Millions if dollars in federal government stimulus funds is going to Orange County Florida and Orlando to help provide rent and housing assistance. Orange County currently plans to work with the Heart of Florida United Way, which in turn will tap its member agencies, to manage the program and distribute the funds. The Orange County - Heart of Florida branch of the United Way can be contacted by dialing 211. Callers may also be able to find help with food, information on utility bill programs, housing, child care vouchers, and other needs.
The money can be used to provide for a wide ranging variety of programs, including both short and long term rent assistance, money to help for paying utility bills, security deposits, and even debt and credit card counseling programs.
While there are some conditions and income limits, the bottom line is that these government funds should help thousands of local families avoid an eviction, and be able to remain in their housing.
Contact the local Heart of Florida United Way organization at the number above to learn more, and also to find out what agency you can approach to apply for aid.
Other options to try including the Orange County Government, which runs a crisis program. Dial (407) 836-6500, as well as the other agencies listed below under the crisis section.
The follow options are available to get free medical care. Lazarus Free Medical Clinic, St. Thomas Aquinas Free Medical Clinic, St. Luke’s Free Medical & Dental Clinic, and also Community Health Centers, Inc. Learn more about each clinic below.
Lazarus Free Medical Clinic (Phone number 352-748-4567): The primary goal of this clinic is to to provide caring, top quality medical care, health care services, specialty referral services, preventive health education, and promote wellness to low income and disadvantaged migrant workers and the working poor.
St. Thomas Aquinas Free Medical Clinic (Phone 407-593-1256): This organization provides free medical care for the uninsured and working poor.
St. Luke’s Free Medical & Dental Clinic (Phone 352-602-4640): This clinic also focuses on people with no health insurance or limited insurance. The clinic has local healthcare professionals, nurses, volunteers and doctors that bring dental and medical care to the area’s most vulnerable individuals.
Community Health Centers, Inc. (Phone 407-905-8827); Receive access to quality and overly compassionate primary and preventative medical, pharmaceutical services, and dental care for Central Florida's economically and culturally diverse communities and low income.
Other community clinics in the area include Shepherds Hope, which provides services to uninsured who meet poverty guidelines. Dial (407) 876-6699.
The Orlando based Community After Hours Health Clinic offers basic primary health care services for uninsured in the area. Call (407) 303-7298. Grace Medical Home ((407) 936-2785) is another provider in the area.
A number of other clinics and health centers, some of which are government certified, operate across Orlando and Orange County Florida too. Read more Orange County Florida clinics.
People who need emergency help can turn to the Catholic Charities of Central Florida. The agency both offers its own programs, and they also partner with local charities and non-profits to provide emergency financial assistance for rent and utility bills. In addition, get access to referrals, advocacy, food pantry distribution, and in some cases provide short-term case management and other aid. Those are just some examples of the resources offered by the agency and their Family Services programs. Read more Orange County Catholic Charities, or call the Orlando headquartered agency at 407-658-1818
The Salvation Army of Orange County Florida offers aid as well. Receive rent help, money for energy bills, gasoline vouchers, and free clothes. Some of the other resources that they can provide include access to shelters, Christmas and holiday meals and gifts, and programs for senior citizens. They operate several locations around the county. Full time staff and volunteers are on site and will assist the needy to the best of their ability. (407) 295-9311, or continue with Orlando Salvation Army programs.
If you need help with utility bills, Orange County Community Action Division runs the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This particular program provides utility bill payment assistance to Orange County Florida families whose income is limited. Other options for residents that are 60 years of age or older, they may apply for additional utility and electric bill assistance through the Elderly Home Energy Assistance Program (EHEAP). Or click here to find other utility programs.
There are several other programs operated by community action. They have a Crisis Center in Orange County. It can coordinate Self-Sufficiency, including educational and job placement. Some limited financial aid may be offered for bills, medical care, or rent/housing needs. Other help is for senior citizens and veterans in the Orlando Florida are. Call (407) 836-8476, or click more community action Orange County.
Christian Service Center - This non-profit agency offers emergency rent assistance for those in the Orlando FL and Orange County area. Other resources include child care from KidsFOCUS, free food or meals, as well as transitional housing for males in the region. They also provide immediate emergency grants and financial assistance for those in financial crisis. (407) 425-2523, or find details on help from Christian Service Center.
Florida Volunteers of America - They operate across the state and Orange County. Low income housing as well as apartments, programs for the homeless, and job training are just a few of the programs available from the national charity organization. Click more information.
Community Service Center - The organization may be able to provide many types of emergency assistance and low income assistance to people facing a hardship. Orlando Florida. Phone 407-851-5920
A number of these community centers operate in the region, including Orlando and Garden. Not only may they have immediate cash assistance for basic needs and bills, but other programs can provide job training and employment opportunities as well as social services. Extensive information on medical care, family services, and senior assistance programs are offered too. More.
Jewish Family Services Of Greater Orlando, Inc. – No matter your religion, this center may be able to offer help. Programs focus on Orange County Florida residents with a crisis that is also a documented emergency. Funds and grants can help people who are in need of money for dealing with short-term mortgage, rent or utility bill assistance in Orlando and Orange County.
Miracle Of Love – Support is only offered for people who are HIV positive or who have AIDs. The program, known as Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (H.O.P.W.A.) can offer funds for qualifying low income people in need of rent/mortgage/utilities or housing assistance. 741 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida 32804. Dial (407) 843-1760.
OUC Project Care Case Manager – This agency administers an Emergency Financial Assistance Program (UAP-PC). It can offer Utility and water bill assistance up to $500. Help is provided as assistance up to one time in a one-year period. 1940 Traylor Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32804.
Crisis Assistance and Social Services - Individuals who are faced with an emergency, but who will be able to get back on track in a short period of time, may qualify for cash assistance, grants, and advice from two Orange County programs. The Family Resource Center is one organization that can provide information. Read more emergency assistance in Orange County FL.
National Kidney Foundation Of Florida, Inc. will only support kidney and transplant patients. They are also a non-profit of last resort and families need to explore all other options first. As funding allows, the organization may be able to help by offering grants to assist with utility bills, housing (including rent and mortgage) and also other medical costs. 1040 Woodcock Road Suite 119, Orlando, FL 32803, call (407) 894-7325
Hemophilia Foundation Of Greater Florida is very similar to above, however they help people with blood disorders. Dial (407) 629-0000 for assistance and all other options need to have been explored first.
Orange County Government, Crisis Assistance Program may have onetime rent or utility assistance. They are also an application site for the federal government Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. Seniors and the disabled in Orange County are given priority for any grants. Low income families with children are also beneficiaries. 2100 East Michigan Street, Orlando, Florida 32806. Call (407) 836-650 for intake.
Center for Multicultural Wellness Prevention and Heart & Soul Project provides housing assistance for People with HIV/AIDS as part of HOPWA. They provide other assistance including dental care, coordinate mammogram access for uninsured, low income and underinsured women, and also offer referrals to clinics and affordable medical centers. 641 N. Rio Grande, Orlando, FL 32805, dial (407) 648-9440.
Orange County Government can have one time assistance for rent, electric bills, security deposits or homeless prevention. This is only for very low income qualified families with a crisis. Case management is provided too, such as referrals. If you need a place to live, then loan programs may be in place for rental and deposit costs. 2100 East Michigan Street, Health & Family Services Building, Orlando, Florida 32806, call (407) 836-6500.
Funds for rent - A few non-profit or government affiliated agencies focus on families facing eviction or the homeless. The centers may have cash assistance for rent, deposits, or they can provide landlord/tenant services. Some low income families in Orange County may be provided with a loan for their housing or rental needs, so it needs to be repaid. More.
Saint Vincent of Orange County Florida - Dozens of churches, and thousands of volunteers, are part of the group and focus on the poor. Services provided by the charity can include free food, emergency funds for a partial rent or utility bill, gently used goods and clothes from thrift stores, and advocacy
The organization also focuses on seniors. They may qualify for free meals or receive transportation. Volunteers will help the older population in Orange County Florida. Read St. Vincent Orange County programs.
Urban League centers in Orlando Florida can help with employment, rent and mortgage assistance, and more. The goal of the agency is to assist Orange County families with achieving stability. There may be loans coordinated for certain bills, referrals, counseling and more. This also includes employment and education from services such as Workforce Innovation as well as addressing housing needs. Continue with Central Florida Urban League programs.
Orange County Florida Christmas programs - Regional churches, charities, and non-profits provide low income families with assistance. Children can receive free toys, seniors in the Orlando region home delivered meals, food, and more is offered around the holidays. More holiday assistance in Orange County.
Transitional housing and low income options are scattered across Orlando and also Orange County. Individuals that are now homeless or that are behind on their rent and facing eviction can get help. Emergency shelters can provide a place to stay while transitional housing will provide families time to regain self-sufficiency. Also get help in applying for resources to assist with deposits or first months rent. More.
Charity And Love, Inc., which is part of the John H. Bridges Community Service Center, is one of the locations for the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly program. This is a crisis program for households with a senior member. Money can be used for air conditioning, electric, and other utility expenses. The charity is based in Apopka, Florida. (407) 254-9449
Homeless Services Network address housing needs. The non-profit and partner agencies both try to stop evictions and place residents into new, low income apartments or homes. Both financial help for utilities (water, electric and more) as well as rent assistance can be arranged.
Assistance can stop a single parent from going homeless, help a senior keep up with their rent, assist families living in poverty, or place a homeless person into transitional housing. Case management is also arranged as are many other programs. More on Orange County eviction and rehousing help.
Saint Lukes partners with local churches and faith based groups to provide free food, referrals, and support services. Two key partners are the Sharing Center as well as Hope Foundation. These agencies offer everything from case management to a limited amount of money to pay for rent in an emergency. They also run a thrift store in Orange County and also offer in home care to senior citizens. More St. Luke's programs.
Family Promise provides assistance to those families that were evicted or the currently homeless. Numerous churches and charities work with FPGO to offer shelter, lodging, and transitional housing. Guests can also benefit from free vouchers for food or clothing, meals, and transportation to job interviews or employment. A Day Center allows free use of computers and other support is offered. More on Family Promise Orlando.
Free clothes, holiday assistance in Orange County, and household goods - Families of all income levels can turn to clothing closets and thrift stores. If your income is low enough, then the centers will often provide vouchers or items for free, such as school or work clothes, shoes, personal hygiene items and more. More moderate income individuals may need to buy the goods at a minimal cost. Additional details.
Senior Resource Alliance is the local agency on aging. The resources focus on residents over the age of 55 or so as well as the disabled in Orange County.
Residents of Orange County Florida and the greater Orlando area can get help from various programs that provide aid across the state of Florida.
The Agape Food Bank is operated by Catholic Charities. Get access to food and groceries if a family member has lost their job or if they are unable to work, when a family is awaiting food stamps or other assistance, or when financial demands on a family make food purchases difficult if not impossible. Dial 407-658-1818 to learn more about the food assistance.
Another charity that may be able to help is Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Inc. This pantry distributes food to other centers, but you can still call them to learn where to go for free food and groceries in your area. Call them at 407-295-1066.
Other options include Orlando based Loaves and Fishes (phone (407) 886-6005), Church of the Great Commission ((321) 206-4946), the Human Crises Center ((407) 521-7750) and others. In total, about 30 main food pantries serve anyone who needs help. Find more Orange County Florida food pantries.
Orlando and Orange County have been hit hard by the states’ housing crisis. Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Florida and the Florida Gulf Coast, Inc. offers several foreclosure and debt assistance programs. Work one on one with a counselor to explore options that are available for mortgage default and delinquency counseling. they will explore all mortgage programs, including those offered by the state of Florida. Learn more on them. The primary goal is to help get homeowners back on track if at all possible.
In addition, the company offers free credit and debt counseling. They can enroll a consumer in a Debt Management Plan, or explore ways to improve and repair their credit. They can also go over ways to get credit card help from card issuers. Call the agency at 407-895-8886.
CredAbility is other non profit organization that offers resources including Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling as well as Debt and Personal Finances/Budget Counseling. Debt Management Programs are also offered. In addition to these services, click here to learn about how to get help from debt collectors in Florida. Phone (800) 741-7040.
For additional foreclosure prevention and assistance programs in Orlando and Orange County Florida, try Florida Attorneys Saving Homes program. Attorneys throughout the state provide free foreclosure advice and negotiations with your lender. (866) 607-2187
For those individuals who live in the city limits of Orlando, several non-profits run a foreclosure program for the city. More on Orlando foreclosure prevention.
If your financial issue is with excessive credit card or medical debts, and you want to speak to a non-profit credit counseling agency, then several of those organizations operate in Orlando and Orange County. They can help individuals pay off their debts, provide assistance filing bankruptcy, and offer budgeting/education workshops, among other services. Many of the programs can be offered at a minimal cost, or for free. Read more Orlando credit counseling agencies.
Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association Inc., can offer low income and other struggling individuals with access to free legal programs. One of the services they provide is free legal advice to help stop a foreclosure. Learn more, or call them at 407-841-8310.
The Orange County Community Action Division (407) 836-8476 also runs this program. Orlando and Orange County individuals can get access to employability skills training, vocational training, mentoring, various community services, resume review advice, job search and placement assistance, and computer skills training.
Find some additional services that are specific to the Orlando Florida area. Click here to read more or access other assistance programs.
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