Care and Share emergency services including food.
After an assessment has been done, staff from Care and Share will offer either direct financial support or refer residents to other regional services. The charity administers various resources for the working poor in the Ventura county area. Clients come from all backgrounds and religions. Some are senior citizens, and others may be disabled or underemployment. Regardless, Care and Share is a resource for the low income.
When seeking any type of money for meeting daily living expenses, note that this is rare. While Care and Share will try to help in the form of one time rent or utility bill assistance, many people need to be turned away. However, if someone requests this support, they should always come prepared. Proof of income, expenses, ID, and total household assets will be needed when applying, as well as other documentation.
- Utility bill assistance – Funds, or government grants such as LIHEAP, are available for electric, heating costs and water bills to prevent loss of service.
- Eviction prevention – One this is imminent, there may be funds to help with rental expenses. This can range from loans to support from Care and Share on establishing payment plans with landlords.
- Prescriptions – A combination of vouchers and discount cards are used.
- Short term housing solutions, such as shelters or security deposit assistance for moving into a new home.
Housing teams from Care and Share responds to tenants and the homeless as well. They work by providing information on resources, such as shelters. Also, a housing assessment process takes place, and there may be referrals to appropriate support and housing related services. Staff from the non-profit also work with tenants to secure affordable, long-term housing when exiting transitional housing, shelter, or other units in Ventura.
When seeking financial help for any type of expense, households must have a notice of disconnection or a pay or quit notice from their landlord. Clients need to of course meet the income guidelines in place by Care and Share, and critically, they also need to have the ability to sustain payments on their own in the future. All resources are operated on the basis of available funding. Money comes from the Department of Human Services, private donations, and other sources.
For the jobless, very low income and homeless, there may be Personal Hygiene Packets. The fact is that after paying for transportation, housing or rent, food, medical costs and other bills, many people occasionally run short of money for Personal needs. What may be provided as part of this Care and Share service includes cleaning items for families, soap, Diapers for parents, Toilet paper, Toothpaste, Razors and more. This is also combined with free gently used clothing for work related reasons.
Working to prevent hunger, Care and Share food programs are available for low income residents. The main resources are noted below, but they range from pantries to public assistance. Proof of hardship and other information will need to be provided when requesting this type of help.
What may be offered from these sources include canned meats, fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, baby formula and pasta products. Quantities of particular foods vary by month and season, and the agency may rotate the distribution of some foods from area to area to get the program fresh.
- TEFAP - Emergency Food Assistance, is available as the result of a partnership with the USDA. Surplus commodities are passed out to Ventura families so they can prepare meals for needy people.
- Free food pantries can be turned to in an emergency. Groceries, meals, articles of clothing, and holiday assistance may be provided from these sites.
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program is for both children as seniors aged 60 and over. This will focus on providing goods that satisfy their dietary requirements.
- Applications to SNAP food stamps, known as Cal Fresh.
Advice is available to help the applicant regain financial stability. To make this happen, Care and Share partners with credit counseling agencies and other groups to help people overcome their challenges. There is also a Payee Services program in the region.
Counselors help all clients of Care and Share who are experiencing financial obstacles, whether it is from excessive debt or just overall instability. Many of the clients of these counseling services are on public benefits or are low income. Other workshops are focused on residents with disabilities, or people on a fixed income that are receiving Social Security/Veterans benefits.
Courteous workshops are held in the following areas. Individuals can benefit from monthly budget development as well as information on non-profit debt payment plans. The goal is to provide professional financial management assistance or representative payee service to people who have low income and that need advice.
As noted, resources are limited as the non-profit is stretched thin. The center is at 5924 East Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley, California 93063, or dial 805-522-5676 for referrals.