Carlisle CARES services and assistance.

In an effort to help families both gain long term stability and also offer short term, emergency assistance, the non-profit Carlisle CARES is a resource for residents. A range of services, ranging from shelter to crisis funds to referrals and advocacy, will assist low income families in Cumberland County.

Examples of the main resources from the agency are below, however other services can also be coordinated. Volunteers are aware of solutions for residents, ranging from government benefits to linkage to other charity groups.

Food, clothing, and Carlisle CARES financial assistance

Food and hunger prevention, especially for families with children, is a key resource. Carlisle CARES offers both free nutrition education and emergency food assistance for low-income and working poor citizens. Some of the main resources are below.

Local pantries provides for the immediate food needs of residents. It is done through the distribution of donated groceries, canned goods and pantry-type foods. While not as common, Carlisle CARES may have some non-consumable items such as personal hygiene goods or diapers which may also be available.  Distribution of the items from the pantry is made possible through private donations and a government grant.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers surplus commodities to non-profits such as Carlisle CARES. These are then distributed to income eligible families, including seniors. The goods are usually passed out in free Food Boxes, and they will be distributed on a case-by-case basis.

Other assistance includes Market Salvage, which is donated food from participating area businesses or restaurants. Also, Nutrition Education is given to clients of Carlisle CARES and include on-going education and even recipes to enhance varieties of food preparation. Or senior citizens in the city of  Carlisle Pennsylvania can benefit from a Meals On Wheels service.

Personal hygiene products from Carlisle CARES are available from clothing closets or even thrift stores. The goods may be in shampoo, soap, deodorant, shaving supplies, dental care items, and feminine hygiene products. People or businesses donate these goods, and they can even help someone get presentable for a job interview.




Carlisle CARES Emergency Assistance, when available, may be paid out in many forms. Of course it will depend on the nature of the problem as well as other factors, such as income levels and an assessment that was completed.

Common forms of help provided include clothing, prescriptions, shelter assistance, grants for rent or deposits, or utility bill assistance. Any financial aid offered in only possible through a variety of grants and donations from individuals, churches, non-profit organizations such as the United Way, and even government agencies. The assistance from Carlisle CARES is short term only, and is intended to resolve a critical emergency in the home.

Energy bill assistance may include funds for water or heating bills. The support is one time only, and can assist eligible low income families. If more long term support is needed, then referrals are made to LIHEAP and intake agencies, such as the Department of Human Resources.

Rent subsidies in Carlisle are available from Section 8. Apartment complexes or landlords agree to accept the vouchers, and the federal government HUD will pay a portion of the very low income families housing expenses. Applicants need to meet income, disability, age and other requirements to be eligible, and there is often a waiting list.

The charity is also a part of the network of shelters in the county. There are different churches that participate as well, and they include Otterbein United Methodist Church, Life House, as well as First Lutheran Church. They provide this service on a rotating basis.

Carlisle CARES is also a great place for Information and Advocacy. Staff will help people find various community resources in addition to the agency services, most of which are noted above. Personnel search for the best resources in the region. If and when needed, this may involve them making phone calls to link participants with services.





As one example of a program local to Cumberland County, Veterans Services is for those who are homeless or are in danger of becoming evicted. It touches upon everything, ranging from addressing P.T.S. Syndrome, mental illness, chemical dependency, substance abuse, and more. So there are similar services in the region.

Family development services in Carlisle

There are a few tools available that can both prevent future poverty and help people find a job that offers decent wages. In many cases, families have barriers to finding life sustaining wages due to lack of skills or education. So the programs below can help address that need.

Obtaining a GED increases the skill set of clients, and therefore their job opportunities. So therefore classes are held on GEDs. Completion will allow people to access higher education. This service gives participants the opportunity to obtain their GED by assisting with the cost of testing as well as providing free individualized or group tutoring.

One-on-one case management is held with either volunteers or staff members. The Carlisle CARES Family Development Program is family focused and centered on strength-based goals to empower families to become self-sufficient. The basic components of the curriculum provide budget counseling, goal setting, and provide educational opportunities for enrolled households.

The goal of any resource is to assist the client to attain a self-reliant life. So counseling services, financial support, and other assistance is provided to address a broad spectrum of problems. For more details, call Carlisle CARES at 717-249-1009 or stop by 50 West Penn Street, Carlisle, PA 17013.



By Jon McNamara

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