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Assistance programs Waterloo and Black Hawk County.

Below you will find how to get help paying rent, utility and heating bills, health care, and other financial assistance programs in Waterloo and Black Hawk County Iowa. Numerous non-profit agencies, charities, churches and government programs can provide help, including free stuff as well as emergency financial aid, to the low income and others in need of help.

Many resources are offered. They include emergency financial help, grants for low income families, free food or school supplies from pantries or charities. There are even Christmas toys. Find more information on how to apply for assistance in the Waterloo area below.

Financial assistance for paying bills, rent, and other expenses

Eastside Ministerial Alliance (EMA) - This Waterloo Iowa agency may be able to provide financial assistance to persons and families that are facing an eviction. Other resources, such as food or grants for heating bills, may be arranged. Call (319) 235-5580, or learn more on Eastside Ministerial Alliance.

Jesse Cosby Neighborhood Center - Waterloo residents can contact this non-profit. It may be able to provide a limited amount of financial assistance to people who are facing a disconnection of their utility or heating service, or that were served an eviction notice by their landlord. Call (319) 234-1793.

Salvation Army - Waterloo/Cedar Falls - Always a great place to contact for information, and some limited financial aid. Services and resources are offered for low income as well as transient families by direct request or agency referrals. Local help with a financial emergency that you may be experiencing (such as rent assistance or utility disconnection), free food, medications and more.

There is very limited transportation assistance that may also be provided. Or seasonal help including free Christmas toys from Angel Tree, propane, or school supplies for students. Call (319) 235-9358, or more on Waterloo and Cedar Falls Salvation Army assistance programs.

Operation Threshold - Waterloo - This non-profit, phone number (319) 291-2065, may be able to provide energy assistance to those in need of emergency help. Also, click here to read about LIHEAP crisis assistance programs.




Operation Threshold - This is the local Black Hawk County community action agency. They are committed to helping the low income and working poor. They may be able to provide short term financial assistance, or direct people to assistance programs. At the same time they will also try to ensure people can get back on their feet over the long term.

  • Utility and heating assistance - The program offered is LIHEAP, and this government program will supplement the high cost of paying for winter heating bills for the low to moderate income families and households in the community. The program may also be able to provide emergency furnace repair or replacement for qualifying low income home owners.
  • Emergency crisis assistance - This may be offered on a limited basis to those individuals who are facing an emergency. The Waterloo community action agency Operation Threshold may be able to provide limited financial assistance and cash grants to those households that are currently facing crisis situations such as utility disconnection or refusal to deliver heating oil or fuel.
  • Homeless prevention - The non-profit known as OT can provide help to the homeless in Black Hawk County in the form of grants to pay a rental deposit or low income housing. People with an eviction notice can receive funds, or a short term loan, to pay rent, as a last resort.
  • Weatherization - Homes and living units that are weatherized use less energy to heat and cool the homes, so their monthly utility bills are then much lower. In addition to making homes more energy- efficient, the Weatherization program may also be able to replace heating units and  furnaces as needed and conducts a complete safety inspection of appliances to ensure the home is both safe and energy efficient.
  • Housing counseling - Receive both advice and assistance before buying a home, and also post-purchase advice, such as foreclosure prevention and mortgage help.





Call the Waterloo Iowa based Operation Threshold at (319) 291-2065. Or click here more information on Operation threshold.

Eye of The Needle - Provides food boxes for the low income and homeless. Bus tickets can be provided for those attending school, starting work, or who need to go to a doctor's appointments.  Clothing for adults includes professional clothing, shoes, underwear, as well as clothing size newborn to 5X. Provides one school uniform at no cost to children or work uniforms for those starting employment. Offers items such as shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, small appliances, furniture, baby beds etc. too. 607 Sycamore Street, Suite 708, Waterloo, Iowa 50703, phone (319) 215-6151

Waterloo St. Vincent De Paul offers financial assistance such as limited financial aid with prescription medications. Provides 3 to 5 day supply of non perishable food items to people referred from Northeast Iowa Food Bank First. Assists low income clients with mortgage, utility and rent payments. The non-profit also provides assistance with furniture and clothing. Address is 320 Broadway Avenue, Waterloo, Iowa 50703, call (319) 232-3366. Or find other details on Saint Vincent de Paul emergency assistance.

Low cost or free community clinics in Black Hawk Iowa

Eastside Ministerial Alliance (EMA) - This community clinic serves the uninsured, low income as well as the under insured. Or others without the cash to pay for a medical bill may get assistance. The community clinic provides numerous medical services, including free physicals and illness and minor injury care to all ages.

The Waterloo community clinic is staffed by volunteer physicians and healthcare providers, nurses, and others who are working collaboratively with community agencies and local hospitals. Together they provide services and education that promote health and wellness in the community. Phone (319) 235-5580. Find other free medical care options.

I Hope Free Medical Clinic, phone (319) 231-2680, is a local free medical clinic to care for low income patients from birth to geriatric life.

Peoples Community Health Clinic offers health care on a sliding fee scale. The center provides routine physicals, check ups, diagnostic and laboratory services to the uninsured. Phone (319) 272-4300

Debt reduction, foreclosure prevention, and financial counseling

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northeastern Iowa offers clients several different credit, housing, and debt assistance programs. The services include low cost debt management plans, bankruptcy counseling, budgeting, and foreclosure counseling sessions. Click here for additional Iowa mortgage assistance programs, or dial (319) 234-0661.





Food pantries for free groceries and food

There are several ways to get assistance with nutritional needs. Whether it is a free food pantry or soup kitchen below, entering into the SNAP EBT assistance program, or USDA resources, there are options in Black Hawk County.

Cedar Valley Food Pantry ((319) 235-0507) can provide Crisis and Supplemental food boxes for families and individuals in need of help or feeding their family.

Countryside Vineyard is a food pantry for those who need help. Call (319) 433-1368

Harvest House Ministry Center administers several social services and resources. They include food pantry for those in need of a meal or groceries. The non-profit has a faith-based transitional home for women and their children who are affected by sudden loss of income, domestic violence, or other difficult situations. Also can offer furniture for a home. Clothing includes hats, snow pants, boots, and winter coats. Dial (319) 472-4440


By Jon McNamara

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