Onondaga County assistance programs.

Find how to get help from local charities and non-profit agencies. For example, the local community action agency, PEACE, Inc. - Peoples' Equal Action Community Effort, Inc., runs several programs for Syracuse and Onondaga County families. Find out more information on them, as well as who to contact below, along with details and information on other programs.

  • Debt elimination and credit repair - Counselors will work one on one with consumers in order to help people with low to moderate income or who may be drowning in debt. They try to help them make educated decisions about their money and spending habits. Counselors can also help with credit repair, reducing credit card debt, provide one-on-one budget counseling, and even advice on mortgage programs.
  • File income taxes - Volunteers will work closely with and help people with low to moderate income receive the largest tax credits and refunds they are entitled to. Well trained volunteers will help them access all eligible tax credits as refunds are filed.
  • Employment skills - Counselors from Peoples' Equal Action Community Effort, Inc. can help people find a job. The Connect2Work program can help people learn how to interview well, provide computer skills and access to the Internet, help job candidates solve problems and improve communication skills. All of these services are provided in order to help people get back on their feet.
  • Weatherization Assistance - The community action agency runs this federal government funded program. It is free to qualified families, and homeowners can save hundreds of dollars on their heating and utility bills every year. The program installs free energy conserving updates to people homes, such as insulation and new windows.
  • Food Aid - Several food centers are located around Onondaga County that people can stop by at to receive free food and other household supplies.

Call PEACE, Inc. - Peoples' Equal Action Community Effort, Inc. at (315) 470-3300 to learn more or to apply for help. Or click here for details.





Short term help

The Syracuse Northeast Community Center offers the Basic Needs Assistance program. This service provides emergency assistance with bills and expenses, and it will assist people who are facing a short term hardship. It offers food, rent help, funds to pay security deposits, and information and referral to other New York and federal government programs to individuals and families in crisis. For example, learn about New York foreclosure settlement programs.

Another agency to turn to for help is Catholic Charities of Onondaga County. This organization runs the Emergency Assistance Services program which helps families and individuals address an immediate crisis through food vouchers, grant programs, money to pay bills and other financial assistance. In addition the program can help people develop new skills and resources to prevent its recurrence and help people get back on their feet. 315.424.1800. Click here for more details.

Another non-profit to turn to is the Salvation Army, Syracuse Area Services. They have a program known as the Emergency and Practical Assistance Services program, which helps families and individuals who are faced with a crisis. It provides them with basic needs and access to assistance for such hardships as housing challenges, food aid, clothing, heating bills and the essentials of daily living. In addition, the program offers crisis intervention and information on other New York and Onondaga County programs. Call the agency at 315-475-1688. Or get more information.

Get heating and utility bill help from the Care and Share Program - American Red Cross. The energy assistance program offers home energy bill assistance to Syracuse and Onondaga County NY families who meet eligibility guidelines. The applicant must receive disability income or have a medical emergency and NOT eligible for HEAP or be at least 60 years of age or have someone living in your home who is at least 60 years of age. Call 234-2202. The program does pays for any kind of fuel and heating source, including gas, electric, wood, propane, coal, and even heating oil.

Helpline - This is a referral service in Onondaga County. There will not be direct aid provided, but callers can learn about government grants or assistance programs for paying bills such as security deposits, heating costs or rent. Or get referrals to food pantries, low income apartments, or clinics in the region.




A significant amount of information can also be provided by the Helpline staff to help a low income family or maybe a senior apply for disability or benefits such as food stamps. Or learn about local credit unions in Syracuse for low income loans. This is a free resource for the community, and find information on Onondaga County Helpline.

Onondaga County Department of Social Services - This is the government organization that can help the low income, unemployed, and struggling families navigate and apply for cash assistance and social services. Programs can provide free food, funds for utility bills, medical care, and help for other basic needs like rent. Get information on Onondaga County public assistance.

The organizations listed above can provide short term housing and/or rent assistance. However, if they do not have funding or are unable to meet your needs, find additional rental assistance in Syracuse and Onondaga County.

Energy bill assistance may be offered to very low income families, seniors, and the disabled from HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Programs). One of the main intake sites can be reached at 435-8295.

Onondaga County Department of Aging can direct clients to heating bill assistance programs. In addition to that, they also offer a number of resources for seniors. Examples can include home delivered meals, information on Medicare and housing solutions, applications for HEAP, referrals and more. Call 435-2362, or more information on Onondaga County Aging Services.

Huntington Family Centers, Inc. runs the Emergency Services program. This can help families and individuals in need of clothing, food, clothing, housing and other aid. Self-sufficiency is offered too. 405 Gifford St, Syracuse, NY 13204, call (315) 476-3157.

Panish Action League Of Onondaga County supports Latino population in Onondaga County and Syracuse New York. One of the main resources offered is the Housing Services Program. This can help with low income, affordable homes and apartments in the region. Telephone number is (315) 475-6153.

Syracuse Northeast Community Center can help with basic needs. The non-profit agency may have rent/security deposit assistance, free food, utilities, and information and referral assistance. This organization is focused on those individuals and families in crisis that live in in the northeast area of Syracuse only. Call (315) 472-6343.

Holiday help - While the focus in Onondaga County is mostly on assisting children and seniors at Christmas with meals or free toys, there may also be other programs such as at Thanksgiving. Locate the main charities and organizations for presents, hot meals, and other help. More Onondaga County Christmas assistance.

Vera House, Inc. operates a local Emergency Shelter Program. This is for victims of domestic and family violence, including women, children and men. Housing may be offered for those who are homeless and in crisis. 6181 Thompson Rd #100, Syracuse, New York 13206, (315) 422-7273.

Assistance from clothing closets and thrift stores is available for both low or moderate income families. Families living in poverty or that are struggling may qualify for free items, even including school supplies or work clothes. Others may shop for furniture and household goods at a reduced price, or receive a voucher. Learn more on clothing centers in Onondaga County.





Eviction, rehousing, and homeless assistance - Working with local charities and a national alliance, tenants with a pay or quit notice may receive financial help. There are also grants for paying water, heating, or utility bills if a shut off is imminent. The goal is to stop evictions in the Onondaga County area, especially for families with children, the disabled, or seniors. Continue reading.

Onondaga County food assistance

Three local charities and non-profits to turn to for free food include Dunbar Association (315.476.4269), the Food Bank of Central New York ((315) 437-1899), and also Huntington Family Centers (phone (315) 476-3157). All of these agencies can help families and individuals in need of access to food and clothing. It will allow these people the ability to live with the highest degree of independence and self-sufficiency.

The following charities, non-profits, and churches in Syracuse and Onondaga County provide free food and/or meals.

  • Assumption Church - This center provides bagged lunches twice a day. Syracuse, NY 473-9101
  • Hopps Memorial CME Church Syracuse, NY 478-0191
  • P.E.A.C.E., Inc. Eastside Family Resource Center  470-3325
  • Rescue Mission Alliance Syracuse, New York 472-6251
  • St. Lucy’s Church Pantry
  • Samaritan Center, Inc. Syracuse, NY 472-8156
  • InterReligious Food Consortium - Emergency food supplies and groceries are available at agencies and churches. Callers will be connected with a food pantry in their neighborhood. 474-8855
  • P.E.A.C.E., Inc. Eastside Family Resource Center  470-3325
  • St. Lucy’s Church Pantry 424-0023

There are many other food pantries in the county, and some also operate clothing closets or thrift stores for clients. Free groceries, holiday meals or gifts, and other support is provided. Find Onondaga County food pantries.

Food assistance may include free meal sites, food stamps, pantries, supplemental nutrition and pre-paid vouchers. Qualified low income and working poor families may be issued a voucher to help pay for their groceries. For information on options and how to get a meal or food, call Central New York food bank at 437-1899 or Social Services at 435-2935.

Samaritan Hot Meal Program can provide free hot, healthy, and nutritious meals to anyone in need. The non-profit organization and their Hot Meal program was created in order to combat hunger with another benefit of addressing self-sufficiency. Staff and volunteers can also offer information/referral services too. The location is 310 Montgomery St, Syracuse, New York 13202. Call (315) 472-0650.

Free legal aid and assistance

Several firms provide free legal programs. You can receive everything from help stopping a foreclosure, to assistance with debt collectors, family law, divorces, and learn how attorneys can settle debt.

  • Legal Services of CNY Syracuse, New York 13202  475-3127
  • Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society Syracuse, NY 422-8191

Debt reduction and foreclosure prevention in Syracuse and Onondaga County

Consumer Credit Counseling - This non-profit credit counseling firm offers counseling, debt assistance programs, payment negotiation and alternatives to personal bankruptcy. 474-6026

Cooperative Federal Credit Union - Access free, HUD approved foreclosure prevention, housing counseling, financial education, credit building and repair. 471-1116






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