RENTAL/UTILITY ASSISTANCE | FOOD SUPPORT | MEDICAL ASSISTANCE | CAREER GUIDANCE | ON-SITE COLLABORATION
We are continually assessing the human services needs throughout all of Northeastern Berks County. We tailor our services to address those needs efficiently and effectively. The family’s ability to become self-sufficient is our ultimate goal.
We recognize that case management services alone cannot address the fundamental causes of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. Our services often connect to other agencies and government programs that can aid in increasing the individual’s potential for self-sufficiency.
To accomplish this, each person meets with a Case Manager who will work with the individual or family to get the appropriate assistance. When someone contacts Friend, Inc. they can expect an information gathering process to begin:
- A pre-screening takes place to ensure the individual or family is in our service area and to determine eligibility for various assistance programs.
- Then each will meet confidentially with a case manager to evaluate obstacles and identify the resources necessary to help them overcome the current, anticipate the future, and plan the rebuild of their lives and then guides the individual and/or family in that direction.
- Information, direct assistance and referrals are provided to appropriate human service agencies in order to meet everyone’s needs.
Friend, Inc. makes funding available to assist households that are unable to pay rent or utilities. Provides intensive case management along with possible financial assistance to homelessness. Possible financial assistance may be provided for rent or specified emergency needs for those with open cases.
- Documentation needed for rent or utility assistance:
- Copy of ID or License
- Copy of Current Lease
- Proof of income
- Utility bill
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Qualifying households may receive cash benefits to assist with heating bills, crisis benefits to resolve heating emergencies, and weatherization/ energy conservation assistance to provide long range solutions to the heating problems of low-income households.
Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP)
Customers of FirstEnergy may be eligible for the Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program and/or a hardship grant. PCAP is designed to help income qualified residential customers maintain electric service and eliminate their past due balance. The Hardship Program provides one-time assistance grants that are applied directly to a limited-income household’s utility bill.
Are you eligible for PCAP?
- Must have an active residential electric account.
- Must have a gross household income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines
- Must provide annual verification of income and identification of all household members.
- Must participate in LIHEAP and WARM, if eligible.
- The person whose name is on the account must live in the home.
In addition to our Food Pantry:
Food Stamp Benefits (SNAP)
These benefits are available to those who have sufficient income to meet most of their basic living costs but need help to supplement their food expenses.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
The WIC program aims to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- Non-breastfeeding postpartum women
- Toddlers and children up to age 5
Medical Assistance (including Medical Assistance to Workers with Disabilities and the Medical Savings Program for Payment of Medicare premium) identifies eligible individuals/families and helps them overcome the barriers to getting enrolled in free, comprehensive health care coverage.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Pennsylvania’s program to provide quality health insurance for children of working families who otherwise could not afford it. All children are eligible. Cost is income dependent.
Friend, Inc. is here to assist in the job search process from strategy development and implementation to resume writing and interview skill building. Don’t have a computer to search? Use ours! We also refer out to other helpful career agencies such as Career Link Berks whose goal is to provide high-value, low-cost employment and training services and information to businesses and jobseekers throughout Berks County and surrounding communities.
Job Posting Websites
In addition to direct assistance and referrals to outside agencies our mission calls for bringing specialty agencies into the community so that these needed services are closer and more accessible. Safe Berks, Family Guidance Center, and Maternal and Family Health Services have staff and offices within our Noble Street location. Continue reading…