Neighborhood Care Center financial assistance programs.

The goal of Neighborhood Care Center is to help families determine their own direction in life. During this period of development there may be assistance provided to support the client in making lasting change, and there may also be emergency assistance arranged for goods such as food or rent. Any financial help is very limited, but instead the Care Center case workers would rather help the person set and work towards long term goals.

Family Development is used to help the person reach a more self sufficient lifestyle. Through this case management approach that is offered, the client of Neighborhood Care Center will be able to build up their strengths. Whether it is assistance in locating a new job or rebuilding their credit, the goal is to help the person build stability, strengths and resources. Then, ideally, at some point in the future they will be able to provide for their families and contribute to the local community Pasco County region.

Case management is given to clients in Dade City Florida in many ways. The assistance provided will include linking families to the communities and advocacy as well as other referrals. Topics addressed are Income and Budgeting, Child Care, Education, Applying for Benefits, Accessing Housing, Support Systems, Health Care, and Employment/Resume Building Assistance.

As someone progresses throughout the case management process, there may be times in which they need temporary Emergency Assistance. When possible, Neighborhood Care Center offers a wide variety of financial assistance, or short term loans, to income-eligible families in a crisis situation. There may be funds for paying utility bills, food, rent, prescriptions, food or money for gasoline.

Neighborhood Care Center has a food pantry on site too. Please call ahead for hours of distribution. But the center may have fresh fruits, canned goods, meats, and more. Clients that go through Family Development may also be able to access Christmas or Thanksgiving meals too.

The Commodity Program is responsible for receiving and distributing surplus USDA Commodity Food to income eligible families. These grocery and commodities are distributed by Neighborhood Care Center in the county throughout the year. This particular resource will focus on children as well as the elderly.




Another resource for children is the Summer Food Service Program, or SFSP. This program was created by the federal government USDA to ensure that children from families living in poverty continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.

Free food and meals, that meet Federal Government created nutrition guidelines, are provided to all children at approved SFSP sites, which can be churches or the main Neighborhood Center office. The SFSP operates during the very long state of Florida school vacations, primarily in the summer months from May to August as well as holiday breaks.

Transitional Housing is also used to help a low income or formerly homeless family achieve greater independence. There is case management given to guests, with an eventual enrollment into classes for long term stability. While in residence, clients work toward the achievement of self-defined goals. Outreach staff from Neighborhood Care Center act as coaches and encourage these families in transition.

Long term rent help is from the HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. It is operated across Pasco County. The program provides rental housing assistance to very low income eligible families. There is also support for senior citizens as well as the disabled. This program allows families the freedom to select their own apartment or home to live in, as long as the housing meets the Housing Quality Standards set by HUD and the rental rate meets the caps set into place.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program families in Pasco County who are underemployed or unemployed are also give an opportunity to participate in Family Self-Sufficiency. The goal of FSS from Neighborhood Care Center is to assist these clients in obtaining employment that will allow them to become self-sufficient and not dependent on public assistance. Funding for section 8 is provided through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Another service run in partnership with Neighborhood Care Center and non-profit law firms is Legal Advocacy. There are firms across the Dade City region that partner with Neighborhood Care Center to identify potential clients. There is aid for low-income people attempting to represent themselves in family law matters. Lawyers from these firms explain court procedures. They help them complete paperwork and offer support in civil matters.




Legal support will help individuals who need assistance with understanding court forms or in filling out paperwork. There is advice for family law issues such as divorce, parental rights and responsibilities, post-judgment motions, power of attorney, adoption, guardianship, as well as name changes. Or clients of Neighborhood Care Center facing housing challenges can also get advice.

For more information on resources, call (813) 780-6822. Support is only for the immediate service area of Pasco County.


By Jon McNamara

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