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Champaign County Catholic Charities emergency assistance programs.

Catholic Charities of Champaign County Illinois administers assistance programs that stress the independence of the client, including the Good Samaritan Project which focuses on senior citizens. There is help (as resources allow) given to the vulnerable, provided they are working to improve their own situation. The terms and conditions of the agency will vary, but anyone seeking help in Champaign County will need to go through an assessment process.

The type of assistance available can include everything from items for a home to emergency, one time financial aid for medications, rent, or utility bills. Catholic Charities partners with other groups in the immediate community, such as St. Patrick’s Catholic Church or budgeting/credit counseling firms, in an effort to support those families that may be struggling to keep up in this challenging job market.

Free food, basic needs, material goods from Catholic Charities

About 15% of the Champaign County population struggles with hunger, and this is where the free food pantry can help. Another roughly 20% or so are enrolled into SNAP food stamps, including many children. There are way too many families right here in the Champaign County region who may not have a dinner or lunch on their table. Too many children are facing hunger too, as many students receive free or reduced lunches and 15% of children live in poverty. This is where the Catholic Charity food pantry as well as soup kitchens can assist.

Even food stamps do not help. When families receive this government aid, it equals to an average of under $4 per person per day..that is it. So these SNAP Food stamp benefits rarely cover a family’s budget and many times the cupboards in a house go dry.

SNAP only pays for groceries too. As food stamp recipients cannot purchase items such as razors, soap, toilet paper, female hygiene items, dish liquid or laundry detergent. Catholic Charities provides monthly assistance to the hunger, people in a crisis, and also food stamp recipients who find their cupboards bare. The site may have Peanut butter, Spaghetti sauce, Tooth Paste, Soup, Pasta, Laundry Detergent, Rice, Beans, Tuna, and much more.

Assistance for seniors and elderly in Champaign County

The primary service is known as the Good Samaritan Program. The goal is to help old people remain living independent. Catholic Charity families may be involved with visiting, transportation to appointments, deliver free Meals on Wheels, provide assistance with shopping, and help with other needs. Many volunteers from across Champaign County help older people, including people from St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. There is also information on Medicare applications, medical equipment for injuries, discounts or shopping, and money saving tips. Find other free coupon services.




Caregivers can also get help. This may be respite service (relief) from caring for older loved ones. The staff from Good Samaritan Program can drop in and provide relief.

Catholic Charity financial help in Champaign County

Limited financial assistance can be provided to clients of Catholic Charities. They need to apply and meet qualifications in place. They also need to be in some form of short term financial crisis. Some examples of when help is given, and the type of aid offered, includes free bus passes for work, there is aid for people having disconnection notice on electricity, rent help for tenants facing eviction from their apartment, or help for the very low income/sick who are in need of medication assistance.

This type of grant based aid will also give the client access to the Continuum of Agency Services. Those who are given financial help will also be able to enroll into employment counseling, individual and family counseling, DV as well as family violence intervention, special needs services for the disabled, and support as well for senior citizens. This is part of what is known as “Wraparound Services”. It is provided in Champaign County to address basic needs essential to regaining self sufficiency.

The Case Manager will work with the client as needed. If Catholic Charities can't help, then the non-profit works in providing information and referrals as appropriate to other locations in Champaign County. Or they can learn about national charity organizations for help. They are also involved in the coordination of those needed services.





Applying for Catholic Charities in Champaign County

There are multiple churches. One major one is St. Patrick Catholic Church, 212 E. Washington Tolono, Illinois. The main phone number is 217-485-1129, and as noted, seniors are a focus.


By Jon McNamara

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