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Cleveland and Cuyahoga County church assistance programs.

In order to get help from a church located in the city of Cleveland Ohio, the applicant will need to satisfy a number of criteria. Generally a faith based charity will only provide food or some clothing type items. The assistance is limited in how many times someone can use it and their will also be some income requirements in place.

When it comes to other forms of help, some parishes including Holy Name Church may provide additional types of support to the needy. But this is much less common and it depends on donations, money raised from a thrift store, and other factors. When possible, Cuyahoga County churches may have some money for paying bills or rent, volunteers may provide free labor to repair a car, basic medical care, and more. Or even if a church in the county can't do these things, they may direct the client to an organization that can.

While a church will often have income guidelines in place, there will not be discrimination based on nationality, religion, or age. In fact, a faith based group will support non-English speakers, immigrants, minorities, Catholics, and anyone in need that qualifies. While the application criteria for help, such as for free food or rent/utility bill help will vary, in general the following need to be met:.

-Generally, guidelines are based on 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
-A church may help based on a crisis, such as medical emergency, unexpected job loss, or other emergency such as a car that broke down.

-Photo ID is needed along with birth certificates or copies of Medicaid/Medicare cards at Saint Martin De Porres Family Center, 1264 E 123rd St, Cleveland, OH 44108 44102 dial (216) 268-3909.
-Copies of a doctor note, lease for rent help, utility bills, and supporting documentation is needed.
-A church will only support people in the community where the parish is located.

As noted, those are general terms. Each assistance program from a church in Cuyahoga County or any charity will vary. In addition, they will also generally offer some form of help on a case-by-case basis, and this is discretionary assistance.

Several local congregations provide clothing to the needy. Franklin Circle Christian Church is one such program, and they operate Disciples of Christ (address - 1688 Fulton Rd., Cleveland, OH 44113, (216) 781-8232). If there is a need for everyday, general clothing that may be met. However there will be priorities around certain priorities.




A person seeking, or interviewing for a job, can be given professional work attire. A church will also usually raise donated items for children, both during the school as well as holiday seasons. Kids from families living in poverty can be given uniforms, backpacks for schools, shoes, and other items. Job seekers in Cleveland, whether they are an immigrant, poor, or unemployed, can be given help too from a church clothing closet in Cuyahoga County.

Cleveland church food programs – This is by far the most common service provided. A number of faith based groups offer free food to the low income. East Mt. Zion Baptist Church (9990 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, Ohio 44106, phone (216) 231-0284) is one charity and Rock Community Church (location 9403 Garfield Blvd., Garfield Hts., OH 44125, dial (216) 429-2636) is another that covers Garfield Heights Ohio residents. There are many more all over Cuyahoga County.

Applicants can only receive assistance once a month or quarter. While these limits are often in place throughout the year, a church may offer a Thanksgiving as well as Christmas assistance program to anyone in need. These will not have those same limitations on them. What these service do is provide a free meal, toys for kids, and other support.

Other social services can be arranged too. Holy Name Church at Saint Vincent De Paul Society is based at 8328 Broadway Ave. Cleveland, OH 44105 (216) 441-6373. This is one of few local churches in the greater Cuyahoga County area that may offer financial help or loans.  There may be a few others, but this form of assistance is not common.





These funds will only be for those in a true crisis. A church will always pay the creditor only, such as a landlord or utility company. So if a few dollars are available for paying rent or energy bills, the cash will never be given to the applicant. Since funds at a church are rare, in some cases vouchers are given for bus tickets in Cleveland Ohio, medications, used computers for school, and much more.

A number of other resources are available. Beulah Missionary Baptist Church Of Collinwood (14912 Saranac Rd. Cleveland, Ohio 44110, (216) 451-5477) is one location that provides aid, such as groceries or personal products, for people that meet the guidelines set by the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). There are also networks of human service organizations in Cuyahoga County that battler everything from hunger to homeless. One example is South Haven Church Of Christ (415 Northfield Rd. Bedford, Ohio 44146, dial (216) 619-8155 ext. 17), and they are a Hunger Network Site for the poor.

Get referrals to churches in Cleveland Ohio region

For referrals to a parish in your community, try Staff will provide information to anyone in need, not only on church programs but other social services.

By Jon McNamara

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