Cleveland area seniors on a budget that can benefit from financial assistance in the form of state and federal government programs have several options available to give them a helping hand. Resources include having access to free groceries at food pantries or arranging for meals on wheels to deliver food to their home. Other forms of assistance include affordable housing, help covering the costs of utility and heating bills, and local transportation.
Seniors on a tight budget can benefit from the services of a food pantry that distributes groceries to those in need based on income level. The Cleveland area of Ohio is home to numerous food pantries, some of which are sponsored by local community churches. The Ohio Department of Aging's nutrition programs include meals on wheels services for older adults that may be homebound, disabled, or without access to transportation.
The state of Ohio administers a food stamps assistance program through their Office of Family Assistance site. Additional services known as “Federal Commodity Food Programs” include the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) that provides individuals with limited income levels access to service benefits. The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) distributes a monthly food box to those on a low-income that includes a selection of healthy nutritional foods to supplement the diet.
Affordable housing resources listed on the website of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) include tools to help seniors find low-income rental units. Other options include federal housing programs, public housing, and housing choice vouchers, known as Section 8. Low-income housing in Jacksonville includes apartments for the elderly that can be located using HUD’s “affordable apartment search” tool.
Financial assistance to help Cleveland seniors pay heating and utility bills are available through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The Ohio Development Services Agency administers benefits based on factors such as household size, type of heating source, and the location of the individual’s residence. Eligibility is based on income relative to federal poverty level guidelines.
Cleveland seniors may also want to consider exploring the benefits provided by the Ohio Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP). The program works by having local service providers make improvements to eligible applicants’ homes toward the goal of increasing levels of energy efficiency to lower overall heating and cooling costs.
The City of Cleveland provides area senior residents with a wide range of community services and social programs. The Senior Transportation Connection provides older adults with access to local rides for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, and running general errands.
The Ohio Department of Aging administers a variety of services and programs for Cleveland seniors. The Golden Buckeye Card is free for older adults the benefits of which include discounts for a variety of services, businesses, and activities in the region.
Music and Memory helps seniors that may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Healthy Lifestyles Programs helps Cleveland seniors to stay active by participating in a variety of preventative programs toward the goal of enhancing overall wellness.
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