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Hamilton and Suwannee County assistance programs.

Resources for help with bills and basic needs

While the number of non-profits in the region is fairly limited, low income families, the unemployed, seniors and others do have some options available to them.

Catholic Charities serves many towns and counties in the area. While the resources they offer are fairly limited and will depend heavily on donations from the community, some examples of the assistance programs are below.

Some programs focus on basic needs. This can include providing gently used clothing, free food, and items such as bedding or personal hygiene.

Transportation assistance may be offered for local travel in Suwannee County. This can include buss passes or vouchers to pay for gasoline.

Financial assistance will be very limited. When available, low income individuals who qualify may receive funds for paying rent, mortgage, or even utility bills. Security deposits may be paid if someone needs to move into a new home or apartment.

The agency also is a good place for information on state of Florida or federal government programs. Get help completing Food Stamps/SNAP Applications or learn about applying and paying for IDs such as Birth Certificates. Read Florida public aid.

Some special holiday meals and gift programs may be offered, in particular for children.

The main Catholic Charity center and churches that supports these counties, including Hamilton, can be reached at (386) 754-9180.

Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc. is the regional non-profit community action agency. While some direct financial assistance may be offered, in general case managers will help people apply to county, state, and federal government programs. Those who qualify may receive some or all of the following.




Assistance with utility bills, including heating and cooling costs. Speak to a staff worker for case management and support services to alleviate family poverty. Receive referrals and application assistance to other social service agencies and non-profit organizations. Also get emergency assistance for basic needs, such as rent, housing, and food. The agency is committed to addressing poverty and helping people gain stability.

The council will do its best to meet needs by using a grant. However funding is limited, and in some cases a low income family may be referred to other non-profits in Suwannee County, or they may be issued a loan for their bills. Address is 214 West Hatley, dial Jasper, Florida 32052, dial 792-2941, or find more on Suwannee River Economic Council programs.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society / Mayport Auxillary supports members of the Naval Service of the United States and their eligible family members. Veterans may receive help as well. Receive guidance in applying for government aid, health care for veterans and more. The non-profit can receive and manage funds to administer these programs. 1234 Baltimore St, Mayport, FL 32228. Call 270-5418 for intake and information.

Christ Church of Peace runs a food pantry. Groceries, canned goods, and emergency food boxes are offered. Call 387-2020.

Free Food Service Pantry (NAIDE) is based in Jennings Florida at 3589 NW 28th Terrace. Call (386) 938-3609. The non-profit will offer free food to people in need of help. Each qualified household will get approximately 25 pounds of food at most twice per month.





Suwannee County Health Department can facilitate public health services. This is fairly wide ranging, but can include immunizations; STD, TB and HIV/IDS care; family planning, improved pregnancy outcome, primary care, Dental health, child health, communicable disease surveillance, vital statistics. Some additional medical care offered includes Healthy Communities/Healthy People, Tobacco Prevention, Healthy Start programs, and School Health. While medications are rare, the government health centers does have information on discounted prescription programs. Call the health department at 915 Nobles Ferry Road, Live Oak, Florida 32060. Phone (386) 362-2708, or click patient assistance programs.

Love in the Name of Christ of Suwannee County may have some funding for paying bills and everyday living costs. Material goods, such as clothing or household items, may be offered too. Receive assistance for utilities, including water and electric bills. Other support can include emergency rental assistance, furniture, and clothing as well. A food pantry is also offered. 118 Howard Street, Live Oak, Florida 32064. Telephone: (386) 364-4673

Free clothes, holiday goods, Christmas assistance and more is available at regional clothing banks. Churches, charities, and non-profits can assist the less fortunate and others in the community. A number of items are available, and some centers may even have food or financial assistance. Read northeastern Florida clothing closets.




By Jon McNamara











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