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Assistance programs Cambria County

Many churches, charities, and government social service offices in Cambria County provide financial assistance as well as free stuff to low income families. Find grants to help pay security deposits, rent, or energy bills along with free food, medical care, clothing, and more. There is also information on how to get financial assistance immediately as well as seasonal  items, such as free school supplies or winter clothes in Johnstown and Cambria County.

Clients range from senior citizens to the disabled or single parents among others. Both emergency help and stability is arranged in Cambira County. Find how to get financial aid, debt counseling medical care, and even free case management services.

Financial assistance and free basic needs in Cambria County

Probably the number one place to turn to for assistance in the area is the Community Action Partnership of Cambria County. Learn about the programs they provide below, as well as information on other agencies, charities, and non-profits.

  • Rental assistance programs are wide ranging and can address various housing needs. Two different options and resources include the following. Each year there are grants from the federal government homeless prevention program. This is a rental assistance program that helps the struggling in the community, or those that are facing an eviction or who may be nearly homeless. There are many parts of this, ranging from transitional housing to security deposit help, legal aid and more.
    Families and individuals who are meeting the requirements for this rental assistance program are assisted with one month's housing costs. The exact form of support will vary based on funding and other criteria. Several dozen people may receive rent help each year.
    Department of Public Welfare Rental Assistance Program (DPW). Another rent program is in place. Low to moderate income families facing eviction, who are behind on their rent or who have no place to live are eligible for funds to get in to housing or prevent loss of the current housing situation.
  • Energy and heating bill help comes in many forms from the Cambria County community action agency. The Dollar Energy Program is also administered by the Community Action Partnership of Cambria County. This heating and utility program will help Dominion Peoples and Penelec customers whose gas or electric service has been shut off, and it will help them pay their bills and get reconnected. Customer who apply for this assistance need to also have applied to LIHEAP before applying for Dollar Energy.




  • There are also regional financial aid programs for utility bill assistance. Community Action Partnership of Cambria County can help the low income and poor apply for government aid such as LIHEAP. In Carrolltown call (814) 344-8224 or in Johnstown dial (814) 536-9031. The non-profit also offers housing programs and maybe even emergency rent help.
  • Another option is the Customer Assistance Program. This is a program that provides assistance with utility and heating bills that is based on the households income rather than usage. When accepted into the program, it will erase 1/12 of an old utility bill every month, plus makes the current energy bill affordable. Any payment-troubled or low income customer who is up to around 200% of the federal government poverty level and currently on the program is eligible for help.

Call Community Action Partnership of Cambria County for information on the programs above. There are other grant, loan, and employment services offered too. They can be reached at (814) 536-9031.

Help from Catholic Charities, Inc. of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown as well as Cambria County. This charity can help qualified people, regardless of their religion. The churches that are part of it offers numerous programs and assistance including housing and rent help. There is also free or low cost individual, family, marital, and group counseling

The Cambria County charity will also offer emergency financial assistance for bills such as heating and utility; foster care and adoption services; marriage preparation and enrichment; and also Real Alternatives , which is a program which assists women in crisis pregnancies. They can also refer people to both federal government and state of Pennsylvania assistance programs. Dial (814) 695-5579. Click here for Cambria County Catholic Charities assistance programs.





Clothing is offered by some of the following non-profits and thrift stores. While some of the locations may distribute the items for free to low income families and children, other centers just sell the clothing or household supplies at a reduced price.

  • Dorothy Day Center, Phone: 814-472-2877
  • Goodwill Industries has several locations in Cambria County as indicated below.
  • Ebensburg, dial (814) 471-0426
  • Johnstown (Richland), call (814) 266-6143 for intake
  • Westwood – Johnstown, dial (814) 255-4310
  • Northern Cambria, telephone (814) 948-7940
  • St. Vincent dePaul can be reached at (814) 536-7565 or (800) 471-0108.

Food pantries as well as soup kitchens may offer groceries, meals, and other support to the needy and less fortunate in the Cambria region. Some of the centers may even have free Christmas meals and holiday assistance to those who need help during that time of the year.

  • Catholic Social Services, (814) 535-6538. This agency may also have heating and utility assistance.
  • Dorothy Day Center, (814) 472-3347
  • Family Kitchen, telephone (814) 535-5468
  • Operation Touch, call (814) 535-8521
  • Salvation Army, dial (814) 266-1679.
  • Government assistance from the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program. Call (814) 344-8224 for information on these resource.
  • There are several other food bank centers as well as soup kitchen in the region. Read more on Cambria County free food pantries.

Emergency rental assistance is available on a limited basis. There are programs (such as welfare offices) that may have grants to prevent homelessness as well as agencies that assist with security deposits. Several charities as well as government agencies may offer support to families facing an eviction, and locate rent help in Cambria County.

The Family Center is located at 538 Park Ave. in Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15902. Dial (814) 536-1555

Cambria County housing assistance is available

Bridge Housing for the homeless can be reached at (814) 532-5528.

Cherry Ridge Development is another non-profit that provide assistance to the needy and less fortunate. Dial (814) 948-5353

Johnstown Housing Authority (dial (814) 535-7771) and Northern Cambria County Development (call (814) 948-4444) both administer the section 8 housing voucher program.

United Methodist Human Services, call (814) 539-2633. The programs offered include the following. The primary address is 510 Locust Street, Johnstown, PA 15901

  • The Franklin Street Food Pantry is open on Tuesday mornings from 9:00 AM - 11:45 AM. The location will support residents of the 15901 zip code only.
  • Bundles of Joy is an assistance program that provides clothing, diapers, wipes, and other care items for under-resourced families of small children.
  • The Care Program has hygiene kits as well as other personal care items. The program is for homeless individuals or those who present a need.
  • Project Shoes: Provides new shoes to lower income/under-resourced children. Vouchers to obtain the shoes are provided by UMHS to the area schools and distributed to the children by their guidance counselor, at their discretion. Inquiries must be made to the school, not to UMHS.
  • During the proper season, the Care Program provides winter hats and gloves for adults and children.
    Getting Ahead Program is a service that helps provides individuals the tools, skills, and resources needed to navigate their own pathways out of poverty.





Women's Help Center is a program that offers shelter and support for Domestic Violence victims. (800) 999-7406

Cambria County Human Services is a leading government organization. Apply for programs such as food stamps, housing vouchers, and more. Call (877) 268-9463 for information.

Department of Public Welfare, based in Edensburg, offers Emergency Shelter Allowance for the near homeless or people who are currently on the street. It is meant to prevent evictions and help get the homeless rehoused.  Get help with finding a long term place to live. 625 Main Street, Johnstown, PA, 15901-1678, call (877) 315-0389

Salvation Army - Johnstown Worship and Service Center offers a number of social services. There is free clothing, daily food, and other assistance programs to the low income based on need. Also stop by for referrals for utility bill assistance, housing & homeless shelters. Other resources include several social services including food, low interest loans for housing or rent, heating bill assistance, and a clothing closet.

the Salvation Army also gives out many free items or low cost goods. Families can shop at the thrift store. Or they can get free Christmas toys from Adopt a Family or school supplies, backpacks and educational items. Or apply to Salvation Army winter clothing programs or summer colling bill help. Call (814) 539-3110, and find help from Cambria County Salvation Army.

Veterans Leadership Program of Western PA offers supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF). This can include housing with funds for paying rent utility bills, transportation, car repairs, child care and other basic needs. Address is 27 Goucher Street, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 15905. Phone (814) 255-7209

Cambria County Assistance Office administers General Assistance. This is for county residents who do not meet the requirements for TANF/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and have some form of disabilities that prevents the individual from working. Location is 625 Main Street, Johnstown, PA, 15901-1678. Call (877) 315-0389

Communities in Schools of the Laurel Highlands Center for Families offers heating bill assistance. 800-472-1899







Johnstown Free Medical Clinic offers free medical care for those who meet program terms, including income and insurance limits. (814) 534-6242

First United - They may have emergency rental assistance as well. Other support from the charity organization can include medications, grants for security deposits or utilities, and referrals. Location is 436 Vine Street, Johnstown, PA, 15901. Click First United Methodist Church programs.


By Jon McNamara

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