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Philadelphia County churches help pay bills and basic needs.

Many assistance programs are administered by churches in Philadelphia County. There is a focus on supporting children, senior citizens, the homeless and immigrants in the community, but others that are living in or near poverty can seek help.

No two churches provide the same type or amount of help. Some assist with paying light bills or rent, while others operate food banks and/or thrift stores. Children, such as students and the youth in Philadelphia are also a priority, and faith based groups operates services such as Whiz Kids, which coordinates pre as well as after school support for this age group. Other religious groups operate ministries that assist with funeral expenses. So all sorts of aid may be offered to widows, teenagers, the homeless, and the poor. Or if someone has a special need, a faith based group will try to meet it.

Philadelphia churches with food banks and thrift stores

All across the city as well as the county are numerous faith based groups that help the working poor. They assist anyone in need, whether they are immigrants or long term citizens. The goal of sites including Church of New Hope and Faith (661 North 39th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104, dial 215-222-7672) is to reduce hunger and poverty in the city.

In particular, these two programs depend on donations from the community. Many restaurants and bakeries in Philadelphia donate surplus food to a pantry. There are also donations from stores such as Kroger or Wal-Mart, food drives held, and other outreach done. The volunteers reach out to the community with both words and action in an effort to feed and house them.

The Emergency Food Cupboard at many locations provides help. There are groceries, baby formula, meat, dairy, fruits, items for diets of immigrants and more. At the same time that someone uses a food bank, they can also get items from a thrift store including one at New Life Presbyterian Church (address 467 N. Easton Road, Glenside, PA, 19038, phone 215-576-0892).

Anyone can support the thrift shops or food pantries. There are different ways to do this. Feel free to donate gently used quality items, such as winter coats, boots, or toys. Another way to give back to a local Philadelphia County church is by volunteering to help sort, pack groceries into a box, clean, and distribute donations to the needy.




Assistance for paying bills

Each church will try to do this. Generally any financial help for paying rent, utilities, or other bills is available from donations. Or each religious groups will then use proceeds a thrift store to support the financial aid they have. The funds, when combined with outreach ministries, are used to care for those who have trouble caring for themselves. But with that being said, entering a path to self-sufficiency is required.

There is help for financial needs along with food from parishes including, but not limited too, Church of the Advocate (address - 1801 West Diamond Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19121, main phone 215-978-8000). When they do provide money for certain bills or housing payments, it will be for short tern needs only. So a partial rent payment is made or medications may be given, or food that can last for up to 3 days.

The society of Saint Vincent church has a center as well at 49 W Logan St, Philadelphia, PA 19144 (main phone (215) 842-3668). A number of ministries are available. They offer medical help, in partnership with the American heart Association as well as free community clinics. A bereavement ministry can help people faced with the death of a spouse, and coordinate funeral help. Other support from churches may be shelters for adults, free bus passes for a job, senior care, and more. Find additional details on St. Vincent de Paul assistance programs

Development programs from Philadelphia County churches

Parishoners meet with the poor to go over their options. They will advise immigrants that are seeking citizenship, the unemployed, single parents, and anyone in need. Old St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church (location 321 Willings Alley, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106, phone 215-923-2381) has a center for the poor or homeless. They not only prepare a hot meal for them, but volunteers as well as full time staff offer counseling. They will give them spiritual support as well as referrals to more practical assistance, such as job programs or financial help to pay for housing costs.

Elementary school children can get assistance from Church of the Advocate - Whiz Kids Program as well as Calvin Presbyterian Church at 1401 North 60th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19151 (phone 215-877-7711). . It is for students under the age of 14. the parents can have a parish that will care for their kids after-school, and classes will provide them extra attention. Topics range from skills to knowledge, reading, writing, computer workshops, and more. If a student needs help with their homework, that may be arranged too.

There are also more social activities like dance, theater, sports, and arts arranged for kids. The faith based group has teachers that partner with it on Whiz Kids, and all educational support will meet  Philadelphia School District's Core Curriculum standards.





Students are also provide other assistance at a local Philadelphia County church. They are given snacks, both for an after school program and when free school lunches are not being served, such as during the summer months. A backpack meal program also feeds them over the weekend. When the parent can't afford the supplies, or uniforms/clothes that a student needs, the church may step in to offer that as well.

Parents can also benefit from these Philadelphia County church assistance programs. Adult ministries are available for employment and educational support. Or if practical help is needed, such as gasoline vouchers or work attire, then a church uses donations to meet these requests.

They focus resources on helping the client increase their income by taking on personal responsibility. Also, with too many individuals lacking a GED, or immigrants speaking Spanish only and not English, reading and skill building is a priority. Bible Believing Church (location 928 West Duncannon Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19141, 215-457-3586) and others assist.

Dozens of churches in the city as well as county of Philadelphia help people regardless of ethnic or social background, age, creed, health, or gender. Whether it is emergency money for housing or rent, or a meal, to get referred to a local center, dial the Philadelphia 211 service to inquire into a parish.

By Jon McNamara

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