Skagit County assistance programs.
Get help with paying rent, energy bills, find food, and medical assistance. Various agencies in Mount Vernon and Burlington offer a wide variety of assistance programs to individuals and families in need.
Food bank, pantries, and groceries
Bread of Life Food Bank (phone 360-873-2504), Neighbors In Need Food Bank (360-424-6311) as well as Alger Food Bank (360-724-5131) provide food and groceries to low income families in the Marblemount, Rockport, and across Skagit County.
Health and medical care
Sea Mar Community Health Centers is one organization that provides health care and access to other social services for low to moderate income people. Programs are also available for the uninsured with special emphasis on the Hispanic community, however all patients can get help. 360-428-8912.
A clinic to contact for help with dental bills and services is SeaMar - Burlington Dental. Call them at 360-755-9151.
Skagit County Community Action Agency
The local community action agency is arguably the first place to turn to for emergency assistance. They offer low income, the working poor, and others with numerous assistance and aid programs. For example, contact them to learn more about.
- Emergency and critical needs - Every year over 5,000 people receive help by receiving food, transportation assistance, gently used clothing, gasoline for vehicles, and other basic needs. The goal is to help people make it though an emergency or hardship.
- Food - The agency runs a program known as Food Access. This service helps to coordinate local food banks, non-profits, and charities and the groups partner to link local farmers and low-income families with free food.
- Heating and energy bill assistance - Skagit County Community Action Agency runs several different programs to help people with utility bills. Contact them to learn about the following options and resources. The Salvation Army Warm Home Fund which helps with disconnections and pays for deposits. The federal government Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists with electricity, gas, heating, and other bills. Puget Sound Energy HELP Program which helps with electric bills. Other programs include Cascade Natural Gas Winter Help Fund as well as the Washington Energy Assistance Fund (WEAF).
- Help for medical and health care expenses - Counselors will help people and patients access health insurance and answer their health care questions. They can help them deal with hospital and medical bills. Learn about medical bill advocates and other options. They can also direct patients to clinics in Mount Vernon and across Skagit County.
- Legal aid - The organization also partners with Skagit County Bar Association, which offers free legal assistance and representation to eligible low-income residents.
- Crisis intervention - Several components are offered. One includes the so called Veterans Assistance and Critical Needs programs, which provide modest financial assistance for gas, clothing, food, housing help, transportation, and emergency lodging.
- Also take advantage of the Energy Bill Assistance program which helps low income, elderly, and other qualified families and seniors with paying for home heating bills.
- The Volunteer Lawyer Program has attorneys who work pro bono and help stabilize lives by providing pro-bono legal advice, free consultations, advocacy, and legal representation to low-income individuals, including victims of domestic violence.
- Last, but not least, for those low income people who can not afford reliable phone service or to pay for their phone bills, Community Voice Mail provides a free, private voicemail number to help people get connected with jobs, medical appointments, and deal with other emergencies. Click here to learn more on telephone assistance programs.
If you need help, or to learn more, call Skagit County Community Action Agency at (360) 416-7585.
Emergency financial assistance and social services
The Salvation Army operates in Skagit County and Mount Vernon Washington. They are a national non-profit, but they do have centers in the region. A number of programs are offered. While financial aid is limited, there may be some occasional funds for paying rent, energy bills, or medications for families facing a crisis. The aid is offered as a “hand up”, and not a charity type resource. Other assistance distributed can include free food, meals, clothing, and referrals to other churches or charities in the Skagit region. Shelter and homeless prevention are also available. Click more information.
Opportunity Council is another non-profit in the region. Skagit County families with children can enroll into Head start. They also fight hunger from Basic Food Outreach, may have loans for paying rent or other bills, and provide employment resources. Other financial and emergency support is offered as well. More Skagit County Opportunity Council.
Skagit County Volunteers of America - The charity serves all of western Washington. Some examples of services administered include emergency rental assistance as a form of eviction prevention. They also distribute food, provide bus vouchers, dental care, and operate Life Skills workshops, among other services. Read Volunteers of America Western Washington.