Community Helpers is a non-profit, United Way partner whose purpose is to provide emergency financial assistance to residents of Rutherford County. We help with utilities, rent, medicine, and referrals.
Community Helpers is a non-profit agency which has been in existence since 1981. We assist Rutherford County residents in meeting their emergency rent, utility, and medicinal needs while also making referrals and connecting our clients to local resources which have the potential of offering improved long-term circumstances. The target population includes low-income persons, the recently unemployed, single parents, senior citizens, the disabled, and chronically ill persons of all ages.
We have two distinct programs. Our first program covers rent and utilities; it is funded by United Way, area churches, organizations, and individuals. This program receives funds donated by consumers of Murfreesboro Electric Department "Magic Dollars" program. We are also the clearing house for Middle Tennessee Electric’s Customer Care Program "Project Help", Consolidated Utility District’s "Neighbor 4 Neighbor",and Atmos Energy’s Customer Assistance Program "Share the Warmth". There is no transfer of funds with these programs.
Our second program provides prescription medications to people in need due to income or insurance hardships. The Christy-Houston Foundation primarily funds this program, with contributions from churches and individuals. We work in close cooperation with St. Louise Clinic and the Dispensary of Hope.
With every client, we attempt to go beyond solving his or her immediate need, connecting him or her to resources in order to provide long-term solutions.
Due to the recent closing of several low income housing apartments, and a closed waiting list at Murfreesboro Housing, affordable housing based on client income and credit issues has become scarce in our community. Also, fewer organizations who can provide immediate emergency financial assistance to prevent loss of housing, or prevent the disconnection of utilities has contributed to a greater need for services such as those offered by Community Helpers.
After years of stable funding from United Way, funding for 2016-2017 was drastically cut as United Way shifted its emphasis to other types of programs.
The changing landscape of health insurance has impacted clients we see. TennCare enrollment requirements are becoming more stringent, many times leaving people unable to qualify for the program. Also, people receiving SSI or SSD, that are not 65 years old do not receive Medicare or Medicaid for two years after their disability benefits begin.
With these new circumstances, Community Helpers is looking for new partners with similar desires to help struggling people in our community.
The Emergency Assistance Program is funded by United Way, Charity Circle of Murfreesboro, Life Point Church of Smyrna, Area Churches, and Individual Contributors.
Community Helpers also receives and distributes funds donated by customers of Murfreesboro Electric Department through the Magic Dollar Program, the ATMOS Energy Customer Contribution Program, the Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation Project Help Program, the ATMOS Energy Share the Warmth Program, and the Consolidated Utility District Neighbor 4 Neighbor Program.
The Prescription Medicine Assistance Program is funded by a grant from the Christy Houston Foundation, and donations from the First United Methodist Church.