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Memphis and Shelby County church assistance programs.

Almost 200 different churches in Memphis Tennessee provide some form of assistance to the poor, immigrants, and families living in or near poverty. The human services provided vary by location, but some religious organizations offer free food from a pantry or furniture. Other churches in Shelby County provide prescription medication vouchers, job search support or a few dollars to pay rent or some other bills including electric, but each program is different in what it provides.

A church is Shelby County will have a limited service territory. Locations including Grace St. Luke's will only help households that live in the immediate area of the parish, and often restrict support to a certain zip code. However the churches will help people of all backgrounds. Whether they are baptist, protestant, Catholic, illegal immigrants, older, or any other background, assistance can be arranged.

Shelby County church employment and development services

Job placement and search services are provided by over 10 different sites. One of the leaders is Hope Presbyterian Church (address is 8500 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova, TN 38018, dial (901) 755-7721) and their Career Link program. There are volunteers as well as professionals that provide assistance to anyone looking for new skills, employment, or maybe a better job.

Career Link is extensive. It will take a comprehensive look at the client's current skills set, experience, and interests. If they need additional skills, then partners including Faith Vietnamese Baptist Church (3861 Broadway Road, Ellendale Baptist Church Building C, Memphis, TN 38135, dial (901) 647-0445) or Kirby Woods Baptist (6325 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38119, phone (901) 682-2220) offer English as a Second Language classes or GED training. This service can be very beneficial for immigrants or the unemployed.

There are other charities in Shelby County that provide basic needs to job seekers. A clothes closet may give free suits, dresses, slacks, or work boots. Or if the clients needs a voucher to pay for gasoline or a free bus ticket, a church may offer that as well. Last, but not least, some religious organizations in Memphis may help find a mechanic who will volunteer their time to help repair a car, if it it for work related reasons.





Other life skills are arranged. White Station Church of Christ at 1106 Colonial Rd, Memphis, TN 38117, (901) 761-2007 coordinates more life skills. They have general clothing vouchers, exercise classes, a Christian study group, and other resources to get a client back on track. When someone is recovering from an event, such as homelessness or a death of spouse, these types of human services can be effective.

Financial help from Memphis churches

Financial assistance is available from one or more churches in Memphis Tennessee. The places that offer this, ranging from Bethel Church of God in Christ (2216 Clifton Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38127, dial (901) 358-1215) to several others use money raised from the community or their thrift stores to offer this support. The money comes and goes, and when available, a dew dollars will be paid out at most.

Local churches in Shelby County may provide emergency funding for expenses including rent, electric or heating bills, housing, and more. All of the assistance, including for rental payments, needs to have a goal of stopping homelessness or dealing with a medical issue. The human services from the church will require a plan of stability in place.

Basic needs include food pantries, general furniture provision, hairdressing, school supplies, and much more. Holy Names of Jesus & Mary Church ((697 Keel Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38107, call (901) 525-9870) has a food bank for a couple local zip codes, and qualified people can be given groceries and canned goods. Bethel Church of God (address above) has other supplies too, and staff can deal with personal hygiene needs (haircuts, laundry, etc), or direct families to programs that have free furniture from charities.




Many food pantries are offered. St Michael's Catholic Church (3848 Forrest Avenue, Memphis, TN 38122, call (901) 323-0896) has one that can fed families living in poverty or that have a crisis. Clients can be given a box of groceries. Some of these Shelby County churches even serve a meal to the homeless.

A Drug Repository is at the Church Health Center (address is 1196 Peabody Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104, phone (901) 272-0003 x2015). They operate a Prescription Assistance Program. What happens is a hospital or doctor may donate surplus medications to the church. The pills will be in perfect condition but are just surplus items. Then, based on application criteria such as lack of health insurance or poverty levels, the client can be given the medication they need. If the family does not qualify for this program, they can find other sources of free prescription medications for the uninsured.

Many other services may be provided by Memphis Tennessee regional churches. There are also dozens of other sites to try for help. Use the search box at the top of the page to query by need and location to find other programs.




By Jon McNamara

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