Hillsborough County Florida assistance programs.

Information on various resources, services, and programs that provide families with assistance

The local Community Action Program (CAP) serves Tampa Bay and the greater Hillsborough County area. The organization administers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP), the Community Services Block Grant, HUD Emergency Shelter Grant, Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly (EHEAP), and rent assistance programs.

The Hillsborough County CAP partners with other local and state government agencies, social services agencies, civic organizations, and charities. They have a diverse offering of programs for low and moderate income people, as well as disadvantaged individuals and their families. They design and administer programs that provide comprehensive and coordinated services to provide short and long term assistance. Some of the programs offered are listed below, however note that there are others not listed.

Emergency and Financial Assistance Support Program:
Cash grants and financial assistance is provided to Tampa Bay and Hillsborough county residents who have a limited income by CAP. If you apply and are determined to be eligible, households that require short term assistance can gain access to various services based on their personal situations of unemployment, crisis, underemployment, or disability.

Some of the emergency assistance provided includes basic shelter, grants for utility bills, food aid, incidental and even credit counseling and credit card debt help needs are rendered. Some additional services offered, depending on funding, include case management services transportation, and referral to other community resource programs.

Elderly Home Energy Assistance Program - EHEAP
Households with someone aged 60 or older can get energy bill assistance if they have a heating or cooling emergency. The maximum amount granted is $400 per year. Call the CAP for more information.




Foreclosure Prevention and Mortgage Help
Florida has arguably been impacted more than any other state by the nation’s housing crisis. Homeowners have numerous resources and services available to them. Learn about the new Florida foreclosure mediation program in place.

Two other options for homeowners in Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County include free legal foreclosure advice as well as counseling and prevention programs sponsored by Catholic Charities (727-893-1313). The agency offers assistance with the full array of housing related issues surrounding homeownership, including budgeting, mortgage help, and finance. The services they offer are specifically designed to provide a full range of HUD-approved housing counseling services to Tampa Bay area homeowners. The programs include credit card and debt counseling, default/foreclosure counseling, first-time homebuyer education,  reverse mortgage counseling for seniors, rental and general counseling. Continue reading government mortgage help.

Low Income Energy Assistance Program - LIHEAP
Help for paying your utility and cooling bills is provided to low and moderate income household which fall below certain income thresholds. The crisis payments and grants offered are not to exceed $600 per applicant per season. This is a federal government program with limited funding, so it is best to apply early, as soon as you determine you may need help.

Homeless and Eviction Prevention services
The neighborhood centers coordinate resources for those that need help with paying their rent, help arrange loans for short term expenses or administer landlord mediation services. The homeless or recently evicted in Hillsborough County may also qualify for transitional housing or funds to pay a security deposit on a new, approved apartment. Several non-profits work with community action on these rehousing services.

For more information on the community action program call (813) 272-6776. Or to get more details on their services and other programs in Florida, read Hillsborough County Community Action Agency.

Free legal programs

Bay Area Legal Services assists and supports families and individuals who can’t afford an attorney, and who have limited access to legal services and advice. The law firm focuses on elderly and low-income residents in Hillsborough, Tampa Bay and Pinellas Counties. The well trained legal staff at Bay Area Legal Services provides free aid, consultations and representation to eligible clients for civil legal problems. Qualified applicants can get access to free legal programs for issues that range from free legal assistance for foreclosures, family law, including divorce, domestic violence, child custody cases and senior advocacy, fair housing, individual rights and consumer law. Click here to learn more, or call 813-232-1343.




Short term crisis assistance

Families in need of help and short term assistance can turn to The United Food Bank and Services for Plant City. (813-764-0625). They offer free food if you have a referral. The agency can provide or refer people to other emergency assistance for the truly needy among the Tampa Bay Florida area.

Another organization with numerous programs is the Salvation Army Tampa Area Command. (Phone number is 813-226-0055). People in need of help can turn to this agency for money for utility bills, rent, housing expenses, holiday gifts, and much more.

Case workers from the Salvation Army will guide people along the application process. While some assistance is offered directly by the non-profit, much more is provided through referrals and information on other government and non-profit programs. Read more on Hillsborough County Salvation Army programs.

Family Support Services are also offered to all families, regardless of religion, by the Hillsborough County Catholic Charities organization. It is intended to help people become self-sufficient, and the various Family Support programs provide individuals and families with comprehensive case management, support services,  financial laid and life skills education. Qualified staff will assist families in accessing needed community services such as child care, rent and housing assistance, health care, employment, financial assistance, cash grants and other local area social services. Call (813) 631-4370 to learn more, or click more details.

Lee Davis Neighborhood Service Center provides Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County Florida residents with a wide variety of assistance programs, services and activities. Get help with housing, rent help, employment, financial and medical needs, health care and medical services, and the programs will assist with paying security and utility deposits to have water service, electric and gas services turned back on to qualified applicants and low income residents. 813-272-5555. Other locations are also in the Plant City area, Ruskin, and West Tampa areas.

West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging - Provides assistance to both seniors and the disabled in Hillsborough County. A number of resources are offered. Most of it is referrals and information on financial and other assistance programs. Examples include Home-Delivered Meals, prescription medications, transportation and legal aid. The main office is 5905 Breckenridge Parkway, Tampa Bay, FL 33610, 813-740-3888. Read more.

Tampa ACCESS Service Center can help people obtain cash assistance, food stamps, access to government programs, Medicaid, and health insurance based on program criteria. Call (866) 762-2237.

Homeless and eviction programs - Find information on resources. There may be financial help, stabilization, and practical support, such as help for job placement. Examples of services are as follows.

  • Countywide grants cover financial needs, such as back rent, energy or water bills, and landlord late fees.
  • Non-financial aid is provided Hillsborough Homeless Initiative.
  • Case management, legal aid, shelter and vouchers for motels may be provided too. Find eviction and rehousing help in Tampa.





Hillsborough County Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Inc. provides assistance people regardless  of religion. Assistance is provided to the low income and qualified in the form of free food, clothing, household items, and financial aid for bills such as rent and utilities. The assistance is given to those in need on a case-to-case basis and as funding allows. Tampa Florida. 813 971-7843.

Churches across the county partner with St. Vincent to provide aid to the needy, unemployed, seniors, and people faced with poverty. At the same time cash assistance may be distributed for paying bills, you can meet with a social worker to explore long term self-sufficiency. Read more, and find locations to call for help.

Travelers Aid offers a resource known as the Family Stabilization program. A number of counseling and  case management services are run to both enhance self sufficiency and prevent homelessness. Call to learn more about, and apply for, financial assistance for paying rent, utility bills (such as electric, water, gas and propane), mortgage help. Address One Crisis Center Plaza, Tampa Florida, phone (813) 264-9949

The HIV/AIDS Program – Qualified candidates can get Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance, Permanent Housing, and Transitional support.  The non-profit may be able to help HIV/AIDs patients by paying their rent, cooling and utility bills on a short-term basis. If they can’t directly help you, then they may be able to refer you to other agencies to prevent further need for assistance. Food and transportation may be provided too. 2021 East Busch Boulevard, Tampa FL. (813) 375-3933

Another non-profit, community organization is the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa. They are a federal government, HUD approved housing counseling agency, among other things. While numerous services are offered, the focus is on foreclosure prevention, mortgage assistance, and debt reduction programs. Case managers from CDC of Tampa can direct clients to loan programs as well for expenses such as rent, a home mortgage or maybe paying a security deposit. They also operate a Career Resource Center for the under or unemployed and offer other assistance in Hillsborough County Florida. More on Communities of Tampa programs.

Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organization offers assistance to immigrants, low income seasonal workers, and the indigent. While the agency does have an emergency financial assistance program for basic needs such as food, clothing, or housing, the focus is on other support. This can include resources in the Hillsborough such as ESL classes, literacy training, and information on job search programs. Immigrants are a focus of the agency. More on Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organization.

Clothing centers, household supplies, and other goods - Some non-profits focus on non-financial assistance, which would include things like clothes, Christmas assistance, diapers, and vouchers for basic needs. Items can be free, or thrift stores will sell them for reduced prices. Click here for details and addresses.

Neighborhood Service Center in Ruskin and University Area.  These two centers can provide a large number of activities and services. Programs and resource focus on providing assistance in the areas of rent payments, housing, employment, financial, health care, medical services and will assist with contributing to deposits to have water, electric and gas turned back on to qualified applicants.

  • Low Income Energy Assistance Program - LIHEAP  as well as Elderly Home Energy Assistance Program - EHEAP can help with paying energy and electric bills.  Very low income, elderly, and people with children are highest priority.
  • Project Opportunity Program Services and Family Development – A number of services are offered, including day care, educational and vocational training,  employment counseling, clothing and uniform assistance can be rendered.





Ruskin Neighborhood Service Center address is 201 14th Avenue SE, Ruskin Florida. (813) 671-7647, and the hours are 7:30am - 5pm.

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay provides callers with referrals and information. They do not offer direct financial aid, but residents of the county can get information on everything from food to employment and one time rental assistance. Or learn about job placement and self-sufficiency, and find more details on Tampa Bay Crisis Center.

Social services, cash assistance, government support - Hillsborough County administers a number of government run and funded programs. Resources can help with preventing homelessness, offer electric and air conditioning bill help, free food, and other public aid. Learn more.

VOA of Florida is the local branch of the national Volunteers of America. They focus on housing and employment needs. Shelter, information on low income apartments, and homeless prevention services are offered in Hillsborough County. Volunteers can direct clients to job training sites and other social services. They also run targeted programs for seniors and veterans. More details.

University Area Neighborhood Service Center address is 13605 North 22Nd Street, Tampa Bay Florida. Phone (813) 975-2153

Short term housing and Hillsborough County low income units are available. Non-profits, charities, churches, and government agencies will try to rehouse the recently evicted and homeless. Services can include emergency shelters, apartments, or transitional housing programs. Also enroll into workshops and case management in an effort to gain stability and long term self-sufficiency. Click transitional housing in Hillsborough County.

Social services and public assistance - In addition to those Neighborhood Service centers above, several other government funded financial assistance programs operate across the region. More on emergency assistance in Hillsborough County.

The following not for profit organizations in Tampa and Hillsborough County offer several different resources. Among them include financial assistance for paying rent, possibly some limited mortgage assistance, utility bill payments and employment and even medical services.

  • Department of Children and Families' Downtown Service Center 1313 N. Tampa St., room 401, Tampa, Florida 33602 1-866-762-2237
  • Crisis Center of Tampa Bay - (813) 234-1234
  • West Tampa Neighborhood Service Center 2103 N Rome Ave Tampa, Florida 33607 (813) 272-5074




Hillsborough County Health & Social Services Department operates from a few locations in the county. The government organization provides a variety of activities and services to the community. The assistance programs can address housing, employment, rent, financial including utilities, and medical assistance.

Utility bill assistance is offered from the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the general public. Senior citizens and the elderly can also apply for the Elderly Home Energy Assistance Program, and this is offered for people over 60. Priority is offered for the lowest income and working poor who pay a high percentage of their money for their electric and utility bills. The disabled and families with children may also get priority from this.

Family Development are also offered by the Social Services Department. It addresses long-term intervention and case management. A plan, with goals, needs to be created by clients. Sign up for educational and vocational training, job training, day care, employment assistance, and even get free work clothing.

The county offices are at 201 14th Avenue Southeast, Ruskin Florida, 33570 (phone 813-671-7647).

Holiday and Christmas resources are available from non-profits, charities, and Adopt-a-Family type programs. Young children, struggling moms or parents, and others can get toys or a small gift for their child. Senior citizens in Tampa and across the county are also primary beneficiaries of the Christmas assistance. More on Hillsborough County Christmas assistance.

Tampa Housing - The government supported HUD agency administers section 8 vouchers for very low income families, seniors, and the disabled. There is often a long waiting list in place. There are also low income apartments and public housing in the city. The phone number is (813) 253-0551, or more housing authority in Tampa.

Metropolitan Ministries administers assistance programs in the Tampa Bay area, including Hillsborough County. The non-profit offers numerous financial assistance and outreach services to seniors and the less fortunate.

  • Housing resources include rehousimg or emergency rent and deposit help.
  • Uplift is the name of a transitional housing program.
  • Emergency food boxes.
  • Government benefits and social services.
  • Number other resources are administered. Find Metropolitan Ministries assistance programs.

Tampa Crossroads focuses on veterans as well as the disabled in the region, including Hillsborough County. They can help them with housing needs, such as from Athena House, and have job training and employment services as well. Another resource for veterans only is SSVF, and this can provide HUD grants and case management for expenses ranging from back rent to utility bills and more. More on assistance from Tampa Crossroads.





Housing assistance and rent help - Several agencies, non-profit organizations, churches, and government services in Hillsborough County focus on addressing housing issues. Learn about emergency funds for paying rent, homeless prevention, and other support. Click here for details.

A Woman's Place Ministries - The agency provides free services to any pregnant woman, including referral to WIC and other area resources, life coaching for qualified parents, and related services. 14492 University Cove Place, Tampa FL 33613, phone number is (813) 931-1804

Hillsborough County Florida financial assistance programs that cover all of Florida

Residents of the Hillsborough County and Tampa Bay area can also get help from statewide assistance programs.

Hillsborough County medical and dental care

Dental Clinic at Hillsborough Community College is a facility that provides dental care and services to low-income families. Dial (813) 253-7527

St. Josephs Community Care Clinic provides low cost or free medical care to low income and indigent patients of Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County, and a dental care van twice a week is also offered to those in need. Phone (813) 886-8899.

Senior citizens, the unemployed, low income, and residents without insurance have other health centers that they can contact for medical assistance. No one is turned away, regardless of the patients background or income. Locate more Hillsborough community clinics.

Foreclosure and debt management plans

If you are facing a foreclosure, or struggling with debt payments, call Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Florida Gulf Coast, Inc. Phone (800) 251-2227. The non-profit agency employes housing and debt counselors who will advise people on their options, and give them solutions. For example, learn about debt management plans, tactics to negotiate and mediate debts and foreclosures, and mortgage assistance programs, both national and Florida programs.

Another non-profit counseling agency is Genesis Financial Management, Inc. They provide a Debt and Credit Management Program to individuals who need help. Counselors will also work with homeowners to provide mortgage help, and foreclosure counseling.

Fannie Mae and non-profit organizations have partnered together to create a Mortgage Help Center. This allows homeowners across Tampa and Hillsborough County the ability to meet face to face with a housing counselor for free consultations. Get information on numerous foreclosure and mortgage programs. Read more on the Fannie Mae mortgage help center.

Those are just three of the places to call for deb and housing counseling. However Hillsborough County is also served by other non-profit organization. Find more credit counseling agencies in Tampa Bay and the surrounding area.

Food banks and pantries in Tampa and Hillsborough

Residents of the county and community can get free food from pantries, churches, and food banks that operate across the region. A couple locations are below. However there are dozens of other pantries and programs such as WIC vouchers or SNAP food stamps. Or click here for more Hillsborough and Tampa Bay food banks.

Tampa Jewish Family Services runs the Community Food Bank. They provide supplemental free food. However the amount of assistance is offered is limited, so only non-perishables & canned goods. Every other Wednesday is the pick up day. Call (813) 960-1848. Main office is in Tampa Bay Florida.

Another non-profit known as Outreach and Prevention Services offers food assistance on a limited basis. They run throughout the region emergency food boxes or the Food Shopping experience. Food can be provided 3 times per year to the low income. In addition, get access to clothing voucher once a month for Metropolitan Ministries Thrift Store. Call (813) 209-1044.






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