- Household Items
- Sports Items
- Fresh Produce
- Baked Goods
- Meat & Poultry
- Food in Cans
- Help with Rent
- Help with Utilities
- Help with Photo IDs
- Non-Narcotic Prescriptions
- Medical Equipment
We at Daystar Life Center of Citrus County realize we can accomplish more good by collaborating or working cooperatively with others than we can alone. As a member of the community, we desire to do our part in helping the impoverished, the underprivileged and the disadvantaged of our community. Rather than compete for resources, we desire to share our resources or combine them with the resources of other organizations or agencies. By sharing or combining resources, and even by collaborating with others for grants, we can be more effective and efficient in meeting critical needs or in resolving major problems in our community. Every organization has its own strengths or unique assets or specialized staff. So, by finding partners who complement what we do best, we are stronger together than we can be working apart.
We value the services we are able to enhance, extend or add because of our partnerships with: United Way, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Community Food Bank, Citrus United Basket, Family Resource Center, local churches, Citrus County Transit, and other partners.
Descriptions of what we are able to accomplish with each of our partners are provided below:
United Way of Citrus County
Besides the history of funding that Daystar has received both through grants provided by and those administered by the United Way, our two organizations are also combining resources to help end and to prevent homelessness. We are working together to secure housing mostly for renters who are at the risk of becoming homeless, or to secure housing for those who are literally homeless (living outdoors, in vehicles or in abandoned buildings). We coordinate our efforts to keep low-income residents of Citrus County in their homes or to find more affordable housing. We also coordinate efforts to help get the homeless in housing and the help they need to remain housed.
For Fiscal Year 2017-2018 United Way awarded a housing grant to Daystar. Before Daystar allocated monies from the grant to pay landlords the rent needed to stabilize the housing crisis for eligible low-income county residents, Daystar had the clients provide specific documentation that showed they met eligibility requirements, ensured they had income capable of sustaining their housing, and enlisted their assurance to implement a plan to overcome or avoid the difficulties that led to their housing or financial crisis. For the same time period United Way also awarded Daystar a food grant, which Daystar used to supplement purchases for our food pantry by increasing our buying power to purchase more nutritious food for our clients. The total received from United Way was $18,750.
Salvation Army — Citrus County Corps
For some time Salvation Army and Daystar have worked together to help low-income county residents with past-due rents or utility disconnection notices, even splitting the payments to landlords or utility companies. In July 2016 we started to work together to feed those with low income. Every Tuesday volunteers go to the Salvation Army kitchen to prepare meals and then bring those meals in their truck (mobile kitchen) to Daystar. The meals are served from 4 to 5 p.m.
The cooked meals are served in Styrofoam clamshells, which most recipients take home or if they are homeless to their shelter. Picnic tables are also on site. The meal features beef, chicken, pork or turkey, or in a casserole, stew or pasta dish; a vegetable, a starch, a fruit or dessert, and sometimes a salad and bread. The costs are split among the two organizations.
Also every October and November, the two organizations work together to register low-income families and individuals of Citrus County for turkeys and other food given out by the Thanksgiving Feeding Alliance. Both organizations are members of the Alliance and serve on its Steering Committee. They each also have volunteers on the day of the distribution, which is the Saturday before Thanksgiving Day in the parking lot of Lowe's in Inverness.
During winter nights when the temperature is expected to be below 40 degrees, Daystar is a site for the homeless to be picked up by a Citrus County Transit bus and taken to be sheltered overnight at the Salvation Army complex in Lecanto.
Catholic Charities — Diocese of St. Petersburg
Daystar is working with Catholic Charities to build affordable rental housing in Citrus County.
Community Food Bank of Citrus County
Daystar is one of over 40 food pantries and feeding programs supplied by the Community Food Bank. Our Executive Director and Pantry Manager are members of the Food Bank’s Advisory Council. Daystar purchases from the Food Bank the majority of its food and is often a beneficiary, as are other member organizations, of many free foods and products procured by the Food Bank. We also work jointly in providing dog and cat food to low-income households for free per availability. Daystar goes to the Food Bank every Monday and Thursday to pick up its food order.
Citrus United Basket (CUB) & Family Resource Center
Often we combine our resources to help one of the neediest who walk into any of our offices. Daystar’s Office Administrator is in regular contact with Citrus United Basket in Inverness and Citrus County Family Resource Center in Hernando.
The services we usually fund together are large payments owed to landlords for past-due rents to prevent evictions and to utility companies to avoid disconnections. Sometimes we share payments to motels for the emergency lodging of people transitioning to more permanent housing and once in a while to Greyhound for bus tickets to transport those who are stranded and usually referred by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.
The three of us are the only organizations in Citrus County who provide all three services of food, clothing and financial assistance to eligible low-income families and individuals throughout Citrus County five days a week throughout the year. Since we are located in different parts of Citrus County, people in need are being more easily assisted.
There are other organizations, agencies and churches that provide food, clothing and financial help, which serve the poor in their geographic sections of the county. Many of them are not open five days a week. Still others provide only some of the above-mentioned services. Collectively, the county is being served very well.
Daystar also enjoys the cooperation of many different churches from time to time and we gladly reciprocate.
We greatly appreciate the following churches for sharing their funds when we help the neediest with rent or utility assistance in Citrus County:
--Helping Hands, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Inverness
--St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, Homosassa
--First Baptist Church of Crystal River
--St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Inverness
--First United Methodist Church of Homosassa
Citrus County Transit
We are happy to be able to provide space for a bus stop for Citrus County Transit, which is a nice convenience for our clients, customers and volunteers. During the winter months, the homeless can make their way to the bus stop for free transportation to the cold weather shelter provided by the Salvation Army.
Orange Line buses make regular stops in the parking lot of Daystar fronting Gulf To Lake Highway, which is also State Road 44. A bench and marker for the bus stop are located on the left-hand side as you face our Thrift Store.
To see the schedule for the Daystar bus stop, look for Stop No. 5 at http://citruscountytransit.com/orange/schedule-crystal-river.html
Daystar also has ongoing relationships with the following agencies and organizations to provide either rent or utility assistance to those with low income in Citrus County whenever funding is available:
- Mid Florida Homeless Coalition, Inc.
- Citrus County Housing Services
- Mid Florida Community Services
Mobile Medical Unit of Langley Health Services
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month, the Mobile Medical Unit of Langley Health Services is available in our Thrift Store parking lot that fronts Gulf To Lake Highway. A physician and a nurse are available for health screenings, sick visits, and immunizations, including flu shots. No appointments are needed. People are received on a first-come, first-served basis. The Mobile Medical Unit is another way that Langley extends low-cost health care service to the uninsured and to those who are covered by Medicaid, Medicare and many private insurers.
CareerSource Training Worksite
The Regional Workforce Development Board (commonly known as CareerSource) of Citrus, Levy and Marion counties and Daystar Life Center have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to establish Daystar as a training worksite. CareerSource will send candidate trainees to Daystar for interviews, and Daystar will decide which persons to accept into this work experience program. CareerSource will provide compensation to the trainees, including liability and claims coverage for work-related injury or illness. Daystar will provide the working environment and training, which will include the development of job skills and good work habits.