Matching people who need help with people who provide help was the focus of an open forum at the Pembroke Council on Aging this week hosted by state Rep. Josh Cutler.
The event, called “We’re All in This Together”, brought a diverse group of social service providers and town departments who shared information about everything from job searches and veterans benefits to fuel assistance and property tax relief programs.
Pembroke Veteran’s Agent Dave McPhillips explained many of the ways in which local veterans can qualify for assistance, including medical and prescription drug benefits, financial assistance, veteran’s grave markers and retirement benefits.
Health Agent Lisa Cullity talked about he town’s septic loan relief program and COA Director Mary Ellis highlighted the SHINE program that provides health insurance counseling for seniors.
Town Assessor Cathy Salmon outlined some of the various property tax exemption programs that are available to residents. These include programs for residents who are over 65, disabled veterans, blind persons, and surviving spouses. The filing deadline is April 1.
Regional agencies participating in the forum included South Shore Housing, Plymouth Career Center, South Shore Community Action, Old Colony Elder Services and the University of Massachusetts Lifelong Learning Program. Among the topics discussed were how to get help qualifying for home heating oil assistance, tips on career search and resume writing and mortgage foreclosure relief programs.
“We all need a helping hand now and then to meet life’s temporary challenges and there was a lot of great information shared here today, “said Rep. Cutler. “The good news is that there are many caring people out there who can help and we appreciate them all coming here to share.”
Following a brief presentation from each of the service providers, attendees were able to meet individually to pick up brochures, application materials and get their questions answered.