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Assistance programs Catawba County and Hickory.

Find a listing of the primary agencies below that offer financial help in the Hickory as well as Catawba County area. There are charities that offer money, churches that help with paying rent or provide free food, utility bill assistance programs, clinics for medical care and more. Other social services around debt relief, job training, and free legal aid is in the Hickory region. Below are agencies for free items or financial assistance near you in Catawba County.

If a low income family, or one facing a crisis, needs an emergency grant or loan, then they may get the assistance they need. Or they can find free clinics near them or other items, such as school supplies, vouchers for gasolines or school supplies. There is also car payment help and credit counseling as well as other financial assistance in Hickory NC and Catawba County.

Emergency financial assistance for paying bills in Catawba County

Many churches and other charities have joined together to form the Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministries. Phone number 828-465-1702. They offer several different assistance programs and therefore focus on four service areas. They include providing education aid, food for feeding the hungry, free or discounted clothing for the needy, and Emergency Crisis Assistance for paying bills. There may be grants to help pay electric bills too.

Qualified families and individuals can get help for paying rent, utility bills, get free fuel and heating oil and pharmaceuticals. The charity is at 245 E N St, Newton, NC 28658.

Hickory Salvation Army (call 828-322-8061) provides financial aid as well as free items for the basic human necessities to those in need of help. The charity organization provides and runs a resource center for providing for financial assistance to low-income families. The administer the Shelter of Hope for the homeless, and three Thrift Stores located on site provide affordable furniture. Or get free food, personal toiletries and clothing for those on a limited budget.

While funding is limited, they can also provide crisis financial assistance for paying for rent, utilities, fuel, gasoline and other bills. Or locate free Christmas gifts from Adopt a Family or School supplies or uniforms for students in Catawba County. A wide variety of emergency assistance and social services are offered to the low income and working poor. The address is 750 3rd Avenue Pl SE, Hickory, NC 28602. Learn more on Hickory and Catawba County assistance programs.




While there is no local community action agency, the Catawba County Department of Social Services serves a similar role. Learn more on community action agencies and what these organizations do.

The Catawba County Department of Social Services (main number is (828) 695-5603 or (828) 695-5600) runs a host of programs, including the following. But this is just a sampling.

  • Food assistance and meals for seniors. Or get applications for low-income SNAP food stamps.
  • Financial assistance for bills, including information on grant programs.
  • Health care, including medicaid, long term care and other insurance programs.
  • Assistance for senior citizens, including referrals to grants, Meals on Wheels, Medicare and more. Locate free government money for low-income seniors..
  • General assistance is available from CCDSS. While not common, some qualified families may receive a grant for paying for a bill in a crisis, such as rent.

Numerous other social services and referrals are available in Catawba County, ranging from day care vouchers to Work First. Read more on Catawba County Department of Social Services.

Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (GHCCM) – Programs include crisis assistance for emergency utility bill payments and housing, such as mortgage or rent payments. The ministry also has a medical and pharmacy services clinic for prescription help, as well as hot showers, emergency food pantries and clothing vouchers for the homeless.

The charity also known as GHCCM also has some partnerships in the area. The main one is in Hickory. It focuses on basic needs, including food, clothes, meals, and housing. They also assist the unemployed, immigrants, women (including single moms or DV) and others. In rare cases, some financial help may be offered. More on Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry assistance programs. Call (828) 327-0979.

Emergency Services are offered in Catawba County.  The Christian Ministry program provides assistance with paying for rent, utilities, medication, and doctor visits. The local charity will also oversee the distribution of donated household items. Telephone (704) 732-0383





Blue Ridge Community Action is a regional agency for Catawba County and other nearby towns. The staff at the agency offer referrals and they can help people apply for government benefits, such as SNAP food stamps or weatherization. Some of the other programs available at BRCA, and that are focused on low income families, include the following.

  • Receive referrals to government grants, job training, emergency rent, energy bill, or security deposit help from Family Needs Assessment. This service takes a holistic approach to addressing the crisis and coordinating short term financial support.
  • Seniors can benefit from Adult Day Services and home delivered meals from the Blue Ridge (BRCA) agency.
  • Job training, Head Start, and other resources are coordinated in Hickory. They resolve around personal responsibility an self-sufficiency.

Thousands of individuals, including the disabled and elderly, turn to the organization every year. Find more details on assistance from Blue Ridge Community Action.

Housing, rent, and homeless assistance - Some organizations in Catawba County focus on housing issues. They provide some or all of the following services.

  • One time rent or security - utility deposit help.
  • Mediation or free legal advice to stop evictions.
  • Shelter, transitional housing, and section 8 vouchers.
  • Other support may be given too. More on help with rent in Catawba County.

Medical Access for Catawba County (MACC) – This program was created by Catawba County Health Partners as well as Catawba County Medical Society. Local area hospitals, medical care providers, colleges, human service agencies and free or reduced health care community clinics can help with medical bills.

The doctors and medical professionals will deliver chronic disease management for uninsured and low income residents. There are also free dental care programs for adults, children, and people with no insurance. The program is in Hickory, North Carolina based. Call (828) 327-0979 x233

Low cost or free daycare and child care in Catawba County

Community Ridge Daycare (828-322-1632) offers affordable daycare to low income and other struggling families. They can also direct people to other childcare type programs. There is free daycare in NC, job programs, training and other support.

Prescription drug assistance

Residents of Catawba County, including Hickory, Lenoir and Morganton can receive help with paying for prescription drug purchases through a program offered by the county government as well as local clinics. The Catawba County Social Services' National Association of Counties Prescription Drug Discount Card Program provides savings. The assistance program is offered to residents of those counties that are members of National Association of County Organizations. There is no cost of fee to Catawba County residents for participation in this program. Dial (828) 695-5600, or find more free clinics near them.







The free prescription discount cards are free and are available to every family residing in Catawba County — with no age, income or health restrictions. The plan is not insurance. The cards provide immediate discounts at participating pharmacies for all uninsured and underinsured family members. There are 41 participating pharmacies in Catawba County.

The program is extensive. All commonly prescribed prescription medications and drugs, even including pet medications, are eligible for a discount. It also covers those with no insurance or who are underinsured.

This prescription discount card offers free, easy, and significant savings for both the uninsured and underinsured families and individuals of our county. It even helps those with full insurance save money on medical bills. More on National Association of County Organizations and other ways to get help with medical bills.

By Jon McNamara

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