Hampden County assistance program.

Locate resources and programs to help with bills and expenses

If you are struggling in toady’s’ difficult economy, or if are considered low to moderate income, Springfield Partners for Community Action, Inc, which is located at 619 State Street, Springfield, MA 01109, phone (413) 263-6500 is the local community action agency that offers programs and resources to help. Some of the programs they offer are below, but they also offer others.

  • Weatherization Assistance Program
    Springfield Partners for Community Action offers residents this free program. They have been helping low to middle income Hampden county and Springfield families for over the past 20 years. Weatherization assistance programs provides energy assistance and home insulation to low-income and elderly renters  throughout Hampden County. Last year over 1,000 families and homes had weatherization services and upgrades completed on their home, which resulted in lower utility and heating bills for those families. These services will lower the average annual energy bill by about $250 per home. In addition, the organization works closely with all the local utilities and gas companies to provide various weatherization services to low-income families. As just one example, Bay State Gas has their own, separate program that helps with both heating and insulation needs to low-income families that is referred to as their Partners in Energy Program, and this can also help people save money.
     
  • Eviction Prevention and Clinic
    A partnership between Western Mass Legal Services, Massachusetts Justice Project, and Housing Court was formed to provide people with counseling and referrals to programs. Clinics are held weekly. The goal is to educate as well as inform tenants who are facing eviction of their responsibilities and rights and to prepare them for housing court hearings. They can also refer people to programs that can help them access grants that can provide them with short term rent help. The goal of the clinic and eviction prevention services is to ensure tenants know, understand and excise their housing rights and obligations.
     
  • Credit and Debt Counseling
    They provide local residents with assistance in improving their credit, eliminating their debt, establishing credit or even repairing and improving their credit scores. Their Credit Counselors work closely with clients to ensure confidentiality but also facilitates workshops on budgeting, financial literacy, and debt counseling.

Several other programs are offered by Springfield Partners for Community Action. They include job placement, mediation for tenants facing an eviction, and of course referrals to other Hampden County non-profit agencies. Click here.

 

 

 

 

Find rent and housing assistance

The city of Springfield has announced that two local agencies and charity organizations will receive funds from a $1.7 million federal government stimulus grant. The money will be used to help prevent evictions, homelessness, provide rent and utility bill aid, and the government funds will have an overall goal of concentrating on homeless prevention efforts and the rapid rehousing of families who may have lost their homes.

The groups that will be receiving the money and that will be distributing the aid include HAP, Inc. ((413) 233-1500), which is slated to receive about $1.1 million from the grant. Another agency that will be providing assistance is Catholic Charities ((413) 452-0605), which is receiving almost $600,000. City officials announced the government funds during a press conference that was held at City Hall.

The Mayor of Springfield, Domenic J. Sarno, in announcing how the housing assistance funds will be dispersed said there will be added focus on preventing evictions, helping currently homeless families and also really focus on assisting families who are at danger of homelessness while continuing to help individuals.

The assistance will be provided in various forms, and will range from direct grants to pay for rent, assessment and counseling to rapid rehousing through aid such as utility bill help, rental subsidies, and also money for security deposits.

Contact Catholic Charities for more information or to apply. Note that they have various programs and services that assist the poor and needy in addition to this rent assistance.

Non-profits that offer emergency rent or security deposit help - If the Catholic Charities or HAP can’t help you, also feel free to call other agencies. They may issue a loan or other financial help for a back rent payment. Locate a more extensive list on Springfield Massachusetts rent assistance programs and organizations.

 

 

 

Help to avoid foreclosure

There are programs and agencies that are providing foreclosure assistance to Springfield Massachusetts families. Funds are available from the Homesaver Rescue Fund to homeowners who are in danger of losing their home to foreclosure. HAPHousing is another local agency that provides of variety of assistance programs. In addition, read about the state of Massachusetts foreclosure assistance programs.

HAPHousing ((413) 233-1500), is a local non-profit agency that is based in Springfield, and they have been offering loans of up to $5,000 for qualified borrowers and homeowners may lose their home. According to the agency, with foreclosures climbing, they've seen an increase in demand for help and they are doing their best to meet that demand.

The agency has housing counselors that will work directly with the borrower in foreclosure prevention tactics, and the counselors are well trained to set up an immediate plan of action for the homeowner. Housing counselors will arm an applicant with financial tools, information on programs, education and support that will assist the homeowner in overcoming immediate financial issues and hopefully save their home.

In addition, those looking for foreclosure and mortgage help can contact the Western Massachusetts Foreclosure Prevention Hotline at (413) 233-1622.

Legal assistance in Hampden, including foreclosure help

The Hampden County Bar Association, which is located in Springfield MA ((413) 733 - 6500) provides free legal help and representation to families and individuals with consumer protections matters, debt reduction, tenant or housing matters and individuals facing foreclosure. In addition, they provide free foreclosure counseling. Read more on Massachusetts legal aid.

Financial assistance for rent, bills, prescriptions, and other aid

Catholic Charities - Springfield, which can be reached at (413) 452 - 0605, provides, among other things, rent payment and housing assistance, diapers, prescription medication expense assistance, comprehensive information and referral on government programs (federal and Massachusetts) and they may be able to provide other forms of assistance. A location is also located in Worcester.

Another agency to contact is EFSP Salvation Army - Holyoke. This non-profit agency provides limited mortgage payment assistance, congregate meals, groceries, nutrition sites, access to food pantries and soup kitchens, rent payment assistance, electric and heating bill payment assistance and gas bill payment assistance. They may also from time to time have limited funding for other expenses. (413) 532 - 6312

 

 

 

 

The Salvation Army also operates several other centers around Hampden County Massachusetts. Emergency financial aid is available, but limited. Social services are offered, and are more wide ranging. In addition to the programs indicated above, many locations also offer homeless prevention and Christmas assistance. Read more on the services offered by the Salvation Army.

Another community action agency for Hampden County is the Holyoke based VOC - Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. They can help low to moderate income families, the working poor, unemployed, and others. Services offered by the non-profit include: Mortgage Foreclosure Assistance, Food Pantries, Food Vouchers, Soup Kitchens, Housing Search and Information, and information and referrals to Community Action Agencies. (413) 552-1554. Find additional mortgage help programs.

HAP Inc., which has its phone number above, may also be able to offer rent help and other emergency assistance.

A second community action agency supports people in Hampden County Massachusetts. Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is headquartered in Holyoke (phone (413) 552 - 1554). Programs are offered for low to moderate income families. The resources and services provided include Mortgage Foreclosure Assistance, Free Food Pantries, Food and Grocery Vouchers, Soup Kitchens, Housing Search and Information, Heating and Utility Bill Help, and Rent Aid.

Free holiday help is available in the Springfield area. Whether a struggling family needs a free gift or toy for their kids, or a single mom is having difficulty in providing a Christmas meal, charities can help. Everything from home delivery to seniors to holiday presents for the less fortunate are offered. Find more details on Christmas and holiday help in Hampden County.

Churches of Western Massachusetts provides emergency assistance to income qualified families. While the resources are limited and depend on donations, the council may offer funds for paying heating bills, homeless prevention, and other crisis support. Hampden County residents of all religions can get support. There are also summer programs for children and referrals to other non-profits and government organizations. More on The Council of Churches of Western Massachusetts programs.

Hampden County clothing distribution centers may distribute either free or low cost goods to lower income and unemployed families. While not as common, some of the locations may have funds for paying certain living expenses. Get information on the leading places in Springfield to get items such as work clothes, free shoes, baby supplies and similar items. Click more details.

Emergency shelters and transitional housing programs in Hampden County can address housing needs. Get information on low income units, programs to pay deposit or first months rent, and help with locating permanent housing in the Springfield Massachusetts region. Click Hampden transitional housing programs.

 

 

 

Ways to get help with utility and heating bills

The Council of Churches of Greater Springfield (413) 733 - 2149) runs and emergency fuel assistance program that provides financial support to purchase heating fuel during winter months and to pay for heating bills. Services offered includes heating fuel bill payment assistance.

An assistance program of Westfield Gas Co., known as Westfield Warm, provides heating oil and fuel assistance, gas bill payment assistance, heating oil bill payment assistance to income-eligible individuals and families in the community. Call (413) 572 - 0100

Credit counseling and debt management

Receive access to credit counseling, debt reduction programs, foreclosure counseling, and credit repair from the following non-profit agencies. They offer numerous services and programs to individuals. American Consumer Credit Counseling (dial (800) 769 - 3571).

The second agency is Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern New England. Help provided to individuals includes debt management, assistance with budgeting and money management, housing and foreclosure counseling, and consumer education. The agency will also help consumers reorganize debt payments as an alternative to bankruptcy. Read more on debt negotiation. Call (866) 889 - 9347.

Community health care clinics

Caring Health Center offers family primary medical and dental. They offer their programs on a sliding fee scale, for people who can’t afford to pay full prices hospital or medical bills. Springfield MA (413) 739 - 1100.

Holyoke Health Center (dial (413) 420 - 2222) provides a community clinic providing medical and dental care, and general checkups.

New Hope Community Health Clinic offers free medical care for patients who do not have health insurance. It is a no cost community clinic. (413) 782 - 5219

Additional clinics and health centers in the region may offer free medical care, prescription drugs, and other assistance. Locate more Hampden community clinics.

Emergency food and meals

Lorraine's Soup Kitchen and Pantry, Inc. provides emergency food. Holiday meals and assistance is also offered. Call (413) 592 - 9528

Community Survival Center, Inc. provides emergency food and other aid. They are a distribution site. Clothing and household items are also available to families and individuals in need through the Bridge of Hope Thrift Shop. Call (413) 543 - 3930

Open Pantry Community Services, Inc. - They run an Emergency Food Pantry that provides non-perishable food and groceries to those who need help. Located in Springfield Massachusetts. (413) 737 - 5353

Individuals and families do have several other places to go to for free food, meals, and emergency support. Find more Hampden County food banks, including their locations and phone numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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