There are multiple Family Resource Centers in Riverside County, and the locations provide support to residents from the community. They serve as a central location for families to use to both learn about and/or access assistance programs. They have information on public aid, such as CalWorks cash grants, and well as referrals to local charity organizations.
Most of the support from the centers is by referrals. So if a family is seeking financial aid, medical care, food, or similar support, they can often by referred by a social worker at a local Family Resource Center. The team may also be able to help a resident apply for some of these programs too.
Family Resource Centers offers help in completing applications for public aid. There are a few that tend to be in highest demand in the Riverside County region, and they are as follows.
Health and dental care can be addressed by Medi-Cal. There is also support from this health care program for teenagers and children. It provides types of assistance with medical bills and needs as the same services covered under Medicaid. It can even cover more moderate income families.
Medi-Cal was created by the state of California and federal government as an expansion of Medicaid as an insurance policy for qualified children as well as their parents. There is also help for adults who are without other health insurance. They need to meet various conditions in order to qualify for Medicaid.
What was known as Food Stamps, and is now called CalFresh - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), helps pay for groceries. The program can help raise nutrition levels among low-income households in Riverside.
Some people are able to enroll but don't know it. One thing to note that it is not necessary to be receiving other public aid in order to be eligible for CalFresh food stamps, but people don’t receive them automatically. Applications are needed, and the Family Resource Centers can help with this.
Additional medical bill assistance is available from the state or non-profit resources. Applicants can inquire into programs that provide health care services to low income eligible elderly and disabled individuals. It also covers pregnant women, the long term unemployed children and parents.
Very low income individuals and families in Riverside County can reduce their home-energy expenses and get help with their bills through the Low-Income Home-Energy Assistance Program. LIHEAP makes direct payments to energy providers on behalf of low-income households. An appointment must be made with a staff member from a Family Center to apply, and various forms of proof are needed.
Applications are only submitted once per year. LIHEAP is not a crisis intervention program, but there is immediate financial aid for heating bills in some cases. However applicants are expected to retain their utility service until LIHEAP is ready to process payments to their utility vendor.
The second option is Weatherization. This also working poor persons save money by making their home more energy-efficient. The updates made to the home are performed to prevent heat or cool air from escaping. WAP technicians install weather stripping, replace windows and doors, caulk air leaks, insulate attics, and make minor repairs to the home or apartment.
The Riverside County Family Resource Center Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is designed for low-income individuals and families. It is also targeted at senior citizens in the community. VITA, coordinated through the financial futures initiative and in partnership with the IRS, prepares tax returns for clients and helps them maximize access to the earned income tax credit (EITC). The federal government has certified all volunteer tax assistants working under this program.
Housing assistance, ranging from counseling to financial aid, is available from referrals. This provided to help deal with the tight housing market across southern California and Riverside County. It can be a struggle to keep up with the rent or mortgage, even for more moderate income families. This task is almost impossible for single moms/parents to handle. Others struggle with the escalating costs of electric or water bills.
Homelessness can be caused by many issues, ranging from medical emergencies to property sales, high rents, fire or disaster and personal difficulties such as a divorce. The fact is that there are countless reasons that a family might find themselves at risk of becoming homeless.
One solution, Housing Counseling, provides information on both lender and homeowner rights as well as tenants/landlord rights and responsibilities. This is a service offered by Family Resource Centers in collaboration with the partners such as non-profit HUD counseling agencies.
Family Resource Centers also offers other referrals to other financial help, often through funding from agencies such as the United Way or ESG grants from the federal government. There may be residential stabilization services including money for paying back rent as well as ongoing case management. Of particular focus is on keeping households with children housed.
Other programs in the region range from utility assistance from LIHEAP, legal advice, transitional housing, free motel vouchers and mortgage modification programs. Or applicants can get referrals to additional community services. All of this is done is an effort to resolve issues related to a family's tenancy.
Employment Services and Career Counseling is committed to helping those who are unemployed, underemployed, formerly homeless, or just interested in making a career change. Staff from Family Resource Centers will help clients find suitable and stable employment.
The program includes the free use of the equipment such as a computer or internet access. This is available as part of the Employment Service Program and will help individuals improve their job-search skills. They can also use a computer to complete and submit online job applications, and research prospective employers in preparation for interviews.
While A Family Resource Center in Riverside County is of course not an employment agency, they offer a range of necessary services, free of charge, to help to break the cycle of poverty or underemployment. Even at no cost, these programs are invaluable in helping people make a job search successful.
Various Resource Sites in Riverside California neighborhood sites provide immigration and citizenship services. The agency helps immigrants and newcomers to the country with applications, renewals, fee waivers and petitions. There is also placement into GED or English as Second Language classes, or ESL. Other assistance includes legal aid, consultation and advocacy, special visa assistance and placement into housing.
There are multiple Family Resource Centers in the region. Other support may also be provided by the on site staff.
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