Help from churches in San Antonio and Bexar County.
Many churches in San Antonio are involved in assisting the poor and struggling. Families can turn to a parish for help in an emergency. The volunteer run sites can not only visit the sick in a hospital or provide a hot meal, but temporary financial aid may also be available for paying expenses such as utility bills, rent, or employment needs.
Many of the churches focus on the most vulnerable. Also, anyone can apply, no matter their income, immigration status, age, or religion. As an example, a faith based group may offer help for Spanish speaking immigrants or the elderly. Or a parish may support single parents or the unemployed in the region. Find how to apply to some of the leading Bexar County churches.
General social services are offered. There are locations including Little Church La Villita (418 Villita St, San Antonio, TX, 78205, phone (210)226-3593) as well as other faith based groups. They offer so called human needs to people in poverty. This generally covers the daily living expenses of the following. There will be referrals to places for housing (rent or mortgage help); utilities (water, electric, or heat); food; medical (medications and dental care); shelter for the homeless; transportation (car repairs or gasoline); and much more.
Various individuals and regions can apply, and the sites are accessible to people with disabilities as well as those in which English is not their main language. There is help offered in the evangelical Christian context as well as for baptists, protestants, and others. Generally no church will restrict any financial help based on faith or religion. But even though there will not be restrictions, there is limited money to help the poor. So while they will try to assist with paying rent or maybe give some food or light bill assistance, many people in Bexar County will unfortunately not qualify.
One of the leading faith based groups is Christian Assistance Ministries, and they have multiple sites. They include, but are not limited too 110 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, Texas 78215, 210-223-6648 as well as 5084 De Zavala, San Antonio, TX 78249, 210-223-6648 among others. Anyone with a written referral from another charity, and proof of employment, can be given a free bus pass to get to their job. They are also heavily involved in other financial aid programs for paying bills or housing, with a focus on people that will be working and have proof of that fact.
Church run shelters are also offered for the homeless. It does not matter why they are in the position they are. Mount Zion First Baptist Church (333 Martin Luther King Dr., San Antonio Texas 78203, dial 210-533-7131) will support the evicted, women fleeing their home or DV survivors, illegal immigrants, veterans, and others in Bexar County. The short term shelters give the person a bed to sleep in for a night or two. While there, they can also take a shower or use the laundry, not to mention be provided a hot breakfast or lunch meal.
Bexar County volunteers also sign up at faith based groups. This is a way for individuals to give back to the community. There are literally hundreds of parishes of all religions that coordinate these services, including places such as University United Methodist Church (location 5084 DeZavala Rd, San Antonio TX 78249, call 210-690-7323). Each and every program is different, but some examples of what may be offered include the following.
- Opportunities for children, adults, and youth that are disabled.
- Fund raisers are held to collect donations used for paying for rent, cancer treatments, automobile repairs, funeral costs, and other bills. People can also help with packing and moving the disabled or elderly, or find other Bexar County rental assistance programs.
- Professional volunteers, such as mechanics to fix cars, counselors to work on debt issues, dentists, optometrists, and many others.
- Volunteers visit the sick or individuals that are incarcerated.
- Churches hold Christmas and Thanksgiving food and toy drives in San Antonio and the county.
- Of course there is also counseling, both spiritual and practical (such as for resume reviews, etc.)
Collection drives are also held to feed and clothe the vulnerable. Little Church of La Villita (address is 508 Villita St, San Antonio, TX 78205, telephone (210) 226-3593) specializes in this. There are many others, and the United Way and/or Salvation Army can often refer the person to one in their zip code.
Many types of items may be passed out. The food pantry will of course have groceries, including free meals or food boxes at Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. The Bexar County churches also generally hold Meals on Wheels delivery services for the homebound in the community.
The other option is free clothes or personal care items. Faith based groups will often have gently used goods. This may be a sleeping bag for a kid, school supplies, shoes, belts, backpacks, and Birthday or Christmas toys. Place of Grace Fellowship (2938 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217, call 210-822-5040) also has other items for a household. They may not only allow provide a free voucher for the food bank, but also furniture for a formerly homeless person for a new apartment. This frees up their cash for paying their first months rent or utility deposits.
With many immigrants and Spanish speakers in Bexar County, some parishes focus on them. If they are low income than local churches such as Mujeres Unidas Contra el Sida (location 307 E Evergreen, San Antonio, Texas 78212, dial 210-738-3393) may be able to give them food that they are use to. The pantry meets dietary needs of the community.
While the income criteria can change, much of the church run support is for people or families that are receiving federal benefits such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps/SNAP or WIC. For more information or referrals, dial Bexar County United Way 211 to learn of a local parish.