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Bradford, Dixie, Gilchrist, Union, Lafayette County assistance programs.

Find the main charities, churches, and government agencies below that offer everything from rent or utility bill help to free medical or dental care, food, grants for security deposits, low cost loans for bills and more. All across the region, including Bradford, Gilchrist, Union and other counties are a wide range or financial aid programs, pantries for free groceries, clinics, debt counseling and job placement programs and more. Low income families, the working poor, and others in an emergency can get help.

The Salvation Army of Union and Bradford counties is a leading charity in the state of Florida. While all of the resources they administer are limited and rely heavily on donations, case managers from the center will do their best to meet the needs of the low income. If they can't help, they will try to provide referrals to other options. One of the main goals is on preventing homelessness, and this can include offering funds for paying all types of utility bills, including electric, water, and air conditioning. Rental assistance may be offered as well to those who qualify. Or get other basic needs met such as food, clothing, or just a place to go to for a listening ear. 1210 Andrews Circle, Starke, Florida 32091. Call (904) 964-6696 for intake. Another center is at 22 Main Street in Bradford.

Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc. is the main community action agency. In addition, they are also the Area Agency of Florida designated lead organization. This means they provide the Title III Older Americans services and the Community Care program for senior citizens in the area, including the counties of Dixie, Gilchrist and Lafayette.

Some of the programs offered include utility bill assistance from the home energy assistance (EHEAEP). In-home services for the elderly include personal care/bathing assistance, homemaker, the Emergency Alert Response System (EARS), and also respite care for family members. For example, the Family Caregiver Support Program will offer information about caring for or assisting a senior citizen or disabled family member. There are educational/training opportunities held along with special events. Read Florida utility assistance.





They also administer the Community Services Block Grant program. Funds are utilized for providing emergency financial assistance for buying medications, utilities (LIHEAP), and food vouchers. The agency also runs the home delivered meals program in Bradford County. Transportation assistance is available when someone needs a ride to the doctor in Bradford or Dixie County.

The Community Action Agency also offers home repairs as part of the Farmers Home Administration program. Grants and low income loans are used for home repairs for safety issues. Both homeowners and landlords can apply. It can also be combined with weatherization, which is the main energy conservation program.

Suwannee River Economic Council has locations at 1210 Andrews Circle, Starke, FL 32091. Call (800) 824-5308. Other offices are at 314 NE 255th Street, Cross City, Florida 32628 (phone (800) 597-7579) as well as 1439 SW County Road 307A, Trenton, FL 32693, (352) 463-2940. Click here.

True Vine Ministry is located at 422 North Street Clair Street, Starke, FL, 32091. This is a leading food pantry for the region. Call (904) 964-9264 for hours.

United Christian Services supports the low income in Dixie County. Several assistance programs are administered. The agency can provide boxed food to qualified residents a few times per year. A screening process is in place, and the center may not always have items to provide. Also, the homeless and transient who are stranded in Dixie County may be provided with a free hot meal and either a voucher for gasoline or a bus ticket/pass. Donations are always needed by United Christian. They also work closely with churches, utility companies, and government agencies, and can help people apply for other programs. 264 NE 10th Avenue, Cross City, FL 32628. Call (352) 498-5702.

AAANF, Area Agency on Aging for North Florida, Inc. - Another non-profit that focuses on helping seniors and older adults. Programs offered include SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders), Caregiver Support, Senior Wellness and prescription medication assistance. Limited amounts of financial help may be offered for people over 60 with a focus on paying utility bills. They also run the elder helpline which offers a network of information, referral and assistance to seniors, caregivers, and even the general public in Florida. (850) 488-0055.

Northeastern Florida Lutheran Services provides assistance to these counties and others. Volunteers and staff from the agency help seniors and the less fortunate as well as immigrants. Look into job training, free food from a pantry, youth services, the Ryan White program and more. They also partner with groups such as Episcopal Migration Ministries. Click here Lutheran NE Florida services.

Free or reduced cost medical services for low income

Acorn Clinic, Inc. provides medical care, and will offer a sliding fee scale for those who qualify. The clinic offers a full range of primary and preventive health care. Any reduced price services are only offered to those who qualify, and who have proof of income. (352) 485-1133





Physicians Care is another local health center (in Starke Florida) that may be able to assist the low income and/or uninsured. Call (904) 964-6500.

Shands Medical Group At Starke – The community clinic may offer a sliding fee scale for those who qualify. A formal application process is in place as well. Address is 1550 South Weber Street. Call (904) 368-2300 for information or an appointment.

Lake Butler Family and Pediatric Clinic is a local rural health center for the less fortunate. Medications, check ups, and family care may be administered. Call (386) 496-2803.

The River Valley Medical Center serves patients in Lafayette County. The clinic offers those who qualify general health care on a variable rate scale. Medicare, Medicaid, and PPC coverages are also accepted to pay for medical bills. Address is 710 West Main Street, Mayo, FL 32066. Call (386) 294-1226.

By Jon McNamara

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