Several churches in Benton, Iowa, and Johnson County make up the Ministerial Association. All requests for financial aid are assessed on a one-off, case by case basis. When there is support given by the ICMA faith based group, it will be for emergencies only.
There are five different categories of aid given. They include rent (up to $200) as well as security deposit help, utility bills (up to $150), partial mortgage payments, and prescription vouchers. The last form of assistance will be for car repairs, but this will only be when the vehicle is needed for work. The Ministerial Association will review any other requests for support on a one-off basis. While there are no promises to receiving help, residents of the region can apply.
The Ministerial Association Emergency Services are available to eligible individuals and families faced with emergency crises that have otherwise been living within their means. Benefits are dependent upon funding availability from the churches and program eligibility requirements.
Applications for any aid are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with assistance granted dependent upon the nature of the emergency. In general, to be eligible, the applicant must meet general program requirements and be able to show written documentation or proof of an emergency within the past 30 days. The churches that are part of the Benton County Association only provide short term relief.
This may be a medical issue, an official police report of theft; denial of an application for public aid from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Food Stamps, or a job termination notice that wasn't caused by the employee. Requests are evaluated on an individual basis. Some of the assistance arranged is as below.
Clothes/Hygiene Assistance can help job seekers or the very low income in Iowa or Johnson County. Or if a homeless person is cold at night, a blanket may be given to them. The Ministerial Association is also involved in providing free winter coats.
Food Assistance from the Ministerial Association is in the form of vouchers and/or the use of the pantry. Any help is limited to once-per-six months. Vouchers are accompanied by food resource lists.
The Ministerial Association will help with employment needs in the region, including Johnson County Iowa. There may be bus passes, tokens and/or gasoline cards. Some local mechanics or garages also volunteer with the churches to help do some work for car repairs. So transportation is emphasized by ICMA, and up to $150 will be given for the work needed. This will often be in the form of a loan. If there is additional advice needed, then find other forms of car repair assistance.
In addition to meeting general program eligibility requirements, an applicant must show written proof of an appointment for employment search, medical care, or job training session. They also need to show proof of emergency occurrence within the past 30 days. This service is limited to once per 12-month period.
Lastly, some people may get help in obtaining Identification. The Ministerial Association may have a few dollars to go to this for employment reasons.
Christmas assistance and winter coat – Starting in September or so, qualifying families of The Ministerial Association can receive help. The non-profit coordinates various holiday services in Iowa, Johnson, and Benton County as well as other towns. The churches accept donations of toys and food, and also helps low income families with children. There are programs such as Angel Tree and free winter coats for kids and seniors. Other resources include free hot meals at Christmas as well as Thanksgiving.
The Ministerial Association churches will offer assistance with children's Christmas presents and food boxes. There are also holiday parties with Christmas decorations set up, and volunteers will serve a Christmas meal to the homeless.
There are three churches that are part of the The Ministerial Association. In Conroy, dial (319) 662-4245. Vinton families can dial (319) 472-4743, and in Iowa city ring (319) 356-6090. Applications can only be submitted once per month, and any money is only given to the creditor or vendor, such as the landlord.
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