Manatee County assistance programs.

The low income, elderly, and needy in Manatee County can find how to apply for financial assistance below. There are grants that can help pay rent or a mortgage, cash loans for some bills including transportation or security deposits, energy or utility bill help and more. Whether it is a church, charity, or non-profit organization, the emergency financial help along with free food, medical or dental care, prescription drugs, and other services can help.

Foreclosure Assistance & Prevention Network program

Families and individuals who are behind with paying their mortgage payments can receive assistance and find plenty of helpful information from the Foreclosure Assistance program that is offered by Manatee County.

Manatee County stressed the need for homeowners to action before their home enters the foreclosure process, although the department can also offer some help and assistance to those who may be already in the process. For those who may be already enmeshed in the foreclosure process, the Manatee County can only provide direction and information among other aid. Dial 941-747-1628.

In addition, it is recommended that homeowners get legal assistance and the Gulf Coast Legal Services may be able to help them thru the process.

Another program being offered is the Homestead Foreclosure Conciliation Program, which delays foreclosures in the county and ensures that lenders and homeowners explore all options.





Rent, food, health care, and utility assistance

The One Stop Center (phone number (941-747-1509), which is located in Bradenton Florida, offers local residents a wide variety of aid. It is just in time as the number of requests for help are growing rapidly.

Some of the programs offered include a rent assistance program. They will help pay for the first month’s rent payment or cover a security deposit.

They also offer a food bank which will provide residents free meals and food and meals. Overall the center will helps those families that may be on the brink of eviction save on food costs and help them to keep paying rent.

They are in the process of opening a clinic which will provide free medical care. It will be staffed by volunteer medical professionals, and will offer free check up, health care services, and a written prescription for medication if deemed medically necessary by the provider. They will even provide dental services to patients who are homeless and/or are within/under 200% poverty level. A thorough intake screening is done prior to any services provided to determine eligibility.





Two other programs to consider are the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the weatherization assistance program. Both are run by the Manatee Community Action Agency, which can be reached at (941) 827-2887. LIHEAP provides qualified families with cash grants to pay their utility bills and avoid a disconnection. Weatherization will install free energy conserving upgrades to someone’s home.

The Manatee Salvation Army (941-748-5110) is a religious and charitable organization that helps all people, regardless of their faith. It provides a homeless shelter for men, women, and families. Limited funds are available for emergency financial assistance to families. Also, access disaster services as well as youth and senior services.

The social services are available in Bradenton. Based on donations, there may also be free Christmas gifts from Angel Tree or back to school supplies. A hot meal is also served daily by the Salvation Army to the homeless and those in poverty. Click more information.

Catholic Charities also has offices in Manatee County and southwest Florida. The non-profit offers the low income, seniors, and working poor a number of resources and assistance programs. Services are offered at their Family Resource Centers, and qualified residents can get financial help for utilities and housing, food, meals, and more. Some resources can also provide child care, immigration assistance, and referrals to government and public aid. Read more Catholic Charities Manatee County.

Food banks and pantries - The region is served by a number of centers that provide free meals, groceries, foodstuffs, clothing, and more. Stop by a church, charity organization, or non-profit for assistance. Find an extensive listing of Manatee County food pantries.

Manatee County short term housing resources can assist residents that have been evicted from their home and the homeless. During your stay in the unit families will receive support, including help in finding a job, financial literacy, and assistance in locating a new, permanent home. Other services include food, meals, and guidance. Continue.

MCAA community action is a regional non-profit. They offer the services indicated above (LIHEAP) and below. Other programs are administered too. Self Sufficiency from case managers address a number of needs, such as employment, health, and nutrition. Tenants facing eviction can receive counseling or referrals to financial aid, including loans or grants for paying rent. Other programs include Head Start, weatherization, and many others. Continue with Manatee Community Action programs.




Non-profit Manatee clothing closets offer goods to the needy. They often combine resources with local thrift stores. Families can shop for, or be provided with, free clothes, vouchers for shopping, personal hygiene items, holiday items, and other goods. A number of free clothing centers help the less fortunate, low income, and homeless in Manatee. Read more.

Senior Aging Services - This non-profit helps the elderly and residents who are 55 or older. A number of resources are provided for qualified residents. Among them include home delivered meals from Meals on Wheels, information on health care and Medicaid, and senior centers for recreation. Some limited financial assistance is also available in Manatee County Florida, including funds for paying electric bills. Click here.

Emergency rental assistance - Bradenton and Manatee Florida families have access to several different housing and rental programs. While funding is limited, cash grants may be offered to help pay for moving costs, security deposits, and some short term rent expenses as well. Income restrictions are in place as well, however exceptions may be made. More details.

Manatee County Jewish Family Services provides a few main programs. One is homeless prevention from  Building Strong Families. It may involve mediation, financial aid, legal support, rehousing and more. Additional programs include a free food bank, assistance for senior citizens as well as their caregivers, OMAP for helping veterans and others. Whether food, housing, advice, case management, or something else, JFS may be a resource. More on Jewish Family Service of Sarasota-Manatee County.

Find Christmas and holiday help in Manatee County, including gifts and meals from charities. For the working poor as well as homeless that register on time, and that meet income requirements, there may be toys, food, and more from programs such as Angel Tree. Many single mothers also tend to benefit from this service. Read Manatee County Christmas help.

Turning Points offers several services, ranging from Open Door to medical and free dental clinics as well as emergency financial aid. They mostly use volunteers and donations to run their programs. Dentists offer medical care (using Blue Cross Funding) and other financial help is provided too.

The non-profit Turning Points has gas vouchers for work, clothing as well as professional attire, use of computers for seeking jobs, and Transitional Development. The later has grants for security deposits, bills, medications, and more. Locate help from Turning Points.





Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing grants

This is a new housing assistance grant that is being provided by the Salvation Army, and funds will be available to families and individuals who are homeless or about to lose their housing because they are facing an eviction or foreclosure. There are of course some conditions, including an income eligibility requirement. The housing aid is restricted to households with incomes below 50 percent of Manatee’s area’s median income. Families can apply for the new housing assistance grants at designated local agencies, including community action agencies and the Salvation Army.

Renters who currently owe back rent and who are facing eviction can receive money to pay for rent and pay for their utilities to remain in their rental units. If there are families who are currently homeless, they can get money to pay for rent, utility bills, and security deposits in order to get into rental housing. Unfortunately the grant money and funds cannot be used to pay for home mortgage payments, but if someone loses their home to foreclosure, they can get help from this program.

There is no specific amount of housing assistance that can be allocated per family or individual. Instead, the assistance that is provided is based on need and will be determined on a case by case basis. There is a limit of 18 months of housing or rental assistance that can be provided under this grant. Call (941) 748-5110 to learn more.

Manatee County foreclosure counseling, debt help, credit repair

It is true that the Manatee County Catholic Charities, Inc., which is located in Bradenton, offers residents pre and post home purchase counseling to low-income first-time buyers; foreclosure advice and mortgage help, as well as credit repair and advocacy to homeowners. They have a bilingual staff. Dial 941-714-7829 to speak to the Bradenton Florida organization, or you can click here to learn more on other Florida foreclosure programs.

Another place to turn to for free debt help assistance, and foreclosure help, is Consumer Credit Counseling. (941-256-8132) Not only can they help homeowners facing a foreclosure, but they also aid and rehabilitates financially distressed individuals and families. Counselors will work with the consumer to develop workable budgets and gain control of finances. Specialists will work with their lenders and banks if at all possible stop the foreclosure process, and eliminate credit card debts. The agency promotes intelligent use of credit and conducts financial education programs and credit repair. Learn more on debt consolidation programs.

A third option is the Manatee Community Action Agency. They offer homeowners a wide variety of financial services and programs that are targeted to help keep families in their homes. Get help with mortgage defaults, foreclosures, reverse mortgage, and even advice on buying a new home. (941) 827-2887.





Health care medical care

Children up to age 12 can access free, high quality health care for kids from birth to 12 years old. Children’s Academy of Southwest Florida, Inc. runs a  program that helps children of the unemployed, working poor, as well as the homeless who may be in a crisis,. They also those who are under under protective services, in foster care, or who live in a dysfunctional family environment. The services are offered at 7 centers across Manatee County Florida. Call 941-747-8726.

By Jon McNamara

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