Alameda County assistance programs.
Find how to apply for housing assistance, including rent, utility bill, or security deposit help along with other financial aid in Oakland and Alameda County. Charities, churches as well as government assistance type organizations help low income families pay the bills and address basic needs.
The organizations in the county and city of Oakland may also have free food, bus passes or gasoline vouchers, clothes, school supplies and information on how to pay down debt and other unpaid bills. However offering help for rent, mortgages, and housing is a focus of the grant programs. There are also low cost loans, grants, and advice on both buying a house and/or avoiding eviction.
Get assistance with bills and other expenses in Alameda and Oakland
If you reside in the Oakland area of Alameda County, the Alameda County - Oakland Community Action Partnership is a public agency that does its best to ensure that all citizens have fair and equal access to services and resources to help them through difficult times. They assistance is provided by their partners and not directly by community action. Call 888-886-9660 for information on resources, services and agencies that may be able to offer long term assistance.
Utility assistance - One option is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The federal government funded HEAP utility and heating assistance programs helps low-income and other qualified households with paying their energy bills. If you apply and are determined to be eligible, you may receive cash assistance once per program year with paying PG&E utility bills. 510-881-0300 x 245.
Weatherization Program - Oakland and Alameda County low income households may be eligible to receive free energy conserving measures to their home, such as door weather stripping, attic insulation, minor home repairs such as door or glass replacement, faucet aerators, and other energy and utility saving measures such as free compact fluorescent bulbs, ceiling fans, and even efficient refrigerators. Call Spectrum at 510-881-0300 extension 216 or 200.
Homeless, Foreclosure and Eviction Prevention - The Oakland Community Action Partnership provides information on other local charities and non-profits. For example Catholic Charities in Alameda County has created the Oakland Housing Plus program. This is a resource that provides low-income families and individuals of Oakland California with housing assistance by providing rental and utility bill assistance. Many local agencies also offer foreclosure assistance in Oakland California.
The phone number is 888-886-9660. Other emergency services and long term assistance is available in the community in partnership with AC-OCAP. Read more on Alameda County - Oakland Community Action Partnership assistance programs.
Food bank and free groceries
The Alameda County Food Bank ((800) 273-6222) partners with various county and Oakland based charities and non-profits to distribute free food across the local community.
There are dozens of other food pantries in the county as well as hunger prevention programs. Or families living on a low income can learn about government aid, such as CalFresh intake sites. There are also many soup kitchens in the Oakland area. Find an extensive listing of more Oakland and Alameda County free food pantries.
Housing aid and rent help is available
Over 10 communities in the County and greater Bay area offten pay out federal government funds that are targeted at renters who need help paying rent and who may be in danger of being thrown out of their apartments. They also help mortgage holders and home owners too. The federal government funds are part of the nationwide Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program or ESG grants.
The Salvation Army (for referrals dial 510-437-9437) and Everyone Home will be distributing funds in Alameda county. The goal is to make it easy for families to obtain the money for any bills or rental expenses they have, and keep people in their homes.
Of course there are program requirements. Applicants will need to provide proof of their outstanding rent obligation, expenses, and need proof of their income.
If an individual or family is approved for housing assistance, they can get up to three months of full rent or up to 18 months of part of their rent paid. But the housing assistance doesn’t stop there. In addition, they can get help with other expenses that come with renting, such as utility bills, security deposits, and more. The money is paid directly to the landlord or utility company.
The government estimates that over 3,000 families in Alameda county alone are eligible for the rent assistance program, and they are trying to get the word out there of this help. Read more on the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program.
Rental and housing assistance
The City of Fremont has partnered with the ECHO Housing ((510) 836-4826), which is a non-profit agency, to operate the Rental Assistance Program (RAP). This program will assist low and moderate-income individuals and families with paying for delinquent rent, security deposits, or move-in costs.
The RAP program will assist renters by providing a loan guarantee that can be used to help pay for security deposits or also delinquent rent. The tenant will then makes payments directly to the landlord until the amount owed is paid in full. If you are interested in learning more or applying, contact Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity, Inc. (ECHO Housing), which is located at 770 A St., Hayward, California. The non-profit offers other housing resources as well, including foreclosure counseling, loans for paying security deposits, and the rental assistance program. Read more on ECHO Housing.
Additional resources for rent help in Oakland
Another place people can turn to for rent help is Catholic Charities of the East Bay's. They have a new housing assistance office at Eastmont Town Center. Financial aid is generally offered as a result of federal government funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money is flowing to the nonprofit agency, and the funds are being used to help renters stay in their homes and get back on their feet.
Unlike other rental and housing assistance programs that primarily assist people without shelter find housing, these federal government homeless prevention funds are being used specifically to help people catch up on back, unpaid rent and avoid becoming homeless in the first place. The program is taking a pro-active approach.
To qualify for the rent assistance, applicants to the program need to have a limited income. In addition, they must be facing an eminent risk of eviction from their current home. The money that is paid to applicants needs to be used for paying rent and/or utilities. After someone is accepted into the program, each client will be assigned a case manager to help them work their way back to rental stability.
Currently, the people who are applying for aid need help for a variety of reasons. They may have lost their job, have had a reduction in income, or maybe they have fallen ill and had to take unpaid time off. Perhaps the person, or their family, has had unexpected medical bills to pay Some are even still working and just need a little financial assistance to catch up on energy bills or rent. The program is designed to help people for up to 18 months, and is not meant to be a never ending charity program. To contact Catholic Charities call 510-768-3100.
Alaemda County rental and housing solutions are available. While funds are limited, there are non-profits as well as charities that may be able to help with paying security deposits for the homeless, offer financial aid for back rent, and other needs. Or click here for a listing of additional Oakland California area rent and housing assistance programs.
Emergency and crisis assistance
Salvation Army in Alameda County offers Oakland and Alameda County residents year round help with paying their energy bills, free food and more. They provide low cost childcare, and shelter for families, and camp in the summer.
In addition they run a holiday program that provides the needy with meals and free Christmas gifts. Call 510-437-9437. They also serve free meals, give out school supplies, and operate a low cost thrift store for furniture. Other Salvation Army branches are in Concord, Berkeley, Hayward, and Tri-Cities. To learn more about the social services, case management, and cash assistance offered find Salvation Army Alameda County assistance programs.
Critical Family Needs is a program run by Catholic Charities. The Critical Family Needs program provides needy individuals with is a one-time cash assistance grant. Funding is limited, and the money can be provided only to a limited number of eligible families and individuals, including seniors. Note they do not help with PG&E or water bills. The cash assistance that is provided to those who are experiencing an emergency or short term crisis, and it can go towards medical bills, rent, and other needs. Call the agency at (925) 825-3099. Learn more on LCatholic Charities Oakland financial assistance programs.
Season of Sharing is funding that is offered by a private non-profit organization that offers one-time crisis-based assistance for paying for housing and other critical family needs. It is provided as a one-time, short term payment and will buy time for someone to regain long-term self-sufficiency.
While there are a number of conditions that need to be met by Alameda County applicants, it will pay for security deposits for households who are at risk of or have lost their housing. This can include delinquent mortgage or rent payments, limited utility bill assistance, and other aid for people who are in immediate threat of shut-off. All cases are reviewed on case by case, and some proof of income is required among other factors. Oakland California based. 510-272-3700
Churches and faith based groups may assist the poor and people facing emergency. There are dozens of locations across Alameda County. Some offer financial support such as for paying rent or electric bills, but many others provide counseling, vouchers, and material goods.
A ministry at a church will help people of all backgrounds. There may be infant formula for single moms or housing for immigrants. Some sites even provide bus passes to use in Oakland for job interview or serve meals from kitchens. Continue with help from churches in Oakland.
Referrals from East Oakland Switchboard - This is a social service agency that offers callers information. They can learn about local emergency food pantries or places that offer low income housing. The outreach services from the customer service staff are focused on residents that are most at risk, such as senior citizens and single parents with children. However, anyone can call for information on financial support or basic needs. Continue reading on Switchboard Oakland California.
Building Futures with Women and Children offers a program known as Emergency Solution Grant Program, or ESG. As funding permits it can help San Leandro and Alameda County residents. It is offered for homeless prevention and can pay out financial assistance in partnership with the Mid-County Housing Resource Center. 510-686-2332
Operation Dignity Inc., which is based in Oakland, provides rental assistance, move-in assistance and help with paying security and rental deposits once a month to callers to qualify for aid. Call 510-844-0785.
Water bills - Financial assistance may be offered for paying water bills. Programs can also help families conserve their water usage and therefore reduce the amount that they need to pay on their expenses. Read more Oakland California water bill assistance.
Spectrum Community Services Inc. provides the HEAP program, and they provide energy bill assistance and weatherization services to low-income residents of Alameda, Castro Valley, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Pleasanton, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Union City. Phone 510-881-0300, and the extension is 216 or 200.
Oakland, CA Rent Assistance Alameda County Social Services Agency Rental Assistance - Private funds are made available from this program to help low-to-moderate income families with dependent children, senior citizens age 60 and over, and disabled individuals who live in Alameda County in Oakland. Call 510-259-3518.
Oakland branch Swords to Plowshares helps former military members and veterans. A focus is on housing and employment, and there may be grants for rent from Support Services for Veteran Families, transitional housing, and free clothing for work. Other services include Career Pathways job placement and help in applying for disability or benefits. Click here veteran help from Swords to Plowshares.