The vulnerable can get help from a church in San Bernardino County. The faith based groups, that are scattered throughout the county, help financially as well as with meeting basic needs. There may be funds for paying rent or electric bills, or vouchers for medications or gasoline. Many other services may also be available from these church assistance programs, ranging from emergency food to hot meals, shelter, clothing, and counseling.
Anyone can apply for help from locations including the regional Free Methodist Church, but a focus is on serving the most needy. Many of the beneficiaries of these assistance programs from a church in San Bernardino County are as follows.
-Immigrants and refugees.
-Single parents, including moms or dads.
-Non-English speakers, ranging from Latinos to Asians and people from Central America.
-Individuals seeking support for educational or employment needs, such as work attire or gas vouchers.
Many other residents can apply for help from a church based charity, ranging from the elderly to disabled and anyone that is in need. Most of the assistance, whether financial, rent, food or free advice, is non-denominational. This means anyone can benefit from a program, provided they meet application criteria. There also needs to be funding available, such as some money for a rent payment. This often takes into account poverty levels.
This is the most common type of assistance given. Barstow Free Methodist Church (address 800 Yucca Ave, Barstow, California, 92311, 760-256-3556) is just one of many parishes that help the needy. There may be food boxes provided to the hungry, hot meals to the homeless, and holiday services too. They also try to collect baby formula for distribution to low income parents.
Many newcomers to the San Bernardino County community often need a place to go for their basic needs. There are Spanish speaking individuals that are new to California, or people relocating from other parts of the country. Retirees also continue to move to the area. The local church is often effective at either helping these people get set up, or referring them to a program.
While that takes place, they can stop by a parish that runs food pantry. There are many. St. Joan of Arc Church (address of 15512 Sixth St, Victorville, CA, 92395, dial 760-241-2043) has a site that is part of the San Bernardino Service Ministry. There will not only be canned or fresh food given, but a clothing closet has items for the poor. While the exact type of food and meals served will change by each parish, there may be soup kitchens for feeding the homeless, special holiday or Christmas meals, and much more.
Faith based groups do tend to provide social services. They are focused by parish and zip code, with any funding provided for solving an emergency. Many sites may offer this form of help, ranging from San Bernardino Community Church which is at 2372 E Lynnwood Dr, San Bernardino, CA, 92404 (phone 909-864-9221) to many others.
When applying, bring proof of income, age, identification, and address. The first thing a church will do is try to provide either in kind goods or some other non-monetary solution. This means that a community member that needs a prescription drug may be given a free voucher or discount card first. Or someone behind on their rent may have a payment plan discussed. This is always a goal.
The second option is to provide money to the creditor. A few dollars may be offered to help pay for utility bills (water, light, or electric), or a direct housing payment can be made. This will generally cover back rent, as churches focus on homeless prevention. Or there may be referrals to other charities that pay rent.
Some of the social service type assistance includes the support of volunteers from the community. Holy Name Church (address is 9974 I Ave, Hesperia, California, 92345, phone 760-244-9180) is one such charity. They have some volunteers, such as a mechanics or Meal on Wheel driver, that will either help with a car repair or deliver food to the homebound. Other churches use volunteer doctors, nurses, and medical personnel to provide basic care to the indigent. So many services are offered.
This is another common program available in San Bernardino County. This is when a local church tries to not only feel the immediate need of the client, but they also want to get the poor back on track to stability. It relies heavily on both volunteers as well as donations from charities in the region.
With poverty levels very high, especially among Latinos, the parish wants to ensure their children are well care for. So kids may enroll into safer school child care, or even be given a free snack. Parishes such as SBUCC United Church has a homework center at 041 North Sierra Way San Bernardino, CA (telephone (909) 886-4911) also care for children during the holidays, by offering assistance at Christmas or other key events too.
Counseling is also arranged too by faith based groups and staff at Abundant Living Family Church (10900 Civic Center Dr, Rancho Cucamonga, California, 91730, dial 909-476-0300). Many people in poverty feel desperate. Churches try to organize events to advise them and get people back on track. Whether it is a job program, information on applying for Citizenship, ESL classes, and child development. This is almost all often done in partnership with regional charity organizations.
The churches listed above are on a small sampling what may be available in San Bernardino County. For more information on a parish that supports a certain zip code, dial 888-435-7565.
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