EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was written in response to a reader-submitted question through Open Source, a platform where readers can submit questions to the staff. A Richland Source reader asked, "What resources are available locally for new moms who might be struggling financially?"
Richland County is home to several resources that can help parents who are struggling financially. With assistance from Richland County Job & Family Services, we compiled a list of local resources.
BCMH is a program administered by the Ohio Department of Health that links families of children with special health care needs to a network of quality providers helping families pay for the medical services a child needs. Call a Richland Public Health nurse to see if your child’s condition is eligible at 419-774-4540.
Catholic Charities, located at 2 Smith Ave. in Mansfield, offers crisis navigation services, which include financial assistance for rent or mortgage payments, medical bills or prescription costs. The Mansfield office has also developed an extensive financial literacy program with one-on-one financial counseling, workshops and events. There's also the HOPE Food Pantry located at 523 Park Ave. E. The organization can be reached at 419-524-0733.
CHAP provides a recognized model of community-based care coordination as a means of improving the basic health and social outcomes of individuals in neighborhoods with the greatest needs. According to the organization's website, many clients work forward from high-risk pregnancy and homelessness to a healthy baby, stable housing and sustainable employment, and improved management of chronic disease. Call 419-526-CHAP to learn more.
Consider this a one-stop shop for information on local services. Contact this free, confidential community service to receive information on the following:
- Food pantries, community meals, fresh produce distributions
- Clothing closets and thrift stores
- Financial assistance information
- Utility assistance
- Transportation options
- State and local government offices
- Consumer protection/consumer education
- Seasonal assistance
- Food/nutrition programs
- Immunizations/health care and screenings
Click PDF to see full list.
This 90-day shelter, located at 124 W. 3rd St. in Mansfield, provides food, lodging and case management services to individuals who are experiencing homelessness. According to the organization's Facebook page, Harmony House annually provides 20,000 nights of lodging, 60,000 meals, provision of personal care items, bedding, laundry, transportation, workshops, and job training activities. Harmony House can be reached at 419-522-2323.
Help Me Grow is Ohio’s evidenced-based parent support program that encourages early prenatal and well-baby care, as well as parenting education to promote the comprehensive health and development of children.
If you are a parent who is employed, participating in an Ohio Works First activity or enrolled in post-secondary school, you may be eligible to receive assistance with a portion of your child care costs. Contact Richland County Job & Family Services at 419-774-5400 for more information.
The PRC program provides work supports and other services to help low-income parents overcome immediate barriers to employment. Contact Richland County Job & Family Services at 419-774-5400 for more information.
This Mansfield-based mission shelter, located at 356 Harker St., helps meet a variety of needs, such as food, clothing and warming shelter. Thanks to a partnership with First Presbyterian Church in Shelby, the organization operates a female hygiene and diaper closet. For more information on Reaching Out, contact founder Angie Henke at 419-565-2007. For info on the hygiene and diaper closet, contact volunteer Jennifer Taylor at 419-565-9111.
This Christian-based organization, located on the main floor of the Ocie Hill Neighborhood Center, offers a Head-to-Toe Pantry (including diapers), weekly Kidz & Teenz ROC program, community holiday events, sports workshops for children, and resource referrals to other organizations. Richland Outreach Center's phone number is 419-525-0333.
Located at 1560 W. 4th St., RPS offers free and confidential programs. Services include:
- Parenting classes
- Mom-to-Mom Mentoring program
- Dad-to-Dad Mentoring program
- Infant and maternity clothing, supplies/boutique
- Medical assistance
- Adoption services
- Community resources
- Job skills workshop
- Legal advice
Call RPS at 419-522-8862.
Richland Public Health offers several services and information that can aid family well-being, including free newborn home visits, car seat education, WIC appointment and health history forms, Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps and much more. The department is located at 555 Lexington Ave. in Mansfield. Call 419-774-4500.
Also, free cribs for new or expecting mothers are available through Public Health Nursing and WIC at Richland Public Health through a grant from the Richland County Youth and Family Council. The only qualification is you must be a Richland County resident, Medicaid eligible and the child(ren) must be under 30 pounds. Eligible moms and moms-to-be can also get these cribs through partner agencies: Third Street Family Health Services, Catholic Charities, Richland Pregnancy Services, Third Street OB/GYN, Woman's Care, Domestic Violence Shelter, the Child Development Center at North Central State College, and Dr. Guimaraes' Office (OB/GYN).
This organization offers year-round services, such as rent assistance, utility assistance and food pantry, as well as seasonal services, such as Camp NEOSA (a summer camp for children) and holiday assistance. The Mansfield Corps of The Salvation Army, located at 47 S. Main St. in Mansfield, can be reached at 419-525-2912.
The VOA helps with providing basic needs such as food, clothing and housing. Call 419-525-4589 for more information.
WIC is a nutrition education program for pregnant women, women who have a baby less than six months old, breastfeeding mothers, and infants and children up to 5 years old. WIC provides individualized nutrition counseling, nutritious foods, help in finding health care, breastfeeding support and education, voter registration, and farmer’s market coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer months.
WIC also provides nutrition classes on topics like infant feeding, breastfeeding, story time with snacks, and special holiday-themed events. For breastfeeding moms returning to work or school, WIC may provide electric breast pumps. The mission of the WIC program is to improve the health status and prevent health problems among Ohio’s at-risk women, infants, and children. Call 419-774-4570 to learn more.