Several resources are available from Samaritans. The main mission is to provide emergency financial assistance, and the funds can be issued as a grant, or in some cases a loan is used. The aid is for daily living needs including medications, rental costs, utilities, food and clothing. All of the support is for financially struggling, low-income individuals and families in De Soto County.
Not only is financial support an option, but in addition people will have access to referrals and resources that meet their individual needs. To tackle the issues faced by the low income head-on, education and job training is a priority as well. There is also an emphasis on finding solutions for people to regain their independence and banish poverty from their lives.
The clientèle typically assisted by the charity includes senior citizens, disabled or those living solely on Social Security income. Oftentimes, as noted, many of the individuals who seek help are living on a very fixed income and as a result, they cannot afford things such as rent, basic home repairs or prescription medications.
Utility help is a focus too. With increasingly warmer summers in De Soto County Mississippi and colder winters, the cost of cooling and heating bills continue to rise. It is becoming extremely difficult, if not impossible for low to moderate income seniors and disabled people to live without community help, so Samaritans can sometimes fill that gap.
Education as well as job training is emphasized for the unemployed or under-employed, and many will learn to help themselves with the support and guidance of the Samaritan program. This help is still very possible for people of all backgrounds, whether they are elderly or single parents. They also partner with groups such as the Salvation Army, Atmos, Entergy and most importantly members of the community.
Financial assistance is provided by Samaritans in the form of vouchers or even loans. There may be aid for utility bill payments, medication, housing and many other necessary things for daily living. In addition, things such as free food and clothing are offered for those living in the confines of poverty. Volunteers help people with difficult life transitions and unexpected emergencies.
Samaritans is one of the few non-profit or government agencies located within DeSoto County that has funding for emergency assistance. They will even collaborate with many other resources in the community including Entergy, Atmos, local landlords or apartment complexes and area pharmacies to offer direct assistance to clients. Also, special programs are available for seniors and the disabled who are unable to work. Examples of such programs from The Salvation Army include Power to Care and Share the Warmth.
In order to meet the conditions for eligibility for financial aid, potential applicants are required to bring social security numbers, picture identification, proof of household income, proof of residency (for all members of the household) to ensure legitimacy.
Samaritans is committed to working with people from the community based on their individual needs and problems to find long term solutions. For example, case workers will partner with clients on household budgeting or income maximization to increase their personal power, self-reliance, and accountability.
Through the help of experienced volunteers and well as professional staff, a thorough interview and assessment is done with applicants. As part of this process, applications and other personal information are studied and reviewed to ensure clients are making wise choices with their finances.
Samaritans makes every effort to help clients learn self-reliance and financial independence. The main focus is to provide individualized, one on one attention to residents of De Soto County in order to work on poverty throughout the community.
Neighbor to Neighbor is a community of people from the region who exchange services with one another. This is a voucher and trust type service, and it will help lead clients out of the welfare system and on to a path of independence and stability. Samaritans are partnering with local churches and other charities adopt a family to help those struggling, in-need, working poor families who reside in the community.
Samaritans is based from an office at 2600 Goodman Road in Horn Lake, Mississippi 38637. Call the non-profit at 662-393-6439.
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