Jerrika Blackamore, MSW, LSW
This time of year many agencies put out information regarding holiday assistance and energy
assistance. If you’re like me, you probably can’t believe that it’s that time of year again. But if you’re needing help or know someone in need, now is the time to start applying. I will highlight some of the programs and provide general information on what the programs offer so you’ll have it all in one place. I will also include resources that you can use at any time during the year.
Energy Assistance Program(EAP)
EAP offers assistance to individuals and families that need extra support during the winter months. Financial assistance is based on your family size and income. Online applications are now being accepted and starting Oct. 1st you can complete a paper application to receive an appointment. You will be able to call in for over the phone assistance to schedule an appointment or get help with setting up an appointment starting October 26th. For more information go to www.indyeap.org.
Salvation Army Angel Tree
The Angel Tree Program provides children ages 12 and under with personalized gifts for Christmas. Once families are signed up, they will be “adopted” by generous donors who will provide the gifts. In order to receive help, families must register online for an in-person appointment at the Eagle Creek or Fountain Square Corps Community Center. Appointments will take place on October 5th-6th and October 19th-20th. Don’t delay in signing up! Appointments will fill up fast. Click the link below to schedule your appointment.
Christmas Food Basket
The Westminster Neighborhood Services will provide groceries, including food to prepare a traditional Christmas meal, hygiene items, and one gift for each child 18 or younger that lives in the home. This service is available to those who live in the 46201 or 46202 zip code area. Starting October 1st, you can apply online at https://westmin.org/
Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center
The Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center will offer toys as holiday gifts for children age 12 or younger living within set boundaries on the southwest side of Indianapolis. An appointment is required and can be scheduled at http://www.maryrigg.org/for-families/seasonal-services starting October 1st.
Community Caring and Sharing
This agency will accept applications for holiday assistance from families in need. Approved applicants will receive gifts for children and may receive limited food and clothing. Beginning October 1st, you can walk in to apply from 11am-3pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 2830 S. Holt Road. To be eligible families must live in Wayne or Decatur Township.
Local Community Centers
Are you a member of your local community center? Community Centers offer a variety of services for the whole family. From after school programs, to adult education classes to senior citizen programs, there is something for everyone! A lot of times, community centers only offer specific resources and assistance to those who are already active members. They do not always publicize that they have funding to assist with rent or utilities or with Christmas help to the general public. If you’re already a member then most likely you will be made aware of this and can utilize the support when the need arises. Individuals and families are usually assigned a caseworker to help with getting their needs met. So if you want to get involved, I encourage you to contact your local community center today!
The last resource that I will highlight is the 211 hotline. It is a 24/7 call center that helps you find social service resources in the state of Indiana. If you’re looking for food pantries, bill assistance, how to sign up for food stamps and healthcare, a shelter, employment, or you want to volunteer at an agency, then 211 is the number to call. Just dial 211 from any phone or search their online database at https://in211.communityos.org/
I hope these resources will provide you with some help during this time of year!