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Assistance programs Bay County Florida and Panama City.

Emergency and long term financial help for paying rent, utility or electric bills, medical needs, and other expenses is offered in Bay County. Find a list of churches, charities, and government assistance programs for grants or cash loans in Panama City and the county. The agencies help the low income, seniors, disabled and needy pay their bills or get free stuff. There are many financial aid or grant programs for the disabled too.

There are other resources. Find free food from pantries, back to school supplies, community clinics in the Panama City area, and free Christmas toys. There is also mortgage help, a number of job and side gig programs, debt help and so much more.

Find emergency financial help and crisis assistance for paying bills in Bay County

Energy bill assistance is offered, in particular to stop disconnections. There are grants as well as referrals. If you need help paying utility or air conditioning bills, the Bay County Council on Aging, Inc. (phone (850) 769-3486) may be able to assist. They offer the Community Assistance Program, which is also known as Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program, which is funded by both the state of Florida as well as the federal government. A focus is on the elderly or disabled, including mentally or physically handicapped. More on financial aid programs for the disabled.

LIHEAP provides regular financial assistance for paying utility bills. The program runs year round, and qualified applicants can get energy bill assistance for both summer and winter expenses. The program provides crisis payments to help low income and elderly individuals and households meet the high cost of heating and cooling bills during the summer and winter. Several hundred residents receive financial aid from this program per year.

The Panama City Salvation Army offers a Family Assistance Program. The financial aid provided by this program includes emergency clothing and food distribution. In addition, families and individuals are also provided with free groceries and articles of clothing based on need and situation. The free clothes provided by the agency are distributed based on seasonal weather changes in Florida, or someone’s life changes, such as starting a new job.




Homeless individuals without the means to provided for themselves are given ready-made meals. There may be fresh or frozen food and groceries. The Bay County Salvation Army also has a free soup kitchen, including serving Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.  If you stop by the Salvation Army, potential clients are interviewed to assess whether their need is chronic and referrals to other available programs of The Salvation Army or the community is indicated.

In addition to the services mentioned above by Family Assistance, the organization also provides qualified families and individuals in securing permanent residence in Bay County Florida. If you are found to be eligible, some of the other resources offered include free furniture and household goods, back to school supplies or products will be supplied as needed and available.

Last, but not least, the Panama City Salvation Army also provides rent and utility bill assistance as a part of the case management process to qualified applicants. Call them (850) 769-5259‎ to learn more. Or find details on Salvation Army in Panama City and Bay County.

Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida (phone number 850-435-3516) may also be able to assist. they run the Emergency Assistance Program, which is a voluntary service that was created with the goal in mind to meet the emergency needs of persons who are faced with a life-sustaining crisis. It is not intended to provide ongoing financial assistance.

Catholic Charities will try their best to assist all applicants and people who ask for help, whether they are found to be eligible or ineligible. They may be able to provide one-time cash grants. If not, at the very least, they can provide financial counseling, and information and referral to other resources as appropriate such as state of Florida or federal government assistance programs. Find additional government assistance programs.

Beach Care Services of Panama City. This faith based organization may be able to financially assist the unemployed, low-income families, and working poor in resolving immediate problems. Limited funds may be provided as a form of financial assistance and cash grants with rent, utilities, or security deposits. Other support from Beach Care may be prescription medication, free food and groceries, clothing, household goods and referrals to people who need help. They help Panama City families only. Dial 850-235-3002 for an appointment.

Family of God Baptist Church, Bay County Small Organizations – Offers up to $25 for electric, gas, or water bills, and an appointment will need to be made. 901 East Highway 98, Panama City, Florida, 32401, phone (850) 769-4021





Saint Vincent de Paul is a national charity organization. There are some churches in the Panama City region as well as county that help with basic needs. They give free or low cost stuff (furniture, diapers, gas vouchers), assist with employment needs, provide short term financial aid, help single moms and do so much more. More on Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.

Short term housing and emergency rent assistance programs operate in Bay County. Tenants as well as the homeless can get various forms of support, including the following. There may be money for paying security deposits or rent; government grants; loans from non-profits; and housing programs for veterans and single mothers among others. Many resources are available in the Panama City area, and find help with rent in Bay County.

BASIC Northwest Florida - Provides rent, housing and utilities expense assistance. Aid is limited to HIV/AIDS clients who are in financial need. This is a short-term, emergency needs-based assistance program. (850) 785-1088

Homeless and Hunger Coalition of Bay County and Northwest Florida mostly offers referrals. A combination of housing and food programs will try to ensure that families have some form of shelter and meal as well. Or learn about home repairs for seniors and more. More on Homeless and Hunger Coalition Northwest Florida.

Community Action - Bay County Council on Aging has a focus on seniors, but the non-profit will also offer referrals and other support to the less fortunate and poor, regardless of age. They administer everything from utility bill assistance, transportation, weatherization, and operate food pantries. Numerous resources are available at this community action like agency. More on the Bay County Aging on Aging.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of 929 South Tyndall Parkway, Panama City, Florida, 32404. Call (850) 871-0081. Up to $50 can be paid out to qualified clients for utility bill assistance.

Free clothing, furniture and school supply assistance in Bay County Florida - Call or stop by a thrift store, furniture bank or clothing closet. The centers either distribute free items (clothes, school supplies, Christmas toys) to the low income or they sell gently used items at a low price. Furniture, personal hygiene goods, back to school supplies or backpacks and more is offered. Continue with free clothes, furniture and school supplies in NW Florida.

Several national and local charities offer help at Christmas. There give low income families, including those in Bay County, with free gift cards. Or there may be money for shopping, new toys, clothes, and other goods for children; the elderly; or homeless among others. Find free Christmas gift certificates for shopping for toys.

Bay County Florida Home repairs and energy saving upgrades

In addition to LIHEAP, the Bay County Council of Aging also runs the weatherization assistance program. It is for low income households as well senior citizens.  The federal government funded Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was also created to assist low income individuals with home repairs and upgrades. The repairs and upgrades need to result in the home becoming more energy efficient.

The type of repairs that are provided, for free, include replacing doors and windows, adding additional insulation to floors, attic, and sidewalls where needed, repairing or replacing heating/cooling systems, caulking, installing solar window screens, lighting, and even replacing refrigerators and water heaters. To be considered part of the weatherization program, these repairs need to result in lowering energy bills and conserving energy resources for the homeowner and community. Find more details on how to apply for weatherization help.

Free medical and health care

The non-profit St. Andrew Community Medical Center (785-1419) is a center that volunteer doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are a part of. It is also supported by donations. Volunteer dentists, physicians, nurses, doctors, and assistants provide reduced cost, general primary care. This may also be free dental care and ongoing medical assistance for chronic illnesses depending on the type of volunteers available. No one is turned away from receive health care services. This is a low cost clinic. Find other free health care programs.







Department of Health BAY Medical Clinic - This is the counties public health care center. A number of medical services are provided, which include the Florida Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, an immunization and Women's Health programs. They also have available an after Hours Clinic. 597 West 11th Street, Panama City, Florida 32401, phone 850-872-4455 x226. The center also works with local agencies to provide free medications. More information on Bay County prescription assistance.

PanCare Bay Community Health Center – A prescription medication assistance program is run that can offer discounted any maybe even free medications. Call (850) 747-5272.

Assistance for past due or future medical bills may be available. It combines non-profit counseling as well as some national or local charity groups. Some focus on certain conditions, such as cancer or diabetes or kids healthcare and some are more wide ranging. Find financial help for medical costs.

Free clinics in Bay County - There are two centers that do offer free medical care to income qualified patients, however the hours are limited and appointments are needed. The locations are 3101 West Hwy 98, Panama City, Florida 32401, (call  (850) 785-1419) as well as 237-E West 15th Street, Panama City, FL 32401, (telephone (850) 215-8200).

Free food assistance programs and pantries in Bay County FL

The leading agency to contact is the Bay Area Food Bank. The charity organization is involved in providing nutritious free groceries and food to local churches, member organizations, the low income and special programs that meet the challenge of feeding  people who are hungry due to personal crisis or disaster situations. So in effect they partner with many local charities and organizations. (850)626-1332

Woodlawn United Methodist Church BAY Support Service has a food pantry. Groceries, perishable items and more may be offered. Address is 219 N. Alf Coleman Road, Panama City Beach, Florida 32407. Phone number is (850)234-3196.

The local community action agency, the Bay County Council on Aging, Inc. (phone number on top of this page) also administers several different emergency food programs and can refer people to local pantries and food banks.

Other food banks to contact include Hiland Park Baptist Church (which is only open on 930-1030am and dial (850) 785-6530) as well as Gulf Beach Presbyterian Church (850) 234-3161). There are also free soup kitchens as well for immediate needs. Click here for additional locations of groceries, perishable items, and food boxes. More on free food pantries in Bay County Florida.


By Jon McNamara


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