If you live in Charlotte County and have a very low income, you can get help from Human Services. The county has its own programs to help people, and can also help you apply for government benefits or public aid. Some of the main resources that the county offers to help low-income families include assistance with energy bills, free food, and low-income housing. The location is also the county’s community action agency, so it has multiple roles.
Government sponsored energy programs
The federal government provides funding for LIHEAP through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. This is the nation’s main public program that helps people pay their utility bills. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides eligible households with a grant that can be used to pay for home heating and cooling costs once per year. The grant is paid directly to the utility company on behalf of the customer.
The Emergency Home Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHAEP) can help senior citizens. This program is for households with someone over the age of 60 and provides assistance with energy costs. In addition to meeting income guidelines set by the state of Florida, applicants to County of Charlotte Human Services must show that they have received a final notice from the utility company or that their service has already been terminated. They may also need help in paying for a reconnection fee.
The government pays for benefits or cash grants directly to the utility company on behalf of the household. Seniors who have a medical issue or are ill may get more money for their needs.
The Charlotte County Weatherization Program may be able to help you save money on your energy bill by making your home more energy efficient.
The Board of County Commissioners, Charlotte County Utilities, and the Department of Human Services offer a community participation program called Heartship that provides financial assistance for water bills. The water program provides financial assistance to qualifying customers who have had their service interrupted due to a crisis, or who have received an urgent notice of an upcoming shut-off.
SafeLink provides assistance with telephone bills. The government provides a program that gives free cell phones, discounted plans, and minutes to people who earn low incomes.
Additional Human Service programs
Individuals who are working to become self-sufficient often seek out case managers and program specialists for help. These individuals have the training necessary to provide eligible low and moderate-income households with the advice, support, and guidance they need to succeed. The goal is to help clients become independent and able to sustain themselves over the long term. This guidance can include helping you connect with local organizations that can give you financial assistance, and working with government agencies to get the help you need.
The amount of help you can get depends on how much money is available from the government, which can change from month to month. The County of Charlotte Human Services sets eligibility guidelines on an annual basis, and these guidelines may change depending on updates from the county. The department can provide referrals to other agencies and providers if they cannot offer the services needed.
This program provides a tax exemption for any real estate or home that is owned by an honorably discharged veteran in Florida who has a permanent and total service-connected disability. The disability must bedocumented and certified by an official letter from the Veterans Administration (VA), US Government, or the agency that preceded the VA. Other veterans may also be able to save money on property taxes.
Free legal aid and representation from CCHS Legal Services staff provides information to clients about their civil rights. This support is available to protect and preserve people’s rights. This means that lawyers and other legal professionals may need to get involved and take action.
The Congregate Meals Program provides free food for seniors aged 60 and over in the form of low-cost, nutritionally balanced meals served at Friendship Cafes in the county. The Congregate Meals Program in Charlotte County, Florida not only helps improve the health and nutrition of older residents, but also reduces the feelings of isolation and loneliness that many seniors experience.
Cafes are located in Human Service Centers and agency on aging sites. These locations offer various social services in the same convenient spot. For elderly people or even their spouses who are unable to leave their homes, the county’s Home-Delivered Meals volunteers will bring the same healthy, hot meals to their front doors.
Information and referrals to public assistance and other resources are available. For more information or to sign up for the home meals or any other service, please call the Elder Helpline at 866-413-5337. Some resources are only available to those who are 60 and older. One of the main goals of the community action agency is to help low-income families and individuals achieve economic self-sufficiency.
Respite care is a service offered by CCHS that provides caregivers of disabled or elderly persons with a break from their caregiving duties. This break allows caregivers to rest or take a break from the constant supervision that is required when providing care. The county of Charlotte has a program where volunteers help residents with things they need around their homes. This can include things like simple repairs, cleaning, yard work, furniture moving, and pest control.
The state of Florida Center for Early Childhood – Healthy Families provides services that help parents learn the skills, knowledge and tools they need to create a home environment that supports children’s success. This sentence encourages people to create an environment that is safe, nurturing, and healthy so that children can succeed in school and in life.
Public aid for bills and basic needs
The Temporary Emergency Assistance Program provides financial aid that is partially funded by the Low-Income Home Energy Program (LIHEAP) or the Community Services Block Grant. Different types of expenses can include utility bills, credit card bills, phone bills, and rent.
To qualify for public assistance from the county, applicants must provide documentation showing that they live in Charlotte County, proof that they are part of a household, and also how much income they have. This means that Family Services staff will work with other organizations in the community to make sure that families are getting the help they need in the most efficient way.
Residents who are hungry or in an emergency situation can go to the local Food Closet to get non-perishable food, like canned goods or formula, for a week or so. The Florida Department of Children and Families Access Florida site may have additional resources for nutritional and other emergency needs, including SNAP food stamp applications.
If you live in Charlotte County, you can get up to 65% off your prescription medications, even if you don’t have insurance. Just use the free Coast2Coast Rx Card. This discount program cannot replace health insurance but can save people a lot of money.
The County of Charlotte Human Services is located at 1050 Loveland Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL 33980. This is where you can go for more information. The agency can be reached by calling 941-833-6500.