St. Luke's Church services and assistance.

Offering limited support to the poor and less fortunate, St. Luke's partners with other local ministries such as The Christian Sharing Center to provide short term aid. There may be assistance administered across Seminole County and portions of nearby Orange as well. Some of the social services may include free meals, boxes of food, referrals to rent or energy bill help, and other social services too.

The Gift Bag Program is one way in which St. Lukes provides groceries or meals to the hungry and low income, including the homeless and elderly. The food pantry is known as "Manna", and it is open throughout the month.

The only reason this program is even available is due to donations from the community, so please contribute. It can be done at the weekly Sunday congregations and people can also donate over the course of the month. All canned items, fruits, dairy items and more go directly to the needy in the parish area or Seminole County. Over the years thousands of items have been collected and passed out to individuals in the parish.

Very low income and homeless women may be able to receive personal hygiene items. A focus is on those seeking a job or single parents. The Woman to Woman program may have soaps, shampoo, and other needed items for hygiene.

Respite care is offered as part of Share the Care Center. This will offer people caring for seniors, the disabled or the elderly a small break. It is available at the Slavia Square. Caregivers may have a moment to go shopping, take care of their own medical appointments, or complete other services. It provides the caregivers a moment of respite. Call 407.423.5311.

Self-sufficiency is available from a key partner organization, known as Hope Foundation. This is another non-profit located in Seminole County. The goal is to work with those that are struggling, unemployed, or facing poverty. Case managers and volunteers will help them identify their challenges and find assistance.

The Hope Foundation will assist clients on becoming stable and help them improve their living situation. Many different tools are used to meet this goal, including education, access to low income apartments and housing, outreach, and homeless prevention. Another key focus is on employment and job training in the region.




Much of the self-sufficiency is available due to partnerships with nearby churches, charities, and government agencies in Florida. They also work to prevent and reduce homelessness in the area, so there may even be one time rent help, temporary shelter or funds for a security deposit offered. However, the Hope Foundation is the place to call for more details, and they are one of the more important partners of St. Luke's. The center is located at 149 E Broadway, Oviedo, Florida.

Pathways to Home also works to address stability. The church and its partners work to help families and people facing an emergency. Many different services and resources are available in Seminole County Florida as well as nearby Orange. St. Luke's  and its partners add an innovative approach, and this is part of Pathways to Home.

Case managers lead the family to develop a highly individualized, needs-driven and family-centered plan based on their strengths and values. Many churches, such as St. Luke’s, provide volunteers and case management personnel to the program. All of them are focused on helping people keep stabile housing, pay the bills on time, and otherwise gain life skills. Telephone - 321.662.8821.

Christian Sharing Center is the local charity that may have financial aid, medications, transportation support and more. A number of local faith based groups, including St. Luke's Church, participate as part of the center. They operate in parts of Orange County and Seminole as well.

What exactly is offered will vary throughout the year. For example, a thrift store may have clothing, free household goods, school supplies, and similar items. Much of this is provided from the Values Reborn Thrift Store, which is located on site.





The faith based congregation will try to meet other needs of low income and working poor families. While providing financial support is part of that, in reality any funds from Christian Sharing Center will be very limited and are for people with a one time crisis. In many cases, the only assistance available will be in the form of a loan to a local, Orange or Seminole County resident.

Housing support may include partial rent or mortgage help. Or if someone, such as a senior, is faced with a disconnection, then grants for paying a utility bill may be offered. Employment, credit counseling, and other counseling services are offered, some by referrals. The center operates from the following locations, and they include 600 N. Hwy 17-92 Suite 158 or 515 E 25th Street in Sanford. Call 407-260-9155.

There are several other more human relations type services administered. They include the following.

Counseling Services for a variety of needs are offered by trained therapists. GriefShare is for parents that have lost a child, and they may receive clothing from Tender Hands. A service known as DivorceCare is for individuals, or maybe even children, that are trying to get over a separation. Lastly is Lutherans for Life, which is for general information and guidance. For more information on any program, dial 407-260-9155.



By Jon McNamara

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