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Assistance programs Cape Girardeau County.

Find how and where to get financial assistance in Cape Girardeau County. Low income families can get free food from pantries or housing resources, including money for rent, utility bills, or a mortgage payment. There are churches, charities, and government assistance programs from social services that all offer resources. Children can also get free back to school supplies, laptops, or even free toys at Christmas..

The leading places to try for free grants, small dollar loans, and other emergency (or long term) financial aid programs are below. Many of the charities also give away free items to the needy, even including gasoline vouchers, furniture, and other goods.

Local organizations to turn to for financial aid

If you are one of the thousands of local families who are struggling to make ends meet, the East Missouri Action Agency, Inc. and the Cape Girardeau Salvation Army may be able to help.

For details on some of the resources available, below is but a partial list of how the Salvation Army distributed assistance and grants to residents last year.

  • Funds for rental assistance and security deposits are provided each year to some of the neediest households in the community in an effort to prevent homelessness and stop evictions.
  • Free groceries and food was distributed. The Salvation Army of Cape Girardeau County helps feed families, provides hot meals and canned goods, all of which are given out by the free food pantry.
  • Assistance for paying for heating and utility bills was provided to help prevent utility shutoffs.
  • Thousands of free meals are provided through the Meals With Friends program. They also work with local companies, and together there may be packages of bread, rolls and other bakery items.
  • The Salvation Army tries to provide free lodging to people who were recently evicted within the community. Also, those people who were stranded without shelter due to fires and other disasters also received free lodging.
  • Seasonal supplies may be offered to low income households and parents with kids, including Christmas fits from Adopt a Family, Thanksgiving meals, school supplies or uniforms and winter jackets.

If you live in Cape Girardeau or Jackson Missouri, to learn more how the Salvation Army can help, call 573-335-7000. Or find details on Cape Girardeau County Salvation Army.




The resources below are managed by the East Missouri Action Agency, Inc., which can be reached at (573) 431-5191.

  • The Missouri Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is funded by the state of Missouri and the federal government, and the program is administered as part of EMAA's Community Services Department. The LIHEAP program, which focuses on providing families with grants for paying energy bills, has two main components. They include  Energy Assistance (EA), which was designed to help low-income, the disabled, and elderly people with paying for their heating bills.
    The applicant must meet income guidelines as established by the program and they must also be responsible for their heating bill. The second component is the Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP). This was designed to alleviate crisis situations such as midwinter utility shutoffs. Additional options include Dollar Help, "Round-UP" and Dollar More are privately funded emergency energy bill assistance programs that are sponsored by the customers of Ameren UE, Citizens Electric and Laclede GAS, respectively. Find additional LIHEAP energy bill programs.
  • FEMA Emergency Food & Shelter and the Missouri Housing Trust Fund programs will assist low-income families in a variety of crisis situations relating to basic needs. For example, it can provide rent help, free food, funds for emergency expenses such as utility bills, and more.
  • Credit counseling and budgeting is available from a service known as SEMO Assets. Specialists from the community action agency will work with clients on improving their finances, reducing debts, and helping them save money.
  • Several other housing and rental assistance programs are offered by EMAA. They provide Section 8 Rental Vouchers, grants for paying rent from Emergency Food and Shelter, eviction prevention, and one time heating bill help. Case managers also have referrals to pantries and other social services in Cape Girardeau County Missouri.

The agency help hundreds of low income and senior families per year. Read more on East Missouri Action Agency assistance programs.





Love Inc. in Cape Girardeau has multiple churches that help the poor, less fortunate, and unemployed among others. Programs include, but are not limited too home repairs from volunteers; a gap ministry for free diapers, baby formula, or car seats; financial aid for rent or food; free soup kitchens; referrals and more. Information is at the Clearinghouse. Continue with Southeast Missouri Love.

Cape Girardeau County Family and Social Services provides public assistance, government grants, free health care, and other resources. These will be temporary, time based programs. Low income families, seniors, and the elderly can get TANF cash aid, Medicaid applications, SNAP food stamps as well as other benefits Proof of residency, income and assets (among other criteria) are needed. The address is 471 Siemers Dr, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Telephone - (573) 290-5239. Or read more on Missouri public assistance programs.

Another agency, Catholic Charities, provides assistance throughout the region. A focus of the charity is on providing housing counseling and homeless prevention services to low income and poor families. This can include foreclosure counseling and/or emergency rental assistance. Other resources available include free food, meals, transportation, and job training. For example, the unemployed or people looking for a new position can learn about jobs and other opportunities in both Jackson and throughout Cape Girardeau County Missouri. Click more details SW Missouri Catholic Charities.

By Jon McNamara














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