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Athens-Clarke County assistance programs.

There are dozens of programs in the Athens Georgia area run by churches, non-profits, and the government among others. The agencies provide everything from grants to pay back rent or utility bills to free food from a pantry. There is also free dental care, job programs, gas vouchers, loans or cash and other resources in Clarke County for paying bills.

Find free health care in Athens Georgia

The Athens’ Mercy Health Center provides free health care to Athens Georgia area families. Just last year, the 100 plus charity clinics in Georgia, such as Athens’ Mercy Health Center, provided free health care to almost 200,000 individuals. This year, they are on pace to help 600,000 due to the weak economy. Their phone number is (706) 425-9445.

Athens Mercy Health Center uses volunteers to offer residents health care services, including even dental cleanings, and they charge patients either very little, or nothing, if they have no other means of obtaining health care. They provide medical and dental care for the families and individuals who do not have any other health insurance or ability to access care. They will not accept patients who have private insurance, or receive assistance from government Medicaid or Medicare programs. The services offered include the following:

  • Free medications, and coverage for pharmacy services for MHC patients
  • Both emergency and primary medical care for children and adults
  • Specialty medical clinics and also referrals on a case-by-case basis
  • Spanish medical services as interpreters are located on site
  • Dental cleaning and other services
  • Find additional ways to get free health care and/or free medications.

Assistance from Athens Georgia are charities and non-profit organizations

Over 30 local churches, charities, government agencies and non profits can offer grants for utility bills, rent payments, heavy coats or a place to stay, according to HandsOn Northeast Georgia, which is an Athens organization that coordinates local volunteers and non profits.




  • ACTION Inc., is an Athens-based nonprofit organization that administers the LIHEAP heating bill program for 10 Northeast Georgia counties.
  • People who need rent help, or are facing eviction can get assistance. Locally, AIDS Athens, Project Safe, Community Connection and Advantage Behavioral Health Systems administer federal economic stimulus programs for people whose landlords have given them eviction notices, and also people who are currently homeless can get help.
  • Free clothes can be received from First Christian Church of Athens. This organization maintains clothes closets that give away warm clothing to people who cannot afford it.

Help for winter bills, housing, basic needs and expenses

There are literally dozens of charities and other organizations in Athens Georgia that can provide help like money for utilities, emergency shelter, free clothes and food to struggling Athens-area residents this winter. The exact services, needs, resources and programs they offer, hours and eligibility requirements vary, so call for more information or call Community Connection at 211 for a referral.

There are regional community action agencies, non-profits, and charities. Information can be obtained from an Infoline, and the location has referrals to a number of services for the low income, working poor, and elderly, among others. They can help with housing, which can include emergency homeless prevention or rent help. Other aid is indicated below.





The hotline location has information on government programs such as utility bill help from LIHEAP and SNAP food stamps. Case managers in Athen-Clarke County can help residents apply for these and other programs. Additional resources from the community service Infoline include Head Start and information on job training for the child’s parent. The agency is truly focused on helping individuals overcome their challenges. Read more community services hotline.

Athens Salvation Army - This is the local center that is part of the statewide and national organization. There are numerous programs available here, the least of which is case management and referrals. Low income families can look into food and groceries from the pantry, school supplies, and free Christmas assistance. The Salvation Army may occasionally have funds for paying a portion of bills such as energy and rent in Athens Georgia. 484 Hawthorne Ave., call (706) 543-5350. Read more.

Non-profit agencies for food assistance - A wide range of churches and pantries support the greater Clarke County community. Not only may they pass out a free box of groceries, but volunteers at the centers can also serve free Thanksgiving or Christmas meals and offer food to children and seniors. Find Athens and Clarke County pantries.

Emergency rent, security deposit, and housing assistance is for anyone facing eviction or the currently homeless. There are also resources focused on the disabled, elderly, as well as families living in poverty. Find details on loans, grants, and even free legal aid. More on Athens – Clarke County rent assistance.

Athens IHN - Interfaith Hospitality Network is a network of local churches. They offer a small shelter and stability services to clients. Other resources may also be provided to individuals, such as a meal or referrals to financial aid programs. Their clients may also be provided medications, emergency transportation, and other support. The phone number is (706) 425-1881, or click more details.

A Bigger Vision of Athens

(706) 340-6062; (770) 851-2100

North Lumpkin Street and East Hancock Avenue across from the post office.

Ebenezer Baptist Church West

833 Reese St.

(706) 543-9644

The Healing Place

1635 W. Broad St.

(706) 369-0603

Homeless Day Service Center

375 S. Peter St.

(706) 354-1154; (706) 354-1192





Interfaith Hospitality Network

393-1 W. Hancock Ave.

(706) 425-1881

Atlanta Union Mission Thrift Store

434 Prince Ave.

(706) 546-5596; (706) 543-8338

Emmanuel Episcopal Thrift House

450 Prince Ave.

(706) 543-7047

First Christian Church of Athens

268 W. Dougherty St.

(706) 549-1915

Food Bank of Northeast Georgia

861 Newton Bridge Road

(706) 354-8191

Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store

532 Barber St.

(706) 354-0936

Athens Area Homeless Shelter

620 Barber St.

(706) 354-0423

J.C. & Friends, Inc.

1325 Cedar Shoals Drive, #101

(706) 461-4159

Oasis Catolico Santa Rafaela (Editor's Note: Overwhelmed with requests as of Jan. 23, 2010.)

1465 U.S. Highway 29 North, Lot G-21

(706) 425-9177

Oconee Heights Baptist Church

4180 Jefferson Road

(706) 548-4600





Open Hearts Center Inc.

150 Old Winterville Road

(706) 354-8566

Project Safe Thrift Store

955 Hawthorne Ave.

(706) 425-8863

Sparrow’s Nest Mission Church

745 Prince Ave.

Call 706- 549 - 6693. The agency can provide help with IDs, Birth Certificates, and prescription assistance.

St. Joseph Charities

134 Prince Ave.

(706) 549-4208

Athens Area Emergency Food Bank

640-B Barber St.

(706) 353-8182

Athens Urban Ministry/Our Daily Bread

717 Oconee St.

(706) 353-6647

Cornerstone Church of God

2150 Lexington Road

(706) 549-0000

Hill Chapel Baptist Church

1692 W. Hancock Ave.

(706) 543-1377

New Covenant Worship Center

1425 Newton Bridge Road

(706) 613-5000

Timothy Baptist Church

380 Timothy Road

(706) 549-1435





Beech Haven Baptist Church

2390 W. Broad St.

(706) 548-7084

Connecting Point Church

3783 Greensboro Highway, Watknisville, GA

Call (770) 725-2750. They mostly offer a food bank that could have other items, such as clothing or personal hygiene goods.


By Jon McNamara

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