible. Call 1-800-749-2673 for support.
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