The main services from Samaritans Helping Hand are focused on the very low income, including the disabled and seniors or families with children in San Bernardino. The agency partners closely with other non-profit organizations and government agencies in the community, and the goal is to address short term emergencies.
While providing self-sufficiency services is the charities primary goal, they also help guide people to receive assistance for their bills and needs in an emergency. This may include such things as paying an electric bill, applying for public assistance or filling out unemployment forms and job applications.
The following services may be available in the community, however Helping Hand does not run all of them them. Case managers may be able to direct struggling families to some or all of the following.
USDA approved and organized commodity food program are focused on children, new mothers, as well as seniors. Clients can receive canned goods and packaged foods. The goal is hunger prevention.
Summer Food is available for children and students in San Bernardino. The goal of this USDA and state sponsored program is to ensure youth have access to well-balanced, healthy diets all the year round, even when free school breakfasts of lunches are not available.
Housing assistance, ranging from shelter to transitional homes or one time rent help, can address the lack of affordable housing in the region. There are challenges faced by tenants, such as a still difficult economy and the high cost of living and rent. These factors have left many people of all ages and backgrounds without a roof over their heads. Many of San Bernardino low to moderate income families work full-time but even then still cannot afford housing or the cost of rent or utilities, and many are struggling with their housing costs.
Knowledgeable staff from Samaritans Helping Hand work with low to moderate income clients to give them the assistance, advice and skills they need to maintain their households or apartment. Or in some cases, this may not be the best option. So in those instances, the agency will help people find new housing in the region that is safe and affordable.
As part of all these resources, staff or volunteers from Samaritans Helping Hand provide homeless prevention advice. In addition to that, there is stabilization and case management services to ensure that the rent or mortgage is paid on time, and that housing is sustained and families can work towards other educational and family goals.
One-time financial assistance, though limited, is a program to resolve short-term crises that cannot be resolved through other means. Funds paid out by Helping Hands are meant to remove immediate barriers to addressing a utility disconnection, housing, transportation, health care, and employment. There may be money raised from the community as a form of financial assistance to bridge a temporary gap, such as for rent/deposit, emergency medical/dental needs, car repair and utilities. Another goal is transportation to work, such as a bus ticket or voucher,
A focus of the charity Samaritans Helping Hand is on breaking the cycle of poverty or homelessness. This can often be achieved by education and job services. So to this end, all across San Bernardino County are literacy services for adults who have difficulties learning in the mainstream educational environment. The focus is providing the finest training, guidance and curriculum for participants.
Other educational support is available as well. Volunteers and staff from Samaritans Helping Hand and other groups work to improve the lives the less fortunate across the county. Some of the services include English as a Second Language (ESL), one- on-one basic literacy, beginning computer skills, and more. The aim is to help people meet their educational needs and land into some type of full time, decent paying job.
In addition to the guidance above, a holistic approach is taken to address the cause of the hardship. The staff member from the agency, or a partner group, and the participant complete an extensive interview. Anyone pursing this advice from the Samaritans Helping Hand should be prepared to submit information about all aspects of their life, including income and expenses, so that a complete family development plan can be developed.
Case management will touch upon many factors. This includes, but is not limited to transportation needs, employment, education level, childcare requirements, income management, nutrition, substance abuse, and mental health. The client is referred to educational facilities in the county of San Bernardino or state of California, life skills training, job search activities and more.
Each plan created throughout this process identifies barriers to achieving goals so that all obstacles are addressed. The case manager monitors the progress of the participant from entry into the program to employment or until they finish school. This is is more ongoing, as the process continues until the client reaches economic independence.
As a part of holistic case management support, services offered may include, but are not limited to child care services, transportation, educational, and assistance with energy cost/housing cost. If necessary, the individual is referred to educational facilities, life skills training, job search activities, etc., that are consistent with the individual's employment/life goals.
Another resource is a Thrift Store. This site can be used to foster self-respect and dignity for those in need by providing gently used by still attractive household goods, clothing and furniture through the voucher system. Or the Samaritans Helping Hand thrift store is also open to the general public, and items can be purchased at very reasonable prices from the location.
The local store, or others like it from other charities, has an abundance of quality clothing, work or school uniforms, and other unique items providing a high quality, second-hand boutique atmosphere. Items not given to the needy are reasonably priced so everyone can afford to shop here, and as another benefit, all funds generated in the Thrift Store support agency operations.
For more information or referrals from Helping Hand, low income or struggling families can call 888-435-7565 to speak to a representative.
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