Lighthouse Ministries emergency assistance programs.

Many in the Florence County community are unemployed or underemployed. Others are struggling from a crisis. Lighthouse Ministries is one of the local agencies that may be able to assist in some cases. When possible they will offer resources such as food, financial aid for rent or energy bills, referrals and much more. They also run specialty services such as the Working Mothers Education and Support Program. The exact type of help will depend on resources and the result of an intake assessment.

Lighthouse Ministries Homeless Prevention Program assists individuals and families who have become homeless or at risk due to crisis situations. Examples of challenges faced by clients of the faith based church include medical emergency, court-ordered eviction, home foreclosure, or a short term reduction in income. Applicants for any type of grants from must meet several eligibility requirements. However Lighthouse Ministries has staff members available to guide you through the application process.

Emergency financial assistance with rent and utility bill payments is available to those who are in danger of eviction or utility shut-off. It will be used to stop homelessness from occurring in Florence. Each year, Lighthouse Ministries provides financial support or low interest loan to a number of households within a defined radius of the city of Florence.

Those in need are encouraged to obtain a referral and come with all supporting information. Please note that it may be difficult to get through to make an appointment on the phone due to call volume. However if someone is truly struggling they should be persistent and keep trying.

Many in the community need help with obtaining adequate amounts of food. To assist those in need stretch their dollars and make ends meet, Lighthouse Ministries has a pantry. It provides affordable, healthy food as well as groceries to those in need in communities throughout Florence County.

Lighthouse Ministries is funded solely through participation and is open to anyone, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Food Stamps, recipients in South Carolina. Participants can apply for help. It qualified, they can place orders early in the month, and then pick up their food packages at the end of the month.





The Lighthouse Ministries case management program is a holistic, person-centered program focused on barriers related to employment. Or it addresses education and financial literacy. It also often combined with Working Mothers Education and Support Program, which focuses on women and single moms in Florence County.

Case managers provide budgeting advice, support, and resources as participants work toward gaining self-sufficiency. People may remain in the program for as long as they are making progress toward self-sufficiency, within reasonableness.

The Working Mothers Education and Support Program can help parents care for their kids. It can show proper parenting and methods other than relying on domestic violence or abuse. But it addresses many aspects of parenting, ranging from providing free baby formula or diapers to general counseling.

Lighthouse Ministries Budget Assistance partners with volunteers as well as the Financial Planning Association. Other support is from local banks or non-profit credit counseling agencies in South Carolina. They all provide one-on-one budget counseling and financial literacy education to Florence County residents.

Volunteers even act as mentors, addressing specific issues and educating clients on how to save money and manage their debt. Receive free tips on preparing budgets, maximizing income and decrease household expenses. In addition, each client is provided with a savings account at one of the sponsoring banks, and programs such as IDA may match any money saved.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offers free tax return preparation and e filing to income-eligible clients. It is usually for senior citizens as well as people with an annual income of less than $50,000. Lighthouse Ministries will encourage residents who would like to take advantage of this service to apply early as their may be a waiting list.





The Lighthouse Ramp Assistance Medical Program (RAMP) is for the disabled or elderly. A grant from partners is used to pay for home repairs, and specifically mobility needs such as ramps or a grab bar.

Help for transportation to work in Florence County may be offered in a crisis using a gas voucher or maybe donated, used bicycles. Or a volunteer may offer a one-time ride. These services can be available to individuals who lack transportation for the purpose of looking for work or getting to work and then back home. Any transportation help is very limited.

Appointments are needed, and applications for help are only taking a couple days per week from their center at 201 East Elm St, Florence, SC 29506. Call (843) 629-0830.




By Jon McNamara

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