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Chapin We Care Center emergency programs.

Chapin We Care Center helps low income families with basic needs. In addition, case managers from the non-profit can be a source of information on other government programs. The team can also direct qualified individuals to other charities or church based programs in the greater Lexington County region.

First and foremost, the programs will focus on basic needs. Most of those are satisfied from either the food pantry or thrift store on site. More complicated needs will mostly be addressed in the form of guidance in applying for public aid such as WIC or food stamps.

Basic needs and food in Lexington County

The agency runs a Thrift Shop. This was set up to be a second-hand store that sells goods to the general public, whether they are low income or not. The center will have donated goods at the store as well as new merchandise that is occasionally donated from local businesses.

What may be available will depend on donations. It will also change throughout the year and season. Items can include clothing or gently used winter coats. There may be seasonal items available for sale, and that may be toys during Christmas or maybe school supplies during the winter months. All of the money raised by Chapin We Care Center volunteers is for funding their assistance programs noted below.

Food pantries can be used by people facing an emergency. They are available to persons in the Chapin South Carolina service area that are struggling to feed their families. Similar to the thrift stores noted above, the pantries are also stocked by donations from various organizations, churches, businesses and other interested individuals. Private cash donations to the food bank help to provide the center with a wide assortment of perishable items on an as-needed basis.

Various income conditions are in place, and people will need to apply to use the pantry. If they are found qualified, then the food pantries can give the client non-perishable goods. The center can also provide information about other nutrition programs that are available in Lexington County. Volunteers also take part in the Chapin We Care Center pantry, and can give advice on safe food preparation and how to make your dollars stretch.




Food or small meals are also available for students, whether they are in high school or elementary school. There is a Back Pack Program. For those families that qualify, and that have a child in school, back packs are given out to them on Thursday's and then sent home on Friday. They will contain enough food, fruits, or snacks to last the weekend. The back packs are then returned to Chapin We Care Center on Monday when the child arrives at school. This is all done on a low key basis so as to not embarrass the child.

Case management and additional Chapin We Care Center benefits

The services below are mostly available from referrals. The Chapin We Care Center center can serve as a place of information for people from the community on many different local non-profits and state of South Carolina programs.

There are many requests for telephone or water bill assistance. When it comes to these, low income families can look into the discount cell phone program. The main option is either Lifelink or SafeLink. These are federal government supported programs which provide qualified households with a free cell phone and minutes of usage. That is mostly from Safelink, while Lifeline will normally offer a credit. In either cases, it will also usually cover services such as text, three-way calling, voicemail, call waiting, and access to 911.

Water bill assistance in Lexington County is usually met by payment plans. Staff from Chapin We Care Center can direct households to these types of services. A provider will sometimes offer the family additional time to fully pay down their bills. They may need to make a good faith payment and agree to conservation, but it is an option.

Chapin We Care Center offers information on Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA). This is a HUD program that will help families and individuals find decent, safe and affordable housing in Lexington or nearby towns.

TBRA provides eligible participants with the full security deposit and an additional 70% of the first month’s rent. This is for apartments other private sector housing units within the City of Lexington. As part of this process, the rental will also need to be inspected and meet income limits.





Baby formula and infant food can also be met by Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This is a federally funded program that has been providing assistance, nutrition education and referrals to income qualified families.

Chapin We Care Center staff can help pregnant women, new mothers, and infants and children up to age five apply. They will be given a voucher that they can use to buy the food they need at the local grocery store, and WIC will offer formula and more.

Financial education can also be arranged by Chapin We Care Center. This is usually for low-income adults, youth and seniors in Lexington County. Non-profit partners will assist program participants with laying the foundation for a strong financial future. They will be show how to build assets, pay down debts, and in general improve money management skills. All of the information is given to candidates in a workshop format and covered a range of topics necessary for improving knowledge.

The mailing address of Chapin We Care Center is PO Box 491, Chapin, South Carolina 29036. Call the faith based center at 803-345-3244.




By Jon McNamara













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