Arlington Urban Ministries emergency financial assistance.

Offering everything from emergency financial aid to a local thrift store, Arlington Urban Ministries is focused on helping the less fortunate and working poor in the city. There may be help to pay rent to stop homelessness or funds for utility bills for disconnections. Other more basic needs may be satisfied as well, such as food or clothing.

In order to get help, a formal application process is in place. This needs to be done and conditions met by all applicants. For those that qualify, they may be able to receive financial aid for paying for the cost of the crisis. Some examples of what may be provided are below.

Low income families in Arlington often struggle with paying their housing costs. The non-profit would rather provide some short term help up front vs. have the family be evicted. It is much more expensive to rehouse someone, both for society and the person, then to try to help them up front.

The facts show that once a family is disconnected or evicted, the fees involved to pay for utility reconnection or the deposit on the new home can be insurmountable. So Urban Ministries will try to, when possible, offer some type of assistance or loans for paying the rent. This will then be combined with intensive case management.

Another service is the emergency food pantry. Urban Ministries, or AUM, operates a small food bank for low income and working poor clients in the region. There may also be help for seniors and children. There may be clothing, basic household needs, and more items passed out too.

Urban Ministries also runs the Securing Arlington Families on the Edge, or SAFE program. This is their version of Extended Case Management. It can help qualified low to moderate income clients who are in an immediate financial crisis. They will need to demonstrate a strong potential or desire to better their long-term financial situation.

This will help minimize the need for future financial aid. The success of this SAFE service depends on the case managers and the individual. It also depends on a strong partnership between the client and AUM, as well as continued liaisons with local Tarrant County charities and agency partners.




Another resource in the county is the Mobile Food Pantry. The AUM is a proud partner with the Tarrant County Area Food Bank. While it does depend on donations, they try to provide free, fresh food to each low income family that may be able to qualify.

Another high demand service is the Children's Christmas Party. This is usually held yearly, and can benefit dozens of children from Arlington. Those who are able to attend are from the families with a low income or that maybe are unemployed. The aid is focused on those that AUM has financially assisted within the year.

The holiday program may provide them with free snacks, small toys or gifts, bicycles, and other items. A minimum goal is to try to ensure that each and every child has some type of Christmas joy.

A thrift store, known as NU2U, is maybe Arlington's favorite upscale resale store. It will sell to the general public gently used brand items, such as clothing or small toys. There may also be back to school supplies, furniture, or other houseware type items. The Urban Ministries will do its best to make sure the items are trendsy, but it does rely on donations from the community.

No matter what is applied for, the person needs to live in Arlington. Urban Ministries will also require a picture ID from the applicant as well as the client's name must be on the lease or copy of utility bill. The applicant will need to provide proof of all income, expenses, and have other support as well. So this may include, but is not limited to, pay stubs for last 30 days for anyone in household over age 18, free school lunch letter, a HUD Section 8 Housing letter, Food Stamps (SNAP) letter, or more. An interview and appointment is needed too.

For more information on these or other service, the main office is at 2220-B W. Park Row, Arlington, Texas 76013. Call 817.795-6379 for an appointment or information.



By Jon McNamara

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