Federal stimulus money is being provided to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to help Austin and Travis County residents with housing. Over $3.5 million in stimulus money will be provided to five local charities and organizations to pay for rent and other housing costs. The money was granted from the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing assistance program which was created as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The following organizations and Texas charities received money from the program:
Grants from the program will help families and individuals who need of temporary rent or utility bill assistance. In addition, it can also assist Texans who may be currently living in emergency homeless or housing shelters or who may be living on the street and if they just need some temporary assistance to get housing or back on their feet.
Per Texas government officials, the assistance program is not intended to create long-term housing support for its participants, but instead it will provide shorter term relief in the form of three to 18 months of rental assistance. Also, grants will be provided to pay for security deposits and utility deposits as well as assistance for moving costs, and even motel vouchers can be offered. Call any of the agencies to learn more or apply.
To help residents who are struggling with the weak economy, the City of Austin is offering utility bill assistance in the form of a one-time, six-month-term Deferred Payment Arrangement Option. This will be a tremendous help for those customers who are having difficulties paying their utility bills. Normally, the payment plans were limited to a four-month maximum term.
Those customers who would like to request the six-month payment plan need to contact the City of Austin at (512) 494-9400. This payment option that is being offered, customers will need to pay 25 percent of the total account balance on their bill as a down payment. This will need to occur within seven calendar days of agreeing to the Deferred Payment Arrangement. The remaining balance on their bill will be spread across six equal monthly installments.
The Austin Texas Salvation Army runs several assistance programs for local residents. Call the agency at (512) 476-1111. They run an employment services program, provide holiday help, and more. One of the more pressing needs is for financial aid, and the Salvation Army may have limited funds to pay rent, utility bills, and even some medical expenses. Many emergency and case management services are offered from the Travis County Family Service program. Click here.
There are numerous other agencies that offer emergency financial assistance in Austin and Travis County Texas. The agencies and non-profits include.
All Saints Episcopal Church - Limited financial assistance for paying electric, water, gas, telephone, and utility/telephone hookup fees, gasoline vouchers, funds for medical and dental bills, eye care, and bus tickets. (512) 476-3589
Baptist Community Center ((512) 478-7243), Greater Mt. Zion Church Community Assistance Center ((512) 469-9020), Lake Travis Crisis Ministries ((512) 266-9810), Society of St. Vincent DePaul ((512) 836-0020) - Limited assistance for mortgage and rent, utility bills, water, gas, prescriptions, and other expenses. Dial (512) 478-7243.
St. Matthews Episcopal Church provides limited financial assistance with paying rent, water, electric bills and gas bills. Rent needs to be past due in order to receive help. The church will not help with closed utility accounts. Phone (512) 345-8314.
Master's Hand runs a small operation that can provide money in an emergency. Call (512) 832-7811
Another non-profit that can help with paying bills and every day expenses is Austin Texas based University Avenue Church of Christ. Help with bills, medications, and other expenses may be available. Dial (512) 476-9584.
Caritas of Austin, which can be reached at (512)472-4135, may be able to provides a limited amount of rent assistance and utility bill assistance for those faced with losing their housing. Other support administered includes hot meals, food, and take home groceries are also provide. Education and job placement, including ESL classes, are held for immigrants, and more Caritas of Austin emergency programs.
Austin Health and Human Services Department (HHSD) (call (512) 972-5011) runs the homeless prevention and rapid rehousing program. This program provides emergency funding to help people pay their rent, housing, and other expenses.
This location also serves as the cities and Travis County community action agency. They partner with Neighborhood Centers and non-profits to provide basic needs such as food, clothing, applications for food stamps and other aid. Medical care is available too, along with shelters and the WIC program. Find more details on City of Austin and Health and Human Services.
Society Of St. Vincent De Paul has several church locations around Travis County and Austin as noted below. The programs offered include emergency financial assistance and grants for paying utilities (gas, water, electricity), mortgage, security deposits and rent. Prescriptions and limited health care are offered. They also provides vouchers for free or low cost clothing, food, and furniture, and the vouchers are used at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store.
Texas National Guard Family Support Foundation - Offers financial assistance for National Guard members and their immediate families. Get help with bills and basic living needs such as rent, food, mortgage payments, utilities, car expense, auto loans, medical needs, and/or transportation for medical emergencies. 3706 Crawford Ave., Austin, Texas 78731. Phone (512) 782-6953
Travis County Health And Human Services & Veterans Service has several offices around the region. They are located in the towns and cities in Travis County below. Assistance offered includes emergency financial assistance and grants for paying rent (including rent for low income transitional housing), gas (includes propane and firewood), mortgages and home loans, electricity bills, prescription expense, medical supply expense, grocery store vouchers, and diapers. The County offices also provide limited case management, out-of-town bus tickets for medical appointments, and senior support services. Last, the government office may assist with motel vouchers for families as well.
Westover Hills Church Of Christ - When funding is available, offers rent and utility assistance. Food is almost always available. 8332 Mesa Dr., Austin, Texas 78759, phone (512) 345-6386
St. Mary, Our Lady Of The Lake Catholic Church - Provides financial assistance with rent, utilities (electricity, gas, water and propane), food vouchers and gasoline. Holiday gifts may also be provided too. 6100 Lohman Crossing Rd., Lago Vista, Texas 78645. Phone (512) 267-0091
Loaves and Fishes Outreach Ministry is a charity that works to help with basic needs in Travis County. Funds may be offered for paying utility bills, including water and electric. Or look into assistance for housing expenses, which may be rent, storage fees or security deposits.
They may also have loan programs to pay for basic needs, transportation, and medical care too, including prescriptions or medical bill assistance. Educational programs from Loaves and Fishes includes GED testing and referrals to job training. Other assistance is available. Location is 209 W 27th St, Austin, TX 78705. Main phone 512-476-3589, or more on Travis County Loves and Fishes assistance programs.
HUD VASH is a low income and rental subsidy for veterans. It is run by the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. It operates very similar to the section 8 housing choice voucher program and it also offers veterans case management services. Main phone - 512-823-4000
Basic needs, including clothing - If you need items or household goods, such as clothing for work or school, furniture, or other items then stop by local churches, thrift stores and non-profit centers. Several locations in Austin provide free or low cost goods to the needy. Learn more.
St. Elizabeth Catholic Church - Programs administered include emergency financial assistance with water bills, electric, gas, and prescription bills. Also may provide clothing and household goods vouchers. The church also operates a food pantry onsite providing non-perishable food, over-the-counter medicine, baby formula and hygiene products. 1520 N. Railroad Ave., Pflugerville, Texas 78660. Call (888) 801-7837
Austin and countywide low income housing units are available. They range from emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, to government subsidized resources. Families and individuals can receive a place to stay as well as access to case management type services. This can include help in locating a permanent home, job training, counseling, and more. Click here.
Family Support Services Division, East Rural Community Center Manor - This Travis County government supported agency has several locations around the region. The addresses are below. Programs can provide emergency grants and financial assistance with basic needs. Get help with items such as rent, security deposits, mortgage, transitional housing, utilities gas bills, electric and water expenses. In addition, apply for grocery store vouchers for food or prescription vouchers. The locations are:
Read more on Travis County emergency assistance programs that are provided by the Family Support Division.
Immanuel Lutheran Church - Very limited assistance (usually $50) to help pay rent, electric bills, food, utilities gas, electric, water bills too. 500 Immanuel Rd., Pflugerville, Texas 78660, (512)251-4168
Texas VFW Foundation, Inc. - Qualifying veterans, spouses, children, dependent parents and surviving spouses may get emergency basic needs assistance. Funds can pay for electric bills, rent, mortgages, or home repairs. Child expenses including clothing, diapers, formula, school supplies, or daycare. Grants can pay for car and vehicle expenses such as car payments, insurance, or repairs. Medical and health care expenses including prescriptions, bills or eyeglasses. Food and clothing may also be provided. Address is 8503 N. I-35, Austin, Texas 78753, call (800)997-7096
AIDS Services of Austin, Inc. is only for people with HIV/AIDS and their immediate family members. A number of resources are available for the Travis County region, including housing assistance, food pantry with limited grocery delivery, education training and services, prescription medication payments, emergency rental and utility bill help and more. They also partner to provide legal and dental care with the Capital Area AIDS Legal Project and the Jack Sensing Dental Clinic. Address is 7215 Cameron Rd., Austin, Texas 78752, 512-458-2437.
Human Services from local churches - There are many already listed on this page, but struggling families as well as people living in poverty have more options available to them as well. A faith based charity may help the homeless, immigrants, and single parents among others. Whether it is free food, clothes, baby supplies, or rent help, assistance is offered. More on Austin church financial aid programs.
Housing Authority of Travis County administer the section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. Qualified very low income families can get a portion of their rent paid, even for private housing facilities or apartments. 512-480-8245
Christian Service Center - They operate a wide range of financial assistance programs. Rent, mortgage, or utility bills may be partially paid. Other expenses covered can be orthopedic shoes, medical bills, prescription glasses, prescriptions, and even birth certificates or Texas ID cards. The homebound or seniors can get help as well. 1903 University Ave., Austin, Texas 78705, 512-476-9584
St. Thomas serves the northwest Austin area. May have emergency assistance for rent, prescription drugs, utilities, and gas bills. 512-258-1161.
Austin based Green Doors - The charity provides free food, grants for rental expenses to prevent evictions, and a clothing closet for the working poor and low income. They also can refer resident to rent subsidized housing in Travis County as well as ongoing supportive services. More on low income programs from Green Doors.
Round Rock region center - Local churches and other groups of volunteers work together to help the less fortunate. The organization may have vouchers for use at a clothing closet. Free groceries are offered in the Travis County region from a pantry. They also run the Treasures Charity Resale Shop, distribute computers to children, and offer referrals for financial aid. Continue with programs from Round Rock Serving Center.
St. Julia Catholic Church is a charity that provides clothing and furniture/household item vouchers. Money may also be available, though very limited, for paying rent and energy bills. Other social services are offered too. Telephone - 512-928-8629.
Financial help and legal aid can stop homelessness. Charities, using HUD and state grants, help families living in poverty and the underemployed with housing needs. Everything from rent to utility or water bills can be paid along with placement into a new home.
Other eviction assistance in the county will support the vulnerable. Non-profit homeless prevention programs can assist single mothers as well as veterans and immigrants in the community as well. Read Austin and Travis County homeless prevention services.
Advocacy Outreach of Elgin Texas has limited funding for people facing homelessness. This can include financial aid for paying utilities (water, natural gas, and electric), rent, and security deposit for qualified low income clients. A free clothing and furniture closet has diapers, baby items, work clothing, beds, furniture, kitchenware, and living room furniture and more. They also offer programs in all of Texas, and may have fans for the summer heat and Christmas assistance too. Call 512-281-4180. Read resources from Advocacy Outreach.
Thanksgiving and Christmas assistance - Churches, charities, and programs such as Blue and Brown Santa provide free toys, meals, or food to qualified families. Be sure to apply early, as resources are limited. Other holiday support is available for seniors, the homeless in Austin or the homebound. More on Travis County Christmas assistance.
St. John Neumann Catholic Church may have food vouchers, prescriptions, rent help, utilities such as water and electricity. The Travis County church also provides vouchers for furniture, clothing, and basic household items. Phone 512-328-3220.
Travis County Catholic Charities also has a number of churches and other groups that participate in the services they offer. Thousands of low income and working poor families from the community receive some form of basic needs, referrals, and/or emergency assistance from the organization. This can include medical bill assistance, funds for energy costs, rent help, funeral expenses and much more. Read Austin Catholic Charities assistance.
Below are details on non-profit agencies and programs that provide rent, food, housing aid, foreclosure counseling, and other assistance to Austin and Travis County..
Abiding Love Lutheran Church ((512) 892-4040) provides a food pantry with up to 3 days of food.
Bethany Faith Food Pantry, which is based in Austin, provides qualified residents with a food pantry. The pantry also offers hygiene products, perishables, baby food, formula, and diapers, when available. Dial (512) 926-4146.
Capital Area Food Bank runs a program known as fresh food for families. Phone (512) 836-3282.
Dolores Catholic Church (call (512) 385-4333) provides a food pantry that serves Montopolis and Del Valle Texas families.
Other churches in the Austin Texas area that provide emergency food, household products, or other assistance include River Road Baptist Church ((512) 276-3824), North Austin Christian Church ((512) 836-3282), and Hope Lutheran Church (phone (512) 926-8574).
Many other food programs and pantries operate in the county. Volunteers and social workers offer free groceries, Christmas or Thanksgiving meals. There may also be personal hygiene items and applications to food stamps. Find information on about 50 additional free Austin and Travis County food pantries.
Manos de Cristo Dental Clinic helps low income, unemployed, and those patients with limited resources. The organization provides low cost (or free) high quality dental care to individuals and families with limited resources and financial means. The dental clinic aims to restore the oral health of low income and other individuals who are at risk of or who are currently suffering from poor oral hygiene and dental crisis’s. It is the only agency of its kind in Austin Texas. (512) 477-2319
A facility that focuses on children is Any Baby Can Child and Family Resource Center. The clinic ensures that that at risk children from low income and other families with limited financial resources optimize their physical health by accessing high quality, low cost primary care, including specialist services, general check ups and supportive resources such as basic needs assistance and even mental health services. Call the clinic at (512) 454-3743 to learn more or make an appointment.
Volunteer Healthcare Clinic (VHC) has over 400 volunteers that provide medical care to Austin families who would otherwise go without attention to health care services. 512-459-6002.
Those are only a sampling of the low cost health centers in the area. Locate more Travis County clinics.
Goodwill Industries of Central Texas (phone 512.637.7100) runs the The Ready to Work Program, which was created to assist individuals with finding a job, and it will help them deal with with barriers to employment with finding and retaining employment in Travis County and the Central Texas community. The program offers the development of job readiness skills, job placement, resume review, networking, and retention support.
They offer numerous forms of financial advice to Austin area families. Call them at (512) 447-0711. Gain access to debt and mortgage counseling, foreclosure prevention, and other forms of free advice.
Travis County homeowners have several other non-profit organizations that they can contact for information on mortgage and foreclosure programs. Many of the agencies have staff that can work directly with the homeowner and their lender to find a solution. Locate more foreclosure assistance programs in Austin and the surrounding area.
Most of the resources above are focused on the entire Travis County area. There are a number of financial assistance programs, agencies, and services that are specific to Austin. Learn more on these assistance programs.