Johnson County Low Income and Social Service Centers.
Resources from the numerous Low Income Centers, examples of which are noted below, may be able to to help income qualified families. Whether it is a cash grants for rent, food from a pantry, or a voucher for a bus pass so someone can get to their first day of work, there are options available in Johnson County.
The non-profit agencies, which are government supported, will also try to provide basic needs, and this can be done by a clothing closet or thrift store. This means that children from low income families can be provided with free school supplies, or those seeking a job in Johnson County Kansas can be given professional work attire. Other clients may be families recovering from a disaster, such as a fire.
The Low Income Center staff’s goal is to provide all services needed to address and ultimately eliminate an immediate crisis that is putting a household at risk of becoming homeless or having their electricity turned off. Once the immediate issue and the potential for an emergency has been averted, the Center retains the case until underlying issues, such as substance abuse, lack of employment, domestic violence, mental and emotional issues, and child care, are addressed.
The process of financial aid begins when the center receives notification of an eviction, utility or water service disconnect, or residential Health Department violation. The staff meets with household members to explore ways for them to address the crisis and retain their housing. Services may include home visits to ensure that the elderly and the very young are being taken care of properly.
The staff from the Low Income Centers also make contact with attorneys, landlords, and agencies in Johnson County to help avoid evictions. They will help to negotiate payments of rent arrears, apply for utility or heating bill payment plans, seek out subsidies, or explore housing alternatives. In addition to resolving immediate housing issues, the Low Income Center provides case management as well as referrals to appropriate programs, for the overall purpose of maintaining family stability.
There is also some basic support for medical needs. At some of the centers there is a free Medicine Cabinet. This is for income qualified patients in an emergency. The closet may loan out durable medical equipment, offer assistance for dental emergencies, provide diabetic supplies or glasses, prescription drugs, and even some over-the-counter medical supplies.
Family Development, also known as stabilization, is a service designed to assist struggling clients on the path to self-sufficiency. Those who enroll will work with specialists to set goals. The Low Income Centers use a strengths-based assessment process that empowers and nurtures families towards long term economic and social self-sufficiency. This include transportation (such as bus tokens or gasoline vouchers), clothing, and more.
The pantry at the Low Income Center is one tool used for fighting hunger in Johnson County Kansas. With hundreds of local families (many of whom are children) struggling to get food on the table each night, this service may be able to help in an emergency.
The assistance is available for short term needs. As an example, the charity may offer an emergency box of groceries that can have both non as well as perishable food. This may be fruits, groceries, vegetables, baby formula, and more. The contents of the bag of groceries will vary. But the bottom line is it will only be enough to feed a family for a few days. So the Low Income Center may also direct clients to longer term support, such as SNAP food stamps.
The Centers offer a comprehensive set of services to help Johnson County seniors, aged 60 and older, continue to live independently and with dignity. The Senior Services include help in locating a caregiver, assisted transportation, education, and information and assistance.
There are a variety of Adult Services available at the centers, including adult academic courses and professional development workshops. All of the programs and services offered by the Low Income Centers for senior citizens provide support as participants achieve their educational, personal and professional goals.
Weatherization from the various Johnson County Low Income Centers is a service that makes homes more energy-efficient over the long term thereby reducing home-energy expenditures. Health and safety is the agencies main priority. So they address that as well as the energy efficiency component of weatherization.
Services done by the staff at the Low Income Center include pressure diagnostics to assess air leakage; test and repair of all gas-fired appliances; sidewall, attic and floor insulation based on air leakage; and furnace and/or water heater replacement. The centers also often have an experienced weatherization crew, and all members live in the Johnson County county that they serve. Weatherization is free of charge for qualified clients.
There are a few locations, and each focuses on members of the immediate community. They are in Gardner, Overland Park, Shawnee, and other parts of Johnson County. Call 1-888-413-4327 for referrals.