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Roanoke regional Catholic Charities assistance programs.

A number of resources, including food, emergency financial aid, and long-term planning assistance may be provided by Catholic Charities to the Virginia region. The Roanoke Diocese and region provides coverage to a number of nearby towns, cities, and counties. Some examples of the assistance available is below, however other programs may be offered too.

One of the main programs is known as HELP. This can offer those who qualify with a variety of assistance programs. It can include food, housing needs (such as rent and mortgage), utility bills (water, cooling and electric) and other aid. When someone receives financial support they will also be able to enroll into longer term case management.

As funding allows, Catholic Charities will try to distribute assistance to help people across Virginia, including in Roanoke and Salem. The agency will also try to coordinate what may be needed from a counseling and education perspective in order to help people resolve a crisis. This can include advice and education that may be needed in order to keep people on the road to self-sufficiency. So get help for paying bills and housing at the same time that you resolve the underlying cause of the hardship.

As part of the intake process when applying for assistance, you will be interviewed by a case manager resource specialist. The interviewer will provide you with a list of questions that need to be used in order to determine if additional services, such as mental health care, healthcare and substance dependence treatment are necessary. You may also be able to receive short-term case planning involving referral and coordination with other Roanoke and state of Virginia area agencies and government resources. Referral and assessment services are provided along with other aid. To learn more on financial assistance, you will need to call 540.278.1633 and leave a message.

Having unpaid debts can be stressors like no others. Sign up for free or low cost credit counseling, which Catholic Charities offers. Another component of HELP is a debt management service, which offers a repayment service that was approved by the state of Virginia State Corporation Commission. The goal is to resolve a crisis and help a client create a budget. The Debt Management service offers free counseling to individuals and families on housing, personal budgeting and the wise use of credit.




Clients will be assigned to meet with a certified credit counselor. The specialist will work with you to analyze your saving and spending patterns based on your total household income and will assist you with creating a workable household budget. Get free advice on money management techniques, receive mediation, and if needed get assistance in entering into a debt management plan to help you pay off your bills.

Older adults in the community may qualify for Independence for Seniors. This program supports healthy lifestyles and community interaction for senior citizens and adults over the age of 55 as they age in place. This will include encouraging good nutrition, physical activity and personal relationships.

Immigration services are offered. This aspect of law is usually complex and negotiating the maze of procedures and regulations is challenging. Multilingual staff across regions as diverse as Franklin and Roanoke County are accredited by the federal government Board of Immigration Appeals to provide free or low cost immigration advice and assistance. Receive help with Temporary Protective Status, Family petitions for relatives abroad, General Immigration Services, Extension of stay, Freedom of Information Act, and Work authorization applications.

Roanoke families can be assisted by the Saint Francis House. The location can support Roanoke families who need baby items, food, and clothing. This Catholic Charity affiliated program will help address immediate needs. The agency operates a registered food pantry in partnership with Feeding America Southwest Virginia. Together they rely heavily on the generosity and donations of area churches, individuals, and corporations. The donations are the main thing that keeps the clothing closet and pantry open. Any items or help you can provide is critical to assisting the needy and less fortunate.




Employment services are available too. Staff from the agency serve as a liaison between the unemployed, immigrants, refugee employees and employers. Catholic Charities will help provide comprehensive screening, training, and follow-up services as needed. Many of the candidates will have exceptional work ethics. Many people having lost their homes, belongings, and careers are strongly motivated to do well and work hard.

The regions supported by the Roanoke Catholic Charities include Franklin County, Botetourt, Craig, and also Salem Virginia. Call 540-342-7561.


By Jon McNamara

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