Citrus Health Network assistance programs.

Whether is is lack of affordable housing or maybe food, the programs from Citrus Health Network may be an option. Of particular focus is on assisting senior citizens as well as families with children that are homeless from the greater Dade County region. The staff from Citrus Health Network will also try to help the client apply for resources such as SNAP food stamps or section 8 vouchers as a form of rent assistance. Much more is also administered.

Citrus Health Network has information on a network of food pantries and they also operate their own distribution site in southern Florida. They can be called upon to help low-income individuals and families during emergencies. Many sites require a referral or are open limited hours, so people should be aware.

When it comes to a medical crisis, Citrus Health Network partners with local community clinics. Together they administer a prescription-drug program in which vouchers are issued to clients for use at participating pharmacies in Miami and surrounding towns. Or those in need can get information on pharmaceutical assistance programs from the major drug providers.

There is also information on state or federal aid. In these cases, the agency helps clients apply to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), which is a federal entitlement that distributes food stamps to needy persons. Staff from Citrus Health Network assists clients in completing and submitting applications to this. Most beneficiaries will be very low income families.

In addition, the organization provides documentation and follow-up support. The goal of all of this is to reduce the percentage of families and children in Dade County Florida that are hungry.

Citrus Health Network also advocates on behalf of eligible applicants to resolve any enrollment problems. What this means is if someone feels their application was rejected for an invalid reason, then the staff can provide some advice on the next steps. SNAP clients are also referred to other resources, such as local food pantries.

Low-income individuals and families can turn to Citrus Health Network for aid during the holiday season. Whether it is Thanksgiving or Christmas, the agency distributes turkeys and food baskets to qualified clients to help them celebrate the holidays in their own home. Clients can make use of this service prior to Thanksgiving and during December.




Moreover, Citrus Health Network partners with many local businesses and organizations to manage a toy drive each holiday season. Based on donations, they will give gifts, toys and/or gift cards to children from needy families. Seniors can also often enroll in the program, but they are giving items such as clothing instead of a toy.

Through its stabilization program, Citrus Health Network provides months of case management to families who have recently transferred from homeless shelters to permanent housing in the southern Florida area. The organization works to prevent vulnerable residents of the community from returning to homelessness. This is done by offering them counseling, ongoing supportive services and other resources.

Citrus Health Network housing programs include assistance with budgeting, job-skills development and educational pursuits. They can also help a homeless family locate a transitional housing location. Services are tailored to each client’s unique needs and was designed to help clients remain self-sufficient. The homelessness prevention department administers the stabilization program.

Staff, working with attorneys from pro-bono law firms, provide free landlord-tenant intervention and mediation services in an effort to prevent evictions. Referrals are also made to financial aid when needed as in some cases, a tenant may be given a cash grant for their rent arrears.

Families in crisis can receive monetary aid or a loan for housing expenses through Citrus Health Network emergency assistance program. Applicants to this service must demonstrate that any delinquent mortgage or rent payments on their account were caused by circumstances beyond their control that significantly affected their ability to make timely payments.





Continuum of Care in Dade County, or CoC, is part of a seamless, comprehensive system of services that prevents and ends homelessness. This will, among other things, offer emergency and ongoing support to the community and helps homeless persons achieve permanent self-sufficiency.

This is a community wide endeavor though. Government agencies, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, financial institutions, businesses, housing developers, health-care providers, neighborhood associations, educators and media entities partner with Citrus Health Network to comprise the membership of CoC.

The employment support program helps clients obtain or maintain a job in Miami-Dade County. This Citrus Health Network resource includes financial support for day-care services, transportation needs and work supplies.

Other support can also be arranged. Offices are at 4175 West 20th Avenue, Hialeah, Florida 33012, (phone 305-825-0300) as well as 1339 SE 9th Avenue, Hialeah. Phone (305) 825-0300.




By Jon McNamara

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