Volunteers from different charities, including the Churches Joint Council on Human Needs or CJCOHN, work together to help people who are not as lucky. The organization will try to provide financial aid when possible, but it will probably distribute material goods, such as food, clothing, or Christmas toys, more often. This organization has helped over 1,000 people each year on average.
Other organizations, in addition to volunteers, contribute time and resources to the charity. There are collections of food that occur throughout the community, businesses offer surplus clothing, and restaurants may give meal items. There are also fundraisers to help with expenses in the Benton Arkansas region. Money can be given out to pay bills such as rent, utilities, or even gasoline for a critical appointment.
The church based group will try to help the needy, but there are no promises that they will be successful. Even if they do not have resources, volunteers can still provide general friendship or counseling. If a family needs help finding other sources of financial assistance, CJCOHN may be able to help them.
CJCOHN services for low income households
A pantry service is available to help a household get settled in or to feed a family during a crisis. This will provide not only groceries or a hot meal to individuals when available, but Saline County families can get much more.
The goods are collected by volunteers. In addition to contacting food pantries, they also get in touch with grocery stores, Wal-Mart, and local restaurants. The Churches Joint Council on Human Needs also partners closely with groups such as the Salvation Army to collect items.
The center provides things like clothes, shoes, toiletries, and food for people in need. During the months of October to December, they try to provide low income families with children free toys and presents. Wal-Mart also offers vouchers or surplus toys to kids.
Volunteers will try to feed the homebound all year round. This person needs help with transportation. This person needs transportation because they can no longer drive, or they are sick or just left the hospital. If someone is unable to make their own meals or go grocery shopping, a volunteer may help them by bringing them meals through a Meals on Wheels type program.
Financial aid programs from Churches Joint Council on Human Needs
There may be some money available on occasion to pay critical bills, as a result of donations and the hard work of volunteers. The churches will help the applicant get an affordable loan. Different options are being explored.
The funds are a last resort only when seeking money to pay for rent or past due energy bills. CJCOHN has a lot of assistance to offer and they also work closely with other groups in the community, such as the Saline County Ministerial Alliance. If someone were to qualify for aid, only very small dollar amounts would be paid out.
After a long and difficult application process that may include a home visit from one of the volunteers, the applicant may be given money. Funds can be used to help pay an electricity bill to prevent an interruption of service. The churches may provide critical prescription medications or issue money to a landlord for rent. This can be to cover the costs of housing for a family, or the initial costs of renting a new apartment.
There may be free gasoline vouchers given out as well. The Churches Joint Council on Human Needs can only provide funds for local travel within the Benton area. This service is for people who need to travel for emergency reasons, such as a job interview or doctor appointment. If a gasoline voucher is not available, a CJCOHN volunteer can drive the person.
The main church center for volunteering is in Benton, Arkansas. The address is 103 East Elm Street. This is the intake number for those that would like more information or hours: (501) 776-2912.