Financial support from Johnstown First United Methodist Church.

Resources ranging from information on public assistance, such as LIHEAP, is available along with food and financial aid from Johnstown First United Methodist Church. Other services that are in demand include the groceries from their pantry. Volunteers as well as case managers from the organization will work with the struggling family in an effort to find some type of solution to their crisis.

There are several programs that can provide low income families with cash grants. Most of these are funded by the federal government. However there are some cases in which Johnstown First United Methodist Church will hold fund drivers and the money raised can be used for this goal as well. Some of the main programs are below.

  • LIHEAP - Low Income Home Energy Assistance is for very low income families, with a focus on people that pay a high proportion of their household income for their utility bills. Funds can be used for heating and electric bills.
  • Eviction prevention is available as part of emergency solution grants. Johnstown First United Methodist Church may have funds to pay everything from a security deposit up to and including overdue rental costs.
  • Weatherization Assistance will help households save money on their utility bills. It works by helping them conserve energy by improved efficiency. This can be extra insulation, roof repairs, windows, and more.
  • Rent subsidies are provided by section 8 housing vouchers. This helps low income families across Cambria County obtain safe and sanitary housing at an affordable price, however the waiting list is extensive.
  • Transitional housing run by Johnstown First United Methodist Church or partners will provide people time. The guest of the home can then save their money for security deposits or other living expenses.

The resources that address utility bills are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy as well as the state. Applications are accepted by community action agencies, and Johnstown First United Methodist Church can refer residents of Cambria County to these offices.





The housing programs, such as for rent, can be funded by Housing and Urban Development. This federal government agency offers money to non-profits across the nation, and solutions such as ESG are funded annually. The number of people that can be assisted, whether homeless or struggling, is very small.

Any family that receives either energy bill or rental assistance can also sign up for Family Self-Sufficiency. Clients will be able to participate in educational and employment goals which, when met, will help the individual become self-supporting. The goal is to help people increase their income so they can build up savings and gain independence.

Johnstown First United Methodist Church will also fight hunger. The main solutions are from a pantry or they work with other charities on serving meals. Also, publicly raised funds are used to fund many of the solutions that are administered. There are four main programs run, and they are as follows.

  • Congregate Meals are available to seniors at a designated site. The food served will be approved by a registered dietician, so it is healthy. It will also meet their Recommended Dietary Allowance for their age group.
  • Meals on Wheels – This is for the elderly or seniors who are confined to their homes and unable to prepare one for themselves.
  • Pantries will pass out free groceries, perishable food items, and related goods. The centers can be used several times per month, if the resident is found qualified.
  • The USDA Summer Food Program is for students. It operates during the summer months, and it will offer snacks and meals to them.




There are other resources run by the faith based charity as well. The volunteers at the church will assess the applicant's financial situation. The staff will provide free and objective counseling and assistance to persons who are struggling. Residents can get information on public aid such as Medicare, SNAP food stamps, and other related benefits in Pennsylvania.

The goal of everything offered is to help low-income people, especially vulnerable populations achieve their potential. This will include referring them to financial aid or public benefits, by strengthening family and other supportive systems and more. The objective is to have people in crisis address the cause of their hardship. Johnstown First United Methodist Church can be reached at (814) 536-8844, and the address is 436 Vine St.,  Johnstown, PA 15901.


By Jon McNamara

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