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Assistance programs Buncombe County and Asheville.

Learn how to apply for financial assistance from charities, churches, or the government. Get help with paying rent, access affordable housing, and also receive free food or even utility bill help. Buncombe County and Asheville families can receive grants, enrollment into job programs, free items, and other forms of support. Find where and how to get financial help with bills near you in Asheville or Buncombe County NC below.

Residents can also locate low income housing with no waiting list or apply for home buying and/or mortgage assistance. In addition to financial help in Asheville, Black Mountain or Woodfin NC, find places for free school supplies, Christmas gifts, furniture for low income families, and even winter clothes.

Below you will find information on many local non-profits and charities, however some of the leading organizations that provide Asheville and Buncombe County residents with financial assistance include Community Action Opportunities, Eblen Charities and St. Vincent de Paul. There may be financial help or free items too, including a car or gas voucher for work, furniture or household stuff for low income families.

Financial help for rent, utility bills, car repairs, and other expenses in Asheville NC area

Community Action Opportunities is a poverty fighting non-profit. They offer a number of grant programs, counseling and more. Free weatherization Programs and Services is offered by Community Action Opportunities and it helps individuals and families who have limited incomes stay cooler in summer as well as warmer in the cold western North Carolina winter months. They can even help families get free furniture, appliances or energy conservation stuff for their home. In addition to their programs, learn more on furniture for low income families.

The program will provide free energy saving measures to the household, such as additional insulation, furnace tune ups, caulking, window replacement, and more. There may also be HVAC repairs and or fans for the summer months,

All updates, including installation, are free to the applicant. People who are accepted into this program can save hundreds of dollars per year on their utility bills. Both homeowners and renters can apply for weatherization services. It can also provide repairs to heating or cooling systems.

In some cases cash grants may also be issued to help pay heating bills, and this is combined with weatherization. These are part or hardship grants that are offered by the government or non-profits. The Community Action address is 25 Gaston St, Asheville, NC 28801. Call (828) 250-0410. Or read more on how do you get a hardship grant.




St. Vincent de Paul helps hundreds of Asheville families every year. While the organizations financial assistance programs focus on helping struggling families with paying their utility bills, it also will help people with paying their rent. There may be also be emergency funds for car repairs or bus tickets. SVDP may also have free food, clothes, information on hotel vouchers and money to prevent an eviction.

The mission of St. Vincent Depaul in the Asheville region is to help the low income and middle income of this country make it through a difficult period. There are multiple SVDP parishes as below. Call to apply or for more information, or read assistance from St. Vincent in Buncombe County.

  • South Buncombe County is in Arden - Call (828) 684-6098
  • In eastern, central, northern and western Buncombe, call (828) 684-6098

Heating bill assistance is offered in order to help low income, elderly, and struggling households to keep warm.  For those people who are struggling with their heating or propane bills, Eblen-Kimmel Charities administer a heating assistance program that starts each year in November, and it is the state’s version of LIHEAP

Government LIEAP (low income energy bill assistance) may be able to provide certain Buncombe County residents with funds for paying utility bills. The elderly, retirees, and disabled can apply first for a free grant. More on LIEAP in North Carolina. Eblen-Kimmel Charities can help people apply.

Providing heating aid is the number one item they are now focusing on. In most year’s, the charity provides a little more than $1 million in heating assistance alone to Asheville area families. Contact Eblen-Kimmel Charities, at 828-255-3066, or stop by their office at 12 Regent Place, Asheville, North Carolina.

The Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) has several resources for people who are facing an emergency. Among other things they offer a food pantry, soup kitchen to families who need food or free groceries. There is also a homeless shelter and they also run a heating bill assistance program for winter expenses.

  • Other resources and programs offered include emergency assistance for buying food, clothing, pet food, and household items. Assistance may be able to be offered for fuel or paying heating bills when income and other government resources are insufficient. Applicants should note that any type of emergency financial assistance for utilities, housing and rent will only be provided if a disconnection of that service would cause a life threatening situation.
  • Free stuff for the low income in Asheville NC and the county, including clothes, groceries, hygiene supplies and other goods.
  • Or grants may be issued from the ABCCM crisis program for people that are facing imminent eviction, and all other resources and government programs have been exhausted. In some cases, free pet food from Meals on Wheels can be delivered in Asheville NC.





They have limited funding, and much of the financial aid they provide is donated by local residents and businesses. So apply early, and also please contribute if you can. The charity also provides housing to single moms, supports veterans from SSVF, has a thrift store, and runs a low cost medical or dental clinic. There are multiple sites. Phone (828) 670-1221 or stop by 30 Cumberland Ave. Or find more information on Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry programs.

  • North Buncombe Samaritan Ministry, part of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM). This non-profit organization offers emergency assistance services for persons who reside in North Buncombe County. Services include free food, pet food, clothing, and household items. There may be Ensure for seniors or information on low-income housing that has no waiting lists.

    Funds may be able to assist with paying for heating bills or fuel when other resources are insufficient. Grants, both charities and government, as well as emergency immediate assistance may be offered for paying electric bills and rent only if all other resources have been exhausted. There is financial help ASAP for the person is facing eviction or disconnection. Location is 403 Weaverville Highway, Asheville, North Carolina 28804, main number (828) 259-5303 or (828) 645-6141.

Another organization to contact is Hominy Valley Community Services (call (828) 259-5301). This charity offers emergency financial assistance and social services. The charity will help in the form of clothing, free food or winter clothes or school supplies. There is also grant money for heating fuel, medicine, and energy bill help for indigent families in the community. There is also support for the elderly, disabled as well as single moms. The location is 1914 Smokey Park Hwy, Candler, NC 28715.

Employment is always a major need in western North Carolina and the Asheville marketplace. Everyone from senior citizens to service workers often need a higher paying job or more income. There are a few options, one being legitimate work from home jobs. It is possible to make a few extra dollars on the side, in a low stress environment. There are such such opportunities as doing a contract job, and find the best freelance websites.

Eblen Charities and its partners offer help to the poor, jobless, and low income. They are a leading charity for western North Carolina. Some of the leading resources are noted below.

  • Free holiday meals and school supplies, in particular shoes for children.
  • Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing - Eblen can offer emergency grants to pay rent or the security deposit on a new, low income home.
  • Food is a major focus. Pantries, meals for children and students and a home delivery service for seniors is available.
  • Transportation programs in Asheville, including free donated cars given to the low-income, car voucher for a job interview or other rides.
  • Utility bill and energy help from the Energy Project.

Many other assistance programs are administered in Asheville and other towns. The services support all of the entire county as well. Continue with financial aid from Eblen Charities.

Biltmore United Methodist Church - Programs can assist families and individuals in need. As funding allows, the charity may offer emergency financial assistance once a month on the 4th Tuesday of a month. Families and people from the community need to call the week before assistance to make an appointment for help. If money is available, they can assist a family once every 4 months up to a year and up to $75 can be provided. Asheville, NC. Call (828) 274-2379

Foster Seventh Day Adventist Church Community Services – Apply for financial assistance or free boxes of groceries, formula for infants and other supplies. Needs to be done in person, and only on Tuesdays. Limited utility assistance, and sometimes bus tickets or even laundry vouchers may be distributed. They may also have free motel or gasoline vouchers. The location is 375 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC 28803, call (828) 274-2014.






Catholic Charities has multiple services in the Asheville region. A major one is free food and meal distribution  (working with MANNA Food Bank and local agencies). They also help immigrants, refugees, and Spanish speakers in the form of immigration services, translation, legal aid and more. The homeless can also get support.

There is also support for women who need a safe place to live if they were facing violence. Or locate a homeless shelter or housing voucher. Referrals to financial aid, holiday resources and other basic needs are offered too. More on Catholic Charities in Asheville region.

County Social Services administers most of the state on North Carolina and federal government programs. The public aid tends to be for very low income families or the underemployed, but the number of options is extensive and Buncombe County families can apply for the following.

  • Energy bill help from LIHEAP or crisis grants.
  • Vouchers to pay for child care.
  • Free food, both from referrals to pantries and SNAP food stamps.
  • Other aid, ranging from Work First Employment to loans for housing needs or medical care. Read more public aid in Buncombe.

Johnston Elementary Outreach, Children First/CIS of Buncombe County – Only covers families who attend attending Johnston Elementary. Resources offered are assistance with utility bills or rent, free food pantry; clothing provision and case management services. There are also free back to school supplies, information on tablets and more. The location is 230 Johnston Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28806 call (828) 768-3012 or (828) 232-4291

Clothes closets, free furniture banks and low cost thrift stores: Buncombe County families may be able to obtain some or all of the following. Some items are free (using vouchers), others are sold at a minimal cost.

  • Clothes for work such as pants, belts, boots, and more.
  • Furniture banks in Asheville give beds, refurbished computers, kitchen tables, couches, desks, lamps and other household items.
  • Free school supplies including backpacks, uniforms, and other supplies.
  • Free appliances may be issued for low income families, including dishwashers, refrigerators or other units.
  • Furniture, bedding, warm winter coats and many other goods. Find a listing of free clothing closets, furniture banks and school supplies in Buncombe County.

Children First/CIS of Buncombe County, Family Resource Center at Emma - Families with children can get emergency assistance for bills and rent. There is also access to a food pantry for groceries or holiday meals. Or apply for case management, and a clothing closet. Address is 37 Brickyard Road, Asheville, North Carolina 28806, call (828) 252-4810 or 828-259-9717.

Housing assistance, rent, and homeless shelter - Renters in Buncombe County who anticipate falling behind on their rent, individuals who need shelter or transitional housing, or if you need other housing assistance, find a listing of regional Asheville rent assistance programs.







Thanksgiving and free Christmas programs are administered by several charities in the greater Asheville area. They offer low income families, children, and seniors with some or all of the following.

  • Free toys, games, and presents are for kids from programs such as Angel Tree.
  • Meals are given to low income and homeless individuals.
  • Other Christmas programs include visits to senior citizens, holiday food baskets, and more. Find more details Buncombe County free holiday assistance.

Asheville area eviction help and programs for the homeless - Tenants on a low income as well as seniors and single mothers can get priority when it comes to support from an agency. Whether the person needs a grant, money for water bills or rent, or case management, support is arranged.

The homeless prevention programs work closely with the United Way and other non-profit agencies in the community. This is done to help as many low income families as possible. More on homeless assistance in Buncombe County.

Salvation Army - Buncombe County - Limited amounts of financial assistance may be offered, under certain conditions. The charity agency may be able to provide funds for paying rent, utilities, cooling bills, heating expenses, and prescription medication. There may be support for transportation, such as free bus passes or gasoline cards or vouchers. Or get clothes, counseling as well as household goods and general assistance. You need to make an appointment and apply.

This is yet another place for people to turn to. They also have several different resources, and it includes everything from rent help, to grants for utility bills, free prescriptions, and more. The Salvation Army will of Asheville also do a good job in referring people to various hardship programs. The heating bill assistance program they administer starts in November of each year. Financial aid is provided up through February

There are also free back to school supply giveaways and Christmas toy and meal programs for low income families in Buncombe County. Call them at (828) 253-4723 for help, or click here for more details on Salvation Army in Buncombe County and Asheville.

Free debt elimination, mortgage help and reduction services in Asheville

Many people are struggling with paying their credit card and medical debts, and Ontrack Financial Education and Counseling may be able to assist. The agency provides free, confidential professional debt elimination and budget counseling. They also offer money management assistance to people in financial crisis or who are struggling with debts, and those who want a plan to prevent a crisis. .

If you are facing a foreclosure or are struggling to pay your mortgage, Asheville based Ontrack Financial Education and Counseling offers several housing assistance programs. The organization provides free foreclosure counseling, support, as well as information on mortgage programs. Staff also arrange and advocate to assist homeowners in attaining and maintaining stable housing and stopping a foreclosure. There is also free credit repair services from the non-profit as well as debt reduction plans. all them at 828-255-5166

Would be renters and homeowners also need to pay down debts and improve credit scores to pay for housing in Buncombe County. There are many options out there to make this happen. As but one option, find how refinancing auto loans can help save money over the long haul.

Free vision care and eyeglasses

Dale Fell Health Center - Appalachian Mountain Community Health Centers (call (828) 257-4745) provides a wide variety of eye care programs, including free screenings for glaucoma and vision. The non-profit will also recycle and offer used eyeglasses, offers Diabetes screening for a nominal fee of $1.00  provides eye glasses and free eye exams to low and moderate income residents in Buncombe County. In addition, they also provides vision re-screenings to all schools in Buncombe County.

There are other resources available as well. Free eye exams from clinics or doctors, prescription glasses, and other support can be arranged too. Find free eye exams near you.





Low income and uninsured health care assistance

WNC Community Health Services provides primary medical, dental, and health care services to low-income, uninsured county and Asheville North Carolina residents. People who can’t afford their medical or dental bills, or who have limited insurance, are targeted by this clinic. There is also free medical care for women as well as people with no health insurance or on Medicaid in Asheville. Dial 828-285-0622 to learn more or make an appointment.

Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry offers dental assistance. The staff or social workers can direct people to other health and medical community clinics. Call (828) 259-5339.

In addition to these health centers, find more Asheville free community clinics.

Food assistance programs and free groceries in Asheville area

The Manna Food bank (phone number 828-299-3663) partners with various local charities, non-profits, and food distribution centers. Turn to them if you need help providing for your next meal. They also help with benefits to federal and state of NC food programs, such as WIC, SNAP food stamps and others The address is 627 Swannanoa River Rd, Asheville, NC 28805.

Biltmore Church of God Food Pantry (phone (828) 274-7351) offers free food or groceries, There are also personal toiletries. Or try Riverside Baptist Food Pantry (dial ((828) 231-8992) also provides nonperishable food.

Other emergency and government support can help prevent hunger. Free pantries are open daily in Asheville, or the elderly/disabled can apply for Meals Delivery services. If these three food distribution centers can’t help you, then locate more Asheville North Carolina free food banks and pantries in the county.

Home repair programs

Low-income homeowners, including senior citizens, the elderly, disabled, and families that have three or more dependent children can receive low cost or even free home repairs. There may be roofs, porch and safety work done. There are also other improvements from Mountain Housing Opportunities. Call them at 828-254-4030.

Legal assistance, including foreclosure counseling, in Buncombe County

Pisgah Legal Services in Asheville NC has lawyers and staff that help the poor, low income, and peole in poverty. The non-profit offers free legal advice as well as consultations for civil issues. Illegal or questionable eviction; where home foreclosure, mortgage difficulty or loss of home is avoidable through legal representation.

A number of full-time and volunteer attorneys are on site. They arrange free legal assistance and representation to help low-income individuals and families in Buncombe County secure decent, affordable housing and avoid homelessness. Or get legal aid to stop housing discrimination or debt collectors and more. Call (828) 253-0406, or click here for additional NC legal aid.

By Jon McNamara














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