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 doors and 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 Counselor

The 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.

Housing Counseling Services include:

  • Pre-Purchase/Home Buying Counseling: Will cover the entire home buying process from beginning to end.
  • First Time Home Buyer Workshops
  • 8-hour course currently being offered via zoom
  •  Required credential to access county grant programs for down payment and closing cost assistance

Financial Literacy Counseling:

  • Budget Counseling
  • Creating a personalized and sustainable budget that will help you achieve your (housing) goals.
  • Information on different types of banking services such as checking and savings accounts to help grow wealth and stability.
  •  Credit Counseling (coming soon)
  • Establishing and repairing credit
  • Obtaining credit reports
  • Avoiding fraud

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

First Time Home Buyer Classes      First Time Home Buyer Schedule 2024

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 Form***We are in need of volunteers for the upcoming tax season.
Become a VITA Volunteer

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation and filing services each year from January through April 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 will be available to assist in preparing and electronic filing your tax return.

Click here to see this year’s VITA tax locations, dates, and hours of operation.
      *subject to change so please monitor website for updates
VITA Hours and Locations

2024 VITA Program Flyer

If you need assistance to prepare your income tax for free, please email us at taxes@stepupsuncoast.org or call 941-999-6287 to set up an appointment. We would be happy to help.

In some cases, we will prepare taxes virtually – Intake/Interview & Quality Review will take place on site, Tax Preparation will be done 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 to IRS.

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

Form 13614-C (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
  • 2022 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

If you would like to prepare your own taxes for free go to the link below or e-mail us at taxes@stepupsuncoast.org to receive link to the free site:

VITA Tax Inquiry