MILTON — When you think of places to go for help with child neglect and abuse prevention, you may not immediately think of Family Resource Program of Santa Rosa. But this small nonprofit has been helping children and families do just that for over 30 years.

Now they are in need of help to continue their mission.

FRP president Margo Recke said the program receives donations and funding from several organizations, the largest source being the now defunct United Way Santa Rosa County.

"We have enough money left over (from United Way) to last for a while," Recke said. "Churches in Santa Rosa provide financial assistance as well."

The small social services program, established in 1987, serves families of Santa Rosa County with children who are 18 years old and younger with services including financial assistance for a portion of utilities, food, diapers, household cleaning supplies, clothing, and other services including referrals to other community resources.

"For a small program we help a lot of people," Miller said. "We have a tradition of treating our people with compassion."

According to IRS records, last year the program assisted 1,448 people with funding for utilities.

FRP board member Jewell Miller said the program also offers a clothing closet for any citizen in need at no cost, and recently expanded their financial assistance program to include the elderly of the county. 

"We are getting more and more seniors each month," Miller said. "Last month we had 30 seniors come to us."

Recke said because their staff is 100 percent volunteer, they have little overhead, which allows them to put most of their funding back into the community. She said because of the growing number of seniors and families in need and with the decrease in funding due to the closing of United Way, the program will need more help from the community.

"This is a very generous community and I have no doubt we will be able to keep going," she said. 

Angela Hamilton, a single mother who has been coming to the program for help for many years, said the program was a lifesaver for her and her family.

"They have gone over their means to help me," Hamilton said. "Whenever I have come in they have always helped me. They have never turned me down."

Hamilton said as a community she would encourage everyone to donate more food, clothing, toys, books, and household items, including sheets and comforters. Hamilton said she plans to donate back to the program when she can.

"It is what you should do," She said.

The center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is located at 6607 Elva Street in Milton.