ECHO financial assistance programs.
Everyone Cooperating to Help Others is non-profit charity that helps the less fortunate in Rock County with their basic needs. While some resources may be provided directly by the agency and its faith based partners, most of the support they offer clients is in the form of referrals. Also, the organization relies heavily on donations as well as volunteers from the community.
Working with partners on homeless prevention is always a goal. Families and individuals from Janesville who cannot meet their monthly rent obligations on time often require emergency financial assistance to prevent eviction, and ECHO may be able to help with that expense. Priority is typically given to those vulnerable households, such as families with children or seniors, who have already been given an eviction notice.
The agency or its partner churches may provide funds for utility and energy bill assistance for in-need, financially struggling families and individuals. The goal is to provide some form of financial assistance in order to help those residents who cannot make their utility or heating bill payments on their own in a timely manner. Prospective applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements and conditions that are in place, and as with any program offered, funds from the churches and charity are limited.
Any resident that meets income limits and that is struggling to feed themselves or their families is eligible for emergency food assistance. This can include groceries, canned goods, or meals, and the support is distributed through a designated pantry. Walk-in appointments are accepted in order for people to apply, and there is a wide range of meal and free food boxes available.
Often working with local churches and charities, there are holiday resources available. The agency is offering a program called Christmas or Thanksgiving Distribution which is designed to help anyone struggling in the community enjoy the holiday. Through the work of volunteers and staff, food boxes and baskets are prepared and assembled with items typically used for holiday meals. The goal of this program is to offer hope and encouragement to those struggling during the holidays by assisting them in enjoying a healthy and easy to prepare meal.
Along with financial help referenced, there are many other forms of assistance available through the ECHO non-profit center or local churches. The help provided may be variable depending upon the amount of funding available at any given time. Examples of assistance include the following.
- Transportation, with a focus on work needs. This may be bus tickets, vouchers for gasoline or other forms of support which may be available for specific needs only.
- Baby items is provided as a result of by donations from the community and typically includes clothing, formula, diapers and baby food.
- A pantry run in partnership with the Human Society can offer cat or dog food.
- Medical services in Rock County usually includes vouchers for prescriptions, referrals to clinics and access to affordable health care within Janesville.
- Material goods may be free school supplies and clothing for children and adults.
For recently evicted and homeless individuals in Rock County, the Homeless Outreach Team from Everyone Cooperating to Help Others assists with guidance and access to resources to help people reestablish stability and shelter in their lives. This program works in conjunction with other community partners and charities within the community as well.
Self-sufficiency is stressed as well. Finding appropriate employment for individuals that best matches their skills and needs is the main goal of the Employment Services Program. Every participant has the chance to work with staff at ECHO to help them reach goals such as completing their education through GED programs or achieve computer literacy. The hope is through these opportunities, these once struggling individuals will become gainfully employed, self-reliant and independent.
There are several resources for seniors, the elderly and those home bound individuals available at local Senior Centers, and staff from Everyone Cooperating to Help Others can provide referrals to them. There may be weekly activities, breakfast, lunch and free snacks provided to participants on a daily basis. Vouchers to the farmers market are also offered by ECHO to seniors. Some of the sessions may include educational or computer classes, social service referrals and many more opportunities for enjoyment and participation.
Numerous churches in the region are part of the ECHO organization. They range from Afton Community Church, Mt. Calvary Lutheran, St. William Catholic, Unitarian Congregation of Rock County, Good Shepherd Lutheran, and about 20 others. Please donate if possible.
For participation and access to any type of assistance offered through Everyone Cooperating to Help Others, potential clients need to make an appointment for an interview and an individual needs based assessment. This appointment consists of meeting with a caseworker. Customers need to present the following information to be considered for assistance eligibility, and this can include, but is not limited to proof of hardship and income, weekly/monthly expenses and other documentation that supports their financial hardship.
The charity known as ECHO has a food pantry located at 65 South High Street, Janesville, WI 53548. For more information on their programs, and to reach the office, call (608) 754-5333.