Each weekday morning, the phone lines at Interfaith Community Services light up.
It is the daily rush of calls from Pima County residents facing a variety of problems including hunger and/or inadequate funding for housing or other necessities. It is seniors needing help with transportation and other caregiving services. It is individuals with questions about health care resources, medical equipment or more.
Everyday, ICS helps many local individuals and families obtain the vital necessities that they might otherwise be forced to go without.
ICS provides a wide range of services to help people in financial crisis stabilize their housing, employment and healthcare; and programs that assist seniors and disabled individuals in remaining safe and healthy at home. ICS programs link together to offer more than short-term help; we work with clients to build long-range solutions that promote sustainability. In 2011-2012, ICS provided over 55,000 units of service to assist more than 25,000 recipients.
ICS helps individuals and families in severe financial difficulties with a variety of services:
- Emergency Financial Aid provides assistance with rent, mortgages, utilities, medications and other basic necessities such as identifications, bus passes and back-to-work needs. ICS clients receive one-on-one case management—a critical step in helping them to lift themselves out of financial crisis.
- Gifts of Love matches donor groups with families in need to provide holiday food and gifts, as well as school supplies for children.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance provides free tax preparation to low to moderate income households to connect these taxpayers to the Earned Income Tax Credit and other credits for which they may qualify.
- Preparing résumés and applications
- Job searching tips and techniques
- Self-esteem mentoring and interview coaching
- Basic computer training
- Education on money management
The ICS Food Bank provides nutritious food for low income-seniors, individuals and families struggling with financial hardship. This includes monthly food and holiday boxes, as well as supplemental food items, diapers and personal hygiene items. Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday – Saturday, the ICS Food Bank serves households throughout Pima County. The majority of clients are families with children ages 18 and under.
Volunteers deliver nutritious, two-meal trays of food each weekday to seniors, physically challenged or convalescent adults. Our service area is east to Swan, south to Ft. Lowell and Miracle Mile, West to I-10, and north to Rancho Vistoso.
ICS Caregiving Services help over 600 frail and elderly citizens each year in Pima County stay independent in their homes. Services are provided in over 26 zip code areas of Pima County, based on availability of volunteers, and include:
- Transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping and other errands
- TeleCARE reassurance calls
- Afternoon TeleCHAT and other friendly calling and visiting programs
- Personal business assistance
- Home repairs/yardwork
- Companion sitting and other services for seniors and disabled persons.
The ICS Health Advocacy team is a resource for helping sort out health care questions. This service provides in-home assessments for all Caregiving and Mobile Meals clients coming onto ICS services. It also provides educational resources and health care advocacy to recipients and faith communities, as well as links to other required care. Health advocacy services are available to all ICS clients. ICS staff also serve as a resource for Health Outreach to local congregations.
As an extension of our Congregations and Health Outreach and Whole Health Program, ICS serves as a resource to connect faith communities and the community-at-large to current information on mental illness as well as local care resources.
ICS gives our community’s most vulnerable residents a hand-up to changing and/or improving the quality of their lives.