Volunteers and churches from St. Vincent DePaul of Worcester County help working poor and low income families. The charity uses a combination of direct aid and referrals in an effort to assist those that are less fortunate.
Some of the main goals are to address hunger by providing free food or they work on solving homelessness through offering one time, partial rent help or shelters. All of these St. Vincent solutions will also involve case management, and clients will need to resolve the underlying cause of their struggles. The charity also partners with churches and other faith based groups in Worcester.
The case management services help individuals and families realize their housing and income goals through individualized plans that focus on the root causes of homelessness. Case managers from St. Vincent or one of its partners first work with clients to develop some type of plan and mid to long term goal, and they will then monitor the person’s progress toward them while providing support.
During this entire timeframe, individuals from the community may be able to receive short term financial assistance with managing expenses, such as utility bills or back rent. There is also food and maybe vouchers for prescription medications. This will be offered in the form of referrals or directly from the social services that are available through St. Vincent de Paul or other agencies, and some of their partners may issue a loan for these expenses. Ongoing follow-up is provided as well.
Temporary rental assistance as a form of homelessness prevention is among the key services offered by the charity. When funding is available, the Worcester County St. Vincent DePaul helps individuals who are currently homeless and persons at risk of becoming evicted due to delinquent rent payments.
As part of this entire process, agency workers as well as Vincentians interview individuals to evaluate the specific circumstances of their plight, and the client will then be given housing assessments and information regarding emergency assistance programs and intervention services that may be available. In addition, case management is available through rapid re-housing and short-term shelter services across the region of western and central Massachusetts.
St. Vincent de Paul notes that there are often waiting lists for housing services, including government grants for paying a security deposit or first month’s rent, as they are in high demand. Staff members compile and manage these waiting lists for shelter, financial aid, and related transitional housing programs.
The charity has also partnered with other nonprofit agencies and charities in the region as well, to offer housing resources to individuals in need. As just one example, grants from the HUD SSVF program provide the financial backing for services designed for military members and veterans. There is also linkage to pantries, credit counseling agencies, and many other organizations in the region.
Needy individuals, including seniors and children from Worcester, can turn to St. Vincent de Paul for free, nutritious meals, including at Christmas. The agency and its partner churches manage soup kitchens that are open every day of the year for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are also food banks and more. These kitchens serve both local county residents and anyone that needs help, including the homeless.
There are also Federally Qualified Health Centers in Massachusetts, and St. Vincent de Paul can offer referrals to them. The locations meet the medical needs of low-income individuals and families per year as well as the uninsured. The clinic provides free or low-cost health services, including primary care, dental care, medications, preventive screenings, psychiatry and health education, along with other specialty services.
Physicians, nurses, health educators and community volunteers work at the local clinics to even help patients manage chronic conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes. The goal of the health centers is to reduce the number of emergency room visits and improve the overall quality of life for patients living with either basic or chronic medical conditions. Through this combination of medical treatment and case management, St. Vincent de Paul aims to stabilize such individuals so that they can find employment and secure permanent housing.
Low cost, or even free, dental care is another feature of the Federally Qualified Health Center. Examples of services include the restorative dentistry program, which provides cleanings, checkups, and more. There may even be dentures to senior citizens or other individuals who have severe tooth decay. Furthermore, St. Vincent de Paul has developed partnerships with hospitals and organizations, to address the medical and psychiatric needs of clients.
Some of the main phone numbers to call include (508) 752-4232 for referrals to programs offered by Saint Vincent or additional referrals in Worcester.
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