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Financial Grants

  1. Who is eligible for Philoptochos Social Services’ financial assistance? The source of our social services funding is almost completely private from Philoptochos Chapters via their annual commitment, individual members and Chapter fundraisers. Therefore, our financial grants are limited to Orthodox Christian individuals and families regardless of their immigration status.
  1. What are the policies and procedures that must be followed for financial assistance grants to be considered?
    • Applicants must submit necessary documentation,
    • Services for which payments are requested must be performed in the United States, and
    • Checks must be made payable to vendors in the United States (e.g. landlord, medical provider, etc.)
  1. What if the person is not an Orthodox Christian?
    • Non-Orthodox persons are provided information and referrals to other appropriate resources.
  1. When are applicants told of Philoptochos policies and procedures?
    • General: Philoptochos financial assistance policies and procedures are outlined on our website.
    • For specific applicants: during the interview process, applicants are told that
      • Grants are limited in scope, nature
      • They may be referred to other services, such as public benefits, other public, private or nonprofit programs, etc. if the interview/ assessment reveals that long-term assistance is needed beyond the financial capability of Philoptochos.
  1. Limits to financial assistance:
    • As resources are limited, Philoptochos cannot provide ongoing help; thus, the National Philoptochos Board, in consultation with the Social Services Committee, has established a cap that specifies the maximum allowable amount that can be awarded to any one client for any reason.
      • In some situations, this cap can be increased for a specific case by National’s Finance Committee
        • It is strongly recommended that local chapters and Metropolis Philoptochos, after discussion and by vote of their boards, cap the amount of financial assistance they can provide to any client as well.
      • Most clients are NOT awarded the maximum allowable amount.
  1. What Our Financial Grants CAN do:
    • Prevent evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs
    • Relocate victims of intimate partner abuse to a safe environment (e.g. pay security deposit, first month’s rent, some moving expenses, assist with obtaining furniture through local chapters, etc.)
    • Contribute to uncovered/ denied medical bills (insurance premiums, co-pays, COBRA benefits, medications, etc.)
    • Authorize emergency oil/heating deliveries for clients who exhausted low-income heating assistance through HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program), local utility companies, local vendors, other resources
    • Contribute to funerals of indigent persons to ensure they receive a proper Orthodox Christian burial
      • In the past three years, the NYC Office of the Medical Examiner has regularly referred indigent Orthodox Christians to National Philoptochos Social Services for final arrangements so that such persons who have no family or funds would not be buried in “Potters Field”.
    • Provide “stop gap” assistance while clients await determination or start of public benefits
      • Care is taken to ensure that our financial help is given in a way that will not be “counted as income”, so that our help does not delay or result in a denial of a family’s long-term government help.
    • Assist with limited local transportation expenses. For example,
      • All three levels of Philoptochos covered the cost of a senior transportation service for an 86-year-old man so he could visit his 90-year-old wife of 60+ years who resided in a nursing home. Although she suffered from Alzheimer’s and could not remember who he was, he visited her 6 days/ week and wanted to continue doing so after he no longer could afford to do so on his own.
    • Provided by the Metropolis or local chapters on National’s behalf:
      • Gift cards for daily living needs such as food, clothing, gasoline, and more.
      • When warranted, National Philoptochos can reimburse local and Metropolis Philoptochos for all or part of these costs when the Metropolis/ local chapter has exceeded its maximum, but help is still needed.
    • Supplement Disaster Relief from other sources:
      • In addition to the Philoptochos Emergency Fund, Social Services assists Orthodox Christians whose lives and/or homes have been damaged by a disaster such as a hurricane, flood, fire, etc.
        • In these cases, we coordinate with the local Metropolis Philoptochos whose on-site assessments verify need and ensure our help supplements that received from FEMA, insurance/ other programs.
  1. We try to be flexible to the best of our ability so that we can respond to the various and sometimes unique financial challenges faced by members of our community.
    • Some actual examples:
      • We paid to connect plumbing to a family’s home (a trailer) to provide them with year-round running water.
      • We paid for the heavy-duty cleaning of a hoarder’s apartment to stop her eviction and placement in a facility.
      • We contributed to a client’s substance abuse in-patient rehab treatment.
        • We followed up with her and learned she finished the program, stayed in recovery and obtained gainful employment.
        • But as not all substance abuse cases have ‘happy’ endings, our interviews vet how serious they are to get clean, to ensure their “need” is not solely to reduce the amount/ number of drugs they take solely to make it cheaper for them to use and abuse.
      • We paid for the required evaluation of an elderly client to assess his eligibility for long-term care placement.
      • We relocated a victim of domestic violence to a safe environment. (Assisted several such clients).
      • We housed a street homeless mother and her 20-year-old severely Autistic daughter.
        • In this case, we coordinated with the local hospital, family shelter, other nonprofits, the Metropolis and local Philoptochos Chapter, the latter of which donated furniture for their new apartment.
        • We contributed, along with the Metropolis Philoptochos, to out-of-pocket co-payments that enabled two severely autistic children and their mother to receive specialized counseling and educational services not offered by the district’s public-school system.
        • We provide interim financial help to persons ineligible for public benefits because of issues such as immigration, age, income a few dollars above the threshold, etc. – to give them breathing space to figure out what they will do and how.
  1. What Philoptochos Social Services Financial Grants CANNOT do:
    • We do not provide direct cash assistance to clients
      • Note: many local chapters can and do provide gift cards
        • If a person ‘walks-in’ to our office and has not eaten, we will provide them with a small amount of money so they can go to a local diner or restaurant to eat something before we interview him/her.
      • We do not contribute to accounts of any kind e.g. online/crowd-funding platforms (GoFundMe, an account established at a bank, a personal account established in client’s name, or other), but we do offer to pay bills directly.
      • We do not pay bills to vendors overseas
      • We do not send money to persons outside the United States requesting help for any reason.
      • We do not cover airfare to bring someone to the United States, nor return them to their country of origin.
      • We do not contribute to the cost of shipping remains overseas.
        • But we can contribute to costs related to services/ equipment required by airlines/ government regulations
      • We do not contribute to cremations.
  1. Financial Assistance When Warranted (see Financial Grants)
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