When most of us think about the Christmas season we think of a season of celebration and joy. But for some, the Thanksgiving and Christmas season is one of struggle and stress.
We've compiled a list of resources to help out if you find yourself in that situation.
There are many programs in the area that help out with food needs.
First, do you qualify for EBT/SNAP (once called food stamps)? There's no shame in taking advantage of this program. Especially when you really need it. And, you can apply for emergency help which can get food in your house in a matter of a few days if you qualify.
To apply in Oneida County Call:
Utica (315) 798-5937
Rome (315) 338-0208
To apply in Herkimer County Call:
To apply in Montgomery County Call:
There are area food pantries that help out also. A lot of towns have them and they can be located by searching your town or village name and "food pantry" using Google.
The Utica and Rome rescue missions also offer meal programs.
Utica Rescue Mission 315-735-1645
Rome Rescue Mission (315) 337-2516
There are a few programs in the area that can help with gifts for Christmas.
ONEIDA COUNTY UTICA AREA:
OPERATION SUNSHINE 315-732-2379 Registration starts November 1 9:00am-3:00pm
SALVATION ARMY-CATHOLIC CHARITIES
Salvation Army 315-336-4260
Catholic Charities 315-337-8600
Catholic Charities Ilion, NY 315-894-9917
OLD FORGE/ HAMILTON COUNTY:
KIWANIS OLD FORGE
OTSEGO & DELAWARE COUNTIES
Salvation Army Oneonta 607-432-5960
Eviction Prevention and Rent assistance:
Catholic Charities of Oneida-Madison counties, offers rent assistance and help for security deposits, utility assistance, heating bills, and moving costs. An extensive array of social services are available as well. Other programs can provide free food, meals for children, and Christmas and holiday aid. Last, but not least, counseling services may be facilitated, including housing and credit repair. Utica 724-0120, Rome 337-8600, or find more on the Oneida Catholic Charities assistance programs.
Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency, rent help and security deposits, Rome 339-2649, Herkimer 866-0030.
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central New York, turn to this group for credit card help and budget counseling and credit repair, Utica 797-5366. They can help people with a variety of debt and financial issues. Read more credit card help.
The following non-profits and charities may be able to help Oneida County and Utica area families:
Catholic Charities of Oneida County (phone 315-724-2158) may be able to provide limited financial assistance, access to a food pantry and clothing closet. A real focus is on ensuring seniors and children receive the nutrition they need.
Rome and Utica Salvation Army 315-336-4260 - This agency offers the following assistance for bills and expenses. Examples of services provided are as follows. Emergency Assistance includes resources such as shelter, emergency financial aid for paying utility and heating bills, rent and housing expenses. Seasonal programs in Oneida County include food and nutrition programs, summer meals for children, free Christmas assistance, and worship services. Click more information.
Johnson Park Center focuses on the city of Utica. Most of the aid is focused on food, housing, and self-sufficiency, but other support may be provided too. When it comes to housing, there may be loans for paying rent or funds for a security deposit as part of rehousing. They also run a Family Shelter and Bridge House transitional housing program for the homeless or single parents.
Other support includes a free food pantry and soup kitchen, and the youth in Utica can gain education and assistance from a drop in center. Many other resources are available in Oneida County, and read Johnson Park Center services.
Social services and Temporary Assistance - Oneida County provides low income families with access to a number of government and public aid programs. Resources can provide short term cash for paying bills, and include programs such as HEAP and food stamps. Other government assistance programs include health care and medical bill assistance, job training, and day care. Basically the county will do what it can to help the less fortunate, including seniors, children, and others who are at risk. Get more information on emergency assistance in Oneida County.
Disclaimer: WVVC is not associated with any of these organizations. We cannot control what extent they can help but we provide the contacts as a starting point.