Catholic Charities assistance in central Florida.

Families who are faced with difficult times can get help from the Catholic Charity Emergency Family Assistance Program. Resources are offered across central Florida, including in Brevard, Polk, Marion, and surrounding counties. The support provided is really intended to address a crisis, which can be a job loss, unexpected medical bill or car repair, or a death in the family. Both short term financial assistance may be offered by Catholic Charities, as well as longer term support.

Transitional and Homeless Services can offer the most basic necessities of shelter, food, meals, and caring guidance. This service is only for the homeless men, single parents, women and children in the region. Catholic Charities realizes that people can go homeless for a number of reasons. They do not judge, but rather do their best to help and address the root cause. So they offer Shepherd’s House, which is a housing program for single women with children. Pathways to Care is a resource for older Florida adults and seniors in need of respite care. Another key service is Visitation House, which is focused on pregnant women at risk of homelessness in Brevard and nearby areas.

The Emergency Family Assistance Program can help the low income and others who are faced with a crisis or unexpected financial difficulties because of a crisis or an emergency. People need to make an appointment, and help is offered in all regions and counties, including Polk and Brevard. Many people who apply are during so because they lost their job, or they were hit with a medical or health care concern.

Some of the emergency aid provided can help with paying rent or mortgage, and really preventing homelessness. Other people get food, or help for paying utility or cooling bills. The service is available to the needy and low income people in a planned, effective manner. Catholic Charity programs can help eliminate homelessness, hunger and really help families in need gain self sufficiency and emergency help for their bills.




During the appointment, each client will be assigned to a case worker. They will get information on your financial situation and hardship. If an individual is qualified, the case worker can process emergency financial assistance. Or they can provide referrals, advocacy, and details on services such as food pantry distribution. In some cases the case worker can provide short-term case management and government benefits screening.

Long-term self-sufficiency is the ultimate goal of the program. That being said, many people have an immediate need to get help with paying for basic needs such as rent or mortgage. The funds will help prevent eviction. Many other people in Florida need emergency assistance with a utility bill payment to prevent the disconnection of services. Any financial assistance provided is limited, even though it is the most requested service in the Volusia and Brevard County community.

Food assistance, which includes bag lunches or home delivered meals for seniors, is offered across Catholic Charities of Central Florida’s service region. A number of food banks and pantries are located in areas such as Cocoa, Daytona Beach, Leesburg, Lakeland, Polk County and Winter Haven.

Groceries and food is also provided by the Agape Food Bank. Catholic Charities works with other churches, non-profits, and businesses to collect donated food. Every month thousands of families and individuals get food boxes, and resources help people in regions including Lake, Polk, and Hardee counties. The center also partners with a network of more than 250 senior centers, soup kitchens, churches, and not-for-profits. They also work with national agencies, such as Feeding America, which is the largest hunger-relief program that operates in the nation.

Immigrants can get low cost legal advice and consultations. This service is provided to help individuals with their immigration questions. All inquiries made are confidential in nature. While they are not the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they can help people present cases before the immigration and USCIS court.

After the initial interview, if it is determined that you are eligible for certain immigration or refugee benefits, Catholic Charities has an experienced, multilingual staff of immigration specialists and attorneys that can assist with the preparation of an application and supporting documentation. If it is determined that your case requires extensive legal expertise, they can decide to refer you to other law firms in Florida.





Free medical care is provided by Catholic Charities of Central Florida in certain areas. They run a variety of programs in partnership with local parishes, doctors, and medical providers. Together they offer free health care to Lake, North Seminole, Sumter, Marion, and Volusia Counties. The clinics can provide caring, high quality medical care, promote wellness, preventive health education, and specialty services. Patients need to lack health insurance, and also meet income guidelines.

The clinics will provide free medical care to the uninsured, serve people of all backgrounds and cultures, reduce the burdens on local hospital emergency rooms, and provide other services. The various dental and medical services are provided by volunteer staff under contract with the Department of Health and hundreds of people get medical care every year.

Disaster relief programs are offered too. Reality is that natural disasters are often a part of life in the central Florida region. This can include floods, hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, and tropical storms. So Catholic Charities will help by offering emergency food supplies, case management services, financial assistance, guidance and counseling.

The primary central Florida offices are below.

Western Region Offices, 1801 Memorial Blvd, Lakeland, Florida 33801

North Brevard Office, 5145 N. Cocoa Blvd., Cocoa, FL 32927, phone number 321.338.2986

South Brevard Office, 3800 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Ste. 101, Melbourne, Florida 32934, dial 321-636-6144

Thrift Store, 817 Dixon Boulevard, Cocoa, FL 32922, dial 321-735-4969

Eastern Regional Offices, 207 White Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114, call 386-255-6521




By Jon McNamara

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