Interchurch Social Services (ISS) was designed to meet a long-felt need in the community for a resource to turn to in all kinds of personal and family emergencies. ISS began with a gift of $ 1,000 from the Bexley Society, just before Bexley Hall left Gambier to join Colgate-Rochester Divinity School. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church provided office space and Mercy Hospital the first worker, Sister Ann Hinchon. The doors opened in 1968. Since then, ISS has provided emergency assistance and a Christian presence to thousands in need in the Knox County area.

In 1969, the ISS office moved into the Gay Street United Methodist Church. In 1981, the Mount Vernon office moved to 114 East Gambier Street. After searching many years for a location that would provide enough space for all Mount Vernon operations (thrift store, pantry, financial aid and management offices), a new facility was opened at 306 West Gambier Street in 2009. Branch offices were opened in Centerburg (1988), Fredericktown (1991), and Danville (1995). Today, an executive director and a staff of 15 lead ISS with the assistance of nearly 100 volunteers each week. A Board of Trustees governs ISS, with representatives from participating churches and community organizations.

Each branch operates with a separate budget to meet the needs in their community. Thrift shops operated by ISS serve a dual purpose - providing income for operations and clothing for our clients. Our food pantries provide 3 complete meals for 3 days. This service is available once every 30 days. Supplementing a family’s food budget may free-up cash to meet other needs. Financial aid (a maximum of $ 100) is available once every 6 months to assist with rent, deposits, or utilities. Turn the Tide, our annual Christmas campaign, includes four programs: holiday food baskets, Tree of Sharing, Adopt-a-Family, and Profile families. Through the generosity of the Knox County community over 500 families are assured a happy holiday! Other services include medical transportation, prescription assistance, Kiwanis "Coats for Kids," advocacy, information and referral. All services are dependent on availability. Income guidelines do apply.

Our presence in the community has sensitized our friends, neighbors, coworkers and employers to the issues of poverty and provides a forum for their response. In 1984, an editorial in the Mount Vernon News asserted "Interchurch Social Services has done more to unite Knox Countians in serving humankind than any other agency." That statement is as true today as it was 25 years ago.

Program Name: Clothing Assistance
Description: Two (2) complete outfits provided free of charge for each individual or family member once every 30 days. When available, coats, boots, hats and gloves are also provided.
Program Name: Food Pantry
Description: A variety of wholesome, healthy food is available once every 30 days. Individuals and families receive the basic ingredients for 3 meals for 3 days – a total of 9 meals. Taxable items, when available, are also included. United Way grocery vouchers, when available, are offered to families with children for purchase of milk, eggs, and produce. All locations are Customer Choice Pantries.
Program Name: Financial Aid/Discretionary Fund
Description: Assistance is available a maximum of two times per year for those with disconnect notices on utilities. Rent and deposit assistance is also available.
Program Name: Medical Assistance
Description: ISS offers assistance for prescriptions, with the exception of pain medications, and gasoline vouchers for out-of-county medical appointments. A transportation service, known as FISH, is provided by volunteers and coordinated by ISS.
Program Name: Turn the Tide
Description: A Christmas event that includes four programs: holiday food basket distribution, Tree of Sharing, Adopt-a-Family, and Profile Families. Established clients may sign-up for assistance with the holidays beginning the third week of October.
Program Name: Financial Stability Partnership
Description: With the support of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation and United Way, we have contracted with Anita Clark to fill the Budget Coordinator position. Anita is available to meet with any Knox County resident who would like to take a look at a true 30 day budget. She can make suggestions for saving $$ in some cases and make referrals to other programs as needed. She also identifies participants for the Financial Stability Partnership which can provide additional financial support to individuals or families that have encountered unexpected barriers to their stability such as an unexpected death or serious injury or a reduction in work hours.
Other Services: Kiwanis “Coats for Kids” distribution, The Benefit Bank, AEP’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor Assistance Program, Information and Referral

All locations offer the same programs/services. Service areas are divided by school districts.

306 West Gambier Street
PO Box 1052
Mount Vernon, OH 43050
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Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Serving residents of Mount Vernon City School district

Clothes Encounter Thrift Shop on-site.
The shop is open 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

40 North Clayton Street
PO Box 751
Centerburg, OH 43011
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Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Serving residents of Centerburg School district

Twice Treasured Thrift Shop on-site.
The shop is also open 9:00 - 2:00.

302 1/2 South Market Street
PO Box 52
Danville, OH 43014
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Monday - Friday
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Serving residents of East Knox & Danville School districts

The Church Mouse Thrift Shop on-site.
The shop is open 10:00 - 3:00.

69 North Main Street
PO Box 301
Fredericktown, OH 43019
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Monday - Friday
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Serving residents of Fredericktown School district

Auntie Alice’s Corner Cupboard Thrift Shop on-site.
The shop is open 10:00 - 3:00.