WHEAT Community Services basic needs programs.

Whether facing a one time crisis, or long term poverty, WHEAT Community Services will be a resource to call upon. The charity and its staff can offer advice and guidance on where to apply at for financial help. Other services can include help in locating affordable housing, food from pantries, and a strong focus on stopping poverty. That last step is addressed from job placement and overall financial literacy.

Some support in a crisis may be available, but this is limited and will depend on the applicant being stable. They will need to have some sort of income, and also contribute towards the expense in question. However, the main goal is on helping struggling people in Norfolk County gain self-sufficiency, so that they can provide for their own needs over the long term.

Funds for rent and energy bill help

The agency will offer referrals. Most of it is state of Massachusetts and federal government funded. Applicants will generally need to be facing imminent eviction or a shut off of their power. Proof of income, expenses, identification, and residency must be shown, among other documentation. Also, with funding being limited, priority may be for people at risk such as senior citizens, single parents, or the disabled.

ESG - Emergency Solutions Grant is a federal resource, supported by HUD and FEMA. This is a homeless prevention service, and WHEAT Community Services will also help rehouse families too. To this end, there may be money for expenses such as security or utility deposits, rent, and heating bills, among other costs.

Shelter is for individuals with no income and that are on the streets. WHEAT Community Services can help residents find some form of accommodations. There are also centers for residents who are temporarily disabled as well as where eviction is imminent. Also, the applicant needs to have been denied services from other non-profit agencies.

Energy Assistance helps families and individuals that meet income guidelines with the high cost of paying home heating bills during the winter or air conditioning expenses during the summer months. Any financial aid is only for a small portion of the bill, and the household needs to pay as much as possible as well. There may be funds for natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, and electricity, to name but a few.




As with most of the aid provided from referrals that originate from WHEAT Community Services, the amount of utility bill assistance that is received by each household is determined by available resources as well as a benefit matrix, which looks at income levels, source of income, if there are elderly or disabled household members, or if there are children in the household.

Additional WHEAT Community Services resources

Referrals are available to affordable and qualify day care providers. WHEAT Community Services wants clients to gain a decent paying job, or enroll into job training. Staff can also help people apply for vouchers which can subsidize a portion of the cost. Service includes infant care and support for school age children.

Case management is a service that will help the client overcome their hardship. In order to receive any assistance from the non-profit, then this guidance is the basic component of what is done to start the foundation to build upon. A person will remain in case management as long as he or she is receiving any assistance.

Get help from career exploration, Assisted Job Development and Placement services, ongoing Career Guidance, and more. The staff will offer ongoing advocacy and coaching, and help people enroll into job training or find work in the county of Norfolk.

When it comes to health care, there are some options such as prescription discount cards. Some examples are NACO and others, and it was designed to lower the cost of prescription drugs for Norfolk County residents that do not have insurance. WHEAT Community Services can also refer people to local community clinics. As with any program, there are conditions that need to be met by the patients, based on income and more.

Food pantries are available to residents in the WHEAT Community Services service area who, because of some form of unforeseen emergency, are in need of either canned or fresh food. The local pantries are stocked by donations from various groups, individuals, churches and others. The main centers are in Framingham, Clinton, as well as Marlborough. Note that the pantries often have a Clothing Section, which will give parents low cost household goods, toys and clothing.





When stopping by a food bank, volunteers also provide the client with information about other nutrition programs, safe food preparation, and how to make their budget stretch. Much of this is coordinated by the United Way of Tri-County’s Food Security Initiative. Not only are donations used, but private cash donations to the food pantry help to provide perishable items on an as-needed basis.

Budgeting, financial literary, and asset development will help families plan and use their income smartly. There are different components to this, some of which are run by local community action agencies, which WHEAT Community Services can offer referrals too.

  • Basic credit counseling and tips on repairing scores will address many topics, including help people create a budget and maybe even enter into a debt management plan.
  • IDA are matched savings accounts.
  • General advice from counselors is offered too.

For more details on any resources that may be available, WHEAT Community Services can be reached at 500 Main St., Clinton, Massachusetts 01510, phone 978-365-6349.




By Jon McNamara

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