Dozens of churches across Tuscaloosa Alabama partner in an effort to help low income, working poor, seniors, and unemployed families. They operate so called ministries that can address a number of needs of less fortunate and working poor families.
The organization doesn’t provide aid on its own, but rather they operate a so called Clearinghouse. This will coordinate the assistance programs and ministries that are operated by churches across Tuscaloosa County. Some examples of the resources available include food pantries, work or school clothing, free home repairs for the elderly, Christmas assistance, and more.
There are numerous partners and churches in the region. A few examples of the churches that provide help to the community are as follows. However others may join the organization at any time, and the list may change. They include Alberta Baptist Church, Calvary Baptist Church, Carroll’s Creek Baptist, Daystar Church, First UMC Tuscaloosa, St. Paul UMC, New Beginning, North River Baptist, Valley View Baptist, Grace Church, Cottondale Baptist, Trinity Presbyterian, Open Door Baptist, and there are many others.
For those that need help, they need to call the Clearinghouse in Tuscaloosa. Specialists and volunteers that work at the center will refer needy, low income families to local resources, such as churches, non-profit agencies, or other organizations. In some cases, the Clearinghouse will refer a caller to a government program, such as SNAP food stamp, LIHEAP cash benefits, or low income housing. So a wide range of services and information can be obtained at local churches.
When seeking assistance, an intake and assessment process will also need to take place. The proof of need has to be verified, as the churches have limited resources and will not just help anyone. As part of this, the charity may also require the client to go through case management. Lastly, church based volunteers will provide follow up with the local church ministry as well as the Neighbor in Need.
Self sufficiency is part of the Journey, which is offered at one of their Transformational Ministries. This is a multiple month mentoring and case management program of churches of Tuscaloosa. Churches and volunteers will assist families and individuals, and help them become more self-sufficient in every area of their lives. As part of this, there may be free classes, childcare provided to working parents, and a meal once a week. There will also be money management workshops.
The GAP Ministries provides many of the basic needs and services from the local churches. Typically a church in Tuscaloosa Alabama will be responsible for a certain ministry. Some examples of the programs that may be available are below.
A thrift store known as is open to the public. Anyone can shop there, and it is based at 3500 Northbrook Drive, in Northport, Alabama. The store may sell gently used clothing, bike, shoes for children, furniture, and much more.
Packed With Love provides meals and groceries to households with young children. It is used to help supplement the federal government Free and Reduced Price Meal program. This children from low income families may qualify for child-friendly, nutritious food prior to weekends. So this can be used when school cafeteria meals are not offered, and there may also be free snacks for the summer months or during holidays.
Referrals are also offered from its churches, including Forest Lake UMC, Chapel Hill Baptist Church, The Church at Tuscaloosa and others. As noted, the local faith based groups have extensive information on both emergency assistance programs and long term support, such as job training or placement. They can also even refer families with a crisis situation, such as those facing eviction or some other emergency. For more information on the agency and what it can offer, the address is P.O. Box 367, Northport, Alabama 35476, dial 205-345-7775.
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