Crisis service line in Westmoreland County.
Programs from Westmoreland County crisis line are focused on reducing poverty and helping during an emergency. There is assistance for needs such as food or housing arranged for the working poor. Other clients of the referral based organization include senior citizens, immigrants, and parents with children. The resources are flexible in what they try to address.
The crisis service works in partnership with various non-profit and government agencies. They combine forces in order to implement any number of anti-poverty services. The emphasis will also be on self-sufficiency, which means employment as well as financial literary, such as credit repair.
The Self Sufficiency Outreach Worker from the crisis line and the resident work together. As part of this process, there will be ongoing guidance given to clients who are interested in making changes in their lives. This will start once a referral has been given.
Using an outreach worker has a number of benefits. They are a great place to turn to for community resources and referrals. Staff will help people apply for financial support or government grants, among other services.
The Assessment Process will review the applicant's situation, and it takes a holistic approach. It offers a number of resources, including support services for women with children as well as linkage to financial aid. While participating in the services at the center, families receive crisis intervention, free meals, access to laundry facilities, computer training opportunities, and of course employment counseling. There will also be referrals to other services, such as free child care.
Any financial support paid out by agencies that are part of the crisis service or any government program in Westmoreland County is very limited. The amount will need to be deemed necessary from the assessment process that is done. Also, there are no guarantees, and any funds are at the discretion of the outreach worker as well as the application process in place. The focus will be offering money to applicants that will be aimed at eliminating barriers to self sufficiency. They will also set goals and milestones that will need to be adhered too.
The process is unique as it addresses the immediate crisis while at the same time arranging for the applicant to get the knowledge and skills needed for financial stability. So the crisis is tackled by offering assistance with some or all of the following.
- Funds for shelter expenses, whether rent or a portion of mortgages.
- Crisis service partners try to keep utilities on. The process will involve entering into a payment plan, then possible grants for electric or water bills.
- Free food from pantries.
- Items needed for employment, such as clothing vouchers.
For those that qualify, they will receive financial assistance from Westmoreland County crisis service affiliated agencies, but they will also need to attend a class. This is required as it will give the participant better money management skills and ensure they have support from a case manager as well as. The class discusses paying down debts, coping with financial stress, reducing expenses, budgeting, and setting financial goals.
To apply, the person need to be an official resident of Westmoreland County. They also need to have some type of income so people can pay monthly expenses on their own after receiving the one time financial assistance. Disconnection and/or eviction notices are needed too, or maybe a letter from the mortgage company stating plans to foreclose.
Residents that are struggling to buy their groceries and are faced with hunger can get assistance as well. There are options such as food pantries as well as USDA resources, which include Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Resources from the crisis service are focused on individuals of all ages, whether they are elderly or young children.
Anytime someone requests food, client information will be taken. If resources are available at the time of the request then food is offered. If there are not supplies available from the crisis center, then applicants will be placed on a waiting list. Staff will also provide information on how the SNAP food stamp application process works, and help residents enroll.
Housing programs include TBRA - Tenant-Based Rental Assistance as well as emergency funds for rent. When possible, the agency may help pay the cost of a portion of the applicant's monthly rent and utility bill. Qualifying households or tenants need to have a limited income, but they do need to have money coming in the door.
Non-profit transitional housing resources in Westmoreland County provide support services to move families and individuals from homelessness to self-reliance. The program uses both apartments as well as single-family houses. Guests of these units may be single- and two-parent families, veterans, single fathers or with teenage boys, and others from a diverse background.
Those using the transitional housing will also benefit from Case management. This includes counseling and enrollment into financial management classes. Crisis staff offer referrals to other services in Westmoreland County, such as legal aid, free child care, and medical needs. There will also be a savings plan created as well as staff will arrange for computer training opportunities. For more details, call 1-888-553-5778 for information.