St. Vincent Centers is a community based organization that may be able to provide social services as well as quality assistance programs to less fortunate families in Yakima County. The mission of the charity is to help people gain self-sufficiency by connecting to programs that offer them housing, education, employment, government aid from grants and emergency services. To make that happen, they also provide a number of supportive services to income qualified residents.
The thrift or family store at St. Vincent Centers accepts gently used items. They are then packaged up for resale to members of the community. The location not only allows families to save money, but the funds raised are also available to support services in the community.
What may be sold at the store includes some or all of the following. There are Seasonal Items such as Toys, Furniture, Jewelry, Clothing, Shoes, Books, audio books, and School Supplies. Shoppers from across Yakima County can buy these items at affordable prices.
The Christmas program was created by St. Vincent Center and its partner churches to make sure every member of a low-income household has gifts to open on Christmas morning and a traditional holiday meal on their dinner table. Starting in September or October of each year, volunteers from Union Gap meet with applicant to establish a wish list for their family.
ased on the results of this, tags are created for each gift request based on the wish list of the client. The requests are then distributed to area churches, local businesses in Yakima County, libraries and other participating organizations. Community members than make gift purchases based on the request.
In addition, as donations and funding allow, each participating needy family will receive a free holiday meal. Or they may be given a gift certificate to a local grocery store to purchase food for a Christmas meal. These gift certificates are generously donated by supermarkets, charities, or retailers.
St. Vincent Centers in Yakima Washington offers a number of direct services, Monday through Friday. Whether it is information, referrals, or financial aid, a face-to-face visit is required to apply. Please note that hours are subject to change and the resources as well as funding levels vary too, often without notice. The team will advise anyone that needs help to call before they come in to verify that Saint Vincent Center is indeed serving clients on a particular day.
The non-profit will offer assistance with obtaining a driver’s license or identification card or Regional Transit ID. There is information on housing and utility bill assistance programs, or people can apply for a local bus pass for work reasons in Yakima County. There is also help with obtaining eyeglasses for those who have prescriptions issued within the last two years. Additional money may be offered for housing expenses including rent, water or heating bills, and other expenses that working poor families facing a crisis may be faced with.
The emergency assistance is for short term needs, but St. Vincent Centers also work to resolve the underlying hardship. This will ensure that a future utility disconnection does not occur, or it may help the Yakima County family get the medical support they need. Whatever the long term need need is, the programs from the churches that are part of the charity take a holistic approach.
Referrals are given to government aid too. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can help with heating and cooling bills. This financial aid is for low-income residents, families living in poverty and seniors. LIHEAP is paid for by public funding. Interested parties should pick up applications at St. Vincent partners, such as a community action agency.
The churches of St. Vincent Center operates and has information on a local network of food pantries that provide goods for needy individuals and families. Many of these food banks require a referral through the United Way Referral Hotline which is in operation Monday through Friday.
Furthermore, some neighborhood sites in Yakima County or the city of Union Gap provide other basic needs to those who use the pantry. There may be gently used clothing and furniture to impoverished families with infants or young children. Such goods are also provided to qualified residents, sometimes at no cost to them, who have recently moved into a new apartment.
St. Vincent Center provides unemployed adults and dislocated workers access to employment opportunities and job training through the Workforce Investment Act. Using a variety of supportive services that are paid for by the federal government, in-need clients can identify areas of interests and individual skills. They can use computers to research the job market or apply, receive job training, develop appropriate workable skills and further their careers.
Examples of supportive services from WIA available include the following. This will also depend on grant funding that is allocated each year. This is all done as their holistic approach to dealing with the crisis.
-Applications to student financial aid or loans.
-Job search and placement
-Internet access for job searches
-Information about in-demand jobs
-Skills assessment as well as vocational rehabilitation
-GED classes or certificate and degree programs
There are several churches that are part of the regional St. Vincent Centers in Yakima. The main office is at 2629 Main St, Union Gap, Washington 98903, and intake number is (509) 457-5111.
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