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Cameron County Texas assistance programs.

Find help for paying rent or utility bills, security deposit assistance, low cost housing, free food and more in Cameron County. The programs are available from many sources, ranging from help from churches to charity groups, government assistance as well as Health or Human Services programs in Brownsville, community clinics, and local non-profits.

Low income families can also get free basic needs met. This comes in the form of clothes, back to school supplies, government grants, and even Christmas toys. There is help for migrant workers, immigrants, and Spanish speakers too. The agencies not only give grants or loans to pay bills or a mortgage/housing payment, but also address employment, debt, and other needs of struggling family.

Free health care and prescription drugs

Offered by the Proyecto Juan Diego. They can be reached at (956) 542-2488. Families that live in Cameron Park can receive access to numerous resources and health care programs to improve the quality of their lives and help them get around having to pay expensive medical and hospital bills. This is accomplished through community education, health clinics, advocacy, and referrals. There is also medical care as well as prescriptions for immigrants in Cameron County.

In addition, receive a discount on your prescription medications from the FamilyWize prescription drug discount card. This card is being distributed to local families free-of-charge by United Way of Southern Cameron County. The prescription card, which could lower the cost of medication and other prescription drugs by an average 35 percent, is available to all local individuals. The card is free. Also there are no age or household income restrictions and the can be used as often as needed to get a discount.

You can print your card today by going to www.FamilyWize.org. You just then to simply present the discount card and your prescription to a participating pharmacy (hundreds participate) and then you will need to pay either the discounted price or the pharmacy's retail price — whichever is lower. So you save either way substantially on any medications that you may need.

 

 

 

Emergency and crisis assistance in Cameron County

Programs are offered by the Ozanam Center. Phone number is (956)831-6331 or 831-4791. Individuals or families facing a crisis situation are provided access to federal government as well as state of Texas programs, food, shelter, rent assistance and access to other community resources to improve self-sufficiency during their time of crises. The goal is to provide short term help to pay bills, and at the same time help people become self-sufficient for long term success. One of the most critical needs these days is for rent help. Click here to find options for people who are struggling with their rent.

The Bishop Enrique San Pedro, Ozanam Center, Inc. – The charity type organization can provide many services, including temporary shelter 30 days, clothes, casework, hot meals, transitional housing, and access to the homeless prevention and rapid re-housing program, which provides utilities and rental assistance depending on availability of funds. 656 North Minnesota Avenue, Brownsville, Texas 78521. Call (956)831-6331.

Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program – This utility, cooling, and energy bill assistance program is run by many non-profit organizations and agencies in Cameron County Texas. They are listed below. Among other services, it offers help for paying for heating and cooling bills, and the program will retro-fit or replace central A/C units, replace window air conditioning units and other major appliances. In addition, an Energy Crisis Program can offer emergency financial assistance for paying for weather related emergencies or bills.

  • Cameron And Willacy Counties Community Projects, Inc., 2224 Delia North Isabel,  Brownsville, Texas 78521, phone number (956)544-6631
  • El Ranchito Multi-Service Center, 24380 West US Highway 281, San Benito, TX 78586, (956)361-2247
  • Harlingen Multi-Service Center, 702 South M Street, Harlingen, TX 78550, (956)428-9476
  • La Feria Multi-Service Center, 914 East Highway 83, La Feria, Texas 78559, (956)797-2270
  • Los Fresnos Multi-Service Center, 213 Oribe Drive, Los Fresnos, Texas 78566, (956)233-9259
  • Luis and Consuelo L Lucio Multi-Service Center, 1035 East 11th Street, Brownsville, TX 78520, (956)542-3338
  • Port Isabel Multi-Service Center, 1441 Santa Isabel, Laguna Vista, TX 78578, (956)943-4304
  • Rio Hondo Multi-Service Center, 121 North Arroyo Street, Rio Hondo, TX 78583, (956)748-2072
  • San Benito Multi-Service Center, 700 West Expressway 83, San Benito, Texas 78586, (956)399-0260
  • Senior Citizen Multi-Service Center, 45 North Coria, Brownsville, TX 78521, (956)544-2767
  • Southmost Multi-Service Center, 2435 Southmost Road, Brownsville, Texas 78521, (956)541-3176
  • Learn more about CEAP LIHEAP applications in Texas.

 

 

 

 

The Cameron County Salvation Army - Provides emergency assistance with paying for utilities, groceries, rental, food, clothing, and other expenses when funding is available. A thrift store is also operated on site that sells low cost items. In addition to those direct financial assistance programs, the Salvation Army offers social services, shelter, and more.

For example, free Christmas holiday gifts are distributed from Angel Tree. There are also school supplies including backpacks. Senior housing resources are available too. 201 East Monroe Street, Harlingen, Texas 78550, phone (956)423-2454. Or click here for more information on these and other programs, and find more details on Salvation Army Cameron County assistance programs.

Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley – The charity organization provides financial assistance with the following expenses. Housing needs, rent, mortgage, utilities, food, clothing and counseling. A key resource is known as the Emergency Assistance Program, and it can also offer holiday assistance, medications, free food, and other aid. Catholic Charities in Cameron also administers programs for immigrants and seniors. 955 West Price Road, Brownsville, Texas 78520, Call (956)541-0220, or get more information on Catholic Charities Cameron County.

Loaves And Fishes Of The Rio Grande Valley, Inc. – Another not for profit that can offer grants and emergency financial assistance for paying rent, metered utilities and cooling bills and prescription medicines. In addition, note that emergency non-financial assistance is also available in the form of free food, clothes, and other household items. Financial assistance is available for utility disconnection notices or utilities too.

The charity can also assist Cameron County residents with other needs. There may be employment services from the Job Shop as well as some basic medical or dental care. They can also refer some families to loan programs for certain needs, such as rental costs. Loaves and Fishes is a faith based group, and all resources depend on volunteers and money raised from the community. 514 South E Street, Harlingen, TX 78550, (956)423-1014. More on Cameron County Loaves and Fishes.

South Texas Adult Resource Training Center offers assistance to the homeless including rent assistance, security deposits, and funds for utility bills. All aid is very short term in nature. Another focus is on getting the low income and homeless to be self-sufficient from jobs, etc. 743 North Sam Houston Boulevard, San Benito, Texas 78586, dial 956-399-7818.

 

 

 

 

Eviction prevention and rent help is used to stop homelessness in the county. The resources range from grants for paying housing expenses ranging from a security deposit to back rent. There are also services focused on individuals such as single parents or the elderly in the area. Find more details on rental assistance in Cameron County.

Good Neighbor Settlement House, Inc. offers programs that can help people that need assistance with paying their rent while searching for new jobs. Support may also be paid out while they enroll into re-education/training for better work opportunities so they can sustain themselves financially. 1254 East Tyler Street, Brownsville, TX 78520, call 956-542-2368

Housing Authority of the City of San Benito and Cameron County has a few offices in the region. The government agency can offer assistance with Section 8 vouchers, information on apartments and housing units and other support. The government office also addresses housing discrimination, such as for immigrants or minorities. The San Benito office is at 956-399-7501, or call Brownsville (956-541-4983) or try the Harlingen Texas office at 956-425-3521.

When the section 8 waiting list is too long in Cameron County, Brownsville, or any location, there is an expedited program. This can give low income families a priority HCV voucher. It is especially effective for the elderly, sick, or disabled. Find more details on how to get section 8 priority vouchers and the program.

Basic needs, free furniture and clothing assistance is available from Cameron County non-profits. Several groups run thrift stores and clothing banks for low income and needy families. What may be provided includes items for work and school, Christmas toys and gifts, supplies for children, and more. There is also free furniture banks and school supplies. Find more details on free clothing closets, furniture and school supplies in Cameron County.

Residents with unpaid bills or debts can get free debt help, counseling, and assistance. There are non-profits that meet with clients in person in Brownsville or online or on the phone. Everything from automobile loans to credit cards, medical debt help, and other financial services are arranged. Whether payment plans, debt management programs (DMP), forbearance, or some other solution, find debt help from Texas non-profit credit counseling.

Cameron County Health & Human Resources Government funded programs - The county, in particular the social services department, provides a number of assistance programs. The low income and indigent may qualify for free medical care, energy bill saving programs like LIHEAP, and food from WIC and SNAP food stamps.

There is also free health insurance from Medicaid, cash assistance from the government as well as elder care. Human Resources helps the low income, unemployed in Cameron County, seniors and others. The office is at 1390 W Expressway 83, San Benito, TX 78586, or dial (956) 247-3685. Learn more on public assistance Cameron County.

During the holidays, there are some seasonal free Christmas and Thanksgiving assistance programs. Kids can get many items, such as free Christmas toys, gifts, and games. There may also be meals for families, Turkey dinners, and many other presents and resources available. Locate more details on applying for free holiday help in Cameron County.

 

 

 

 

Food assistance and hunger prevention services - There are a number of charities as well as churches that operate pantries or soup kitchens. Those will be for short term assistance. If a Cameron County resident needs long term support, then they can look into programs such as SNAP food stamps or even WIC vouchers for single moms and infants. Some of the locations are below.

  • Bishop Enrique San Pedro, Ozanam Center food bank is in Brownsville.
  • Christ the King Food Pantry feeds the poor and elderly, among others.
  • St. Stephens Society is located in Port Isabel. Programs include groceries, boxes of food, and other social services.
  • Non-profit also offer advice on saving money including cheap food programs.

There are several other non-profit food pantries as well as soup kitchens in the region as well. The exact resources available will vary based on many factors, but the agencies may be able to help. Everything from Meals on Wheels to surplus USDA commodities are offered. Most are run by churches or charities in the county of Cameron as well as city of Brownsville. Locate free food pantries in Cameron County.

Federal funded housing programs stop homelessness and rehouse families. There is financial help, including grants or interest free loans, to help tenants that are behind on their rent. Other financial aid may include water bill or air conditioning help as well as emergency shelter/motel vouchers.

The non-profits in Cameron County also assist the vulnerable, such as single parents or the disabled in the community. The goal is to stop evictions and keep families in their current home or apartment. More on Cameron County homeless prevention.

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul serves the less fortunate, immigrants, and vulnerable in the county. The main resource is a thrift store, which sells low cost gently used kitchen supplies, beds, coaches, furniture, and many other goods. That store allows some limited financial aid, food, and other support as well. More on Cameron County Society of Saint Vincent de Paul assistance programs.

Cameron Counties Community Projects offers support for utility bills, as noted below. However the non-profit provides other assistance as well. Whether it is information on Head Start or if someone needs help in locating (and paying the rent on) a low income home, the non-profit may assist. They are a leading poverty fighting organization. More on Cameron-Willacy Counties Community Projects programs.

Weatherization and utility bill assistance programs

The Cameron-Willacy Counties Community Projects, Inc., which is located in Brownsville and can be reached at (956) 544-6411 will refer people to these or other programs which can help people either save money and reduce their energy bills, or it can provide them with cash grants to pay utility bills and prevent their service from being disconnected.

The Texas Department’s Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), is an utility bill co-payment assistance program that provides direct cash grants to pay bills. It also also helps qualified households better manage their energy consumption, and save on their bills, for a safe, affordable environment.

Another option is Weatherization, which is a federal government funded program that provides Cameron county people with free energy saving upgrades to their homes. The upgrades help them save and reduce their electric bills. People can save hundreds of dollars by such improvements as insulation, caulking, and more.

 

 

 

 

Health centers and clinics in Cameron County Texas

Families and individuals who are under or uninsured, or who may be classified as low income, have a number of different clinics that they can contact for free health or dental care. The leading provider is the Brownsville Community Health Center ((956)548-8845) however several other centers are located in the region that can offer free family care, prescription medications, and dental cleanings. Find a listing and read more Cameron County free community clinics.

By Jon McNamara

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