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Eastside Ministerial Alliance (EMA) assistance programs.

Eastside Ministerial Alliance serves people in Black Hawk County Iowa who are the working poor, unemployed, living on a fixed income or who have been unable to work because of disability or illness. There may also be additional guidance provided to individuals who are receiving limited government assistance, and those individuals can access case management.

The emergency financial help is aimed at preventing the client's situation from worsening to get to the point of say hunger or homelessness. This is what any money from the agency will be used for. Another goal is for staff to guide families toward their goals that meet their daily needs.

Intake is done at the main office for Rental/Mortgage/Utility Bill Assistance. Applications are accepted in both English and other languages, such as Spanish. All possible solutions are explored, including payment plans, government programs for paying back rent, loans from local banks, LIHEAP and other energy bill programs, and more.

The applicant for any financial help must be a resident of Black Hawk County, and they can't have other resources available. So they need to have sought aid from other local charities such as the United Way or local social services. They also need to show that if they are given money that this will stop the eviction or shut off of their electricity or water. Priority for any financial assistance is for Black Hawk County residents that are disabled, elderly, single parents, or a household with children. Also, the applicants income must not exceed per-determined Poverty Guidelines for households in Iowa or Black Hawk County.

Food, clothing, personal hygiene, and household goods – Families living in poverty can use the on-site food pantry. Much of what Eastside Ministerial Alliance passed out will be a box of non-perishable groceries. But from time to time there may be other assistance offered by the site.

Clothing needs may be addressed in the form of a voucher so the family can shop at the thrift store. There will mostly gently used items available, and what a client can obtain will be the result of donations from the community. Shoes for kids, winter boots or coats, linens, work uniforms, belts, and more are part of the Eastside Ministerial Alliance clothing programs.





EMA will try to provide household goods too in Waterloo. This is available for women fleeing domestic violence or those recovering from a disaster. So if the client had some form of uncontrollable crisis, such as a fire to their home, the programs will help them replace items such as a bed, kitchen appliance, or a crib for a newborn.

Eastside Ministerial Alliance Meals on Wheels – This includes health checks from drivers and of course free meals. The agency provides hot and nutritious home-delivered food to senior citizens as well as the homebound who are no longer able to leave their homes to shop or prepare their own groceries. The program also furnishes participants with frozen meals that may be reheated on holidays (such as Thanksgiving or Christmas), evenings and weekends.

Christmas help – What may be offered includes free toys, books, educational electronics, puzzles, games, art supplies, hats, mittens/gloves and socks are among the available goods. The Christmas Program allows parents to select gifts for their children from a variety of age-appropriate items.

Children from income qualified households living or attending school in Black Hawk County are eligible. EMA operates the Toys for Tots program in conjunction with other local charities.

EMA Parenting Workshops help with child development. The program, organized in part by Early Education Advocates, arrange classes across the service territory. The programs can teach people (whether married couples or single moms) how to use discipline with dignity, use coupons to shop for food, address learning, and in general help the person understand the expectations of child development. It will show people how to keep their child safe.

Eastside Ministerial Alliance is a non-profit that focuses on the low income in Black Hawk County. The main address of the charity organization is 205 Adams St # 1, Waterloo, Iowa 50703. The primary phone number is (319) 235-5580.




By Jon McNamara

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