Food, Housing, Medications and Utilities

A visit for emergency assistance, either at Central Intake in Downtown Buffalo or at another Catholic Charities office, is often the first contact clients have with Catholic Charities.
Staff members can handle a phone crisis and make a quick assessment. If the needed service is not something that can be handled in that office, the client is referred to the Department which handles the service, or to an appropriate community resource. The staff is acutely aware of services provided within the agency and the community at large, and knowledgeable about researching new resources.

When appropriate, Catholic Charities helps in emergencies with basic needs such as financial, food, prescription, housing and heat.

Many families are facing multiple problems. Although one problem may be presented, generally financial in nature, the staff member must be able to assess other possible needs and problems of the family. Appointments for personal and family counseling are also assessed by the intake staff and referred to the appropriate satellite office or community resource.

Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund

Catholic Charities is one of the participating agencies that administers the Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund for National Fuel.

The Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund is a not-for profit, voluntary program designed to provide financial assistance for energy bills to the low income, elderly, handicapped, disabled, or those with medical emergencies. This program is designed to provide assistance only to those individuals truly facing an emergency heating crisis. The Heat Fund is accessible all year and is available on a first come, first serve basis.

To qualify, an applicant must be 55 years of age or older, applicant/household member who is handicapped or disabled, or applicant/household member who has a medical emergency.

The guidelines for the Heat Fund include; exhausted HEAP benefits, as well as having made four customer payments in the past 12 months from the date of application.

If you or anyone you know may qualify for the Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund, please call (716) 856-4494 or visit the National Fuel Website or Erie County Department of Social Services Website for further information. You can also contact the Catholic Charities office nearest you for assistance. 

Information needed to apply:

  • Most recent fuel bill
  • Date of birth for all household members
  • Proof of disability or medical emergency if applicant is under age 60
  • Social Security numbers for all household members
  • All income for all household members
  • Receipts of any and all payments made in the last 30 days