Brunswick County assistance programs.

Financial help for bills, rent, and emergency needs

Residents of Brunswick County have several local agencies and government programs they can call for help. Some of the centers are in the county, while others are in nearby Wilmington.

Brunswick Family Assistance Agency - This non-profit administers several programs for the low income, unemployed and homeless. This may be the leading organization to call for help in the area.

  • Food is offered. They administer the federal government USDA commodities program. In addition, an emergency pantry program is available on site for families and individuals.
  • Financial assistance may be available. Cash and grants can be used to pay utility bills, rent, heating costs, or even mortgage assistance when funds are available. For people with a serious medical condition or life threatening illness, one time prescription needs and medications can be offered.
  • Disaster and emergency assistance can be administered in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster in North Carolina.
  • Senior citizens, elderly, and disabled residents of Brunswick County can receive transportation for medical, nutrition, social, or education needs.
  • Free Christmas assistance is offered from annual Christmas Basket/Tree of Hope. The program provides toys and gifts for children and seniors and a meal for the family.
  • School supplies are offered for children. They can receive free supplies, clothing and gifts from area churches and service clubs.
  • Homeless prevention includes rent, emergency financial assistance, and more. Services offered to the homeless can help them overcome their situation and secure permanent housing.




The office is at 4600-8/9 Main Street, Twin Creek Plaza, Shallotte, North Carolina 28470, phone (910) 754-4766

Salvation Army supports the southeastern part of the state, or the so called Cape Fear Area region. The center runs emergency assistance services to Brunswick County families and individuals. Assistance programs include 24-hour emergency shelter, food, fuel and rental assistance, gently used clothing, prescription medication assistance, soup kitchen, and thrift stores. Other aid includes spiritual counseling and church services. (910) 762-7354





Brunswick County DSS can provide low income and those who are struggling with government and public aid. This is the main government support office in the region. Services are offered to help people meet their basic needs and the location provides help to citizens with low income or physical, social and emotional problems.

Several domestic type programs are offered around child neglection. This includes children who do not receive necessary medical attention or who are inadequately fed or clothed. Social workers can also help with reporting physical abuse and/or the neglect of children, elderly/aged, and this includes when their financial needs are not being met.

The DSS office also processes applications for local, state of North Carolina and federal government assistance programs. This includes Women's Infants and Children (WIC), Medicaid, and the LIHEAP program. Child Care subsidies, or even free or low cost day care, is available for lower income families who are employed or people faced with special circumstances.

The Food Stamp/SNAP is run from the location. It will help lower income families and individuals purchase food, groceries, and perishable items. Families living in poverty in Brunswick County are some of the main recipients of this government benefit.

Medicaid provides the low income, uninsured, and poor access to needed health care services. The program can help people pay their medical and health care bills. The federal government Medicaid program may pay for prescription drugs, doctors visits, outpatient appointments and hospitalization. Transportation Services may even be provided clients and seniors.

The county’s Adult Services unit works with elderly, senior citizens and disabled individuals to create a plan for supportive services. This is either for their homes or in nursing homes.

Cash assistance is available to Brunswick families from Work First. This program provides time-limited financial assistance to poor families to help them pay the bills, rent, and basic needs while emphasizing the need for employment as well as personal responsibility. Other forms of cash assistance may be arranged for clients, including single moms, the unemployed, and others.




The DSS office is at 60 Government Center Drive NE, Bolivia, North Carolina 28422. Call (910) 253-2077 for intake.

Pleasant Grove MB Church is a member of the regional Network of Churches and is located in Calabash. The location provides electric and utility assistance (when faced with a disconnection), after school care, and food or a meal. After school care is offered too. Phone (910) 287-4141.

The local community action agency is Four-County Community Services, Inc. Resources may be available to help people with a short term crisis, while case managers will help clients overcome barriers. One of the main resources offered is the Community Services Block Grant Program. This is the name of the umbrella program, it can help people move out of poverty, assist with finding a job, help families pay the rent or find housing, and more.

Head Start for children is also offered, and it can help with free health care, food, and of course educational needs. Also offered from Community Services is the energy conservation/weatherization program. The location can process section 8 housing vouchers. Social workers can refer people to the LIHEAP utility bill assistance program too. Call the non-profit agency at (910) 277-3500. Or get more details on help from Four-County Community Services.

Bruswick County churches and Catholic Charities offer social services and emergency assistance. Resources are wide ranging. Low income Brunswick County families can receive everything from food and clothing to money for paying utility bills, prescription drugs or rent. Also work with a case manager on finding a job, attend budget counseling, and more. Programs are also offered for the elderly and low income families with children. Click here.

Christmas and Thanksgiving programs - Using donations from the community, clients can be given food baskets, toys for children, presents to open Christmas morning, or sign up for holiday parties. The help is for people ranging from the working poor to homeless and senior citizens. Click more information.

Food pantries and groceries in Brunswick County

Southport Oak Island Inter Church Fellowship - This pantry can provide free food, groceries, meals, holiday baskets, and maybe even other basic needs such as household items. 249 West Boiling Spring Road, Southport, NC 28461, call (910) 845-2320.

Victory Independent Baptist Church also is part of the local food network. Telephone (910) 471-1808.

Two other places to turn to in Bolivia and the Brunswick region for food assistance and/or referrals include Dixon Chapel UMC ((910) 842-1509) as well as Brunswick Island Baptist Church (call (910) 842-8969).





Medical and dental care

The New Hope Clinic can provide primary health care to uninsured, low-income, Brunswick County residents who would otherwise be unable to afford to pay their medical bills. Pharmacy services and medications are provided free of charge to patients if funding allows. Some of the other services offered include mental health screening, chiropractic, dental care, dermatology, orthopedic, podiatry, and diabetic classes and screening. 201 W. Boiling Spring Rd, Southport, NC 28461, dial (910) 845-5333

A free dental clinic is available as well. This is located at the SWARTZ Center at Cape Fear Community College, and it focuses on low income and children. The clinic is based in Wilmington.


By Jon McNamara

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