Financial support from Agape Ministry.

While resources are limited, Agape Ministry will offer help to families that meet qualifications and that are working towards self-sufficiency. They only provide support in certain zip codes. Assistance provided varies by program, and it can range from funds for rent to food to goods from the Fig Leaf thrift store. Case managers will also help clients review other resources available in Bexar County, whether they are state or federally funded.

The charity only focuses on certain areas in the county. It is for low income families in the zip codes of 78154, 78218, 78239, 78209, 78219, 78244, 78217, 78233, and also 78247. Proof of this is needed as well.

Emergency services for paying utilities is available, but any payments will be made in the form of credit to vendors such as utility companies or landlords. As with any resource, applicants will need to meet a whole host of age, residency, citizenship and income requirements. Funds or maybe some form of government grant may be available for electric bill assistance under certain circumstances.

If Agape Ministry does not have the ability to help, then they can refer clients to federal programs such as LIHEAP. Mostly due to funding cycles, all energy bill programs are not necessarily in effect at any given time, and it is recommended to call or stop by to get more details. Consult Eligibility Specialists for the various application criteria.

In some cases, water bills may be paid too. This is generally lower on the priority list, and the payment from Agape Ministry must prevent shutoff. Funds from the non-profit agency may be used to pay a water bill if it contains a past-due notice. In addition to that, the client may be required to demonstrate ability to pay future expenses on their own.

Eviction and homeless prevention is in the form of funds for Rent and/or Past-Due Mortgage costs. Similar to above, certain citizenship, residency, age, and household income requirements may apply to the funds, and the applicant will need to have some source of income so they can pay the rent on their own in the future.

In order to get any housing assistance from Agape Ministry, the tenant or homeowner must be able to document an appropriate financial hardship which has interrupted their ability to maintain self-sufficiency. While there can be many causes of this, some examples may be an unexpected, temporary loss of income due to reduced work hours, domestic violence, or a medical crisis. Other instances in which Agape Ministry may assist with rent includes an unexpected expense such as funeral costs, medical or dental bills or emergency home repairs.





Fair Housing Advocacy is a tool for persons who feel they have been discriminated against by a current or future landlord. Federal government and also state of Agape Ministry laws make it illegal for anyone to refuse to rent an apartment or even make a housing loan because of color, religion, national origin, race, marital status, disability, age or because you have children.

So staff from Agape Ministry or local partners will help to see if the law was broken. They will involve the use of pro-bono legal aid if needed. Other services include they will attempt to resolve a complaint and / or prepare the person for referral to the appropriate federal, state of Texas or local housing Bexar County discrimination agency.

Another homeless solution in San Antonio is the Continuum of Care. This is made up of local charities and non-profits, and the agencies work together to improve the current service delivery system of financial aid and counseling. This is achieved through partnerships of government entities, elected officials, non-profit organizations, private and non-profit businesses, churches, medical providers, neighborhood associations, as well as formerly homeless persons.

CoC will both prevent and end homelessness, and clients can get assistance in applying for emergency as well as ongoing supportive needs of the homeless and at-risk population. The long term goal is housing stability as well as permanent self-sufficiency.

Homeless Services works to fill the gaps in what is needed to prevent a crisis from reoccurring.  It involves agencies such as Agape Ministry coordinating care as well as eliminating duplication of resources. The types of assistance provided are directly dependent on funding and the clients condition. But it ranges from rent, security deposits, utility bills, or money to pay application fees. The funding for this program  are directed at eliminating barriers to overcoming and rehousing the homeless.

Case management from Agape Ministry is used in assisting a homeless individual or family. They will partner together to help them achieve self-sufficiency. A wide range of care is offered too, as if there is a service that the agency or organization is unable to provide, that program is usually referred to a local non-profit agency that provides the solution.





The Back Pack Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children from low income families. This is offered for students when other food resources are not available to them, and a meal is given on weekends and/or school vacations.

What will happen is backpacks are filled with the types of food that children take home on weekends. Distribution of the items to the student enrolled is handled discretely on the last day before weekends or school vacations, and the food passed out is child-friendly, easily consume, and as noted, nonperishable.

Food pantries provides support for low income residents as well as the elderly. The locations are for families in need of food assistance. Not only may there may groceries or baby formula, but clients can also get information on other government and social service programs to preventing hunger.

Agape Ministry also assists very low income hungry families and individuals to obtain food stamp benefits. They will help arrange this benefit by free and confidential pre-screening, as well as application assistance. Coordinators will review the situation and help eligible households receive the maximum allotment of SNAP food stamps for which they are entitled based on their income levels.

Food stamp vouchers are used by thousands of households across Bexar County, and it means that a struggling family now has more purchasing power to buy the food and groceries they need on a daily basis. It is for children as well as seniors, and really anyone that meets income guidelines. This means that a senior citizen does not have to choose between food and medication, or the unemployed do not need to decide between paying the rent a certain month or paying for food.




The thrift store is known as Fig Leaf, and is located at 2142 Austin Hwy. This site is open to residents of any part of the county, not just the zip codes first noted. So any family can use the site, regardless of their income.

Basic Needs are offered for Agape Ministry for income eligible households. As donations and funding allows, they may receive vouchers for clothing, personal hygiene items such as soap, and or household items. This is offered in partnership with local thrift stores and even faith based groups. To apply, the applicant must provide proof of residency (lease/utility bills/mortgage), details on income, and proof of household members. More information is at 123 Lanark, San Antonio, Texas 78218. Call 210-590-6655.


By Jon McNamara

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