Social Services Resources - Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Inc

You will find here detailed information on how chapters, Metropolises, and church groups can develop and organize educational forums about critical social issues that they have identified in their community. You will also find ways that you can provide assistance to those who need it within your community.

  • Caregiver Mental Health
  • Caregiver Self-Care
  • Family Dynamics
  • Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s/Dementia
  • Caring for someone with a disability
  • and more!

Confidential Resources:

  • 24/7 National Suicide Prevention / Crisis Lifeline:  988

Call, text or chat 24/7, for free and confidential support, prevention and crisis resources for people in distress and/or their loved ones. Outside the U.S., go to International Assoc. for Suicide Prevention  for a database of resources.

  • 24/7 Crisis Text Line:  Text HOME to 741741

For help in any type of crisis – anxiety, depression, eating disorders and more – text HOME to 741741 for free and confidential, 24/7 mental health support and crisis intervention from trained volunteers.

  • 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.787.SAFE (7223)  

Trained advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or who may be questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.

  • 24/7 Veteran / Service Member Crisis Hotline:  988, Press 1 or Text to 838255

Trained VA responders are available 24/7 to help a Veteran or Service member in crisis, or someone concerned about one.

National Call Center for Homeless Vets: 1-877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838)

  • 24/7 Law Enforcement Hotline: 1.800.COPLINE (1.800.267.5463)

Confidential hotline for sworn/ retired or family members of law enforcement community.  Calls are answered by retired law enforcement officers trained in active listening who bring the knowledge and understanding of the psychosocial stressors that officers experience both on and off the job.

Social Services – Crown Jewel of Philoptochos

by Despina Denne

Nothing better exemplifies the philanthropic mission of Philoptochos than the work of the Social Services Department. Since the 1950’s, our noble organization has implemented many important programs to benefit the Greek Orthodox Community, and since 1987, our dedicated Social Services Department has helped to improve the lives of Orthodox Christian individuals and families who have been impacted by human service needs like poverty and income inadequacies, health and mental health issues, substance use disorders, hunger and food insecurity, inadequate housing and homelessness, intimate partner violence, family and older adult services.

The National Department of Social Services is staffed by professional Social Workers who are bilingual (Greek/English) graduates of accredited Master’s programs in Social Work and licensed in the State of New York. The Department assists individuals and families through direct and secondary interviews, outreach, education and information, referrals to local and broader resources, advocacy, supportive counseling, short-term interventions, resource development, and limited financial assistance according to the guidelines of the Philoptochos.

The goal of the Social Services Department is to improve the quality of life of those in need in a way that maintains their dignity, self-determination and independence. Its work is conducted confidentially, within a faith-based and culturally sensitive context. Requests for financial assistance must follow specific procedures that require submission of documentation. Local chapters are asked to provide first response assistance, followed by the Metropolises and National Philoptochos when the need is great. Grants, which are awarded up to a specified maximum allowable amount, are made directly to the providers of service. They prevent evictions, mortgage foreclosures and utility shut-offs, contribute to uncovered medical expenses, ensure indigent members of our community receive a proper Orthodox Christian burial and more. All services are provided by Paulette Geanacopoulos, LMSW, a New York State licensed social worker.

The following case anecdotes represent just a few of the hundreds of requests funneled through the Social Services Department every year and speak to the heart of the work we do every day:

  • Funeral costs paid for a 68–year–old state prison inmate; a 36–year–old Greek national who died of unexpected complications following surgery; and a two-day old infant born four months’ premature.
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses paid for a 39–year–old single mother of two school age children suffering from recurring, metastatic breast cancer.
  • COBRA premiums paid on behalf of a 39–year–old woman to ensure she could remain in rehabilitation.
  • Assisted with housing costs for an Orthodox Christian Syrian refugee family of six whose mother had authorization to work but whose father’s authorization was delayed.
  • Rent/mortgage assistance for a 43–year-old single mother of five children ranging in age from 7 to 16, two of whom are on the autism spectrum. The father abandoned the family to marry another woman, and the mother works one fulltime and two part-time jobs to try to make ends meet.
  • 42 year-old victim of domestic violence with infant son relocated to a safe environment.

The work of the Social Services Department goes to the heart of the Philoptochos mission to promote charitable, benevolent and philanthropic outreach to those in need. If there is an Orthodox Christian family or individual in your community who needs social services assistance, National Philoptochos encourages you to work through your local Philoptochos chapter or Metropolis Philoptochos to ensure they receive the help they need as effectively and quickly as possible through the Philoptochos Social Services Department.

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