We periodically have people stop at the church and request money for gas, food, etc. We would like to develop a policy/procedure as to how to administer any funds that we have, refer people to local service providers etc. If anyone has a social ministry policy that they would be willing to share or any other ideas, it would be greatly appreciated.
Here is what works best from my experience working for the church and the Salvation Army:
The other suggestion is to develop a community resource list. We have a complete list of all places that a person can get help complete with the name, phone number, hours of operation requirements to be helped and grouped by type of help. We have a Group for Food Pantries, Utility help, medical help, housing help etc. This list is maintained by one organization but every charitable organization has the list to distribute. The utilities, Dept of Family services, Health dept and many others also have the list to distribute. The list fits on 1 piece of paper two-sided and easy to hand out.
Hope this helps.
We at Trinity Lutheran Church in Savannah Georgia have been providing our local community and homeless with needed support and have developed and continually update a set of guidelines for providing such support. We developed a ministry called Hearts of Compassion to help fill this need. Here are a few guidelines that we follow.
The first is developing a list of local food banks. We have developed a brochure that includes the name of the organizations, addresses, phone numbers, hours of operation and a brief description of what they do. We verify this information every six months and update the brochure as needed.
A second brochure was developed that outlines availably of financial assistance, shelters, and medical care, where to go and times of availability. This brochure is updated as resources are added or changed.
We have a food bank that is supported by the members at Trinity and several local churches and organization in the local community. We provide non-perishable food items (canned and dried goods) and clothing to those in need. This ministry requires a close eye on who is asking for assistance, how often they use this service to prevent abuse. We have individuals and groups that will try to collect and resell food and clothing if not monitored.
We also provide prepared meals twice a week for our local homeless. Distribution is on Monday and Friday distributing 22 bagged meals (on Mondays) and hot meals (on Friday's). This can be tricky and potentially risky as distributions are made at local homeless camps and only by our members that are experienced and have been accepted by these homeless groups as being "safe" to interact with. We distribute over 2200 meals each year.
We also have a Hearts of Compassion Facebook page on our church website. If you're interested just Google Friends of Trinity Lutheran Church Savannah Georgia and look for the Facebook link, and search for the Hearts of Compassion.
I have attached two job descriptions that sets responsibilities and reporting structure for this ministry. This ministry has grown over the years into what it is today. So it is recommended to start small, work with local organizations and church member support, and pray that God blesses your ministry with success.
We experienced this also, this is the policy we created. Since we created it we've not been able to test it, so it may need some adjustments. I hope this helps
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