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.


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.

Program income guidelines effective July 1, 2021

People in the Household  
1 $25,760
2 $34,840
3 $43,920
4 $53,000
5 $62,080
6 $71,160
7 $80,240
8 $89,320
For each addition person in the household with more than 8 people, add: $9,080

Weatherization Fillable Form Weatherization FAQ

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.

First Time Home Buyer Classes      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 preparation and filing services January through April each year at various sites throughout Manatee County and All Year Round (by appointment) for any individual or household who made less than $73,000 in that tax year.

IRS trained and certified volunteers are available to assist residents whose family income is less than $73,000 with tax preparation and electronic filing.

See below list of sites for 2022 tax filing season:

Site Opening Date Closing Date Days & Time Site Operated as
Step Up Suncoast
6428 Parkland Dr
Sarasota FL 34243
1/24/2022 4/11/2022 Mon & Wed – 2PM to 6PM
Sat – 8AM to 12PM
Walk ins – On site
Intake/Interview and Pick up of tax returns
13th Av Dream Center
922 24th St E
Bradenton FL 34208
1/29/2022 4/9/2022 Sat – 8AM to 12PM Walk ins – On site
Intake/Interview and Pick up of tax returns
Bayside Community Church
15800 FL-64
Bradenton FL 34212
1/25/2022 4/5/2022 Tues – 2PM to 6PM By Appointments – On site
Intake/Interview and Pick up of tax returns. For appointments: log into – https://mybayside.church/events/
Goodwill SR 70 E
8750 State Road 70 East
Bradenton, 34202
1/26/2022 4/6/2022 Wed – 9AM – 12PM Walk ins – On site
Intake/Interview and Pick up of tax returns
Holy Cross Catholic Church
501 26th St West
Palmetto FL 34221
2/13/2022 3/13/2022 Sun – 12:30PM to 3:30PM
(On 2/13, 2/27 & 3/13/2022 ONLY)
Walk ins – On site
Intake/Interview and Pick up of tax returns

* All COVID Protocol will be followed at our sites as per CDC Guidelines.
** Masks are required to be worn at our sites at all time and social distancing maintained.
*** Virtual Sites – Intake/Interview will take place on site, Tax Preparation and Quality Review will take place virtually.
Client will then return to the site within a week to collect a copy of their return and sign off on Form 8879 before it’s E-filed IRS.

If interested in preparing your own tax return with a FREE software & a Volunteer’s help, please email us at taxes@stepupsuncoast.org.

The following VITA Forms are required to be filled in by each client:
Form 13614-C (English)
Form 14446 (English)
Form 13614-C (Español)
Form 14446 (Español)

The following documents are required to prepare your taxes:

  • Social Security cards or ITINs for everyone on the return – NO exceptions
  • Government Issued Photo Ids for Taxpayers
  • All W-2s, 1099s and other income documents
  • Self-Employed and Contract Labor (Out of scope: losses, wages paid out or inventory etc.)
  • Proof of Expenses & Mileage, if self-employed
  • Form 1095 – A, if you had health insurance through State Marketplace
  • Direct Deposit Information – Bank Name, Account & Routing Number
  • 2020 Tax Return, preferred

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
  • 3rd Stimulus payment of $1400
  • Advance Child Tax Credit details

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

Become a VITA Volunteer