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Coles County assistance programs.

Catholic Charities of Coles, Douglas & Edgar Co. - Several different services and assistance programs are offered, including the MedAssist prescription assistance, referral services to federal and Illinois government programs, Blessings Food Pantry, thrift store, crises assistance for expenses such as rent and utilities, foster care, adoption and volunteer opportunities. While more limited, the center may offer direct financial assistance for needs such as energy/heating bills or rent in a crisis. Phone 217-235-0420, or read more.

Charleston Area Churches Food Pantry, phone number (217) 328-3030, distributes food items to be used in meal preparation, they run a food pantry, and they provide support to persons determined to be in need of help. The aid is offered for a short term period of time only.

Eastern Illinois Foodbank - This organization partners with other agencies, and they acquire, warehouses and distributes quantities of food, groceries and other essentials to clients in a network of partnership agencies and churches, including agencies in Coles County Illinois. 328-3663.

Embarras River Basin Agency, Inc. - This is the local Charleston and Coles County Illinois community action agency. Call them at (217) 923-5155. ERBA is a non-profit Community Action Agency organized to administer grants, assistance programs and other programming and resources for the target population of low-income citizens of all ages. The ERBA community action agency provides services and administers grants to low income and others in need of help. Some examples of the case management are emergency assiistance offered is as follows.

Financial assistance is offered in Coles County. It ranges from housing and rental assistance to energy bill programs. Subsidized apartments or homes are offered as part of TBRA - Tenant-Based Rental Assistance or HUD section 8 vouchers. There is also emergency funds for paying rent or a security deposit for permanent housing. During the winter months, LIHEAP heating bill applications are processed by EBRA.

In addition, the community action agency helps with self-sufficiency. The non-profit operates Workforce Development and can refer residents to training and job placement. In addition, some financial aid to pay for work supplies may be available, such as clothing or transportation. Several other resources are operated by Embarras River Basin Agency in Charleston Illinois and other towns. Click more details.




Children's Assistance Fund - This program furnishes immediate basic needs for children. They may be able to receive hats, coats, hats, mittens, etc. in addition to fulfilling special requests for underprivileged Mattoon students in emergency situations when other sources of income or aid are unavailable to them. 238-5800.

Coalition for People in Need - Several different churches united and have partnered together to form this program. Together they may be able to assist individuals and families with free food, rent help, utilities, prescriptions, gasoline, heating and water bills, with no regard to gender, race or religious affiliation of the applicant. 348-8449

Mattoon Community Food Center - The agency furnishes emergency and supplemental free food at no cost to qualifying low-income families, the working poor, unemployed, and other who are struggling who need assistance in Mattoon, Lerna and Humboldt. Dial 258-8321.





By Jon McNamara

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