Lakeland Florida Community Resources




Central Florida Autism Institute



A grassroots organization dedicated to local and state advocacy, increasing quantity of high quality local providers, autism awareness, information and parent supports. Emphasis on evidence based practices such as ABA


First United Methodist Church Outreach
Offers a variety of helpful programs for those in need. They offer a Handy Hands Ministry that serves the community by providing handyman services to those who are in need economically or physically. They also offer food and clothing assistance to child


Florida Pediatric Therapy
Provides effective evaluation and treatment for children with speech, language, feeding, oral motor, and other related communication disorders.


Noah's Ark of Central Florida
A non-profit organization that works to empower individuals who have developmental disabilities by advocating on their behalf and by providing or facilitating meaningful employment, recreational and social opportunities and affordable housing choices



Provides food, toiletries and USDA commodities to over 270 participating organizations.



The Christian Service Center works to provide assistance to Central Florida residents who need it most.



Offer many services to families and individuals dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders.


New Hope for Kids
Works to bring hope, healing and happiness to children and families suffering from grief, loss or life-threatening illnesses. They have a Children’s Wish program that grants wishes to children, ages 3-18, diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.




Works to provide a child and their caregiver(s) an individualized rehabilitation program that meets the child's special needs whereby program goals incorporate the functional needs and wishes of the children and their caregivers.


Florida Senior Living Locator and Directory
Looking for an assisted living or senior living community? Find the right senior living, assisted living facility or alzheimer's living facility by using the above website- it contains a completely comprehensive listing of all senior and assisted living choices.



Polk County Elderly Services
Intake and Referral Services - 863-534-5320 This office provides one contact number to access all services offered by the Human Services Department. A worker will assist callers in determining appropriate referrals resources.

Case Management Services - 863-534-5320 Case managers assess individual needs, such as health, nutrition, social, environmental, physical and other areas associated with activities of daily living. Case managers assist individuals in determining areas of unmet needs and filling those gaps.

In-Home Services - 863-534-5320 The goal of these services is to provide the minimal assistance needed to help individuals remain in the community. Eligible elderly individuals age 60 and above receive assistance with activities of daily living. Available services include personal hygiene assistance, light homemaking, respite for caregivers, emergency alert system, and home delivered meals. Department of Elder Affairs’ guidelines are used to determine eligibility for services.

Outreach - 863-534-5320 Speakers are available to provide information to individuals or groups regarding services provided by Polk County Elderly Services and other community resources.

Adult Day Care Services The Adult Day Care Program offers structured and comprehensive individual care plans to meet the needs of the adults with functional impairments. The program is available to all adults ages 18 and up with special needs. The program offers nursing services as well as supervision for safety in a secure home-like setting. A structured activity program is offered throughout the day that meets the needs of adults with functional impairments. Day care participants are cared for by a licensed nurse and certified nursing assistants. The program also accepts private pay clients.

Fellowship Dining - 863-534-5325 Provides meals to individuals age 60 and above, and to their spouses and disabled children who live with them regardless of age. There are 14 meal sites in various locations throughout Polk County, providing both congregate and home delivered meals. All meals are 1/3 of the daily nutritional requirements of adults age 51 years and over.

Congregate meals are available for those individuals who are not homebound. Activities are offered daily and include nutrition education and counseling, games, parties, trips, exercises, speakers and socialization. Transportation is provided to and from the meal sites for those individuals unable to provide their own transportation.

Home delivered meals are for individuals who are unable to come to the congregate meal sites because of health reasons, or live too far away for transportation to be provided. This site is an excellent resource for all seniors.



The Polk HealthCare Plan (PHCP) was approved by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners on July 27, 1999 and became fully operational in December 1999. Funding for this Program is made possible by a voter approved ½ cent discretionary sales surtax for indigent health care services.

The targeted population served by this Program is those individuals who have limited income, limited assets, are uninsured or underinsured and have no other medical benefits available to them (Medicaid, Medicare, other commercial insurance). Medical services are available to eligible clients through a county-wide network of care that has been made possible through many public/private partnerships with hospitals, physicians, diagnostic testing facilities and other medical professionals. Client Assistance Outreach/Targeted Case Management Financial assistance and case management services are provided to homebound, disabled and frail individuals. Follow-up and intensive one-on-one counseling are provided on a referral basis to households who are in extreme need. Crisis intervention measures are utilized to prevent a household from experiencing further difficulty. Coordination and collaboration of efforts are provided to monitor: chronically non-adherent clients who do not take medications as prescribed, do not comply with doctor’s orders and/or habitually miss scheduled doctor’s appointments; excessive Emergency Room utilization cases; cases where medical costs are extremely high. Clients are provided intensive case management to eliminate any obstacles too becoming medically adherent.

To participate in this program please call (863) 533-1111

Indigent Health Care Eligible residents receive a medical card to see a primary care physician. The following is a checklist of information required by Individual Services to determine eligibility for reduced cost medical services.

You must provide verification of Polk County residence with any 2 of the following items showing your name, current street address, and city of residence:

•Statement from current landlord or rent receipt, or a statement from person(s) providing shelter with your current address. •Current Driver's License or State Identification Card with current Polk County address. •Property/house payment book and/or tax receipt. •Current month's utility receipt in your name with current address. •Vehicle registration for all vehicles. •Child's current school records. •Voter's registration card. You must provide verification of all gross income for the past 3 months and must include starting and ending dates. Acceptable items are:

•All check stubs, statements from your employers including dates, award letter(s), copy of your child support check(s), child support printout or other verification of child support, current AFDC, VA or Social Security award letter, worker's compensation claim form, unemployment compensation wage transcript or printout, contributions received; if self-employed, quarterly tax statement or tax summary. You must provide verification of all Social Security numbers in household. Social Security cards or verification of the Social Security numbers from the Social Security office. Any of the following items, that pertain to you, will also be required in determining eligibility:

•Medicaid card. •Medicare card. •Most recent checking and/or savings account statements. •Proof of all insurance (health, life, auto, etc.) •Marriage license and/or divorce papers. •Birth certificates/child custody papers for all family members. •Immigration papers/cards. •Current food stamp certification letter. •Disability statement/proof of application-status of SSD or SSI claim. •Proof of all assets (home, car, etc.) •All household expenses. •Proof of Vocational Rehabilitation/Job Service registration. Rohr Home Community Healthcare Services operates a 60-bed skilled nursing facility located adjacent to the Administrative Office in Bartow. A full-time activities director is on staff to coordinate daily activities for the residents. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy services are also available. Pharmacy and registered dietitian services are available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week.



PEACE
An Absolutely phenomenal site for anyone affected by Autism:

If a child in your family has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, you may have many questions and concerns. PEACE hopes to help you to find answers to those questions so that you may make informed decisions which will benefit your child now and in the future.


Central Florida Catholic Charities (863) 686-7153

Counseling, pregnancy and foster care, adoption, family assistance, food pantry, immigration services, refugee resettlement, senior services, criminal justice, respite health care

Salvation Army 682-8179

Assistance to families who have had an unexpected emergency and find themselves without food, an eviction notice or utility shut off notice. Some prescription assistance can be provided on a limited basis. The Center of Hope can accommodate families with children as well as single men and women, whether the need for shelter is due to loss of a home or a domestic situation. The shelter provides a community lunch daily, as well as a hot shower, fresh linens, warm bed, breakfast, and dinner to those that stay overnight. The shelter is a temporary emergency service where staff assist clients in finding solutions to their problems. The Transitional Living Center (TLC) Program is designed to help families acquire and develop the necessary tools to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency ini a permanent living arrangement. Through life-skill training in budgeting, and money management, parenting, nutrition, education, and problem solving, these families are provided the opportunities to reach a self-supporting level of independence. The facility provides twelve apartments, fully furnished wit laundry facilities. The program offers free child care while parents are working. (FREE) Shelter opens at 5pm and clients must leave by 6 am. May stay 14 days at shelter, check-in is first come first served. Men have separate dorm.

Peace River Mental Health Crisis Line 519-3744

Domestic Violence & Recovery and Crisis Hotlines 413-2700

Elder Helpline 1-800-336-2226

Citrus Connection Bus 688-7433 free and reduced price rides on regular bus, Handy Bus for disabled

Saddle Creek Park 499-2613 $7.50 to $17/night camping must have tent, van or RV electric, water, showers

WIC 519-7900 Pregnant and postpartum women and children (under 5 years of age) milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, beans or peanut butter, juice

Children’s Medical Services 701-1151

The Children’s Medical Services (CMS) program provides children with special health care needs with a family centered, managed system of care. Children with special health care needs are those children under age 21 whose serious or chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions require extensive preventive and maintenance care beyond that required by typically healthy children.

Medicare 1-800-633-4227

Medicare is the federal government program that gives you health care coverage if you are 65 or older, or have a disability, no matter what your income.

Social Security 1-800-772-1213 Lakeland 683-0526

Apply for retirement benefits, survivor benefits, disability

Department of Children and Families Florida Access 1-866-762-2237 Food stamps, temporary cash assistance, Medicaid, medical assistance for pregnant women

National Hunger Hotline 1-866-348-6479, Food information and general referral to emergency food and government hunger and poverty programs

Lakeland Housing Authority 687-2911 Section 8 Housing

Four Corners Church Food Pantry, Plant City Be there by 8:30 AM Mondays or Thursdays

Believer’s Fellowship Food Pantry 5240 Socrum Loop Rd Thursday 6 PM 858-5668

Pathway Ministries Food Pantry 1942 W Memorial Blvd 687-1942 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month 10 AM

Lighthouse Ministries 687-3705

H.O.P.E. Outreach operates within the Lighthouse Thrift Shoppe locations in Lakeland and Plant City. Through the outreach program, Lighthouse is able to provide free case management, food, clothing, household items, furniture, toys for children, and referral services to those in need.

Talbot House Ministries of Lakeland 687-8475

Have daytime safe haven, night shelter, clothing, showers, spiritual growth, tutoring, recovery program, medical/dental care, transitional housing, educational advancement, employment preparation, and permanent supportive housing.

Volunteers in Service to the Elderly 863-284-0828

Agency serves adults age 65 and over that meet income qualifications. Offer commodities, transportation services to and from Doctor Appointments. 2 times monthly to grocery


Listing of ALL Free Healthcare Clinics in Florida