Money Assistance Florida
Poverty USA is an organization aimed at reducing the poverty rates in America. Currently, Florida is ranked number 36 in terms of its poverty level compared to other states. 17% of residents in Florida are living at or below the poverty line. Fortunately, Florida has worked to provide programs to assist individuals and families in need.
Assistance with Utilities: The Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program is available to Florida residents who need help paying utility bills. Based on your income, this program will send the benefits directly to the energy provider in order to reduce your utility bill. Eligibility is 150% of the Federal poverty level. If you don’t qualify for this particular program, contact your local community action center as they can also offer help paying utilities.
Food Assistance: If you need help paying for food, the Florida Department of Children and Families can assist. SNAP benefits help low income people and families to be able to afford to buy food. The program’s goal is to provide Florida residents with better access to healthy foods and in turn receive better nutrition. The SUNCAP program is an additional food assistance program for people who receive Supplemental Security income.
Loan Help: Getting a loan as a low income earner can be difficult. There are however many options available through non-profits, credit unions and even the banks through specialty loans in partnership with the government. Learn more about these loans here.
Rent and Mortgage: If you’re a resident of Florida and you’re in need of rental assistance, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can help. They provide ways to reduce your rent payments by issuing vouchers that you can use in Public Housing. There are also subsidized apartments which are apartments with reduced rent. Both can be applied for through your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). HUD housing can also assist with mortgage payments.
Medical Assistance: As a Florida resident, you could be eligible for Medicaid. This service pays for medical care for low-income families and individuals. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) will determine your eligibility. It is available to parents of children, pregnant women, children, former foster care individuals, aged or disabled individuals and non-citizens with medical emergencies.
Educational Assistance: In Florida, there are programs available for educational assistance through the Florida Department of Education. They administer a variety of state funded financial aid programs to help people pursue higher education. These include need based grants, merit based scholarships and other types of educational assistance.
Community Action Centers: In order to fight poverty and help residents in need, Florida has Community Action Agencies. They can help you to assess your family’s needs with the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, improve your home’s energy conservation and reduce costs with the Weatherization Assistance Program and assist low income households with the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The overall goal is to empower the community and change people’s lives for the better.
Charities: In addition to the help provided on the federal, state and local levels, Florida also has many charities in operation to help those in need. The Barnabas Center helps local residents get back on their feet after a crisis or in times of need with clothing, household items, food, dental and medical care. Boca Helping Hands, Cooperative Feeding Program, JEA and Project Share and Care are all extremely helpful resources also.