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18500 Murdock Circle
Port Charlotte, FL 33948

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Human Services FAQ

Where can I obtain information on health and human service agencies and programs in Charlotte County?

What is Human Services and what do you do?
The Charlotte County Human Services department is comprised of Intake Services, Aging and Adult Services, Neighborhood Services, and Veterans Services. We provide information, referral, case management and access to financial assistance and support services for low-income, elderly, disabled, and veteran individuals and families. Our mission is to connect people and resources to help them out of crisis and into thriving, self-sufficiency, and independence.

How are the services and programs offered funded?
CCHS administers federal and state grants and county funds to deliver services. Some services are funded by fees and donations from service recipients.

Can I get help with my rent? Utilities? Mortgage? Other bills?
The financial assistance programs delivered by CCHS provide help with housing costs (rent/mortgage/utilities/home repair/home purchase), educational and employment supports, and other help toward becoming self-sufficient and improved quality of life. Each have unique income and other eligibility requirements. You can apply for help on-line. For more information, or assistance with the application process, call 941.833.6500 and an intake coordinator will help you.

How do I access in-home and supportive services for the elderly? 
Call the Elder Helpline at 866.413.5337 or visit the Area Agency on Aging's website. It is important to keep the Elder Helpline informed of changes in your situation as that relates to your position on the waiting list. 

Who qualifies for aging services? 
For the most part, anyone 60 years of age or older may apply to receive services. 
The exceptions: 

  • Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative Program - Residents age 18 and up who have been told or diagnosed with some form of dementia may qualify for services. The dementia may be naturally occurring, illness/disease related, organic brain syndrome, or the result of an injury. 
  • National Family Caregiver Program – age 60 or older in need of services and meet activities of daily living deficits, age 55 or older and raising minor grandchildren who are under the age of 18 absent the parent/s for whatever reason. 

What kind of aging services might be available to me? 

  • Directly provided by in-house staff: Information and referral; case management; well-checks
  • Provided under agreement or contract: Transportation, Homemaking, Personal Care, Respite, Companion, Emergency Alert Response System, Chore, Nutrition Services such as Congregate Meals and Home Delivered Meals, Specialized Supplies and Medical Equipment, Dependent Child Care

What can I expect if I am contacted for an assessment? 
A case manager will contact you to complete paperwork and ask questions about your needs, your overall situation, your finances, and other areas of your life as well as how you are currently managing. Once the assessment is complete, you and your caregiver will be key in developing the plan of care-this is about how we can best help you. You decide from our list of contractors which you want to provide the service, we send the authorization and we begin. The case manager will contact you to see how things are going and will generally offer more (and often non-related) community resources you might take advantage of that will help you remain where you want to be…at home. You will then be reassessed on an annual basis. Staff will remain involved with you the entire time you are using the services. We will always attempt to address your changing needs. 

Is there a waiting list for the aging programs and are there fees involved?
Yes, there is a waiting list most of the time. Those with the greatest needs are assessed and offered services first. Two (2) programs do have a minimal fee involved that is set by the State based on monthly income levels. Not all participants pay fees. A full explanation of co-payments and donations is always given at the time of the assessment. 

I'm homeless. Where can I find help?
CCHS is not a homeless services provider. We can, however, help you access the homeless system, if needed. For information about shelter, contact the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition. For services for unsheltered homeless, contact Jesus Loves You Ministries. For a referral to programs that provide access to housing assistance for the homeless, call or visit one of those agencies or call CCHS at 941.833.6500.

How do I get a Section 8 voucher?
Housing Choice vouchers, Section 8 vouchers and other subsidized housing options are offered by the Punta Gorda Housing Authority.

Is there affordable housing in Charlotte County? Can I get on the list for affordable housing?
The Affordable Housing Catalog offers information about all affordable rental housing options in the County, including those for special populations (elderly, disabled, veterans). There is no waiting or priority list for affordable housing. One must contact the development directly to inquire about availability and cost.

My house needs repair (roof, HVAC, windows, septic tank, plumbing, electrical, etc.). Where can I get help?
CCHS offers programs to help low-income households with repairs, modifications and protections to the home that enhance health and safety. For more information, call 941.833.6500 and ask for a member of the Housing team.

I'm trying to by a house. Is there help with down-payment?
CCHS offers programs to help low-income households attain home ownership with down-payment assistance. Recipients are required to participate in classes that promote healthy credit, financial literacy and responsible home care and maintenance. For more information, call 941.833.6500 and ask for a member of the Housing team.

How do I obtain pay-off information on my SHIP loan?
Call 941.833.6500 and ask for a member of the Housing team.

I'm being denied housing and feel I'm being discriminated against because I (have children; am disabled; am a minority; etc.). What can I do?
Discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability is against the law. If you believe you have been a victim of housing discrimination, you may file a complaint, or call HUD toll-free at 800.669.9777. If you need assistance with a complaint, you can email the Charlotte County Fair Housing Coordinator or call 941.833.6500 for more information.

How do I get a Veteran benefits review?
Call our Veteran Services Division at 941.764.5579 for an appointment.
What do I bring to the appointment?

  • Disability Claim: DD 214/Record of Discharge, Medical Diagnosis, and bank account information including account and routing numbers.
  • Burial and Death Benefits: DD 214/Record of Discharge, Long Form Death Certificate, Marriage License, and bank account information including account and routing numbers.

How do I enroll in VA Healthcare?
Apply online or call Bay Pines VA Healthcare Enrollment and Eligibility at 727.398.6661, ext. 15684

Am I eligible for a Veteran ID Card?
Apply online if you meet both of the requirements listed below:

  • Served on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard (including the Coast Guard), and
  • Received an honorable or general discharge (under honorable conditions)

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