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Bennington and Rutland County assistance programs.

The leading agencies, non-profits, and programs available in southwestern Vermont are below.

BROC-Community Action Agency

This non-profit operates in Southwestern Vermont, and can help facilitate short term financial assistance while they offer low income families longer term help, advice, and guidance. Some examples of the programs and services administered are below.

Food and nutrition programs can offer USDA Department of Agriculture commodities and emergency food assistance. Receiving free food or government commodities from the agency helps many families avoid running out of food from month to month, and it frees up their money to pay for other expenses such as rent or heating bills. Nutrition Education is also offered, including distribution of Farm to Family coupons in the summertime. Staff from BROC also provide information and application assistance for food stamp program, which is also known as 3SquaresVT.

Budgeting and financial support is offered from Individual Development Account (IDA), which is a savings program for low and moderate income residents of Bennington and Rutland. A special savings account is available, and matching funds are offered. The money needs to be used to buy a home or start a business.

Heating and utility bill assistance is offered from LIHEAP, SHAREHEAT, and the CRISIS FUEL program. The CRISIS FUEL program provides federal funds granted through the State of Vermont, BROC, and other local Community Action Agencies. The agency also works with Vermont’s Office of Home Heating Fuel Assistance. Low income and working poor residents can be helped if they are low on fuel or heating oil, or if their utility service was disconnected.

SHAREHEAT can also help deal with utility and heating emergencies. The power company CVPS contributes money to the program, as well as local donations. Eligibility for financial assistance is based on the applicant’s total household income and also considers other factors, such as additional support is offered for seniors, people with medical conditions or illness, or if someone has a special hardship or is elderly. More on Vermont utility bill assistance.





The weatherization program will provide Rutland or other homeowners with the support of professionally trained staff, who will, for free, evaluate your home to determine how to make it more energy efficient and safe. Updates to your home can include improving the heating system efficiency by cleaning, tuning, energy efficiency measures such as sealing drafts and air leaks, and performing minor repairs or replacing the heating system if necessary. Other services encompass installing insulation where there isn't any or where inadequate amounts exist.

Another conservation program is SAVES. This is a minimal fee based program, and it offers diagnosis of energy problems in the living space due to heating and cooling loss, inefficient household systems, or air infiltration.

Transportation and cars are very limited, but may be offered from a resource known as Good News Garage. Call 1.877.448.3288

A thrift store operates, and is called BROC's Good Cents Store. It sells low priced designer brand name clothing, electronics, appliances, children's items, furniture, household items, knickknacks, and other items.

Housing programs can help prevent and reverse homelessness. Staff from Community Action Agency can advise on housing options, foreclosure prevention, and rental assistance. Get help maintaining your household. Access Tenant / landlord advocacy; Budget Counseling; Help finding permanent housing; Referral for home ownership; Temporary housing; Tenant education and counseling; and Intervention / prevention of evictions.

BROC-Community Action in Southwestern Vermont can be reached at 60 Center Street, Rutland, VT 05701. Or dial (802) 775-0878. Other offices are at 332 Orchard Road, Bennington, VT 05201, main number (802) 447-7515 and 5138 Main Street, Manchester, Vermont 05254, (802) 447-7515. Other services and financial aid may be available as well. Read more.





General financial assistance programs

Fair Haven Concerned – May have limited assistance for meeting emergency needs and other forms of help for individuals and families. The non-profit can address basic needs and bills such as rent, heating, emergency shelter, security deposit assistance, prescriptions, motel voucher (short term), transportation and other needs. A "Giving Tree" program provides new toys, gifts, and clothing. Christmas and holiday food baskets are offered. A back to school clothing drive is administered. All financial aid is limited. Also, budget counseling, debt reduction and money management training can address the causes of someone’s hardship. Location is 19 Washington Street (Route 22 A), Saint Mary's School, Fair Haven, Vermont 05743, call (802) 265-3666.

Rutland County Housing Coalition can help with rent and housing issues. May offer some utility assistance, homeless motel vouchers, and rent help. Also case managers provide help with landlord tenant disputes, housing assistance, and eviction prevention. A primary program is Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH). Phone (802) 775-9286. Click here for more information on housing authorities.

Vermont Catholic Charities - Rutland Office can be reached at (802) 773-3379. Any aid they provide is offered as a last resort. Programs administered may have limited funds and cash assistance for basic needs including back rent, food vouchers, evictions, security deposits, utility bill disconnections (electric, gas, and water). All funds are limited and determined on a case-by-case basis. Other assistance can help people find and train for a job or gain self-sufficiency. Learn more.

Clinics and health care in Rutland and Bennington

Bennington Free Clinic offers free primary medical care, including wellness education; management of acute and chronic diseases; physical exams; access to women's clinics. If your condition is serious, get referrals to participating specialists and hospitals when medically necessary. Programs can also provide free or low cost medications. 601 Main Street, Nichols Building, First Baptist Church, Bennington, VT 05201. Call (802) 447-3700 for intake.

Community Health Centers Of The Rutland Region has several centers around the community. They provide health care such as physical health exams, acute and chronic health care, immunizations, and women's health screenings. More specialized work is also available, and it will be lab and blood work, x-rays (Castleton and Mettowee only), and prescription assistance program.

The Health Centers and clinics also provide referrals to hospitals, doctors, and health services. Get information on federal and state of Vermont public insurance programs as well.

  • Rutland, 275 Route 30 North, Bomoseen, Vermont 05732, dial (802) 468-5641
  • 420 Grove Street, Brandon, VT 05733, telephone (802) 247-6305
  • 4 Commons Street, Rutland, VT 05701, call (802) 773-1321
  • 278 Route 149, West Pawlet, Vermont 05775, dial (802) 645-0580




Food assistance and pantries

Rutland County Women's Network And Shelter – Provides free meals, food, and emergency perishable items. 101 Grove Street, Rutland, Vermont 05701, call (802) 775-6788

Manchester Community Food Cupboard supports low income residents of the community. Call (802) 362-0057 for hours.

Brandon Area Emergency Food Shelf – The programs they run provides free take home groceries and day-old meats, breads, and vegetables from local farmers markets, supermarket, and retailers. Also individuals and low income families may sign up for Easter and Christmas food baskets. (802) 247-6720


By Jon McNamara











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