The Critical Needs Program provides emergency assistance to individuals and families in need. It is a safety net in our community that helps fill in the gaps for struggling individuals and families.
In some cases, Critical Needs can help provide for basic needs through vouchers to the Impossible Dream Thrift Store, gas vouchers for a medical appointment, baby formula for an overstretched family, or even help with prescriptions. This program depends heavily on the generosity of donors and the availability of items in our Impossible Dream Thrift Store. Our Critical Needs Coordinator advocate will work with a person to address their immediate need and offer assistance to find ways to become self-sustaining.
The Critical Needs Program provides help for more than 4,200 households and more than 200 homeless neighbors in our community every year. About 25 percent of the people who come to the Critical Needs Coordinator have never been to the Mission, but the overall demand remains constant. This shows that many of the people who are served here get the help they need to get back on track.
The Critical Needs Program holds special needs drives as well—Backpacks & School Supplies, Winter Coats, Toys for Tots, and more! We collect items all year round to ensure we can help students start the year right, help others stay warm and to help local children have a more enjoyable Christmas.
If you or someone you know need to access the Critical Needs Program, please visit our facility, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to Noon and 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm. No appointment is necessary. Depending on the type of assistance required, the Critical Needs Coordinator may ask you for relevant documentation.
How Do I Get Help Through Critical Needs?
The Critical Needs Program operates on a walk-in service basis. All you have to do to receive assistance is come to the Mission, sign in and once the program coordinator is available, you will be seen.
The Critical Needs Program is designed to help you in any way possible when you are facing a difficult situation. Sometimes the help you need isn't available at the Mission, but your Critical Needs Coordinator is an advocate for you to the programs in the community that may be able to help.
Otherwise, if help can be given directly, we will assist you. If you need clothing, or other household items we may give you a voucher to the Impossible Dream Thrift Store. Just be honest and open about your situation. We cannot give direct financial assistance, but we are creative in finding ways to meet your needs so that you can get back on your feet.
If you can't make it into the Mission, you can call at (315) 782-8440, but remember, coming in is the best practice and you don't need an appointment!
In the Mission: Possible Capital Campaign, First Presbyterian Church of Watertown’s contribution has been recognized in the naming of the Critical Needs Program Office for the late Rev. Al Elmer, former associate pastor and Bridge Program Case Manager.
Matthew 25:35-36: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’