Kane County St. Catherine Society St. Vincent programs.
Based on an assessment done by case managers at Kane County Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, the non-profit will work to address the needs of a family that is facing a crisis. The organization will direct residents of Kane County to local food banks and soup kitchens. Or there may be, in limited situations, short term financial aid.
When seeking any type of financial support, people need to come prepared. There should be proof of income as well as expenses. Individuals should bring a copy of utility bills as well as a lease. Also, the applicant needs to have a plan in place for gaining self-sufficiency, as the support from Kane County Society St. Vincent is a hand up for the crisis.
Emergency food is available from a pantry and other sources that are run by the church based group. The agency partners with faith-based groups and others in the community. There are also government run social service organizations in Kane County that also want to feed the hungry.
The organization accepts applications for the distribution of surplus USDA government food or items that were donated. Each site in the community, whether a pantry or soup kitchen, distributes emergency food or hot meals. If someone is not qualified, then they will refer the client to an alternate site.
Another option is SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance. This is the largest and most important program for fighting hunger in the state of Illinois. While the Department of Human Services processes the applications, St. Catherine of Siena Conference can provide information on it. They can also link residents to the proper intake site.
Other resources for fighting hunger are below. All are limited and have a formal application process in place.
- USDA food is from Feeding American and other non-profits.
- Children can enroll into free school lunches.
- Holiday meals, including on Thanksgiving and Christmas are served. Turkeys, side items, and more is served.
As clients are working towards self-sufficiency, there may be periods of time in which paying the bills becomes overwhelming. During these periods of time, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will offer emergency assistance. Some of what is offered may be as follows. But any assistance will always be first come and served.
- Transportation to work or a job interview, include bus passes or rides from volunteers.
- Help getting documents for work, including social security cards, birth certificates, and identification.
- Personal hygiene, such as haircuts, soap, shampoo, shaving kits, and more.
- Prescription assistance is for uninsured people unable to purchase prescription medicine.
- Money to prevent evictions, including for rent or energy bills.
- Medical services – Saint Vincent has partnerships with clinics. If the condition is critical, then they will refer people to hospitals for more serious cases.
- Telephone assistance, including information on Lifeline in Illinois or the free usage for making interview appointments.
Using government grants and other sources of funding, electric bill assistance is for residents facing a shut off. In some cases, funds can be used for re-connection fees. There are a combination of United Way and LIHEAP grants used for this. As with most of the resources above, the intent is to help the most vulnerable in the community.
Children as well as the elderly that do not have family in the area are the main beneficiaries of the Christmas programs. This is often when many volunteers turn out to help the less fortunate. No matter the applicant's religion, they may be given a toy or meal for their family. The homebound may even have someone stop by their home to spread the holiday joy.
Many families in poverty have barriers they are faced with. Or they do not known where to get help from. So the St. Catherine of Siena Conference Self Sufficiency Case Management process can be used in these cases. Staff will meet with the family to determine the needs and any barriers they have to becoming self-sufficient.
The first step is to assess the issue. If needed, basic needs such as clothing to food or housing can be arranged per the resources above. Then, a plan is put into place. There may also be monthly home visits to monitor progress.
Volunteers from churches are available at two different Saint Vincent sites in Kane County. The include Dundee (phone (224) 520-1589) as well as Carpentersville (phone (847) 428-5467).