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Interfaith Emergency Services, Inc.


435 NW 2nd Avenue
Ocala , Florida 34475 (view map)
Phone: (352) 629-8868 FAX: (352) 629-5771 Website: Social Media





            God's Hand Extended to Those in Need


Who is Interfaith Emergency Services?

In 1983, the religious pastoral community in Marion County saw a need to provide emergency assistance to individuals and families in crisis. With a minimal group of workers, Interfaith Emergency Services was given birth. For more than two decades,Homeless Interfaith has continued to serve the people of Marion County with sincere Christian love and caring devotion.

Interfaith is governed by a Board of Directors with representatives from clergy, social services, business and other community leaders, who volunteer their expertise and leadership to obtain our goal of offering assistance and comfort to those who have fallen between the cracks of the social service system. Our staff is comprised of an Executive Director who oversees every day operation. Our director is also among many other essential persons that play a vital role in the smooth operation of our organization. The majority of services are provided by our ever growing amount of dedicated volunteers. Interfaith has multiple locations and outreach centers.

Who Do We Help?

Interfaith Emergency Services provides a full range of services and assistance for residents of Marion County. We serve individuals and families in need. Clients are Needyreferred to Interfaith by churches, synagogues, and public services agencies. We provide the basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and much more to enhance the quality of life for families and individuals. In 2010, Interfaith Emergency Services through outreach and services touched the lives of more than 150,000 individuals in Marion County.  Interfaith does not discriminate against race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disabilities in hiring practices or provision of services.

Mission statement:

Interfaith Emergency Services is a not-for-profit organization which brings together people of all faiths who seek to minister to persons in need through combined prayer and action. We strive to be the church in action and to find unity in purpose through our singular and combined faith and dictate to love and serve our fellow man.Pickup

Core Values:

Hope.  We know that for many of our clients, we are their last and sometimes only hope in a crisis. Acknowledging that responsibility keeps us focused on doing our best to fulfill their needs.

Community. Knowing that we serve the community we live in, strengthens our resolve to help our neighbor through extending God's love to others.

Prayer.  We use prayer daily, both individually and corporately as a means through which we can communicate our needs to God so we can be the most effective in reaching out to others.

Volunteerism.  Without our dedicated volunteers, we could not do what we do. We believe in supporting our volunteers so that their time is spent in a worthwhile endeavor helping those in their community. 

Our LocationsStorage

Our Main Location, located at 435 NW 2nd Avenue, Ocala, consists of three buildings: our offices, shelter and warehouse/pantry. The Reuben Brawner Center (across the street from our main complex) serves as a Warehouse/Food Distribution Center. Any food, hygiene and clothing donations can be dropped off at this location.

Thrift Store:

The Ocala Thrift Store is located at 718 N Pine Avenue, Ocala. At this location, across the street from Jerry's Pawn & Gun, we have a large amount of inventory to sell at affordable prices.

Reddick Outreach Center:

This food pantry is open three days a week - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am- 3pm. Located behind the old Reddick High School, at 15150 NW Gainesville Road, Reddick, FL 32686. This location was created to help some of the outlying areas north of Ocala with food assistance.  Donations can be dropped off at thFoodDriveis location.

Other Outreach Locations:

Ft McCoy Baptist and Fellowship Baptist are also outreach centers which have food assistance, every 3rd Saturday of the month. For more information contact Ft McCoy Baptist at 352.236.2543 and Fellowship Baptist at 352.629.5379.

Programs and Services

Emergency Assistance

BedThose persons seeking assistance are interviewed by a Volunteer to determine how Interfaith can assist with their needs. Proper identification is required for those coming to Interfaith for help. For emergency funds that are provided for clients in need of medication and a variety of other services, the financial assistance is made directly to the provider. Interfaith has recently joined together with other local agencies, in a shared database called Pathways. This database allows agencies to record all services provided to individuals seeking assistance. This increases our productivity with data entry, as well as allowing us to monitor what other services clients receive so that duplication is eliminated. Many of the services we provided are listed below.

Food, Hygiene and Clothing DistributionShopping

After completing the intake process, food is distributed to those in need in amounts appropriate for their family and situation by our food pantry located in our warehouse. Interfaith uses the National Poverty Level as a guideline for those qualifying for assistance to determine eligibility. Hygiene items, which are not covered by food stamps, are a great need. Those items are provided to clients in the same manner as our food services. Clothes are provided to those in need to provide for their individual or family circumstances.

Prescription Assistance

When emergency prescriptions assistance is needed, those who qualify are provided assistance with a 30 day supply through our prescription program. Partnering with local pharmacies, Interfaith provides funding for one time services, then refers the client to Cartour Long Term Prescription Program if needed. Funds for this program are mostly generated through our Thrift Store.

Identification Cards

Interfaith assists those that have recently moved to the area from out of state or county, by providing funds for Marion County Identification cards which are essential for obtaining any type of services and employment.

Gas Vouchers

Families in crisis that have medical appointments at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, can apply for a voucher for gasoline. In conjunction with a local gas station, vouchers are provided in an amount so that families can travel to Gainesville and return home.


We currently have two eye glass programs: Prescription Glasses: A client needing glasses must have an employment letter from employer stating the need to have glasses to peform the job. Or, for children in Marion County, when children need glasses for school, must have a letter from their school of attendance stating the need as well as a parent letter, proper ID, and social security cards for both parent and child. Reading Glasses: are given away at the office, we have a small reading chart to determine the strength needed for each client.

Work Boots

We give/provide work boots to Marion County Residents. Those in need require a letter from the employer stating the need, a valid Marion County ID, and social security card. This must be brought in to our main office and undergo the "intake" process.


Food4KidsFood 4 Kids is also known as the "backpack" program and currently reaches over 1,400 children weekly.

Our Shelter Program for the homeless in Marion County provides a safe haven and transitional services.

The Recovery House Program is home to male residents only who live in our two recovery houses behind the main complex. These houses are often a main component for recovery to the residents as they work to improve their lives and begin to get "back on track." For more information, call 352.732.7858.

Our Long Term Prescription Program provides assistance to those clients that cannot afford monthly maintenance medications. Dedicated staff and volunteers meet one onMoney one with clients to evaluate whether they qualify for long term assistance provided by the pharmaceutical companies, at no expense to Interfaith. For more information, contact Laura or call her at 352.629.8868 x 27.

Educational Programs are offered at the Learning Center, which provides training for our shelter residents in areas such as Parenting Skills, Anger Management, as well as Tutoring for school, computers, and GED degree. Bible Study classes are provided each weekday morning for volunteers, residents, and staff, as well as for those who wish to participate.


Interfaith Emergency Services receives no government funding for our day to day operations. For more than two decades our financial support has come from churches, Clubindividuals, organizations and businesses providing both monetary and in-kind support for our programs and services. Special events are held throughout the year to raise additional financial support. Interfaith operates one thrift store in Ocala. The Thrift Store generates additional funds to support our prescription program. All donations are tax-deductible.

When you provide a donation to Interfaith Emergency Services, we believe you become part of our team. Whether you are providing a monetary donation, or cleaning out your closets to give clothes to the homeless, your support is appreciated throughout the community. We can provide a complete list of food and hygiene items we need the most - whether it's for an individual at Walmart catching the "buy one get one" sales or a group that wants a community service project. Other examples of donations include: clothing and winter coats, shoes and work boots, furniture, jewelry, appliances, and other household items.

Treasure Hunting at the Thrift Store

The Thrift Store, located at 718 NW Pine Ave in Ocala, is a perfect place for the treasure seeker. One never knows what they will find strolling the isles of the store.

Roberta, a frequent shopper, says it's one of her favorite weekly stops because youThriftStore never know what the store gets in from day to day. "My favorite discovery has been a beautiful Chico necklace for $3... my husband can hardly complain about that!" Roberta often finds items for her husband too, who enjoys fishing and golf. Melissa, a single mom on a tight budget, says she enjoys picking up baby clothes for her toddler, and always manages to find a special something for herself as well.

Steve Clem, the Store Manager, enjoys working with his great team of volunteers that help sort and price new merchandise. Steve said, "There's always plenty to keep our volunteers busy." Steve believes the volunteer's time is valuable, so he wants to make sure they feel appreciated and enjoy their work. To find out how to join the volunteers at the Thrift Store, contact Nita at 352.629.8868 x26 for more information.

You can now shop the Thrift Store anytime by visiting our new ebay store on our Website. Check out some of our specialty items online like designer label clothes and collector items. Karla Grimsley, Executive Director, says, “You never know what kind of talents and gifts a volunteer brings. One of our Thrift Store Volunteers has an ebay Signbusiness, and she used her expertise to help us start placing items for sale on ebay. This helps us keep our inventory moving and increases sales which help fund our Emergency Prescription Program.”

Proceeds from the sales at the Thrift Store go to fund the Emergency Prescription Program used by Interfaith's main office. Thanks to the sales at the store, many clients seeking assistance receive life saving prescriptions for things such as diabetes, cancer and heart problems.

How do the treasures find their way to the store? Steve and his crew often go to homes and pick up donations. You'll find them unloading everything from washing machines to dining room sets at the store. Often, Steve is called to pick up from estates where a loved one wants to donate household items. Donations can be dropped off during the store's business hours of Monday - Friday 9am-5pm, and Saturday 9am-4pm. For more information about donating to the Thrift Store, contact Steve or call him at 352.351.3541.



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