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Placer County Catholic Charities assistance programs.

There are a few basic needs that can be met by the Placer County based Catholic Charities. Using private and public funds, families facing a crisis can receive everything from food to applications to public benefits such as emergency solution grants or USDA commodities. The staff at the churches that partner with the agency will also direct clients to various job training programs in the Capital region, as these can help people over any barriers to self-sufficiency.

When a family is out of options, and they are facing hunger, then emergency food may be provided. There are pantries run, as well as applications to USDA programs such as CalFresh food stamps or WIC. Most of it is for short term needs.

However, in some situations, long-term food help is available. This is more focused on households with children or seniors. Guidelines for this type of support have been set for USDA commodities by the federal government. Qualifying clients receive applications to food stamps or other forms of nutritionally-balanced groceries a few times a month.

The Placer County Catholic Charities non-profit relies on donations, food drives, and partners such as Feeding America. These groups assist the organization in many ways. They may give the churches surplus food from grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants, and catering companies, among other locations. On the other hand, Feeding America provides them with shelf-stable surplus grocery products as well as guidance on how to best serve the needy.

Christmas programs, such as free meals and Adopt a Family are run too. Interviewers and staff from the agency collect names of lower income families and individuals to be adopted. This program also relies on area businesses in Placer County, schools, organizations, fund raisers, or individuals. Donors to any type of holiday program that is run by Catholic Charities are paired with a needy family/person, and they can buy them presents or maybe a food basket that they need. Many children would go without at Christmas if not for this service.

Placer County Catholic Charities financial assistance, while limited, is also an option. Using donations, as well as government grants such as ESG, the non-profit will provide help with expenses needed to prevent an eviction or health risk. There may be money for paying utility bills (including water, electricity and natural gas) and with shelter costs. So there may be grants for paying rent, move in costs, or even a mortgage payment.




Case mangers assess and consider each client’s situation. Based on the results of this, they will try to provide assistance that will enable the individual to meet future needs. So in addition to above, Catholic Charities may assist with food from the pantry, clothes, household items and furniture.

Or if short term help is needed for education or job training, such as maybe fees for a GED or gasoline voucher, then this may be provided too. So while funds from Catholic Charities are limited, the agency will do its best to help or offer referrals.

During the winter or summer months, some at risk households may need to stay warm or cool. So Catholic Charities of Placer County will provide electric heaters and blankets. Or during the summer a box fan may be available. These tend to be for the elderly or people with a medical issue.

Low-Cost Thrift Stores in Placer County and northern California are open to people of all incomes, races, and religions. They will help families as well as the public. Shoppers at the church based centers will find bargain-priced items and that are only gently used. There are low cost clothing, shoes, toys for Christmas, household items, electronics, children's school items, cribs and much more.

Catholic Charities of Placer County is a source for housing assistance too. The center provides information on Section 8 as well as other low income housing locations, including apartments in the community. In a limited number of situations, funds may be offered for paying a portion of a security deposit on the new home. All applicants will be given ongoing advice so they can learn how to maintain the home and avoid future homelessness.




The center offers referrals as well. The office provides various services and access to computers to clients. Staff from the non-profit refer the working poor to other organizations for those who are out of the service area. Or some people just will not qualify for any programs they offer, so those families may also be given referrals to other options.

Several counties supported as part of this Catholic Charity service. Call (916) 498-1000 for information.


By Jon McNamara











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