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Immediate Financial Assistance

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Assistance programs Butte County.

Whether it is emergency housing assistance (rent, security deposits, mortgages, or utility bills), free groceries or meals, gasoline vouchers, or even credit counseling, there is assistance in Butte County. Find the main churches, charities, as well as non-profit organizations to apply at for free items or grants in Chico and the county. There are even government cash programs for paying rent, buying clothes, and covering others expenses.

Low income families in Oroville, Chico or Butte County can get emergency financial assistance when they are faced with a crisis. The non-profits, charities, and social service agencies do their best to provide help. There are also resources for immigrants ,migrant workers and single moms, including with housing needs or medical issues.

Find how to get help with bills

When struggling, The Community Action Agency of Butte County, Inc. (Telephone: 530-712-2600) is a local organization that has several programs and resources that they offer people in need of assistance.

  • Weatherization assistance lowers energy bills - Beginning in 1979 the agency has administered the federal government funded weatherization program. They will provide free energy saving services, home improvements and upgrades, and also products to low to moderate income Butte County residents. Some of the improvements they can make to your home include caulking, furnace tune ups and repairs, additional insulation, and much much more.
    All of the work is free to the homeowner. If you are households that does not qualify for the low-income qualifications, they can even assist you as they can now provide a home energy audit to these homeowners for a small fee. Please call toll free 1-877-891-0891 to learn more or apply.
  • Utility bill payment assistance programs - The Butte County Agency also provides additional assistance for paying utility bills to income-eligible residents who live throughout Butte County. This assistance program will pay the homeowner for bills related to their heat source expenses including: electric, wood, propane, natural gas and heating fuel oil. They can also direct you to the CARE program to save an additional 20% on your energy bills.




  • Housing Maintenance and Repair Program - The Agency will rehabilitate, develop, constructs, and repair affordable housing for low to moderate-income families. So if your home is unsafe, or maybe needs energy saving improvements, then the community action agency may be able to help. They actively competes in bidding of work projects, and collaborates with various programs of other public agencies to modernize and repair homes.
  • Food assistance - They also run a Regional Food Bank throughout the local five-county region; including Butte, Sierra, Glenn, Colusa, and Plumas Counties. It also helps people in Oroville.
    The Regional Food Bank is a partner of America's Second Harvest, the Nation's Food Bank network. Surplus food is donated by large providers and government agencies and it is distributed throughout the country via a network of affiliated food banks and other charity organizations.
    A network of volunteers and nonprofit organizations run the Regional Food Bank from their Oroville as well Chico warehouse. Also note that food resources are available at a very low cost to member organizations of the Food Bank. To become a member of the food bank organization, contact the community action agency for more information. New products and grocery items are frequently received and passed out. In addition, surplus food that is made available by the government Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program and this additional aid is distributed to individuals and families each month at locations throughout the five-county region.
  • Transportation programs are offered by community action. They try to help job seekers in Butte County, gig workers, people that have an interview and others to get the assistance they need. This may be a free bus pass or voucher for gasoline. Or a few dollars to pay for a car payment or Uber/Lyft ride for an interview. More on free gasoline cards for low income.

All of the above are offered by the Community Action Agency of Butte County, Inc. Call them at 530-712-2600. Visit

Regional food pantries and soup kitchens - There are almost 60 sites in Butte County. Some provide groceries and others serve hot meals, including at the holidays. The options to apply at range from churches to charities and non-profits.

Not only may a food bank have free groceries, but some offer applications to CalFresh food stamps or they provide other items. This may be diapers, household cleaning supplies, soup, and the like. The centers are staffed by volunteers too. More on Butte County food pantries.





Emergency financial assistance for bills, expenses, and other free stuff in Butte County

Churches all across Butte County work to provide qualified individuals with help. The primary activity is as a food pantry, soup kitchen, and in general addressing hunger. Holiday meals may also be passed out. As part of this, they are involved in providing emergency food assistance to those in need.

All other services offered (prescriptions, bus tickets and utility help) are provided on an emergency basis only as funding permits. A church, when funding allows, may issue a grant for expenses, or referrals to security deposit programs. Usually any financial aid is a small dollar amount and is for people in the local parish only. Or find emergency help from Butte County churches.

Another option is Independent Living Services of Northern California. This is a non-profit, consumer-run aid organization that is tasked with empowering persons with disabilities to achieve and maintain their optimal level of self-reliance. They offer free stuff such as medical equipments, grants to pay bills from SSI, healthcare and other support. There is also independence through a variety of both referral and direct services. Call the agency at (530) 893-8527.

The Housing Authority of Butte County operates a lease guarantee program for landlords and tenants. It is a form of assistance that will kick in if the family falls behind on their rent or if the apartment needs repairs, and it can also help pay for deposits. There are also section 8 HUD vouchers in Butte County. Some of the assistance is issued as a loan.

Another option is TBRA, which is federal government HUD approved rent subsidy program. Or Butte County families can be referred to section 8 vouchers for their housing needs. Call (530) 895-4474 for information on these resources, or find other sources of security deposit loans.

The Chico Community Shelter Partnership provides a wide variety of personal and social services. The facility also offers emergency shelter throughout the year at the Torres Shelter. The shelter helps people and families who are experiencing homelessness. Phone (530) 891-9048

There is help for rent and housing expenses in Butte County. Families can turn to government grant programs or charities for everything from shelter to emergency rental assistance, loans, security deposit help, and even free legal aid to stop an eviction. Depending on the applicant’s income, need, and background, funds are available for paying housing costs or moving a person into a new apartment. Read more on rent assistance Butte County.

The Butte County Salvation Army is located in Oroville California and can be reached at (530) 534-9556. The agency may, from time to time, have limited funding to help pay rent, provide utility bill help, free food, and other forms of aid.

Social Services from the Chico Salvation Army is another local non-profit that provides support to people in the town. A pantry may have food, or their could be funds for utilities (from REACH), vouchers for medications, clothing, and holiday meals and gifts. Any resources are limited and is for low income families and individuals who are on an emergency and temporary basis, or who may be facing a crisis.

The Salvation Army also helps students and kids in Chico, Oroville and Butte County. To this end, there are free back to school supplies, backpacks, meals and Christmas toys from Adopt a Family. Or the homeless can get motel vouchers or placement into a homeless shelter. The most common form of support though will be the availability of low cost goods at the thrift store. Call (530) 776-1009 or (530) 342-2192, or more on Butte County Salvation Army assistance programs.

Programs for Oroville - In addition to the Butte County resources, there are several services focused on the city of Oroville. Low income families can get help in applying for programs such as CalFresh, weatherization, and home repairs. Social workers will help the less fortunate in the region access the assistance they need when they are facing a hardship. Read more on Oroville assistance.

Children and seniors can apply for free holiday help. Several different charities provide everything from free toys at Christmas to meals, boxes of food, Thanksgiving turkeys, gift cards, and more. Income restrictions are in place, and a review of the application will need to be conducted. Read more on Butte County free holiday programs.





Foreclosure and credit counseling in Butte County, Oroville, and Chico

Two local non-profit agencies provide a variety of financial assistance and counseling to struggling homeowners and consumers in the area. If you are facing a foreclosure and need to understand your options, or if you are behind on paying your debts, contact one of the following for counseling.

  • Community Housing and Credit Counseling Center - Chico, CA. The non-profit may also be called Community Improvement. Dial (530) 891-6931
  • Auriton Solutions - Chico. Dial (530) 896-2262 or (530) 898-8640.

Contact these agencies, or click here for additional mortgage and foreclosure prevention solutions. As there are many government mortgage programs nationwide near you..


By Jon McNamara











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