Church Assistance

One Body Collaboratives Helps Churches Help People

When someone walks into your church and asks for help, whether it's a congregation member or someone else, we know that the heart of the church is to always want to help. However, it put stress on your pastor and your staff to know all of the resources avaialble to provide assistance.   The Resource Coordination Center serves One Body Collaboratives Partner Churches as a resource to connect congregants needs with community resources.  One Body Collaboratives not only connects congregants needs with community resources, but we also have a proven process to verify the extent of the need. We are a Christian ministry serving individuals in need referred to us by local churches in our community. 

Our Resource Center matches resources with needs. We ask questions of our callers to determine what resources and referrals are available to them.  We provide referrals to community resources, such as agencies, social services, ministries, etc.  We do not have funds to pay bills like rent, deposits or utilities. Sometimes we are able to help with other resources and referrals. It can take one week to process an application and we need to verify any information relevant to the need.  We are unable to assist with emergency situations.

Our staff treats all individuals with dignity and respect and advocate for our callers to proactively find solutions to their needs.  As we are a Christian ministry, many times at the end of an intake will offer to pray with the individual, or the individual will ask for prayer. 

Our Ministry phone lines are open Monday through Thursday from 9am to 1pm.   If the call comes in when the RCC is closed, the caller has the option to leave a message which is returned the next business day. 

We make three promises to our partner churches:
We will do our best to make sure that we do not duplicate what is already being done in our community. If a resources exists, we always make a referral first.
We will verify any relevant information to the need.
We will make sure the need is manageable.

The individual with the need is who we speak directly with.  First, we gather information from the caller and make quick referrals for any immediate needs, then we conduct a more extended intake and give more personal recommendations. The intake process can take up to 20 minutes to complete.  When an individual calls our Resource Center they typically have one immediate need.  Through our intake process, we many times are able to meet the immediate need, but then also provide referrals to additional resources that may help with the individuals life situation.

Eligibility
While we do not have any specific eligibility requirements, the resources we are able to provide our callers are within our immediate area of Boone and Winnebago Counties.  

Policies
The caller must first demonstrate that they are facing a hardship. A hardship may be defined as but is not limited to, a loss of a job, loss of spouse, medical diagnosis, left an abusive situation, or loss of government benefit. As a result of the hardship the individual may be unable to maintain utilities or rent, require assistance with a prescription, or financial assistance to attend medical appointments.

Assistance is provided in the form of appropriate referrals to address the callers needs based on the area of residence.  We are unable to provide financial assistance for hotel expenses, security deposit, cell phone bills, or cable bills. One Body also does not pay bills, like rent, deposits or utilities as there are programs and services provided by agencies and nonprofits that cover these expenses. 

If all resources have been exhausted, we may in rare occasions provide financial assistance.  Financial assistance is only provided when the referral is made to One Body Collaboratives through one of our partner churches that has a relationship with the person they are referring.

Sometimes a church will pay a bill on our recommendation after we have verified their request. This is provided on a case by case basis, and assistance provided is paid directly to the party owed. Assistance is as follows:
Electric, gas, sewer, or water bill at risk of being turned off
Rent assistance in special circumstances
Medication prescription – reviewed on a case by case basis
Gas card provided to attend recurring medical appointments for medical treatments
Food card if client requires special consideration due to diet or baby needs

In all cases the caller must demonstrate the hardship is not recurring or a chronic issue, and they must have a plan in place in order for the issue not to reoccur.  Financial assistance is provided no more than once every 12 months. 

Other Ways We Help
In unique circumstance, and when the need can be verified, we can also provide assistance as follows:

Go Fund! - This fund provides a gift card to a local gas station or bus passes. We provide these to families who are in need of transportation to a medical appointment, court appointment, appointment with a social worker, or to their place of employment. 

Grocery Assistance - This fund provides gift cards to local families from local grocery stores for those experiencing food insecurity, or referrals to a local food pantry.

Household Items/Personal Care Items/Baby Items – We can also provide assistance in the form of paper products, household cleaning supplies, personal care items and baby supplies.  Appointments must be made in advance, this type of assistance is available two times per year per family.