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Santa Clara County Sacred Heart Community Service.

Sacred Heart Community Service is a charity that will try to help the less fortunate. The applicant’s religion or background doesn’t matter and those that are struggling can apply for help with needs such as rent, food, job search, and funds for paying energy bills. Several other family services are also administered to the needy and poor.

The faith based organization may offer some aid from referrals to other non-profits or government benefits, and the LIHEAP program is a good example of that. However Sacred Heart Community Service will also run its own programs as well, and those include a food pantry, homeless prevention services, and other family services.

The non-profit operates two separate, permanent food programs. The first is an assortment of free food for homeless customers that requires cooking or preparation work. The second option is a three day emergency supplement.

If you are found to be eligible, Sacred Heart will provide the customer with a bag full of nonperishable items, a meat product, vegetable, canned goods, eggs, a loaf of bread, and maybe other items such as package of tortillas. The homeless in San Jose can receive non-cooking bags, and the items will be ready to serve.

Food assistance and the meals served by Sacred Heart Community Service are offered as a result of a partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties California. A focus is on certain zip codes. However even if you live outside of that area, Sacred Heart will try to still serve you but the amount and frequency of assistance will be limited. To give an idea of how large this program is, the non-profit passes out over 2 million pounds of found per year.

A Clothes Closet is available and it allows the needy in San Jose to browse and shop, free of charge, twice a month for gently used clothing or other goods that they may need. There are also a number of volunteer opportunities that need to be filled and donations needed by the community.

The site will pass out so called Survival Sacks a couple times per month. They will contain items such as toiletries, underwear, socks, a washcloth, a small blanket, and more. The items will be distributed using a backpack.




Santa Clara County households can apply for energy bill help from the LIHEAP Utility Bill Assistance Program. This is federally funded program for low income and working poor households. Grants can be used to help them pay their utility bills, both heating and cooling. Families from across the county can apply for this resource from Sacred Heart Community Service.

Not only will grants or credits be issued to pay a customer’s utility bills, but those who are eligible for LIHEAP may also qualify for free weatherization of your home. This program will make energy-related home repairs and improvements.

Housing assistance includes funds for paying rent, eviction and homeless prevention, information on shelters, and other support. Case managers work to help people from becoming homeless and/or to keep them stably housed.

Some of the additional financial assistance in San Jose California is as follows. Funds can pay past due rent or security deposits. The agency has information on utility assistance as well as rental subsides from HUD section 8. Applicants will need to go through intake, have an HMIS card in order to receive services, and this can be obtained at the welcome center. Various forms and proof of income, expenses, IDs, and other documentation is required. All rent or housing assistance is paid out on a first come and served basis. If you don't qualify, then referrals may be available from Sacred Heart.

It is well known that education is critical to self-sufficiency. So social workers from the charity work to educate the entire family and build a path to academic success that will lead parents and also their children to college educations. What may be offered is as follows.

  • Volunteers teach English as a Second Language, cooking and nutrition courses, and coordinate parenting education.
  • Sacred Heart Community Service will provide education opportunities to poor and low-income families in both Spanish and English.
  • They run an after school Homework Club and offer kindergarten preparation.
  • Staff create individualized work plans for each family, adult, and child.





Family support is a form of case management that is wide ranging. The agency will Bring FIRST 5 resources to families, partner with volunteers to provide workshops, coordinate emergency domestic violence intervention, and offer leadership training.

Staff will work with families and advocate for what they need in the community. Partner with a social worker on improving skills as family and community leaders. Sacred Heart will provide a safe place for families to reflect, learn, and connect with family members or other non-profits in the community.

A service known as the SHCS Leadership Collective is a certification and job training program that encourages struggling and low income families to find their voice in the face of the adversity. It will help them become empowered as role models for other families as community leaders. Topics covered can include Arts Enrichment, English and Spanish classes, Domestic Violence 101, and ASQ-3 & ASQ-SE.

Job search assistance, employment, and financial literacy services include four main components. They are noted below. Sacred Heart Community Service staff work to breaking the cycle of poverty through job placement, asset development, and financial coaching. Specialists also work to create pathways to local resources and support systems that help low income and struggling people attain self-sufficiency. Employment specialists will empower job seekers by developing new skills, peer networks and providing resources that achieve stable employment and they will improve access to public benefits.




Workshops and sessions from the center occur in Santa Clara County. They are for job seekers and include Resume writing, Personal financial coaching, Job development and placement, Financial workshops, Credit improvement, Income tax preparation, and budgeting.

For more information on food, housing, and other assistance, contact Sacred Heart Community Service. The address is 1381 South First St., San Josť, California 95110. Call (408) 278-2160.


By Jon McNamara


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