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Joint Neighborhood Ministry emergency assistance programs.

A leading non-profit in the greater St. Louis area is the Joint Neighborhood Ministry. This charity is made up of local churches and volunteers and assists thousands of residents per year. Some examples of what is offered includes emergency financial aid from the Family Advocate program, free food from a pantry, health care, help at Christmas and support for seniors. A number of other services may be offered as well, including referrals.

The Joint Neighborhood Ministry pantry will distribute groceries, boxes of food, and other support to the community on a first come and first serve basis. Those from the area can use the center at most once per month for boxes of food, meats, fruits, or other perishable items.

While conditions will vary, the exact of food passed out is based on factors such as the number of people in the family or household seeking help. The family needs to be living in the service area. If not, they may still get one time help, but they will also be provided a referral to another food bank for recurring needs. Proof is needed, including Social security cards for the household, proof of residency, income, and photo ID. There also may be guidance in applying for SNAP food stamps or other government benefits.

Emergency help is from the Family Advocate program in St. Louis. This will deal with other needs, not including food. There may be some or all of the following from the Joint Neighborhood Ministry and its partner churches.

  • Free bus passes for transportation to job interviews and doctor appointments in St. Louis.
  • Limited financial help to pay for prescription medications, rent, or prevent the disconnection of utilities (electric, gas and even including water).
  • Seasonal assistance. This may include free Christmas meals or gifts, fans in the summer, school supplies, blankets, wintertime hats and gloves for children.
  • Guidance in locating furniture, housing, or other household items.
  • Referrals to other non-profit community resources or government benefits.

Joint Neighborhood Ministry can also offer some basic health and medical care. This is very limited and is done in partnership with agencies such as the Institute for Family Medicine. The non-profit may offer free primary medical care & community health nurse access.




Assistance is for the low income who are also uninsured. Those that qualify may receive a free exam by a doctor or nurse practitioner, simple laboratory tests, a review of your health options, and well-women examinations & pap smear.

Nurses or medical professionals will also offer assistance in the form of  prescriptions and low cost medications or other needed medical tests. There will be information given to the patient on their condition as well as referrals to specialists in Missouri, if they are in fact needed.

A clothing closet is open a couple days per week. All items are passed out to the needy and is done so free of cost. There may be winter coats, school supplies or uniforms, Christmas toys, and more. Clothing is available from the non-profit and its churches based upon donations received. There may also be sheets or blankets, women's, men's, children's and baby items, winter hats, scarves, gloves and blankets and more.

Programs are offered for seniors and the homebound. There is the free Senior/Disabled Food Delivery program, also known as Meals on Wheels. This will help seniors in the service area age 60 and over. It is for those that are homebound due to mental illness or physical limitations. Volunteers from churches as well as Joint Neighborhood Ministry deliver food once a month to these individuals.

Another service is the Full Circle/Rep Payee. This is for seniors that are receiving Social Security Disability payments (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The non-profit and its staff will offer help with budgeting and managing finances. Or get referrals to other financial support programs for the elderly, including Medicaid or home care.

Joint Neighborhood Ministry offers these and many other support services to the poor and less fortunate. Help is for the unemployed, uninsured, seniors, and low income. The main center is at 2911 McNair, St. Louis, Missouri 63118. Dial 314-771-3987.



By Jon McNamara

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