When facing a financial hardship, the Smith County St. Vincent de Paul is one of the local agencies to turn to. The staff from the one of multiple parishes will provide caring and confidential support/advice. Based on an interview as well as a review of the clients financial condition, some form of assistance may be provided.
Resources are limited, and the number of requests for rent help, prescription drug vouchers, food, and security deposits in extensive. So many Smith County residents will need to be linked to another organization. But some in fact may qualify for short term help from the church based organization. Or they can always shop at the low cost thrift store.
Open to the public in Smith County Texas, many people drop in to experience the low cost thrift store run by the Society of Saint Vincent. In fact, some teenagers and others use the Tyler location (or the site in Lindale,)it for gently used, affordable trendy items. The goods for sale are wide ranging and change throughout the year. While some families do not like the fact the inventory changes, many others love it as there is always a new assortment or items to buy. Some of what may be for sale is as follows.
-Housewares and furniture for apartments or homes.
-Small appliances, or even major ones such as a refrigerator.
-Clothing, on occasion designer shoes, school supplies, and more.
-Smith County families can buy many other items, such as purses, jewelry, suits or dresses for work, and more.
Maybe the best thing about St. Vincent de Paul parishes is they use the money raised from the store to help families, children, or senior citizens that are living in poverty. The funds go to pay for everything including rent or utility bills.
St. Vincent de Paul parishes operate a fresh garden program and also have a soup kitchen. Clients are encouraged to eat healthy from this service. They therefore can receive a $20 voucher that can be used to purchase seeds, plants, fertilizers and related goods.
By having a garden, this alone can encourage self-sufficiency among low-income households. The agency helps clients grow a vegetable garden by providing the means to acquire essential materials.
Residents that meet the USDA Emergency Food Assistance Program income guidelines can apply for help from the pantry. Or other disadvantaged families that are struggling to buy their groceries can also try the location. The center, one of which is at Saint Anthony Conference, is intended to provide free supplemental food.
Many people contribute to this St. Vincent food pantry program, such as the following. Grocery stores, local farmers, and markets deliver meat, dairy items, vegetable, fruits, and more. The pantry can also help stock the shelves using Feeding America as well as donations from churches, fire or police stations, school children and boy scout groups, and even collection boxes at the Post Office.
Smith County St. Vincent de Paul assists seniors on fixed incomes, the disabled on SSI and the working poor. There is financial help only given for those with proof of a temporary crisis. The non-profit may help with rent, mortgage payments, medications, utilities, and/or food.
Aid is for people in Smith County. They need to prove they had a crisis that they did not cause. Preference is given to those falling behind due to a crisis they did not create, such as for medical reasons such as an illness.
As with any cash assistance from the church or any parish, any money paid out is dependent upon the availability of funds. Many people will need to be turned away or referred somewhere else.
St. Vincent parishes in Smith County can provide referrals to a number of Child Care Programs in the region. Whether it is Head Start, providers that offer infant and toddler care, pre-school services, or other benefits, referrals can be given. There is generally facilities in Smith County for children ages three months through twelve. Some centers will provide children from very low income families with free USDA supplied breakfast, lunch or snacks.
The fee structure will vary. Some require monthly, daily and hourly fees, but families living in poverty that are working or in job training can use state of Texas Department of Social Services vouchers to pay for day care. These various services will help parents obtain optimal growth and development of each child served and lead to improved emotional and social development.
There are multiple sites in the county. Immaculate Conception Conference is one location, and they have a pantry on site at 410 S. College Avenue, Tyler, TX 75702 as well as thrift store at 500 South Vine. Call 903-592-1617.
Another St. Vincent parish is at St. Teresa de Avila Conference, and the address and phone number is 1023 Corith Road, Jacksonville, Texas 75766, dial 903-586-4538. The last place in Smith County is at Saint Anthony, 16292 FM 849, Lindale, TX 75771. The phone number is 903-590-7609.
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