Low income families, the working poor, and others can get help from Catholic Charities centers in the north and eastern part of the state. Services offered range from food, limited financial assistance for paying rent and bills, clothing, meals, and more. Catholic Charity centers are located in Leesburg, Fredericksburg, and other nearby Virginia counties.
Food and meals are available. Volunteers of local civic and social organizations, charities, and churches prepare meals and distribute the food to the needy on a daily basis. Every month a couple thousand items are passed out to families and individuals in the community. Many of the meals are served at Christ House every night or local pantries.
A food delivery program is operated by Christ House on Wheels, or CHOW. This mobile van unit can make deliveries of groceries and food to outlying areas of the Catholic Charity Diocese, which comprises over 20 counties in Virginia. You can help keep the mobile food pantry replenished by donating funds, canned goods, or surplus food to the unit.
Clothing is available at Christ House and local clothing closets. The organization operates thrift shops in the region, and many of them are open seven days a week. The stores sell gently used and otherwise high quality clothes, uniforms, coats, and more to the low income. As everyone knows, items are inexpensive, and a thrift store allows a shopper to save a significant amount of money on their basic needs. Also, as with the food programs, the Catholic Charity Thrift Stores welcome donations of shoes and clothing. You can also donate house wares, antiques, clothing, collectibles, furniture, and shoes. The main center is at 125 S. West Street in Alexandria Virginia.
Shelter is available across the region at Catholic Charity sites. They tend to be more heavily used during the hot summer month and also the winter. Shelters, including the Christ House, offers transitional housing to the homeless in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania. Many of the shelters are recently renovated and they provide a clean, safe, and welcoming environment to the needy, including single parents, men, and others. The shelters offer a place to stay, as well as other social services.
Emergency financial assistance is limited, but is offered by Catholic Charities. Their various programs may be able to distribute limited amounts of cash and financial assistance to low income and working poor individuals for payment of expenses such as rent, housing and utility bills. Dial 703-548-4227. Many of the resources are focused on people who would otherwise be evicted or homeless if they do not receive emergency rent or utility bill assistance.
Assistance is offered for immigrants in Stafford, Spotsylvania, and nearby counties. Catholic Charities will implement the church's commitment to helping newcomers, and providing social justice and welcoming strangers. The primary program is called Hogar Immigrant Services. It will offer a wide range of services for free or at low cost to immigrants, regardless of their race, background, religious or ethnic identity or other situations.
The Catholic Charity immigration services include, but are not limited to, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, free immigration legal services, naturalization assistance, US citizenship classes, and other aid. The primary objective of the programs are to assist newcomers to the country, and to help people achieve their own goals of integrating successfully into American and the state of Virginia society and culture. Programs can help people work collegially with other social service organizations and churches, and all of the support and services are provided in a supportive, welcoming, and professional manner.
Seniors can take advantage of a number of assistance programs and services too. The Catholic Charity St. Martin de Porres Senior Center is a multipurpose resource that provides older adults with a wide variety of services to prevent isolation of elderly and senior citizens, and to also promote their independence, wellness, and happiness.
Some of the programs run at the senior centers in Stafford include free or low cost congregate meals and a wide variety of entertainment, health, exercise, recreational, social, educational, and other activities. In addition to these activities, the senior centers in Virginia are a great place to turn to for information and referral to other services and assistance programs that are available throughout the community and parishes.
As indicated, congregate meals are available. This includes nutritious lunches and breakfasts, all of which are served daily. A donation is welcome of a couple dollars per meal.
Automobiles and cars may be available across the city of Fredericksburg and counties of Stafford and Spotsylvania Virginia. This program is very limited in nature. A person who needs a used car must be referred to the Catholic Charity organization. For example, they will need a letter from a reliable source, which can include a social worker, priest, or a minister. The letter will need to be specific to that person, and will need to clearly outline their needs and situation. It needs to be clear on what a car can do for them.
If someone is approved, only one automobile will be given at any one time to any family. The goal of this transportation program is to help a low income family in their particular time of need, which should be specified in the letter. While in most cases the car is free, beneficiaries of the program need to have a valid Virginia driver’s license and they also need to be able to purchase insurance and a license plate on their own.
The central and northern Catholic Charities' Jobs Ministry is known as Christians Are Networking (CAN). This is a faith based ministry that can help people who are who are in a career transition, and the program can help people find a job or gain new skills.
The CAN program provides individuals with a venue where job seekers can receive free professional career and job counseling, access resume review services, and they will also be able to take advantage of networking opportunities with other professionals.
Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry is operated by Catholic Charities. It is operated from Front Royal, Virginia through a partnership between Catholic Charities as well as Loving Arms Assisted Living. The food pantry is normally open Wednesday to Friday, but only limited hours on those days. All people, seniors, and low income who are in need of food are welcome. You can only receive free food, meals, or groceries at most once per month, and over a thousand people get help every month from the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry.
While Catholic Charities does have a few locations in the region, their main Fredericksburg District Office serves the Virginia counties of Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George, Westmoreland, Orange, Lancaster, Northumberland, Fauquier, Richmond, Madison, Culpeper, and of course the city of Fredericksburg itself.
Social services and aid is also offered from 12 Cardinal Park Drive, Suite 105, Leesburg, VA 20175, call 703-443-2481. This location helps people in Loudoun, Clarke, Frederick, Page, Warren, Shenandoah, and Rappahannock County.
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