Bexar County assistance programs.
Low income Bexar County and San Antonio families can find financial assistance for their needs. Everything from emergency funds from charities or churches to help pay utility bills, rent, free medications and more may be offered. There are also dozens of charities, as noted below, which may give out free food or household supplies, gasoline vouchers, and attorneys that offer free legal aid, including for immigrants.
Find more details on the Bexar County resources, as well as government assistance programs, that provide financial help below. Or learn where to get free prescription glasses, school supplies, furniture, Christmas toys and more.
Find how to get help paying bills
If you live in the San Antonio area or Bexar County, the Community Service Program is an organization that provides emergency assistance for bills and also counseling and case management services. The programs are designed to both improve the immediate individual and family needs of residents of San Antonio and Bexar County, and to also ensure people get what they need for their long term success. Services provided by this organization include:
- Emergency Rental Assistance and Help With Security Deposits
- Emergency Utility Bill Assistance, including gas, water, and electric
- Emergency Food Aid
- Free Prescription Drugs
- Water Conservation Program and Water Bill Assistance
- SAWS Affordability Discount Program Application (Download)
- Disability Public Assistance Program
- Counseling, Information, Referral, and Follow-up Assistance
- Case Management
- Assistance with Bus Tickets and Transportation
- Mortgage Assistance and Foreclosure Prevention Services
- Ways to deal with debt, including settlement and debt consolidation
- Project Warm
- Miscellaneous items
- Form Preparation (Social Security, job applications, TANF, Food Stamp forms), Interpretation of documents in Spanish and English.
The Community Service Program has 8 offices and locations throughout the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Dial 210/207-7830 to inquire which CSP center is nearest to you and serves your residential zip code.
The W.A.R.M program, which stands for (Project Winter Assistance Relief Mobilization) program, was designed to assist City Public Service rate payers with providing them utility rate relief and aid. It focuses on discounts and non-monetary support.
It is a collaborative effort between the Community Action Division, San Antonio Water Systems, the Association of Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors (PHCC) and also the Association of Plumbing Distributors and they will assist low and moderate income families with needed but unaffordable plumbing repairs. By repairing/replacing faulty equipment or fixing leaks in a timely manner, families and individuals are able to avoid more costly and physically threatening damage while the city as a whole preserves its most precious resource, its water supply. Call 210-2027-7830 to apply for this program.
Funds and programs to help deal with a hardship
Especially with the current economic environment, many people need some short term assistance to make it through an emergency or hardship. The Emergency Solutions Grant from the federal government provides support. Based on an allotment that takes places each year, there may be emergency assistance and financial grants that can be used to help with hardship or crisis situations. For example, receive food, money for security deposits referrals, rent and energy bill help. Senior citizens recreational programs are also available. 210-431-6466.
If you are low income or struggling, another organization to turn to is Presa Community Service Center. Find more information below.
Local and national churches provide help in Bexar County. The assistance is limited, and wide ranging, but the parishes can assist families living in poverty, immigrants, Spanish speakers, women, and others. Programs may include the following, but each church has their own focus.
- Food pantries and soup kitchens feed the hungry in the San Antonio area.
- A church may have money for certain bills, such as rent, electric, or prescriptions.
- Free gift cards may help pay for hygiene supplies.
- Volunteers may drive someone to an appointment, help fix a car, and offer other care.
- Many other services may be available. As an example, find churches that help pay bills.
Last, but not least, the San Antonio Salvation Army will from time to time have funds that can be used to pay rent, utility bills, provide free food and clothing, and other forms of aid. A number of other social services are provided too.
For example, the Salvation Army is a great place to call for one or more of the following. Free food from a pantry. Vouchers for prescription medications. Programs for senior citizens, including information on health care and home delivered meals. Dial the Salvation Army at 352-2000, or learn more details on financial help from Bexar County Salvation Army, and find more resources.
Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc. also offers a crisis intervention program, counseling, family and children services, and programs for seniors. Limited amounts of financial assistance is offered too. Aid is offered for seniors and veterans, including rent help, energy bills, and medications. Families that meet low income guidelines may receive free fans, income tax filing help from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, food, and clothing. Christmas meals and gifts may be distributed to families with children as well. Another focus is on helping people find jobs and gain new skills. Read more on Bexar County Catholic Charity programs, or call their main center at. 222-1294.
Receive short term emergency assistance (such as clothes, holiday gifts and meals, and limited financial help for bills) from the Ella Austin Community Center. The location is a multi-purpose social service agency that provides family emergency services, child development, youth advocacy, nutrition, family counseling, education, and activities and resources for seniors. Phone number 224-2351.
Housing Works – The organization is for those Bexar County residents with AIDS or HIV. It can provide funds to pay rent, coordinate job or vocational training, and provide other support. 903 W Martin, MS 18-2, San Antonio, Texas 78207. Call the agency at 210-358-9995
St. PJ's Project Ayuda Program offers rental assistance. The agency offers a homeless prevention grant that will help those that are at risk of eviction and pending disability with a one time partial payment of their back rent. The Project also has a rapid rehousing grant that will help only former foster care youth that are qualified and currently homeless. The location is 919 Mission Rd, San Antonio, TX 78210. Call the non-profit at 210-533-1203.
GRASP (Greater Randolph Area Services Program) (phone number 658-6351) is funded by a variety of local sources, including the United Way. The GRASP programs offer emergency financial aid and assistance to those Bexar County families that are experiencing a household crisis or short term emergency, and who live in areas of Bexar, San Antonio or Guadalupe Counties.
If you apply for help and are determined to be eligible, households can receive emergency assistance and cash grants for paying rent, utilities and air conditioning bills, food, prescription medicine and medical bills. In addition, the GRASP Thrift Shop provides free clothing and house wares and products to needy families. The agency provides its programs such as emergency financial assistance, senior transportation, food pantry, daily activities and nutritious meals at the GRASP Community Center in Converse, as well as other locations in the area.
San Antonio Center for Working Families Program offers numerous services and options to low income families. Among other options include job placement, emergency rent and utility assistance, medical equipment and prescription assistance, budget and debt programs, and much more. Dial (210) 207-7830.
Bexar County Department Of Community Resources Main Office - This location may be able to assists low income households and families that need energy-related assistance. Services offered by this location include case management, funds to pay for an energy crisis, elderly and disabled assistance and heating/cooling systems assistance, and also co-payment. (210) 335-6770
CAM Social Services, which is formally known as Christian Assistance Ministry, offers emergency food and clothing to the low income, limited financial assistance for paying for bus tickets, medications, and other bills. The church also has referral services to local charities and non-profits, and additional social services. San Antonio Texas (210)223-6648
Alamo Area Resource Center – Runs programs for HIV/AIDs patients. It can help people by providing rental and utility assistance, meals, case management, medical transportation and assessments/referrals for other programs. In addition, work with a counselor for provides housing location assistance, free legal services, assistance in filling out government assistance program applications, such as social security. 527 N. Leona, 3rd Floor, San Antonio, TX 78207, dial (210) 358-9995.
Volunteers of America Texas (San Antonio) offers programs for the poor and less fortunate. Low income and public housing, credit counseling, job training, and other aid is readily available from Life Enrichment Centers and other sites. More on Texas Volunteer of America assistance programs.
Military Family Relief Project – The organization can offer short term, emergency assistance. A focus is on eviction prevention, so the money will be used for rent or utility bills. Other services available may be free food, clothing, loans for housing expenses such as repairs or deposits, and referrals. Funds are for veteran and their families. 210-226-6178.
San Antonio Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) from Family Endeavors provides help to homeless veterans or those facing eviction. The federal funded SSVF program may have funds and short term financial assistance for bills such as housing, rent, or security deposits. There may even be financial aid for moving costs. Work with case managers to apply for government benefits too, including Veterans Administration grants. 535 Bandera Rd, San Antonio, Texas 78228. Main phone - 210-208-5700.
Comprehensive Emergency Assistance and Senior Congregate Meal and Activities – Will try to help stabilize programs by providing free emergency food and clothing assistance, budget and debt reduction, utility bill and rent assistance, information and referral to charities in Bexar and surrounding area, and other various seasonal programs such as food baskets for the holidays. Address is 250 Donalan, Converse, Texas 78109. Call (210) 658-6351
Emergency Assistance – RACAP – The non-profit offers energy bill and utility and rent assistance, free food pantry, prescription medications, and referrals to other charities and agencies. 307 Pfeil St., Schertz, TX 78154, call (210) 658-1613.
Social Services and Cash Assistance - The San Antonio Department of Community Initiatives administers several emergency assistance programs for the low income. Services range from help finding a job to money to pay for bills and housing. Other resources can provide health care, food, and other public aid. Read more San Antonio public assistance.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul - By working with local churches and Catholic parishes, the Society of St. Paul provides food, groceries, clothing and financial assistance for expenses. Many resources do focus on people who are most at risk, such as seniors and families with children. They can also provide advice to immigrants, and may even have special cash assistance programs for refugees/immigrants. One Haven for Hope Way, San Antonio, TX 78207, phone (210) 225-7837. Or click here for more details on St. Vincent in San Antonio and Bexar County.
Agape Ministry Emergency Assistance Program – Families in a crisis can get emergency assistance. Services provided include access to a household items, food pantry, clothing, and limited financial assistance for utilities and electric bills. 127 Lanark, San Antonio, Texas 78218, phone (210) 590-6655, or more information on Agape programs.
Bulverde Food Pantry, Inc. – This is a local community-based service organization that is involved in helping people in crisis by supplying limited, food and clothing, offering free physical type goods and enabling connections to appropriate support agencies for specific needs. Address is 2295-1 Bulverde Rd, Bulverde, Texas 78163, dial (830) 438-7899
Cash loans can be used to help pay bills as well. Families in Bexar County have dozens of options available. They range from Pawn Shops to payday lenders. The funds can help with paying expenses such as car repairs; rent; electric bills; medications; and much more. But note these type of loans often have high interest rates and/or fees associated with them. More on San Antonio emergency loans.
San Antonio Department of Human Services administrates assistance programs for the city and Bexar County. Services are offered for the working poor, low income, disabled, unemployed, and others. Receive referrals to federal government benefits, emergency financial aid and self-sufficiency.
- Child care vouchers and subsidies may be offered for parents that are working or in training.
- Homelessness Continuum of Care and Rapid Rehousing can help prevent evictions, support the homeless and may offer rental assistance.
- Adult education, GED, ESL and other training resources are available, including for immigrants.
- Basic needs, such as food may be available in Bexar County.
- Several other programs are available. More on Department of Human Services in San Antonio.
Clothing, school supplies and basic needs - Bexar County Texas is served by a number of clothing closets, charities, churches, and thrift stores that offer low income residents access to basic living needs. This is mostly material assistance such as clothing, free school supplies, furniture, and household products. Some centers may have small amounts of cash for other needs as well, such as electric bills, gasoline, or medications. More on Bexar County clothing closets.
St. Peter - St. Joseph Children's Home – Some of the programs offered include vouchers for a thrift store, rent/housing assistance, utility bill financial assistance, help in enrolling in GED classes/testing or college courses, completion of SSI government application and referrals, food, and more. 919 Mission Rd., San Antonio, TX 78210, phone (210) 531-8555
Family Assistance Centers - DHS, City of San Antonio – The government agency offers a number of services and assistance programs which help low income families gain self-sufficiency, while at the same time providing the opportunity for short term financial help. Programs include:
- The Education and Employment services include assistance in job skills training such as workforce programs, education, job placement referrals and AARP Work Search programs.
- Work Support can help with public and government benefits, including VITA (free income tax credits/assistance) and emergency assistance which includes Project Agua, Project WARM, Project REAP, Plumbers to People, and Affordability Discount Programs, and also housing/rental assistance. Work support assistance is also provided to seniors and residents 60 years of age and older to include personal care items, prescription assistance, and also medical equipment assistance.
- Financial Wealth Building offers budget management, one-on-one financial coaching, financial literacy classes, and other aid such as access to mortgage assistance, IDAs, and savings accounts.
DHS is at 2300 W. Commerce, Suite 202, San Antonio, Texas 78207, call 210-207-7830
The Eats Foundation – Vouchers and aid including medications, emergency financial assistance for bills, and a food pantry is on site. 767 S. Saunders, Seguin, Texas 78155, (830) 372-4900
Catholic Worker House assists the homeless and very low income. Free meals, clothing, personal hygiene products, use of a computer, and other case management is provided as well. Address is 626 Nolan St, San Antonio, Texas 78202. Telephone number is 210-224-7736.
Corazon Ministries offers basic medical care, check ups, referrals to shelters and transitional housing, and more. Learn about low income apartments and possible ways to pay the deposit or first months rent. There is also a free clothing closet. Dial 210-226-8341, or address is 230 E Travis in San Antonio.
Alamo Area Resource Center may have assistance for HIV/AIDS clients and their immediate family members. Resources include medical transportation, rental and utility bill assistance, free meals, and more. Other services offered are free legal aid, vocational assistance, and assessments/referrals for other programs. They also have information on medical bill assistance programs in Bexar County. 903 W Martin, MS# 18-2, San Antonio, Texas 78207, call 800-308-2437
Bexar County focused churches - The poor, immigrants, Latinos, and others can get help. There is financial assistance for paying off bills along with practical support, such as clothes or food. Some parishes are also involved in counseling, including free advice of filing for citizenship or job finding resources. Find more on San Antonio churches.
Jewish Federation of Bexar County and San Antonio - This agency can be a resource. Some of their programs are available for residents of all faiths and religions. One priority is on helping the elderly in Texas as well as their care givers. Food, counseling, and transportation may be offered. The federation may also have financial aid for assisting with the living needs for people in a crisis, employment programs, prescription medication and counseling. Some families may be provided a loan for paying their rent or security deposits when seeking assistance from the non-profit. More on Jewish Federation of San Antonio.
Alliance to End Homelessness offers HUD grants for both stopping evictions and rapid rehousing to residents into a more affordable home or apartment. Money from the federal government can help pay for costs such as utility or water bills, rent, and more. The Alliance also arranges legal support, employment, and advice to help families keep their home over the long term. Read more San Antonio eviction assistance
Programs for the holidays - Most of the Christmas programs are available in San Antonio but others may be administered countywide. Some of what may be passed out includes free gifts, toys, books, meals and clothing around Thanksgiving and Christmas. More on San Antonio Christmas assistance programs.
A crisis line referral service operates across the county. Anyone can use the service, and it is not income dependent. There is advice for the low income, families in poverty, and really anyone else. Staff provide information on financial assistance from non-profits as well as government aid. More on Bexar County crisis helpline.
Resources for seniors - Numerous programs and services are available for older adults. Most of the assistance is available at Senior Comprehensive Centers, which are located across the county and the City of San Antonio. Qualified applicants can receive help, including Meals on Wheels, information on health and Medicare, transportation, and other support. More on senior programs in Bexar County.
Back to school supply giveaways are held throughout the county and city. Students of all ages can get what they need for the new school year, whether free items for the classroom, clothes, and other supplies. Charities, churches, and volunteers help with this. Find where to get free back to school supplies in Bexar County.
San Antonio City Social Services - The metropolitan area is supported by a government agency that provides direct assistance and also partners with non-profit organization. Some of what is offered includes transitional housing, financial aid from Family Centers, food, and support such as Regional Alliance For The Homeless. Also get information on government benefits. Click San Antonio Services.
Housing assistance and transitional units are located across Bexar County. These units can provide a place for an individual or family to stay, whether for a few nights or a few months. If you qualify for the use of the center then case workers will also usually provide other forms of assistance to individuals. For example, enroll into job training programs or employment counseling. Or sign up for government benefits or receive free medical care. The objective is to assist families with finding a new, permanent home or apartment. Find low income, transitional, and shelters in Bexar County.
San Antonio Family Endeavors, Inc. may be able to help veterans. The non-profit offers homelessness prevention services. This can include help in obtaining Veterans Administration (VA) benefits, temporarily financial assistance with paying rent, utilities, deposits and moving costs. Applicants need to have a very low income. 535 Bandera Rd, San Antonio, TX 78228, 210-208-5700
Locate additional low income assistance programs.
Bexar County Texas statewide assistance programs and non-profits
Many agencies and assistance programs cover all of Texas, including San Antonio and Bexar County. Find how to get help with bills, foreclosure prevention, debt help, food, and other support.
Assistance for paying utility and cooling bills
Contact the Bexar County - Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) at (210) 335-6770. the program assists low to moderate income households needing energy bill help. Services offered by the program include case management, energy crisis, heating/cooling systems assistance, and cash grants. They may also be able to provide financial and rent assistance. Locate more Texas utility assistance resources.
Cooling bills - Several different charities partner with Bexar County Human Services to provide fans, air conditioners, and financial assistance during the summer. One of the primary programs offered is known as Project Cool.
The San Antonio area can be hit by scorching heat during the summer. Every year people are admitted to the hospital, or have serious medical conditions, that result from the humidity and heat. Seniors tend to be most impacted. So non-profit agencies do what they can to help the low income and elderly. Find free fans in San Antonio.
Water Bills - Residents of San Antonio can sign up for a payment plan that is created by customer donation. The San Antonio Water System may be able to provide financial assistance for people who are faced with an emergency situation. Read more on San Antonio water assistance programs.
Free foreclosure counseling, debt and mortgage delinquency services
Two non-profits in San Antonio and Bexar County to contact for foreclosure assistance include Fair Housing/Housing Counseling Program ((210) 207-5910) and also the Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Program - at 211. Both of the organizations offer default mortgage counseling, financial literacy and advice instruction, financial mortgage assistance; predatory lending counseling and education. In addition, work with a counselor to receive free foreclosure counseling assistance that can help homeowners who are in or nearing foreclosure with referrals to additional resources, including government programs such as the federal government Home Affordable Refinance Program.
In addition to those non-profit organizations listed above, several other agencies can help Bexar County residents reduce and pay off credit card debts and unsecured loans. They offer negotiation and debt consolidation services and even mortgage assistance programs. Read more San Antonio Texas credit counseling agencies.
Housing and rent assistance
The federal government through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will allocate almost $30 million for assistance programs in Bexar County and San Antonio Texas.
HUD, which is a federal agency, is granting the funds by using a total of five separate federally funded grant programs. They include the HOME program, the American Dream Down Payment Initiative, Community Development Block Grant program, the Emergency Shelter Grant program and also the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program.
While not every American and county resident wants to or will attain the dream of owning a home, but what this aid will do at the very least is provide everyone with access to fair and low priced housing. This funding from the federal government is important to Bexar County residents as it will helps to expand affordable housing programs to low and mid income families.
While millions of dollars will be provided, who exactly will receive the money and is able to disburse it in San Antonio and Bexar County includes:
• Over $15 million will be provided through the Community Development Block Grant program. Both San Antonio and Bexar county will use these funds to develop low and mid income housing for local individuals.
• $7 million will be provided to the HOME program, which helps both local and state governments expand the amount of affordable housing and rent assistance that is available to both low- and moderate-income Texas families.
• Almost $50,000 from the American Dream Down payment Initiative which will help local residents with paying for both closing costs and provide down payment assistance for new homes.
• Almost $800,000 in funds will be provided from the Emergency Shelter Grant, which will be used to furnish free cash grants to local agencies and charities that will improve the quality of and the access to emergency homeless shelters and programs.
• Last, but not least, $1 million will be provided for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS fund, which is a medical grant program that provides housing assistance to low-income and moderate income families that may be living with HIV/AIDS.
The federal government stimulus money will be disbursed through San Antonio’s Department of Community Initiatives. The funds will be managed and disbursed by 12 local contracting agencies and charities, including Family Service Association ((210) 657-6278) and Catholic Charities.
Another non-profit agency to contact in San Antonio is Home Sweet Home at (210) 352-2020. The agency also offers rent assistance programs for individuals and families who qualify.
How to prevent eviction and homeless prevention programs in Bexar County
Hundreds of families have been helped by SAMMinistries’ ((210) 979-6188) new Homeless Prevention Program. They recently have received an addition 2 million in grants and funding to expand the size of the program.
The Homeless Prevention Program offered by SAMMinistries’ will provides help with paying energy bills, rental assistance and funds, supportive services and counseling. All of this is done in order to enable both families and individuals who are facing danger of foreclosure, eviction, or homelessness stay in their homes or apartments.
The size of the grant payments offered will average a few hundred dollars, and the money is paid directly to a utility company, landlord, or other vendor that is owed for the bills or rent.
The non-profit also coordinates other housing programs in Bexar County. Staff from SAMM can help families be placed into transitional housing and then eventually into low income homes or apartments. Another key focus is on eviction prevention services, which range from emergency funds to pay a portion of back rent to rehousing solutions. Read SAMMinistries financial assistance programs.
Additional rental assistance is offered. Other 30 different charities and organizations work with SAMMinistries, and the participating nonprofit agencies include Catholic Charities, Neighborhood Place through Family Services Association, Jewish Family and Children’s’ Service, Salvation Army, Christian Assistance Ministry (North), and the Daughters of Charity Service of San Antonio. In addition, the City of San Antonio is aiding with homeless prevention. Get a listing of regional San Antonio rent assistance programs and organizations.
Mental, dental, and health care services
CentroMed (210) 334-3750 is a local agency that is headquartered in San Antonio. It provides dental, medical, mental health, nutrition, social services, and other health care assistance to low income and other economically disadvantaged, homeless and medically under served people in Bexar County. Click here to find other health care programs.
Receive medical and dental care, and access to social services, from the Daughters of Charity Services of San Antonio. 334-2300. The organization provides dental care at the La Mission Family Health Care. The care may be free, or it will be based at affordable fees based on the patients ability to pay. In addition, the charity offers low income and other needy individuals preventative services such as physicals, the Texas Health Step exams, and immunizations. Health care services can also include acute and chronic conditions such as heart conditions, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. All of these medical programs are offered at the La Mission Family Health Care location.
A number of other government qualified health centers and clinics operate in Bexar County. They can offer free or low cost care to senior citizens, children, the low income, and anyone who needs medical attention. Find locations and details on more free clinics in Bexar County.
Get free food and access to food assistance
The San Antonio Food Bank (431-8302) partners with local food distribution centers and charities, and the food bank collects and redistributing food to emergency pantries, charities and on-site feeding agencies in 15 counties throughout South Texas. You can call them to find the nearest distribution point to you.
To learn about pantries and places to turn to for food and groceries, contact the Emergency Food Pantry and Resource/Referral. Among other services, they provides food and groceries for those in need of help, and through case management, connects persons with other resources and services they may need to improve the quality of their lives and feed their family. Dial (210) 434-2301.
Those are two of the leading food banks in the area. Families as well as children and seniors can also turn to dozens of additional pantries and food programs in the county. Find additional San Antonio area food banks and pantries.
Programs that help seniors
The Greater Randolph Area Services Program (also known as GRASP) will help elderly and seniors over 55. It will help stabilize individuals and families who are facing a facing crisis situation. The agency can offer rent help, utility bill assistance and food assistance, to primarily help seniors who are 55+. 658-6351.
Presa Community Service center
This non-profit charity agency serves the poor, low income and other disadvantaged residents by providing them with food, rent assistance and funds to pay utility bills. The aid is fairly extensive, as it also offers assistance programs for the elderly and youth, counseling, transportation services, home-delivered meals, ad child care assistance and support. Call the agency at 532-5295.