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Programs & Services

~ Services provided at no cost to those in need, as resources allow ~

Crisis and Assistance

We know that life can take an unexpected turn. Our mission is to help Monroe County residents who are struggling with a crisis due to a job loss, addiction, illness or medical emergency, mental illness or any other unfortunate circumstance that can happen to an individual person or a family. When crisis strikes, Families First is there to help you find your way through it.  

The initial point of contact includes prioritizing individuals and households based on the severity of their crisis and targets the most appropriate response.


  • All households will be screened either by phone or in person

  • Households with immediate safety issues will be re-directed appropriately

    • Brighter Tomorrows, 911 or other

  • Screenings are required to determine the primary need and urgency of need

  • If the screening concludes there is not an immediate crisis (but other needs are present) individuals or households will be referred to the appropriate resource to address the need (e.g. food assistance, mental health, etc.)

  • If the screening concludes there is an immediate need for crisis assistance, then an appointment will be made to continue into the intake process.

Intake Meeting

All services and programming are free, confidential and require an intake/assessment meeting with a Case Care Manager (CCM) to determine eligibility. At this meeting, the CCM will collect basic and specific information from you related to your current situation. Obtaining this information determines what immediate steps need to be taken. CCMs are crucial in provide ongoing support, observation and connections to community resources as opposed to short-term crisis intervention. In addition, at this meeting necessary documents are signed, such as, the Consent to Release Information Forms. These are essential for CCMs to effectively communicate and coordinate with identified mainstream resources that can assist you in overcoming your crisis and improve your efforts in maintaining a safe and stable household.


  • Applications that are accepted for crisis assistance are checked for financial responsibility and a verifiable demonstration of need. To comply with the type of assistance you may need, you are required to bring the following documents for an application to be processed.


  • Note that active participation in Families First case management is necessary for crisis assistance. Our case care manager will work one-on-one with you and your specific situation, creating goals and action steps to best help you.

*All payments are not guaranteed.  Some funding is done through programs for which you must apply and be approved.  Simply applying with our agency or our partners does automatically not guarantee assistance.

Families First Office Hours

Monday – Thursday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.


If you need to make an appointment, please contact us during those office hours by phone at 608-374-4141 or by email at or leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Due to the high volume of phone calls our office receives, please give us time to reach back out to you.


  • Upon request in certain circumstances, we may be able to make appointments outside of normal business hours if schedules allow and staff are available to do so.  


  • The office is not open for business on Fridays or during holidays, special events and meetings.  Families First will post limited hours of operation during those times. Posted times can be found on the Neighbor for Neighbor Food Pantry front door, our Facebook page and Website.


  • Applicants are urged to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to appointments. If later than 15 minutes for an appointment, please contact the office to reschedule the appointment. If later than 20 minutes the appointment will automatically be cancelled without prior arrangements being made. No shows for appointments will be documented.


  • If seeking crisis assistance for utility or housing, please do not contact the office the day of or before the disconnection or eviction is to occur. Our crisis assistance does not imply immediate relief. Please note that our application process takes some time and we cannot guarantee when a payment will be made until the following items are in place: clients are accepted and agree to work with CCMs, applications are complete with documentation and approved, funding is available, and vendors agree to work with us and take payments.


“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. Strength comes from overcoming the things you thought you couldn’t.”

Required Documents

Required Documents for initial intake with Case Care Manager


Proof of Identity:

  • Please bring one of the following:

    • Driver’s License

    • State Issued Photo identification

    • Birth Certificate

    • Social security numbers for all household members

    • Passport


Proof of Income:

  • Pay stubs - minimum 30 days income

  • Bank Statements

  • Benefit letters

  • Court Documents

  • Other official documents describing benefits

    • Earned Income

    • Unemployment Insurance

    • SSI

    • SSDI

    • VA Service-Connected Disability Compensation

    • VA Non-Service-Connected Disability Pension

    • Private Disability Insurance

    • Worker’s Compensation

    • TANF

    • General Public Assistance

    • Retirement from SSA

    • Pension or Retirement from former job

    • Child Support

    • Alimony or Other Spousal Support

Proof of Need for Emergency Financial Assistance:

  • Rent/Mortgage

    • 5-day or 14-day Eviction Notice

    • Delinquent Mortgage Letter and

    • Current lease or mortgage paperwork


  • Utility Bills

    • Disconnection Notice

    • Delinquent fuel oil or propane bill and 

    • Current bill for the account


  • Medicine

    • Estimate of medication cost from a pharmacy

    • Estimate of medical supplies from pharmacy or store

  • Food

    • Disaster related need or food/mobile pantry not available

    • Other situation warranting assistance


  • Clothing

    • Proof of new employment


  • Transportation

    • Proof of need

      • Medical/mental health appointment if insurance does not cover for ride.

      • New employment

      • Court related appointment

  • Homelessness

    • If Salvation Army and/or CouleeCap Emergency Shelter assistance is unavailable, Families First may be able to assist with Emergency Shelter funds. In that case, proof of hardship resulting in homelessness needs to be provided.


  • Child Care Cost

    • Deposit/registration for childcare in cases of new employment

Ineligible Expenses

Families First will help with crisis assistance but cannot assist you in supporting a lifestyle that may have been affordable before a crisis occurred. Therefore, the following expenses are NOT considered to be qualifying expenses and are excluded for consideration during the crisis application process:

  • Internet and/or Cable or Satellite TV over and above basic tier services.

  • Online movie purchases and/or Cable and Satellite TV on-demand movies, etc.

  • Excessive home & cellular telephone plans: smartphone data plans are generally not necessary during times of financial crisis.

  • Cigarettes and/or alcohol, gambling, or gaming costs.

  • Restaurant expenses, membership fees (i.e. YMCA), or excessive insurance policies.

  • Expenses beyond basic salon costs for stylists, manicures, pedicures, etc.

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