Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley (Ohio) has a variety of assistance programs that assist low income families and individuals in the region they cover. Services are available to people of all ages, races, religions and backgrounds. The agency’s service area includes the counties and cities of Montgomery, Greene, Preble, Miami, Shelby, Mercer, Auglaize, Darke, Champaign and Logan Counties. A good sample of the resources and assistance programs are listed below, but note that specific services vary by county.

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The CHOICE FOOD PANTRY. This is located at 922 W. Riverview Avenue in Dayton, is one of the busiest pantries in Montgomery County, serving the 45402, 45405, 45406, 45417 and 45428 zip codes. Eligibility requires household income below 200% of federal government poverty levels.

Regular hours are Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. (The free client choice pantry is closed on major holidays and on the first Friday of each month.) Pantry clients can also access the services of a case manager who can provide information and linkages to other necessary social service programs., such as SNAP food stamps in Ohio.

One-on-one case management is available at no cost through the agency’s FAMILY STABILIZATION & SUPPORT (“FSS”) program. FSS services are not limited to the pantry’s service area, and the goal of the Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley program is to help clients escape the vicious cycle of poverty by building on their own strengths and their aspirations for themselves as well as their families. There may be referrals to job placement or training in the Dayton Ohio area as well as free work clothes and other supplies.

Many of those served struggle with unemployment or underemployment, no access to health care in the service territory or Dayton Ohio, lack of education and job skills, poor health and nutrition, and unstable housing situations. Case managers can utilize the Ohio Benefit Bank, in all counties including Miami and Logan, to connect families and individuals to benefits for which they’re eligible. This may be cash aid, SNAP food stamps, housing or rent help, and much more.

LINCOLN ACADEMY early childhood education center is located on the grounds of the Dayton V.A. Medical Center campus and provides a solid start to a lifetime of learning. A full-day preschool program is provided for children ages 2 1/2 to 5. Several types of financial aid are available to eligible families. Lincoln Academy is licensed by the State of Ohio, holds a 5-star Step Up To Quality rating, is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and is a partner in Head Start and the Preschool Promise program.

Catholic Social Services also provides PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING services. It covers a variety of mental health and other challenges. The services is for individuals, couples and families, including children age 5 and up in counties including Preble, Montgomery, and Darke Ohio among others.

Licensed counselors can help clients deal with anxiety, trauma, behavior issues, depression, relationship problems, attachment issues, grief, domestic violence, adjustment to illness, post-adoption emotions, and many other issues. Sessions can be scheduled at the agency’s Dayton and Sidney offices, as well as at satellite locations in Auglaize, Darke and Miami Counties. Most private insurance is accepted, as are Medicaid and Medicare. A sliding scale makes treatment more affordable for those without coverage for mental health services, so the patient in those cases will still need to pay some of the bill due.

Discovering that you’re pregnant, no matter your age or background, can be one of the most joyful moments of a person’s life, both the mom and dad. But even the most enthusiastic new parents may be unprepared — emotionally, financially, and educationally — for the joy, challenges, and occasional heartbreak of parenthood. Catholic Social Services provides a continuum of PREGNANCY & PARENTING SUPPORT programs to help young, first-time, or struggling lower income parents successfully make the journey from pregnancy to a healthy birth to effective parenting. Then, in the future and when needed, they can look into the Ohio free child care voucher program for low income parents.

For many senior citizens, regardless of their household income, being able to remain living in their own homes and maintain their independence is essential to their mental health as well as feelings of well-being. For those without solid support systems or those living in more isolated areas in Darke or Montgomery County (among other areas), “aging in place” can be challenging.

Seniors may face lack of access to services, safety concerns, difficulty in getting to the doctor, and loneliness are among the problems that can force seniors into nursing homes when it isn’t really medically necessary. As most elderly would prefer to stay at home. Catholic Social Services Northern Counties office in Sidney is the base of operations for several SENIOR SERVICES programs serving this vulnerable population. Find details on other senior care in Ohio.

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More information about all of Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley’s programs is available at