CARES assistance programs.

CARES and the case managers as well as volunteers focus on assisting local neighborhood families with basic needs. They also help them create a solid, stable environment that allows all of the family members to succeed. The charity offers a variety of financial assistance programs and social services geared towards empowering the low income and families living in poverty. This is done to help them create the life they envision for their families.

A partnership of churches make up this charity. Applicants live in the Gallatin and Portland Tennessee areas of Sumner County. They are funded from the sale of goods from the thrift store, donations, and government grants as well.

The CARES food pantry distributes donated food, such as USDA commodities and other grocery items. Based on donation levels in the community, there may be canned and dry staples, pork, fresh vegetables, poultry, dairy, cheese, and various other meat products, to households in crisis.

Food is available at the pantry provided the shelves are stocked. While exceptions can always be made, in general commodities are available once each month, but families that are in a crisis can apply for free, emergency food. This may be available four times per year.

CARES Thrift Store sells items to people from all across Sumner County and towns such as Portland Tennessee. All money raised by the team at the store sales support the CARES social services and assistance programs that are targeted at the low income.

The location is open to anyone and questions asked. It will usually have gently used clothing, household items, furniture, appliances for the kitchen, cloth diapers, cribs, and much more at reasonable prices. There are always requests for more gently used donations of items in salable condition.

Also, the team at the store may distribute free vouchers to be used to shop at the Thrift Store. This is a program that is only for those families that meet a variety of conditions in place. The vouchers will also allow clients the ability to shop for the household items or clothing they need at no cost to them.




The Thrift Store can also be stocked with seasonal goods. This means that for the months before Christmas, it can be a place to acquire low cost toys. Or back to school supplies are always in high demand as well, and there may be shoes, book bags, and the like for sale.

CARES can furnish financial aid or cash loans as part of its Benevolence Services. However funds are limited, and it is more likely that a volunteer from the church based charity will offer referrals instead. Whatever the best course of action is for the family, this is what will be recommended.

This form of assistance can be used to prevent eviction by paying rent, maintain utility services, cover transportation needs, prevent homelessness, and provide free meals. There may also be financial help for medical needs, which will mostly be for prescriptions. Services are available based upon the applicant's financial need, income, and also reason for financial crisis.

It will also depend on an individual’s or family’s ability to make future payments on their housing or other expenses.  Exceptions can be made for a medical crisis. Eligibility for this assistance also requires proof of income as well as residency, and also a passage of a test for drug use. Generally this aid is available on a one-time only basis.

CARES partners with counseling agencies in Sumner County. As part of financial literacy, the organization takes several action with those that enroll. They include, but are not limited to, the following. Steps are taking by CARES partners to analyze the credit report. They will discuss household needs and goals as well as help people with Developing a household budget that has short and long term goals. There will be a time frame set in which the results would be achieved.

Some of the outcomes may be the client of CARES having a better credit report. They will also ensure the person is reducing or eliminate debt and their scores are in the future credit-worthy. The client may then be able to buy a home or do those other things that they were not able to do because of poor credit scores.




As noted, the CARES Christian Based charity relies extensively on both donations and volunteers. If they can't help a client, then referrals are given instead. There are two main offices, as noted below.

330 N. Durham Ave., Gallatin, Tennessee 37066. the phone number is (615) 452-5732
CARS is also at 617 Hwy. 52E, Portland, Tennessee 37148. Phone (615) 325-7805


By Jon McNamara

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