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Financial help from Interfaith Assistance Ministry.

The non-profit Interfaith Assistance Ministry agency’s emergency services provide financial and other support to help clients experiencing a crisis. Eligibility is based on need, the reason for the crisis and the applicant's ability to pay future expenses, as the support is in the form of a hand up and not a hand-out.

Henderson County North Carolina applicants need proof of income and more. Any type of financial assistance is generally provided on a one-time-only basis, and some people are given a loan for this. Emergency financial aid can be used for a portion of rent or mortgage payments, temporary shelter, food and meals, transportation, utility-service payments, emergency safety type repairs on mobile homes and the purchase of critical household goods. In addition to providing its own services, IAM connects clients with other local agencies.

When using the Interfaith Assistance Ministry food pantry, qualified households may be given several pounds worth of fresh or canned groceries. To apply, the process will be as follows. Applicants need a photo ID and/or copy of an energy bill or copy of lease. A basic form will also need to be completed by the person, and the IAM representative will go over this process.

The client will need to prove, as well as declare that they need help with obtaining food. They should also bring grocery bags or cardboard boxes to put the groceries in, as the pantry will not provide that. If someone is facing imminent hunger, then Interfaith Assistance Ministry will refer the family to local soup kitchens as well. This may offer them a hot lunch or dinner.

Assistance for paying bills and living needs may be provided by the faith based Interfaith Assistance Ministry. The case manager from the agency assesses each individual’s application, credit history, and pass financial literacy. Based on the results of this, a number of different forms of support may be provided.

Based on the situation, there may be funding provided to the applicant. This money can be used as a last resort for expenses such as water or electric bills, rent, mortgage payments or local transportation. If providing funds to solve the crisis is not the best solution (or if there is not any funding left), then staff may instead be able to contact and working with the homeowner’s mortgage company or the tenant's landlord.





Any type of financial help from Interfaith Assistance Ministry is combined with advice and ongoing support. The team may be able to refer clients for counseling sessions, such as for repairing credit scores, job placement, or budgeting. Or referrals are given to other agencies in Henderson County. All of this other support is intended to avoid problems in the future that the individual may have.

Free health screenings and health education is available for disadvantaged as well as uninsured members of the community through a partnership between Interfaith Assistance Ministry and various healthcare providers. There are local hospitals that offer free mammograms, community clinics coordinate immunizations, prescription drug vouchers are available, and much more.

Another component is prescription medications. When a resident is in dire need, and does not have the means to buy the medications they need, the faith based non-profit will try to help. They may help pay for a portion of the cost, or refer a client to a local community clinic in Henderson County. They also help arrange for re-fills if that is the barrier.

A yearly summer cooling Fan Drive sponsored by IAM and partners such as the Salvation Army raises funds for the express purchase of window and table fans for low-income families. The applicant will need to be a senior, have a young child in the home, or be sick. They also can't have air conditioning in their homes.

Working poor residents of Henderson County (especially the elderly on a fixed income) may skimp out on air-conditioning due to lack of funds to purchase items or an inability to pay a utility bill to run them. Yearly, there are reports of senior citizens who die due to the heat in their residence. This life or death issue is addressed by this service which supply free fans to organizations located in the region.

Personal hygiene items as well as clothing may be provided by Interfaith Assistance Ministry. There may be free toothbrushes, toothpaste, lip balm, soap, paper products, books, stickers, games, household cleaning supplies, and other goods. Much of this is the result of donations. People often host drives to collect coats, gloves, hats and other items as part of this hygiene service. In a given year, the program provides support to hundreds of Henderson County individuals.




The hours of the charity are limited. The Interfaith Assistance Ministry has a main office at 210 Ehringhaus St, Hendersonville, NC 28739. For more information, dial 828 697-7029. Even if they can't help, the agency will coordinate social services with other local human service agencies. When applying for help, bring proof of ID, eviction or disconnect notices, pay stubs, and copies of monthly bills as well.


By Jon McNamara

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