Ways Churches Can Help
Links to other Hunger and Poverty-related sites
Gainesville Community Ministry, in cooperation with local churches and synagogues, provides emergency assistance in a Christian environment to families and individuals in crisis. Assistance includes food, clothing, and other basic necessities, and is given with compassion and direct personal attention regardless of the race, religion, or gender of the recipient.
FundingIn 1995, the ministry was able to meet more than 6,000 requests for assistance, providing more than $144,000 in food, clothing, and a range of emergency financial assistance not available through other local agencies. In the current year, the ministry is also seeking grant funding to provide respite care for the chronically ill or temporarily disabled.
Unlike other social services which give food and financial assistance to the needy, GCM receives no United Way funding. A limited amount of funding has been received from grants, but the greatest part of our financial and in-kind support comes from our supporters.
Client ServicesMany of the ministry's clients live in rural communities outside the City of Gainesville and in counties adjacent to Alachua County. Approximately ten percent of the assistance provided by the ministry goes to out-of-town, indigent patients of the Veterans' Administration Hospital and the Shands Teaching Hospital. The ministry serves a target population of homeless and very-low-income families and individuals, as well as the "working poor" who are vulnerable to homelessness as the result of crises in health, family structure, or employment.
More than half of our clients receive some assistance from this ministry two or more times in one year. Many visit the ministry regularly for food or clothing. The number of new clients seeking assistance from the ministry is growing, including, last winter, furloughed federal employees. The ministry also serves a transient population, referred from local churches, from St. Francis House, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and from other social workers. Service is on a first-come basis; no waiting lists are maintained.
PoliciesWhile each request for aid is prayerfully considered, limited resources necessitate staff discretion in giving aid. If you are are a supporter of the ministry and would like more information about these policies, please contact us.
Other informationGCM participates in the following community organizations and programs:
Alachua County Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) Board