Rensselaer County assistance programs.

Find how to get rent help and assistance with bills.

Joseph’s House is a local nonprofit organization that provides local residents with help for paying bills, rent, and more. Some of the programs offered are below.

Get help with rent. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being provided to the organization to provide short term rent assistance, help with utility bills, and even credit repair and counseling. The funds are being provided from the federal government Homelessness Prevention Fund.

Outreach Legal Services. Lawyers from the Legal Aid Society will provide free legal services that may be needed by people facing eviction or the homeless. It is targeted towards high risk adults and families in order to access and succeed in permanent housing. As part of this program, transportation, case coordination, and legal representation are provided under the Federally funded program.

Help with medical bills and free health care. There is a medical clinic at Joseph’s House that has been open for over 10 years. The Clinic is fully and professionally staffed by volunteer nurse-practitioners associated with RussellSage College. Samaritan Hospital also provides resources and staffing. People can use the clinic to get check ups, advice, prescription medicines, and other assistance that can help them reduce their overall medical bills. Find additional ways to get free health care.

Joseph’s House is located at 74 Ferry Street in Troy. Contact them for more info on these programs listed above, and to ask about what other assistance they can provide you. Dial (518) 272-2544

The Roarke Center ((518) 273-8351) is a place to call as a last resort. You need to have applied to other agencies and programs first, and have a referral letter. In addition, you need to go to the Rensselaer Department of Social Services first before coming to the Roarke Center. If you apply and are found qualified, get help with paying rent, food assistance, heating bills. The location also has a food pantry, literacy programs, and support for women too. Read Roarke Center emergency program

The staff at the Center also advocate for the working poor and households in Troy that are struggling. They give information as well as referrals to other programs and agencies such as community clinics in New York.





Rensselaer Department of Social Services provides access to many New York and federal government assistance programs. Some of the services include TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) and Safety Net (assistance to adult individuals.) Low income individuals can also apply for help with heating and utility bills from LIHEAP. Note that Individuals and families that are not eligible for Public Assistance can apply separately for food stamps. Air conditioners and heating equipment can also be provided from government programs. Call the Troy New York office at (518) 270-3947.

St. Patrick's Food Pantry, which is located in Nassau, provides food to people in the immediate area. Call (518) 272-4666. If they can’t help you they can refer you to other New York food banks.

Hope 7 Food Pantry is an emergency non-profit food pantry based in Troy. They can offer food up to at most once per month. Call (518) 272-1547

Catholic Charities of Troy and the Capital Region supports the working poor and low income in Rensselaer County. While the non-profit covers the entire region and is often limited by resources and donations, they do their best to provide assistance when possible. This can include items such as free food, clothing, and basic needs. Some limited housing assistance may be administered, including rent and/or energy bill help. Case management and counseling services are also available from social workers. Read more.

Commission on Economic Opportunity for the Greater Capital Region, Inc. administers several government and public assistance programs for food, utility bills, and other needs. Examples of the resources are below.

  • EmPower New York will help homeowners discover where they are wasting energy and money. It will then provide free appliance and fixture upgrades to those who qualify. This is often offered along with weatherization, which will install insulation and weather-sealing services to eligible residents in Rensselaer County.
  • New mothers and pregnant women may benefit from WIC. This federal program offers nutrition education, access to healthy food and breastfeeding support. The local WIC program supports the health of new mothers, infants, babies and their children up to the age of five.
  • SNAP food stamps in New York distribute vouchers which can be used specifically for purchasing groceries, nutritious foods and formula from designated stores. Read SNAP food stamps.
  • Holiday Food Baskets, including Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas can provide free food and fixings to families. No family should go without during the holidays.
  • Access their referral service, which can connect you with other local non-profit resources and programs in Rensselaer County New York. The non-profit agency will also help you enroll into these services.
  • Free financial education classes can help you learn to create a budget and in general manage your finances. Also get help in finding and securing a stable job that will provide life sustaining wages.
  • Adopt-A-Family operates during Christmas. It will connect families in need with local donors who buy toys and gifts that a child requests.
  • A food pantry is run by Commission on Economic Opportunity. It offers fresh fruits, groceries, vegetables, and more. Education classes and maybe even cooking workshops are held from time to time.
  • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is offered for low income families and seniors. It can provide clients with free tax help and advice. VITA can even file your federal and state of New York taxes for you, free of charge.
  • Housing programs - The non-profit CEO community action has various eviction and homeless prevention programs. They range from counseling to occasional government grants for paying security deposits, utility bills (from HEAP), and rent.

Commission on Economic Opportunity offers these and many other assistance programs. The main office is at 2331 Fifth Avenue, Troy, New York 12180-2291. Dial (518) 272-6012. Click more information.





Rensselaer County Unified Family Services runs the Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP. This is a federal government funded utility bill program that helps low-income people pay their natural gas and/or heating bills. The Rensselaer County Department for the Aging is a partner agency that assists individuals age 60+ with applications. 1600 7th Avenue, Troy, NY 12180, call 518-270-2730

Troy Salvation Army centers and their family services are available for the working poor, homeless, and less fortunate. Resources across Rensselaer County range from free food pantries, emergency shelter, to soup kitchens. Financial aid for expenses such as rent or heating bills may be offered from the Salvation Army, but funds will be very limited. Continue.

Low income housing, shelter, and rental assistance may be provided by some or all of the following agencies.

-Rensselaer County Department of Social Services – Phone 283-2000
-Joseph's House in Troy - 272 2544
-Troy Housing Authority also administers the section 8 voucher program. Telephone 271-8353
-The HEAP program can help people facing eviction due to unpaid utility bills. 270-2730
-TRIP 272-8289

Food assistance can be obtained at pantries and/or from government aid.

-For information and/or a listing of pantries, dial 458 -1167. There are dozens of other agencies and programs for fighting hunger. Or click here for details on Rensselaer County food pantries.
-Food stamps are offered by Rensselaer County Department of Social Services – Dial 270-3949
-NOEP is a non-profit that can help with completing Food Stamp applications. In Troy dial 272-6159

Medical assistance is offered by these clinics or health care programs.

-Rensselaer County Health Department coordinates public care. Phone 270-2660
-Poverello Center is a local clinic that offers walk in health care. Address is 315 Sheridan Ave or dial 426-9428
-St. Peter's Family Health Care Center is based at 326 S Pearl St. Call 449-0100
-Whitney Young Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, call 465-477

Alliance for Positive Health provides support to AIDs and HIV patients or their families. Programs include food, financial assistance for housing and utilities, and more. The phone number is 518.434.4686.

Homeless prevention and rehousing is available from the locations above as well as many other organizations. While funding is very limited, and some agencies issue no interest loans, the agencies will try to help with everything from a security or utility deposit to unpaid rent. Free referrals are usually given to other Rensselaer County groups as well. Click more information.




Clothing is available at thrift shops or clothing closets. Some of the centers will provide clothing free of charge, using a voucher system, if you bring a referral from any local social service agency. Rensselaer County centers include.

-Doors of Hope, Routes 43 & 150 West Sand Lake. Phone 674-4048
-Nassau Resource Center, 15 Church Street, telephone 766-9014
-Unique Boutique (Unity House) - 2431 Sixth Ave, Troy, NY. Call 272-2352
-The Gatherine Place, address is 24 Albany Ave, Nassau. Telephone 766-4164
-Bethany Hospitality Center, location is 27 State St. in Troy. Dial 273-3529






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