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Whole Child Manatee

Children SmilingWhole Child Manatee* is a community service designed to work with families who have children under 18 years of age. Using a computerized Whole Child Profile, families identify their individual needs and receive information about community services and programs that may be helpful.

Whole Child Advisors are available to assist families through the process and help eliminate barriers to services. Whole Child Manatee shares information within the provider community through routine distribution of up-to-date information and routine community meetings.

This program is available to families living in Manatee County.

*Step Up Suncoast is not the direct provider of Whole Child Manatee.

For more information, please visit www.wholechildmanatee.com.

Weatherization

Two Men Weatherizing a WindowThe Weatherization Assistance program delivers energy efficiency services to low income households with the goal of reducing energy costs, improving energy efficiency in homes, and ensuring health and safety.

Based on pre-inspection and diagnostic testing, homes may be eligible for a variety of energy-saving measures:

Health and Safety Measures

  • Smoke detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans

Pre-approved Measures

  • Water heater pipe insulation
  • Water heater tank insulation
  • Faucet aerators
  • Lighting retrofits
  • Low flow showerheads

Infiltration Reduction Measures

  • Weather stripping
  • Duct sealing
  • Attic and floor insulation
  • Repair or replace inefficient windows or doors, thresholds
  • Minor wall, floor, and ceiling repair

Solar Window Screens
Refrigerator Replacement
HVAC System Replacement

This program is for residents of Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

Housing Counseling

Family Talking to CounselorThe Housing Counseling program provides one-on-one counseling for families in a variety of areas related to housing needs. The HUD-certified housing counselor offers guidance, referrals, information, and support to families at risk of becoming homeless.

  • Mortgage Delinquency Counseling assists homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments by offering guidance through the home loan modification process.
  • The First-Time Home Buyer Class is an eight-hour training course which helps prepare potential home buyers with the skills necessary to successfully select, finance, and maintain their first home purchase. This class is a required credential to access county grant programs for down payment and closing cost assistance.
  • Rental Housing Assistance provides emergency assistance to clients in danger of eviction. Clients must be able to document sustainability in paying rent after the crisis is alleviated.

This program is for residents of DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Due to COVID-19, First Time Home Buyer Classes are not being offered. Check back for further information or complete the form below to be put on the waiting list.

Mortgage Application     First Time Home Buyer Application

Family Self Sufficiency

Two Women TalkingThe Family Self-Sufficiency Program was created to empower, support, and guide families towards economic independence. Families receive help in assessing their needs, setting goals, mentoring and discovering employment pathways.

Families can be enrolled in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program for up to five years. During this time a major emphasis is placed on educational attainment while requiring part-time employment. The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is designed for goal-oriented individuals who are motivated and persistent in their pursuit of a better economic existence.

This program is available for individuals living in DeSoto, Hardee, and Manatee counties.

Interest Survey     Eligibility Criteria

VITA Tax Preparation

Tax FormThe Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax filing services January through April each year at various sites throughout Manatee County and all year round by appointment only. Click here for a list of virtual sites

IRS trained and certified volunteers are available to assist residents whose family income is less than $66,000 with tax preparation. Electronic filing is also available.

The 2021 Tax Filing Season will begin on February 12, 2021. Step Up Suncoast will offer its virtual free tax preparation services for any individual or household who made less than $66,000 in 2020. These services will be available from January 25-April 12, 2021.

Step Up Suncoast has IRS Certified Volunteers able to help prepare your tax return safely and with full security virtually while communicating with you throughout the entire process. There are 3 virtual tax preparation options:

  1. Step Up Suncoast Website: Download and fill in Form 13614-C and Form 14446 (below), then scan and save all required documents (below), and UPLOAD HERE
  2. Step Up Suncoast Office Dropbox: Download and fill in Form 13614-C and Form 14446 (below), then make copies of all required documents (below), and place in a sealed envelope marked “TAXES” in the drop box outside Step Up Suncoast office building A, 6428 Parkland Drive, Sarasota, 34243;
  3. Fax: Download and fill in Form 13615-C and Form 14446 (below), then fax all required documents (below) to 833-499-1886. Be sure to include a cover page with your Name, Phone Number and the number of pages you are faxing.

*Please note, in person appointments may be available ONLY for the elderly and those with limited proficiency in English. Email or call 941.300.2256 for more information.

If you would like to prepare your own taxes for free go to:

VITA Forms

English
Form 13614-C (English)
Form 14446 (English)

Español
Form 13614-C (Español)
Form 14446 (Español)

Following documents are required to prepare
your taxes by any of the three virtual options:

  • Photo copy of Social Security cards or ITINs for everyone on the return – NO exceptions
  • Photo copy of State Identification for each person on the return
  • All W-2s, 1099s and other income documents
  • Self-Employed and Contract Labor (Out of scope, losses or inventory etc.)
  • Proof of Expenses, if self-employed
  • Form 1095 – A, if you had health insurance from State Marketplace
  • Direct Deposit Information – Bank Name, Account & Routing Number
  • 2019 Tax Return

If Applicable:

  • Form 1098 (mortgage interest, property taxes)
  • Form 1098-T or 1098-E
  • Name, address and tax ID or Social Security
  • Number of any child care provider