Diversified Community Services and Dixon House programs.

Many of the programs from Diversified Community Services are targeted at residents who are facing hunger or homelessness. Support from the non-profit organization and the Dixon House branch could take on different approaches, ranging from applications to government grants for rent or paying utility bills to access to a food pantry. Staff can even be a source of information on medical assistance in Philadelphia, which is mostly from community clinics.

Homeless prevention can assist with one or both of the following. The priority is on preventing a homeless situation, such as eviction or foreclosure, from occurring in the first place. This is better for both the resident and also less expensive financially for the community. By offering limited funds and case management to keep someone housed, the staff from Diversified Community Services would prefer this over trying to arrange for shelter after the fact.

The other approach is to move people out of a homeless situation. This is often run in partnership with transitional housing providers in Philadelphia as well as government supported resources, such as the Continuum of Care. The preference though is to prevent the homeless event from occurring in the first place.

Based on money raised from the community, Diversified Community Services tries to provide one time rental assistance to tenants. Or there may be grants for utility or heating bill assistance, and all of this is for eligible individuals and families. Applicants need to have some source of income, whether from a job or public aid. In addition, applicants to any homeless prevention from Diversified Community Services need to be in danger of eviction, foreclosure or be currently homeless.

Any services from the agency are designed to stabilize individuals and families in their existing apartments or homes. Or, if someone is already living on the streets or does not have a permanent place of lodging, then Diversified Community Services may be able to help shorten the amount of time that individuals and families stay in shelters.

Grant money for this service often comes from the federal government, including resources such as Emergency Food and Shelter. This program was initiated in an effort to help people with economic emergencies, such as an unexpected medical bill or care repair. So if someone from Philadelphia is faced with a crisis for some reason such as that, then EFS may be able to assist with housing expenses during that period, and staff from the Dixon House can provide more information.




These grants are required by regulations to address the need for food. Other uses of the grants can be for housing expenses (rent, mortgage, or utility bills) and similar basic needs. Funding is allocated each year and often runs out. So Diversified Community Services will only assist a small number of people, and the support is first come and served until the money is used up.

Additional Emergency Services may be available for other needs. These can often be met using loans or vouchers. Often, the aid will be for life necessities, such as medicine, shelter, or maybe winter clothing. Outreach will be part of this as well.

LIHEAP is another option for paying energy bills. This is run by the Dixon House Energy Counseling department. Households can be given a one-time payment for utility as well as heating service. The aid is only for income-eligible households in families in Philadelphia County, with a focus on senior citizens and homes with young children.

This helps households restore disconnected services, prevent energy service disruptions, and/or secure seasonal heating and cooling needs. Diversified Community Services staff help people and their families by providing information on programs, conservation measures, and resources to assist in the task. Other options may be the Utility Emergency Services Fund, resources from Grandom Oil, and the arrangement of CAP, CRP, and WRAP agreements.

Food to prevent hunger

There are a few tools available to Diversified Community Services for this task. They include a Food Pantry. This can provide free groceries at most once per month. In some cases, vouchers can be given to the local Farmer's Market. Clients will then be able to receive fresh vegetables and fruits free of charge.





Philadelphia families in poverty can also apply for Food stamps. This is the number one federal benefit for low income families, and thousands of families in the area can purchase any needed groceries using their EBT card. Many children are fed as a result of SNAP, and staff from Diversified Community Services can advice on the application process.

Diversified Community Services contact and case management services

In an effort to end the cycle of homelessness and/or financial struggles of clients, Workforce Development and Educational services are mandated in order to get financial help. There are organizations across Philadelphia County that offer cutting-edge training to help disadvantaged as well as dislocated workers secure and maintain employment. They even start early by coordinating early childhood development in the Point Breeze part of the city.

This includes computer literacy, resume writing classes, training for mock interviewing, and general financial literacy. Computer Literacy touches on both basic and intermediate needs, and includes various software applications. One-on-one job coaching is relied upon to hone a client's technical as well as educational skills.

For more information, the phone number is (215) 336-3511, and the main office is located at 1920 S 20th St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



By Jon McNamara

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