Staff from Catholic Charities in Volusia County and central Florida can assist low income families in dealing with any crisis they may be facing as part of their Emergency Family Services program. Not only will the agency help people apply for state of Florida and federal government benefits, but they may also have some of their own funds available for dealing with a crisis.
The primary assistance programs available are below. Whether it is a free hotel or motel voucher, or placement into a shelter, there may be support available from the churches that are part of the Emergency Family Services. There is also a thrift store open to the public, as well as cash grants from LIHEAP - Low Income Energy Assistance or funds for paying rent to stop evictions. So various resources are arranged in an effort to assist working poor families in Volusia County and towns such as Daytona Beach.
Grants may be available from the federally funded EFSP, or Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Based on an annual allotment of funds from various organizations such as the United Way, Catholic Charities may from time to time have money for helping with these expenses.
The funds are used primarily for first month's rent, security deposits as well as eviction prevention. In some cases, the renter will be giving a loan for these expenses from the team at Emergency Family Services. While not as common, EFSP will allow the money to be used for partial mortgage costs or utility bill assistance. There is a strict application and assessment process that will be done by Catholic Charity staff.
Volusia County Catholic Charities also partners with local HUD Housing Counseling organizations in central Florida. These can also advise both tenants and homeowners. There is everything from tips on addressing a foreclosure to landlord and tenant mediation services for people behind on their rent. Other services include Homebuyer Education Workshops, Delinquent/Default Counseling, and Reverse Mortgage Counseling for seniors.
Applications can also be given to the Low Income Energy Assistance Program in Volusia County. This grant provides home energy bill and crisis payment to assist income qualified households in meeting the high cost of utility costs. The energy bill must be in the name of a person residing at the address.
Emergency Shelter can help meet short term housing needs. This is for residents of Deltona or Daytona Beach that are currently homeless. The Volusia County Catholic Charities run center is available on a limited basis. An appointment with a Family Development Specialist is needed in order to enroll, and based on many factors, a short term stay of a few nights is allowed. The guest will be given clothing, meals from a church, and other supplies as well.
Catholic Charities of Volusia County Food Pantry will offer assistance to individuals and families with a crisis. This is mainly for those families in which their household budget will stretch no further. Based on level of donations to the center, residents from across Volusia County may receive a few day supply of emergency food from a church. There will be goods given for each person in the household.
The goal is to pass out to the client groceries that have a nutritional balance of the major food groups. Many of the goods provided by Catholic Charities are the result of donations and food drives coordinated by area non-profits.
Other food and financial support is available from public aid too. This is mostly for very low- and moderate- income individuals or those living on a fixed income, such as disability. Catholic Charities of Volusia County staff members assist clients in determining their eligibility for both state and federal benefits. Clients can get advice in applying for SNAP food stamps, CHIP medical care for children, Medicaid from the state of Florida, TANF cash aid, and many others.
Job Seekers in Volusia County can also turn to the staff at Catholic Charities. The agency will help clients enroll into training. This will enhance their skills. There are other resources for individuals looking for employment in the area. Clients will receive assistance in exploring careers, finding employment and upgrading their skills. They can use computers to search the internet, create resumes, or to find current employment listings.
When it comes to financial aid for finding a job, Emergency Family Services can help arrange for a repair to a care or gasoline voucher. Or someone from a Catholic Charity affiliated church can provide a ride in the local area, such as in Daytona Beach Florida.
During the fall and winter months, there is a Coats for Kids and Holiday Program. What is offered, and how it is provided by the churches will vary. It will depend on donation levels and many other factors.
In general, the holiday programs are for homes with children under the age of 18. Free winter coats will tend to be for children that are even younger than that. These two services may serve free meals, gift cards, small toys, and more. The goal of these programs are to allow clients to purchase food of their choosing for their holiday meal. Everything will be provided based on the applicant's religious views as well.
As part of Coats for Kids, Catholic Charities collects new and gently used jackets, warm coats and accessories for adults and children. The collection usually takes place during the fall months. The goal is to help people stay safe. Residents that meet income conditions can apply for warm outerwear for the entire family. The goods will be New or Gently Used, have sizes for young children and plus sizes. Catholic Charities may also have free Gloves, Hats, Caps, Mittens, Scarves, Wraps and more.
Volusia County Catholic Charities Thrift Shop is open to anyone. The public can shop there for gently used items, and the money raised from the sale of products is a key source of funding for the programs above. The location also relies on this to pay for overhead costs and program support.
The store, which is open to anyone in Volusioa County, will try to have new items stocked daily. There may be furniture, replacement appliance, clothing, cribs for babies or designer jeans. The savings experiences by families will make the shopping experience fun and affordable for the entire family.
The Emergency Family Services program is run from Catholic Charities at 207 White Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114. Call the center at 386-255-6521 for more details.
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