Hart Felt’s Services
We all have a mom, dad, grandparent, family member or close friend that needs help as they age. Even with resources, it’s difficult for families to juggle this responsibility. The reality is that many seniors right here in our own community don’t have any family to help and have very little resources. Sometimes it’s the little things – like someone helping prepare meals or someone to just talk to – that can help a senior live independently.
Other organizations and private companies offer similar services – many of which are covered by Medicaid – but what makes Hart Felt unique? Services are offered by volunteers who are serving to build a relationship with a senior in need.
All Hart Felt services are offered to clients at no cost. Clients must fill out an application to become eligible. There are no income requirements for companionship services but if a client needs emergency financial assistance additional paperwork that includes income verification is required.
Transportation to Appointments
Hart Felt staff and volunteers advocate for our clients. It may entail connecting them to other organizations that might be of help or helping them understand medical bills.
The telephone is a vital tool in combating the loneliness so many seniors feel. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call to let them know someone cares.
While most of our clients live independently, some are fortunate enough to have a caretaker. Full time care taking, however, can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Hart Felt volunteers provide two hours of respite care per week, allowing the caretaker to run errands, go to appointments or just relax, renewing their mind, body and soul.
Yard Mowing & Clean Up Projects
Seniors are often in need of help to maintain their lawns but don’t have the extra funds to pay for the service. Some lawns need mowing while others require more TLC. Larger Clean Up Projects are great for churches, small groups and corporate volunteer days.
Wheelchair Ramp Construction
Imagine becoming wheelchair bound and becoming a prisoner in your own home. Hart Felt provides volunteers, including a licensed contractor, to draw up plans and construct a ramp. Donations and grants provide the funds to purchase materials which Hart Felt secures at a discount.
Emergency Financial Assistance
The Hart Fund helps seniors with critical needs like help with utilities or with a plumbing repair. Emergency Financial Assistance is offered through The Hart Fund. A special application that includes income verification is the first step in receiving this assistance.
Minor Home Repairs
For a senior living on a fixed income (the majority of our clients are living in poverty), a household repair is a major obstacle. Hart Felt works with a coalition of partners to complete repairs like fixing a leaky faucet, replacing locks on a door, repairing an electrical panel that poses a fire hazard or installing safety handles or grab bars. The result? Peace of mind and safe living conditions.
THE COMMUNITY NEED
Did you know that 38,000 of Jacksonville seniors live alone on less than $18,000 a year? Many of them don’t have support networks and therefore have needs that go unanswered. Hart Felt Ministries responds to these calls of desperation, helping nearly 500 seniors a year.
Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. (JCCI) released a study that finds the percentage of residents over 55 years old in Northeast Florida is expected to grow from about 20 percent to at least 40 percent over the next 25 years. During the same period, the 65-plus population in Duval County is projected to grow about 79 percent.
Hart Felt staff can attest to an ever-increasing call for help. After the dissolution of another senior citizen non-profit, we have seen an increase in need. We launched the Hart Fund in 2016 to meet financial needs and home repairs and as word spreads about the program, we have seen phone calls nearly double year over year.
Helping 500 seniors annually is a team effort. Hart Felt is incredibly blessed to have a network of 200 volunteers and an incredible collation of individuals, churches, organizations and companies who donate their time, talent and money to fulfill our mission.
Become a Client
Hart Felt clients must be 70 or above, and must have been diagnosed with a chronic illness or disability. Services are provided by background-screened volunteers at no cost to disabled seniors living independently.
Please note Hart Felt volunteers cannot provide hands-on care (including bathing, lifting, feeding and personal care) nor can they administer or assist with medication.Transportation is not available for wheelchair-bound clients.