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Assistance programs in Albany County.

One time and long term financial help is available in Albany County. Find places and information on everything from emergency rent or deposit programs to free food pantries, gasoline vouchers, and heating/energy bill help. The churches and charities that offer this financial aid also help with employment needs, debt reduction, and much more.

With the state capital being here, many families want information on public assistance. There are government programs too, even including Emergency Food Assistance from USDA, section 8 vouchers and others. Find details on how to get help in the Albany New York region below

Get financial assistance with bills, free health care and prescription drugs

Capital City Rescue Mission runs several different programs for local residents in need. The options include the following:

  • Medical care - Has a free on-site medical clinic that is located at the mission. It is staffed by an experienced Nurse Practitioner. Last year they helped about 3,000 people with medical assistance, and they helped address episodic, primary care for the poor. They also are the local organization that works with the Dispensary of Hope organization. So the clinic therefore distributes free prescription drugs to those who can’t afford to pay for their medications. In addition, the Capital City rescue mission can also help with.
  • Food aid - They provide free meals to low income families and the poor, as well as offer a food pantry.
  • Free clothing - Residents who need assistance can get donated clothing supplied by numerous generous donors. It is given away free of charge at their clothing distribution center, Blessingdale's.
  • Additional aid - They offer several other assistance programs, including ways to help people find a job, housing and rental assistance, a learning center, and family assistance programs.

They are located at 259 South Pearl Street in Albany New York. Call them at (518) 434-1603 .Other social services may also be provided, based on funding and need.




Child care assistance

Arbor Park Child Care is a non-profit agency that offers child care to children who are up to 5 years old. The organization focuses on helping low income and the working poor. Some of the services may be free, or have a nominal cost. Call them at (518) 465-8466.

Funds for paying bills of people in a short term crisis

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany offers numerous programs, including financial assistance and cash grants, to people who are facing an emergency situation. They have limited funding, but may be able to provide funds for paying energy and heating bills, rent, and other expenses. However, one of their major services offered is counseling. Individuals in need of help can receive advice and counseling on housing issues, such as evictions and foreclosures. Receive information on medical and health care programs

 Numerous other forms of counseling and referrals are also offered. Call the agency at 518.453.6650, or continue with Albany Catholic charity assistance programs.

The local community action agency, Albany Community Action Partnership, can also help individuals in need. They can refer people to grant programs, assist with rent and housing expenses, and they also even run a food pantry and provide food. Phone (518) 463-3175.

United Tenants of Albany - The non-profit has emergency financial funds and cash grants for those renters and homeowners who are risking homelessness due to rent and mortgage payments. Call this Albany New York agency at 518-436-8997. They also run a General Homeless Prevention service, operate a hotline, and coordinate mediation, among other services. Read housing programs from United Tenants of Albany.





The Eviction Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program is administered by the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York. This organization is administering the federal government funded Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program. This was created with stimulus funds, and the program will assist with rent payments, security deposits, and evictions for the low income. Call (518) 462-6765.

Colonie Senior Resources department can provide help with heating bills from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). Colonie NY (518) 459-5051.

Albany Community Action Agency -ACAP offers help to families, children, seniors, the unemployed, and working poor. Services are focused on helping people overcome their challenges and gain self-sufficiency, but information on financial aid may be available too. Clients can receive federal heating bill assistance grants, applications to Head Start, day care, and other support. A career and job training program is also operated in Albany County New York. Click ACAP programs.

Commission On Economic Opportunity For The Greater Capital Region – Runs a housing program known as Supplemental Homeless Intervention Program (SHIP). This service can assist families who are at risk of becoming homeless in an emergency and/or also assists families with utility shut off prevention and programs to help pay bills. Case management is also offered. 2328 Fifth Avenue, Troy, New York 12180, (518) 272-6012. This is also part of the Joseph L Bruno Family Resource Center.

Capital District Center For Independence – Provides a list of affordable apartments and homes in Albany County. Also distributes information pertaining to utility assistance, accessibility, modifications, emergency rent help, home ownership, home renovation, and subsidized rent programs. 875 Central Avenue, South 4 Albany, NY 12206, dial (518) 459-6422

Salvation Army - While most of the programs are non-monetary, the non-profit may have funds to help paying bills or rent when someone is out of options. Most of the other aid is offered in the form of holiday assistance, free food, a soup kitchen, and assistance programs for veterans and seniors. Other resources include clothing vouchers, back to school items and disaster recovery services. Continue with assistance Albany Salvation Army.

Transportation is key in the Capital region. People may commute across the up or downstate region of New York for work or job seeking. It can be costly. There is transportation assistance from some government programs as well as non-profits. Train, bus tickets or other needs may be met, and locate low cost and free bus vouchers for emergency travel.

Albany County Department For Aging - Refers people to HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) as well as Weatherization. The free program includes an energy audit as well as repair or replacement to insulation, old windows or doors, weather stripping, etc. Also, in addition, air conditioners or space heaters may be provided to those who need them for health reasons. 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York, 12210, telephone (518) 447-7198





Corporation For Aids Research, Education And Services (CARES) offers a housing/rent subsidy for homeless persons who are HIV positive. The non-profit works with residents with HIV-AIDS or other disabilities. They also partner with other local non-profits and government agencies. CARES provides housing placement assistance. 85 Watervliet Avenue, Albany, New York 12206, call 518-489-4130.

Albany County Department Of Social Services, or DSS, offers a number of government and public assistance programs. Among them include cash assistance to financially eligible low income families and individuals. Examples of what can be paid for includes rent payment assistance, cremation or funeral expenses, and other crisis aid. Department Of Social Services can provide qualified low income, unemployed and poor Albany County residents with food stamps, day care, Medicaid, employment assessment and job training services. They work to address the social needs of the poor and less fortunate. Address is 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12210. Call 518-447-7300, or read more Albany public aid.

Career Central – Can assist job seekers and help people find a job. Services and resources for job seekers include job vacancy listings, local occupations in demand earnings and required skills, information on job skills, employment and ideas that are necessary to obtain employment, job search assistance, interest inventories and aptitude tests, resume review, interview practice, as well as access to a Career Resource Library. 175 Central Avenue, Albany, New York 12206, call (518) 462-7600

Financial aid for paying rent in Albany and other housing expenses as well as legal aid is available. Homeless prevention services will try to help keep people in their home or apartment, or assist with a security deposit on a new property. A number of charities and DSS offices may be able to help, and locate rental assistance in Albany.

Low income families, seniors, the disabled, and kids can all find help from holiday assistance programs. Several local agencies, including churches as well as non-profits, provide everything from Christmas meals to toys, Thanksgiving turkeys, and more. Most of the help is offered at either a food pantry or soup kitchen. More on free holiday help in Albany County.

Employment programs

If you need help finding a job, or want to increase your income, the Albany Community Action Partnership (phone (518) 463-3175) runs several employment programs. One of the main resources offered is known as CareerLinks, and it provides help to the unemployed as well as people looking for new skills.

There is free employment and job assistance for individuals who are either unemployed or underemployed. It helps people of Albany County New York. Participants in this employment program receive job readiness training, resume review, placement, advice and counseling, and even retention assistance as well as many other support services. Or learn about a number of great work from home jobs.

Foreclosure prevention and housing programs in Albany

One of the agencies to call is the Affordable Housing Partnership. The agency offers one-on-one counseling and advice to help homeowners facing a mortgage default and provide next-step strategies to help a homeowner save their home from foreclosure. Counselors will work with applicants to provide them with mortgage assistance.







Foreclosure counseling activities provided includes budget review, debt elimination, mortgage loan review, explanation of workout options, modifications, advocacy with mortgage lender. If and when needed, there is referral to legal services and follow-up services. Learn more on other New York mortgage programs. Click here. Call (518) 434-1730.

Also try calling The Legal Project (phone (518) 435-1770). The program they run will assist those homeowners who are facing foreclosure.

Senior assistance programs

Senior citizens can turn to Senior Services of Albany for access to various forms of aid. Some of the services they offer include prescription assistance, help people with transportation, meals on wheels, advice on insurance plans and programs, various classes, and even recreational activities. Learn more on New York elderly programs, or you can call them at 518.465.3322.

Grants for paying utility bills, and how to reduce expenses

Albany Community Action Partnership runs a few different programs that can help residents with heating and energy bills. (518) 463-3175

  • The Weatherization Assistance program will assist families by helping them make their homes or apartments more energy efficient. They can conserve energy, and save hundreds of dollars per year. This services leads to a more comfortable home and saved energy costs, and it is free to qualified people.
  • The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is an Albany County program, that is partially funded by the federal government, that provides heating as well as utility payment assistance to qualifying families.

Free healthcare community clinics

Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Services - The facility provides provides primary medical services to the uninsured and underinsured residents of Albany New York. Health care prenatal care, women's health, pediatrics, opthamology, adult medicine, family practice, NY prescription programs, school based health, mental health, nutrition, and podiatry services. Call (518) 465-4771





Food banks, free pantries, and meals

There are several places for food, hot meals, applications to SNAP food stamps and even Meals on Wheels. Find the main pantries as well as soup kitchens in Albany County below. Anyone in need can drop in.

The Center City Parish offers the low income a food pantry. Call (518) 465-8262

The Albany United Methodist Society is an organization that has a food pantry for those in need of help and free food. Call (518) 432-0818

The FOCUS Interfaith Food Pantry provides free food and groceries to needy persons and families in the Albany NY area. Call (518) 443-0460

Additional food programs are available from non-profits and other sources. Or click here for more food banks, charities, and free food pantries in the Albany region.

By Jon McNamara














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