Cass and Beltrami County assistance programs.

A number of programs and charities operate across the Cass and Beltrami areas of Minnesota. With thousands of local families needing help with rent, energy bills, foreclosure prevention and other expenses in this weak economy, these agencies are a great place to call for financial assistance and advice. Get information on options available to you below.

A group of local churches and religious organizations have partnered together to form a charity called Churches United. Financial assistance programs and counseling are offered for the low income, homeless, persistently poor, and impoverished individuals and families, by providing financial assistance for paying bills, rent and other expenses. They also offer referrals to local charities, government programs, and non-profits in an empowering manner while also seeking the cause of poverty and putting into place long term self sufficient programs. Call the churches at 218-444-1380.

Bemidji Community Soup Kitchen - This charity organization can provide free food and meals certain days of the week. People of all incomes and backgrounds can get access to the aid. There are no restrictions. Phone 751-2810

Bi-County Community Action Programs, Inc. - The leading non-profit that is committed to helping people make it through a short term crisis, and at the same time trying to lead to long term self-sufficiency.

  • Reach Out For Warmth as well as Energy Assistance Program Crisis component - If you are experiencing a crisis, these programs may be your best option. The program is an emergency energy assistance program that may be able to help households of families that face a heating emergency such as an empty fuel tank, a disconnect notice or unexpected furnace repair, or lack of heating oil. Read Minnesota energy bill assistance programs.


  • Energy Related Repair Program - Assistance is available for emergency heating system repair or replacements.
  • Weatherization and Conservation Improvement Program - Free programs to help people conserve energy from their home and/or residence. Utility companies that partner for the program include Tail Power Company, Crow Wing Power, Lake Country Power and MN Power.




  • Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Program (FPAP) - Competitively priced loans are available to assist with mortgage foreclosure prevention and help make a housing payment in an emergency.
  • National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program (NFMC) - The community action agency now has highly trained housing and mortgage counselors on staff who can work with households, banks, the mortgage holder, and lenders (for free) to develop a loss mitigation plan to prevent foreclosure and provide mortgage relief. More on HUD counseling in Minnesota.
  • Emergency Food and Shelter Program (FEMA) - Funds and grants can also be used for preventing mortgage foreclosure and offering utility and heating bill assistance. However funds are used primarily for paying first month's rent and eviction prevention programs. In addition, funds from FEMA are also distributed to area soup kitchen, food shelves, non-profits, charities and shelters, and the Family Safety Network in Cass County as well.
  • Car Loan Program - Get up to $6000 low interest loan if you need a car for an emergency, such as a job or medical reason.
  • Homeless and rehousing - In addition to the housing resources listed, Bi-CAP may have government grants to pay a security deposit on a new low income apartment. This is limited, and any support may also be paid out in the form of a loan.
  • Rent assistance - An ongoing housing program in which a small number of families receiving ongoing funds to help pay their rent. Program is small in scope and has limited funding.
  • Head Start - A government created national program for children that promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through nutritional, educational, health care, social and other services for enrolled families and children.

The main office is in Bemidji Minnesota, and the Bi-County Community Action Programs, Inc. can be reached at (218) 751-4631. Learn more.





Community Resource Connections - A great place to call for information, advice, and access to government (federal and Minnesota) assistance programs. Direct services and aid that is offered to the public include: Management of Resource Centers for financial aid, Referral and Advocacy, provision of an unusually inclusive form of Information, Social Security Disability Application assistance, Senior Outreach concerning Medicare Part D, and Minnesota Health Care application assistance. They can also direct people to Minnesota community clinics.

North Country Food Bank partners with local pantries, churches, and food banks in Cass and Beltrami County Minnesota. They provide soup, food, hot and cold meals, and other help to the low income. Call 218-281-7356

Clothing - Free or low cost, new or gently used clothes can be provided by Seventh Day Advent Store (751-1985) as well as St. Philips Clothing Depot (444-3835).

Northern Dental Access Center - Provides free or low cost dental care and other family service referrals to low income families, unemployed and working poor that are enrolled in Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care in the Bemidji Minnesota and surrounding areas and communities. The dental center can provide cleanings, dental exams, dentures, fillings, extractions, root canals. In addition, if they can’t help you for some reason, they can often provide referrals for specialty care needs or to local hospitals to a variety of providers throughout the state. Call 218-444-9646




Salvation Army of Roseville MN (phone 218-444-8434) offers emergency aid, such as fund and limited financial assistance for bills, rent, etc. Several other social services are offered by the regional Salvation Army programs, including Christmas assistance, shelter, and free food and meals from a pantry. Other local numbers and offices to call include Salvation Army in Brainerd 829-1120 as well as Walker (call) 547-1340. Or more on Cass and Beltrami Salvation Army financial assistance.

Food - In addition to the various agencies listed on the page which may have fund, other options include the following towns and locations. Longville (363-3949), Walker (547-1713), Hackensack (675-5862), Pine River (587-2316) and Pillager (phone 746-4009).

By Jon McNamara

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