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Jewish Family Service assistance programs of Sarasota-Manatee County.

Assisting families in Sarasota and Manatee, regardless of religion, Jewish Family and Children’s Service offers everything from Homelessness Prevention to employment resources and the Operation Military Assistance Program for veterans. The objective is to offer short term help while the client works towards self-sufficiency.

Housing assistance and financial stabilization programs

The Building Strong Families Program is a form of Homelessness Prevention. It focuses on keeping at-risk families in their current apartments or homes. In order to be eligible, the client must have dependent children living with them, and this can include assistance for single parents too. In addition, their current home must be in their own name or in the name of another adult resident living in the same residence.

Participants will receive free case management, however, financial assistance is not guaranteed or immediately granted. Also, in some cases, Jewish Family Service of Sarasota-Manatee may issue a loan for paying the back rent as a part of the aid package. In order to be considered for any financial assistance, the client must attend multiple sessions with their assigned case manager.

The resource from Jewish Family & Children’s Service has two primary goals, and one is to work with clients on attaining long term financial security for their family and the non-profit will also offer immediate access to resources to stabilize at-risk families to prevent evictions. Some of the issues that are addressed include substance abuse, domestic violence, divorce/separation, medical crisis, job loss or decrease in pay. Some people will already be in some type of financial crisis and those already facing eviction or foreclosure issues.

In addition to the services above, any person needing landlord-tenant mediation or integrated homeless prevention support may find help at JFCS. There is also referrals to free legal aid in Florida. This is often offered at no cost, as preventing homelessness in Sarasota County and making sure clients have a safe and secure home with an intact family is one of the many goals at JFCS.

A food pantry is also run by JFCS in Sarasota-Manatee. The location distributes free canned goods, meals and vouchers to families at risk for hunger, helping them meet their basic needs for living. Volunteers may also coordinate home delivery for senior citizens in the region. For further information, please call (941) 366-2224.




Sarasota and Manatee County assistance for caregivers from Jewish Services

Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Sarasota-Manatee has a caregiver support group and individual counseling sessions available to assist caregivers. It is for disabled or senior citizens in Florida, and the agency will help in decision-making and dealing with the variety of emotions that accompany caring for a dying or ill loved one.

Ongoing guidance is offered as well for clients. JFCS also connects caregivers with community resources or government benefits they made need presently or in the future, including details on senior citizen social security loans. Support groups meet on a weekly basis at the main offices in Sarasota, Venice, and North Port.

JFCS programs for veterans

The JFCS also has the OMAP - Operation Military Assistance Program which provides support to veterans and their families in the counties of Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto. Guidance may come in the form of providing case management or offering direct, one time financial assistance to low-income veterans and their families. Specifically, the support is to prevent homelessness or to help them find a permanent and safe apartment to live in.

OMAP not only helps clients find a permanent residence to live in, it also provides integrated case management. Staff will partner with the veteran on obtaining VA benefits, applying for grants, mentoring and access to support groups based on their individual needs.






Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Sarasota-Manatee has a few centers in the region, as noted below. Call for information or intake. The main office is at 2688 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237, phone (941) 366-2224. Other locations are as follows.

  • 1750 17th Street Ste. C-3, Sarasota, Florida 34234
  • Another site is at 1701 Tamiami Trail West, Bradenton, FL 34205
  • 19503 West Village Parkway #A8, North Port, FL 34293

By Jon McNamara

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