Community Resources for Families

[scroll for the entire list]

 Disclaimer:  This list is not an endorsement for any of the following companies/vendors. We recommend that you research your prospective company/provider. 

Employment Benefit Resources Respite Services Future Planning

Vehicle Adaptations Transportation Volunteering Other Resources

Medical Services Disability Support Therapy


Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN): What exactly does EARN do for employers? We support them in their efforts to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified individuals with disabilities through: Education & Resources, Online Training, News & Information, and Research and Exemplary practices.

Employment First: 30 E. Broad Street Columbus, OH 43215 P: 614-466-6612. Employment First is shifting expectations for a cultural transformation. Every person has abilities, skills and talents to enrich the community and people around us. We envision a time when every working-age adult with developmental disabilities has opportunity to explore their career options and seek jobs that fit their skills and interests.

Fairfield County Ohio Means Jobs (OMJ) (P)740-652-7889 239 W. Main street Lancaster, OH 43130 OhioMeansJobs Fairfield County Center provides a variety of services to job seekers and businesses. Job seeker services can include utilizing the resource room to create a resume or working with a career advisor to practice interviewing skills. We work with a variety of customers looking for employment and training services. OhioMeansJobs Fairfield County Center can assist with you getting your GED and teach you how to look for employment to meet your needs

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) 4300 E. Broad Street Suite 200 Whitehall, OH 43213 at 614-466-4575 TTY: 614-466-9846 OOD's Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) assists eligible people, beginning at age 14, with physical, mental and emotional disabilities by providing direct, personalized services to assist them in finding and retaining meaningful work and personal independence. OOD provides counseling and guidance to individuals with disabilities who are seeking employment to jointly choose an employment goal based on strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, capabilities and interests.

O*NET: The O*NET Program is the nation's primary source of occupational information. The O*NET database, containing hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors on almost 1,000 occupations covering the entire U.S. economy. The database, which is available to the public at no cost, is continually updated from input by a broad range of workers in each occupation.

Job Accommodations Network (JAN): The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP):  The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is the only non-regulatory federal agency that promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities.

What is Employment First?


Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council – Estate Planning: Building on the prior version written by David Zwyer, this book offers a comprehensive overview of estate planning for individuals in the disability community: persons with disabilities, their families and others. Estate planning is an important step in gaining and maintaining control over our affairs. It is especially important for families who have loved ones who have a disability which affects their ability to control their person or affairs. This book is not legal advice but instead offers general information that may or may not be applicable to any one situation. A competent professional should be consulted about specific situations and choosing the correct strategies for each unique situation.

Disability Benefits 101: gives you tools and information on health coverage, benefits, and employment. You can plan ahead and learn how work and benefits go together. DB101 helps people with disabilities and service providers understand the connections between work and benefits. DB101 will help you make informed choices and show you how you can make work part of your plan.

Medicaid Buy In: Allows individuals with disabilities to earn money from a job (income) and keep their Medicaid health care coverage.

Stable Accounts: A STABLE Account is an investment account available to eligible individuals with disabilities. STABLE Accounts are made possible by the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) Act. STABLE Accounts allow individuals with disabilities to save and invest money without losing eligibility for certain public benefits programs, like Medicaid, SSI, or SSDI. Earnings in your STABLE Account are not subject to federal income tax, so long as you spend them on “Qualified Disability Expenses.”

Social Security Red Book: The Red Book serves as a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of the Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Programs for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals, and counselors who serve people with disabilities.


Information about Intermediate Care Facilities is available on our funding page. Click here to visit the funding page.

Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action Agency 1743 East Main Street Lancaster, OH 43130  (P): 740-653-4146
Focus on available resources that will enable low-income families and individuals to obtain the skill, knowledge, motivation and the opportunities they need to become self-sufficient.

Community Housing Impact & Preservation (CHIP): Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action Agency administers the Fairfield County Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) Program. Ohio Development Services Agency provides CHIP funds to local governments to improve and provide affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents of their communities. CHIP funds can assist eligible Fairfield County residents with home rehabilitation and repairs and home buying. To learn more, follow this link:, or call LFCAA at 740-653-4146

Supportive Housing: Rutherford House, Pearl House, Fairfield County Housing Coalition, and Homeless Crisis Response Program (HCRP): Through the Homeless Crisis Response Program (HCRP), assistance toward the cost of rent may be available. The program aims to prevent homelessness when possible and, when homelessness does occur, to provide emergency shelter and rapidly move those affected from emergency shelter into permanent housing.

Fairfield Metropolitan Housing Authority 315 North Columbus Street Lancaster, OH 43130 (P) 740-653-6618 (F) 740-653-7600 TTY: 740-653-2653

The Fairfield Metropolitan Housing Authority is dedicated to serving the needs of low- and moderate-income families in Fairfield County and to:

·        increase the availability of decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable housing in our community;

·        ensure equal opportunity in housing;

·        promote self-sufficiency and asset development of families; and,

·        improve community-wide quality of life and economic vitality in cooperation with other agencies, developers, and individuals.

Fairfield Affordable Housing, Inc. 111 South Broad Street Lancaster, OH 43130 (P) 740-652-9285

Housing opportunities for seniors ages 55 and over and persons with ID/DD. A web-based interactive database that will provide searchable information on affordable, accessible rental housing throughout the state, as well as links to other housing options and resources. The Ohio Housing Locator is a joint venture between the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Aging, the Department of Job and Family Services, the Developmental Disabilities Council, and the Department of Development.

Lutheran Social Service: LSS Faith Mission of Fairfield County serves people in need by offering a broad array of services to people experiencing homelessness. Through this program clients have access to services such as emergency shelter, employment assistance, housing for veterans and case management. Call 740-653-2265. Click here to visit the website.

Foundation Shelters: 800 W. Sixth St. Lancaster, OH 43130 740-653-1960  The Foundation shelters addresses the very basic needs of the Community’s most desperate citizens, the homeless. Most of the homeless residents are men with long term social and health problems that cause their homeless status. Occasionally someone with a short term problem needs our help. While most residents are men, we usually are accommodating three or four women and occasionally mothers with children. The shelter facility is designed to totally separate women and children from the male population. Foundations can house 25 residents, Men's shelter capacity is 16 and women's shelter is 9.

Shelter doors open at 8pm


Lancaster-Fairfield County Community Action (CA)

Emergency Homeless Shelter

1743 East Main Street

Lancaster, OH 43130


Community Action has an emergency shelter for eligible homeless families with children only – no single adults. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Project House Call – Contact 211 or (P) 740-687-0500 Project HouseCall is a program designed to give you the necessary resources to regain or retain housing stability and quality of life.  We are here to coordinate all types of housing information. Whether it be low income and affordable housing, shelters, housing counseling, homeownership and foreclosure information, we have the resources available for you.


The Lighthouse

PO Box 215

Lancaster, OH 43130

24-Hour Hotline: 740-687-4423

The Lighthouse provides a safe, supportive environment for women or men and their children, when faced with domestic violence. The Lighthouse is staffed 24 hours a day and will assist victims of domestic violence with referrals, housing assistance, and supportive services.


Respite Services

Ohio Medicaid Respite Care Benefit

Beginning January 2014, Ohio’s Medicaid program began offering a Respite Care benefit to assist families in caring for Medicaid eligible children under the age of 21 who have been determined eligible for Social Security Income for children with disabilities. Adults disabled since childhood who are under age 21 and receive Supplemental Security Disability Income are also eligible for respite if they also receive Medicaid.

Respite is available through Ohio’s five Medicaid Managed Care Plans. Families interested in obtaining respite services must work with their health care provider to receive this benefit.  If you already have a care manager from your health plan, please reach out to them to help you.

Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)
The Family Center at Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) connects families to the information they need regarding services, supports, training and resources, including the free OCALI Lending Library.

Ohio Child Care Finder
Click on ‘Search for Childcare.' This includes a connection to Ohio Child Care Resource & Referral Association (OCCRRA).  This includes resources as well as a Child Care Finder that can be searched using your zip code.

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services 
This includes information about resources for child care and access to publicly funded child care in Ohio through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.  This allows you to search under “Family Resources” to find programs or child care that could meet your needs.

Ohio Department of Education & Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Search for Early Care and Education Programs
This system will help you locate the type of early care and education program that meets your needs. You also can learn more about programs' licensing status, Step Up To Quality rating, and inspection results.
You may search for child care and there is a “special needs” category.

State Support Team
This includes information regarding summer camps for students with and without a disability.  This also includes helpful resources about things to consider when choosing a camp.

Red Tree House
Red Tree House is Ohio’s online resource that assists connecting families with children prenatal to 25 to available resources. This also includes a place where you can search Respite resources by your county. 

Fairfield County Family, Adult and Children First Council
Cindi West at 740-652-7283
Birth-18 years old (Children who are eligible for DD services will be served through age 21). They assist families with children who have multiple needs and are supported by more than one agency. You can also access services by requesting a referral from your Individual Support Coordinator.

Resources for Future Planning

 Disability Rights Ohio
Ohio’s rules for Adult Guardianship. Information about Guardianship and other alternatives to Guardianship.

Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council
Guardianship and Alternatives Booklet
Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council “Record Keeping and Personal Care Guide.” A comprehensive collection of forms including: medical information, personal contact information, emergency information, insurance information, care giver’s information, and organizational tools that assist families to record this information.

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency

•Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR)
•Bureau for the Services for Visual Impairments (BSVI)
•Division of Disability Determination (DDD)

Provides counseling and guidance to individuals with disabilities who are seeking employment to jointly choose an employment goal based on strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, capabilities and interests.

Southeastern Ohio Center for Independent Living
Assisting Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families
Future planning is essential for people with disabilities.  The Southeastern Ohio Center for Independent Living can help people with disabilities develop their plans for the future and help them gain the skills and link them to resources to turn those plans into reality
Fairfield County (740) 689-1494   Hocking County (740) 380-1475

University of Arizona’s “Future Care Planning: A Roadmap for Family Caregivers” manual
A resource to begin the conversations around family planning and includes a place to record the information.

Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council
Estate, Financial, Medicaid, SSI, SSDI, Trusts, and STABLE account information Succession Planning

Portfolio (created by Fairfield County Board of DD)
HERE for a complimentary copy

“All about me NOW
· Documents how you do things now, for anyone who may take over in a family crisis or transition
· Records things that are important to and important for the individual
· Provides a smoother transition for your family member 

“All about my FUTURE
· Explains your wishes for your family member’s future living arrangements and other matters
· Addresses these hard questions now, before a family crisis or transition

The Arc- Center for Future Planning

Build Your Plan® is a tool that enables families to create accounts and begin to build their future plans.

 Transportation Resources

Canal Winchester Human Services
Canal Winchester area only

Southeastern Ohio Center for Independent Living (SOCIL)
SOCIL can provide training on how to utilize transit.
Contact Scott Campbell at 740-689-1494 ext. 15

Lancaster-Fairfield Public Transit
(740-681-5086) to schedule rides and apply for Mobility Passport (740-687-6858) for questions and answers
Provides curb to curb transit in Fairfield County and fixed routes for all. Mobility Passport provides discounted rates to persons with disabilities and senior citizens

Fun Bus         740-653-TAXI (8294)
Provides curb to curb transit in Fairfield County

Go Bus      1-888-954-6287
Provides services between Athens and Columbus with stops in Athens, Nelsonville, Logan, Lancaster and Columbus (including the Columbus Airport)

Greyhound or General assistance: 1-800-752-4841
Columbus Bus Station
111 E Town St
Columbus, OH 43215

Greyhound is committed to serving people with disabilities. Individuals should contact Greyhound with questions, concerns, or complaints regarding travel on Greyhound for customers with disabilities.

Fairfield County Job and Family Services
Provides transportation for medical appointments to Medicaid recipients. There are also other resources such as gas vouchers and vehicle repair assistance.

Fairfield Center for DisAbilities & Cerebral Palsy, Inc. 
Provides door to door transit for medical appointments to Medicaid recipients. Non-medical transportation is at private pay rates.

Rideshare Company-Gohio Commute   
Gohio Commute helps commuters all across the state explore their commute options

Samaritan Center
Provides door to door transit for medical appointments to Medicaid recipients.

Provides door to door transit

Vehicle Adaptations and Services

Ohio State University Hospital - Occupational Therapy Driver Rehabilitation Program
Offers driver training, driving evaluation or vehicle modification assessment.   Paid by insurance or private pay.

Disabled Dealer Magazine
Connects buyers and sellers- if you see an item you are interested in you will need to contact the phone number listed in the ad.

Columbus Mobility Specialists

Fitzpatrick Enterprises, Inc.

Key Mobility

M.C. Mobility Systems, Inc.

Mobility Works

Travis Roy Foundation

At the Travis Roy Foundation we are focused on empowering spinal cord injured survivors through adaptive equipment grants, which enable independence; and funding SCI research to benefit people with chronic injuries. In doing this we actively collaborate with the SCI community to create advocacy and to raise awareness.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Fairfield Area Humane Society: We are a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, guided by a dedicated board. Though united with many humane societies across the country in a common concern for animals, the Fairfield Area Humane Society is an independent organization relying on the generosity of donations from the people of Fairfield County.

Habitat for Humanity of Fairfield County: Join our group of friendly volunteers. Volunteer regularly – once a week, once a month – or join us for just a day. Our volunteer coordinators can help match you or your group to the volunteer opportunity that best fits you. Through the generous contribution of your time, energy and talents you help keep our overhead low so that we can contribute more towards building Habitat for Humanity homes in our communities. And, you help keep tons of usable materials out of the landfills. We have volunteer opportunities available in all our stores, and you can choose either scheduled or flexible volunteer activities. We’d love to set up a special volunteer day for your group, too.


First Community Kitchen (Lancaster First United Methodist Church): A unique outreach ministry of First United Methodist Church, the First Community Kitchen serves a free lunch on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 12 noon. The lunch is prepared by volunteers with love, and friendship. Volunteers welcome the guests, prepare the lunch, serve the lunch, visit with the guests and clean up the kitchen and dining area after lunch. The experience of those who come to enjoy the meal is one of fellowship and affirmation. For more information, contact the church office at 740-653-3330


Other Resources

Autism Resources for Families: Click HERE for Guide

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD)-Family Resources

#FamilyTalk is an informal discussion on family topics by people who know their stuff. These live chats are hosted on the DODD Facebook page and offer the opportunity to watch, interact, and ask questions live.

 Family Engagement Series

 Fairfield County Parents2Gether

This is a group for families with kids and adults with special needs in Fairfield County to connect and get information, advice, or to just chat. If you know any families in Fairfield County that has someone with special needs please tell them about this page.

Fairfield County 2-1-1/Fairfield County Information and Referral
P: 740-687-0500
Dial 211 (if you are in the 740 area code only)
Crisis 740-687-8255 (TALK)
Community resources which is available to anyone in Fairfield County, i.e. food assistance, housing, crisis intervention, and other medical and mental health resources.

2-1-1 Housing Resource

Central Ohio Listing of Summer Camps

Fairfield County Society for Children and Adults with Disabilities Melody Liston at 740-277-4984 or Julie Bruckelmeyer at 740-652-7220.
The Society is dedicated to helping children and adults with special needs with assistance for the purchase of durable medical equipment and supplies.  Services by the Society are provided by referral and based on financial need.

Telelog provided by Family, Adult Child First Council

Medical Related Resources

Aladdin Shriners Hospital Association for Children (A.S.H.A.C.)
Provides funding for care and treatment of children in Aladdin’s jurisdiction with burn injuries, orthopedic problems, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and pallet deficiencies in addition to providing wheelchairs, prosthetics and patient care support.

Fairfield Department of Health

Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH)

Judy Scali 740-652-2800 Extension 2826. All BCMH families are contacted by telephone or mailings by our BCMH nurse. Several BCMH children and families are visited on an ongoing basis, requiring multiple interventions to assist with their needs.

Ohio Department of Medicaid
Medicaid Provider Search tool at
Call each plan’s member services number or visit their web site to find more information about what each plan offers.

Buckeye Health Plan 1-866-246-4358 CareSource 1-800-488-0134
Molina Healthcare 1-800-642-4168 Paramount Advantage 1-800-462-3589  
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan 1-800-895-2017

By the Way Free Medical Clinic
1029 South Broad Street, Lancaster
Lower Level of Maywood Mission side entrance
First and Third Tuesday of every month from 6-8 pm (walk-in only) Health care professional providing care for our neighbors in need

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation
Children 16 years or younger with private health insurance, meet adjusted gross income, and not covered or not fully covered of the necessary treatment, services, or equipment. Grant covers qualifying families up to $5,000 per child per year with a $10,000 lifetime max.

The funds help pay for medical treatment, therapies, services or equipment.  

Joni and Friends
Ohio Area Ministry
Provide family retreats nationally and internationally
Equipping churches for disability ministries, education and training

Christian Fund for the Disabled (CFD)
The CFD is a matching grant program of Joni and Friends meeting practical needs of people affected by disability. Funds are available for the following needs: training, adaptive needs, equipment, rehabilitation, special treatments

Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action Agency
We are committed to focusing available resources that will enable low-income families and individuals to obtain the skill, knowledge, motivation and the opportunities they need to become self-sufficient.

Social Services, Adult Learning Center, Energy Outreach, Head Start & Early Childhood

Help Me Grow
Help identify children with, or at risk for developmental delays or disabilities, serving expectant parents, children birth-age 3 Church Bed Brigade
Bed Brigade builds and delivers beds to kids who don’t have one. Often these kids are at risk for being removed from their homes because their parents can’t provide beds. Bed Brigade started in Circleville, Ohio. They have served Pickaway County and they have yet to catch up to the incredibly high demand. Last year the Bed Brigade in Circleville, Ohio made and delivered 1000 beds to children that did not have any.

CareStar has almost 30 years of experience in providing case management services to the chronically and developmentally disabled. We help individuals maintain comfort, health, and welfare while remaining independent in their home and community.

Medical Equipment/Eye Glasses

Peace United Methodist Church
Helping Hands Medical Equipment Ministry
Contact Coordinator, Linda Hottle, 614-837-3732, ext. 150,

Fairfield Center for disAbilities & Cerebral Palsy, Inc.
Home Modifications
Our wheelchair ramp and home modification program provides Lancaster and Fairfield County residents with mobility disabilities an opportunity to regain the full use of their homes and property. The construction is performed by a large group of church volunteers called the SMART Team. The Center pays for the materials, utilizing funds from the CDBG Grant and River Valley Rods and Customs-Fund Raiser Rods for Ramps.

Medical Loan Closet
The Medical Loan Closet is available to all residents of Fairfield County, at no charge, who are in need. The Loan Closet has items such as Walkers, Wheelchairs, Canes & Crutches, Bedside Commodes, Shower Chairs and Benches. The only requirement to receive any of these items is that you agree and sign a Medical Equipment Release Form.

Maple Street United Methodist Church
Free Store
(740) 687-6384

Lions Club
Contact Todd Edwards 740-653-4004
Assist with eye glasses

Disability Support

 Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD) 740-382-5452
Nonprofit organization that provides services to individuals age birth-26 to ensure appropriate education to children with disabilities.

Disability Rights Ohio
Provides legal advocacy and rights protection for a wide range of issues.

Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (DSACO)
Nonprofit that provides support and assistance to individuals with Down Syndrome and their families.

Autism Society of Central Ohio (ASCO)
A nonprofit group of parents and professionals advocating for people with Autism.

Autism Speaks
216-524-2842 (Cleveland field office) Family Services:
(888) AUTISM2 (288-4762)
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions across the spectrum and throughout the life span for the needs of people with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital


Capital Therapy Services    
69 West Waterloo St., Canal Winchester, OH, 43110

Columbus Speech and Hearing Center
510 E. North Broadway, Columbus, OH, 43214       

Nationwide Children’s Hospital: Speech and Language Pathology  
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, OH, 43205           

Columbus Therapy Associates LLC          
1335 Dublin Rd, Suite 200B, Columbus, OH, 43215            

The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy         
4624 Sawmill Rd, Columbus OH 43220                   

Flourish Integrated Therapy LLC
30 Northwoods Blvd., Columbus OH 43235            

Faith, Hope, & Love Autism Services
701 Hill Road N. Suite A, Pickerington, OH 43147

Fairfield Medical Center
401 N. Ewing Street, Lancaster, OH, 43130             

SpeechPath Ohio
1120 N. Memorial Dr., Lancaster, Ohio 43130         

The OSU Nisonger Center
1581 Dodd Dr. Columbus, OH, 43210