Chester County assistance programs.

Many agencies, including non-profits and the government as well as churches, provide financial help in chester County. The assistance ranges from free food to money to pay for rent, mortgages or a security deposit. In addition to that, find where to apply for debt help, low interest loans, job training, gasoline vouchers, and other emergency financial aid in the region.

The Housing Partnership, which is based in Chester County, Pennsylvania provides a variety of assistance to help families through their time of need. Some of what you can get help with includes fuel and heating bills, mortgage counseling, home maintenance, and even credit and debt counseling.

  • Heating Bill and Home Fuel Assistance
    This program will assist both lower income residents and seniors in Chester County. A focus is on the elderly, but others can apply as well. The program provides help with paying utility and heating bills.
  • Senior Citizen Home Repairs and Maintenance
    This home repair assistance program will provide basic home repairs, maintenance, improvements, access modifications, and other services for families and residents of Chester County who are 65 years of age and older.
  • Debt Consolidation and Credit Counseling
    You can even receive low cost, or free, mortgage and credit counseling from the Housing Partnership. They provide this service to individuals who are having credit card or other debt problems. Both group counseling and individual sessions are available. More debt consolidation services and help.




Call the Housing Partnership, which is based in Downingtown but serves the entire Chester county area, at (610) 518-1522. Or continue with Housing Partnership of Chester County.

Chester County housing assistance and utility program

Get help with paying your rent, utility bills, and mortgage. If you qualify for aid, up to one month of your mortgage, rent, or utility bills may be paid from government grants from the federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program.




If you are a Chester County Pennsylvania resident and have had your work hours reduced, become unemployed, or experienced other employment issues, since the fall of 2008 you are encouraged to apply for assistance. To determine you qualify for assistance, contact the charity or agency nearest you:

Kennett Area Community Service: (Kennett Square area) (484) 732-8132
Catholic Social Services: (Coatesville/Downingtown area) (610) 869-6500
Community, Youth and Women’s Alliance: (Coatesville area)
Oxford Area Neighborhood Services Center: (Oxford area)
Open Hearth, Inc.: (Spring City/Pottstown area) (610) 792-9282
Salvation Army: (West Chester area) (610) 696-8746
Phoenixville Area Community Services: (Phoenixville area)
Salvation Army Service Extension: (Other Areas in Chester County)
Find additional Pennsylvania mortgage programs.

To be able to qualify for assistance with paying your mortgage, rent, or utilities, your bill must be overdue or due to be paid within 5 days; you must live in the home, apartment or residence and you need to be responsible for paying for the rent, utility bill, or mortgage; all other assistance and your resources must be used up; and any assistance provided to you must guarantee 30 more days of utility service or continued stay in the residence.

Debt help, and foreclosure prevention services

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley also helps Chester County residents. They provide free foreclosure counseling. This includes mediation, and negotiation with lenders and banks. While it is true that some homes just can’t be saved, they will do everything they can to stop a foreclosure. The agency also provides debt counseling and assistance programs that can help people refinance their debts, and lower interest rates. Click here to learn more on mortgage mortgage assistance programs, or call the agency at 215-563-5665.

Housing Partnership of Chester County offers both foreclosure programs and debt counseling. Regard debt programs, the agency will offer free of charge, credit counseling to people who are having credit problems or struggling to pay their bills and debts. Program staff work with applicants and clients to remedy and prevent future credit problems, and help them develop a household budget. They also direct people to mortgage and foreclosure programs, such as the Pennsylvania Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (H.E.M.A.P.), which provides mortgage assistance for Pennsylvania homeowners. Downingtown PA. Call (610) 518-1522.




Free health care

Community Volunteers in Medicine (phone (610) 836-5990) provides free health care. The clinic provides both free medical and dental services as well as prescription drugs and medicine for the working poor. Both low income and mid income families. The program is focused on families who have no health insurance but earn too much money to qualify for federal or state assistance programs.

Another place to turn to for health care is ChesPenn Health Services, which can be reached at 610-380-4660. The medical facility provides health care access to quality primary, urgent and preventative health care regardless of one's ability to pay for their medical or hospital bills.

Chester County Community Dental offers a host of dental services. This dental practice offers preventative and restorative dentistry to people who need help. Dental services are available to individuals and families with government insurance plans (such as CHIP and Medical Assistance). If you have no insurance, you may also be able to receive care based upon a sliding fee scale which is also available. Phone 610-383-3888.

Another option is the Community Volunteers in Medicine. This organization was created to both understand and to also help serve the primary health care needs of the underinsured and the uninsured patients who live in Chester County. 610-836-5990.

Learn more about how to get medical bill help.

Food aid and pantry

Receive emergency food and other assistance from the Chester County Food Bank (dial 610-344-6640). The facility offers community planning and interagency cooperation, provides free food, information and referral on government programs, as well as emergency assistance and fair housing information.





The Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS) (phone number 610-933-1105) provides those in need with free, confidential information and referral to charities and government programs. The Chester County based agency also administers a community-donated emergency food supply and fund; and sponsors community information and coordination activities among local non-profits.

Additional emergency food programs are provided by churches, non-profit charity organizations, and pantries. Call or stop by for groceries, information, meals, and guidance. Find more Chester County food pantries.

Civic legal case aid

If you are faced with a civil legal case, Community Impact Legal Services is a non-profit law firm that offers free legal advice and representation. The firm assists Chester County indigents and low income clients with civil law problems, such as domestic disputes, public benefits, foreclosures and housing problems and consumer (including bankruptcy) matters, and evictions from homes. Dial 610-380-7111, or click here to learn more on Pennsylvania free legal assistance programs.

Legal Aid of Southeaster Pennsylvania - Provides legal services for low-income families and individuals. Dial (610) 436-4510. Get free legal help with issues such as foreclosure, consumer debt, family law, and utility disconnections.

Emergency crisis assistance in Chester County Pennsylvania

Two branches of the Salvation Army, the West Chester Corps and Coatesville, both will help resolve crises through providing free food, clothing, rent/mortgage assistance and housing funds. The locations emphasizes prevention and education for individuals, and they will help clients to learn skills in problem solving and self-reliance for the long term. To this end the Salvation Army and their case workers administer several job placement and career counseling programs. A key goal is to help people gain self-sufficiency. Call them at 610-696-8746. Or click here for details.

Human Services - The agency provides supportive housing and services, emergency rent or security deposit assistance, as well as information and referral. DHS - Department of Human Services has partnerships with  local charities as well as federal government and state of Pennsylvania assistance programs. For example, work with staff from Human Services in applying for government aid such as LIHEAP or food stamps. The main office is in West Chester. Dial (610) 429-3033, or read more Chester County Department of Human Services.

Interfaith Housing Assistance Corporation, of West Chester PA (phone 610-696-5675) provides social services and financial assistance to single working parents with dependent children in Chester County. Address is 330 W. Market Street, West Chester, PA 19382.

Steeple To People Ministries is a faith based charity. They offer spiritual guidance as well as basic needs and referrals. On occasion, there may be emergency aid for families living in poverty. Examples of that may be food, clothing, and partial rent or heating bill help. There may also be free winter attire or even bus passes for work or a doctor appointment. Learn more.

PCCO is a charity organization made up of dozens of local churches. While there may be occasional emergency funds for expenses such as rent, water, or heating bills, most of the aid is for basic needs. This may be the following.

  • Righteous Clothing is a thrift store and it may have winter coats, personal hygiene, and clothing.
  • Parkersburg Churches have a ministry for furniture, cribs, and more.
  • A food pantry may have meals, free groceries, baby formula, and similar items.
  • For more details, learn more on help from Parkesburg Churches Community Outreach.





The community action agency is the Department of Community Development. While several resources are available, they do focus on housing issues, such as foreclosure counseling and eviction prevention. Other assistance includes job search placement and debt/credit counseling. Or call them for referrals.

  • Homeless prevention - This program can include grants to pay rent or maybe a short term, zero interest loan for housing expenses. Security deposit programs are offered as well.
  • Mortgage help from Community Development may include foreclosure counseling or information on Pennsylvania government aid.
  • CareerLink can help with employment needs.
  • Non-profit credit counselors can help qualified low income families in Chester County with improving their overall financial situation, saving money, and budgeting.
  • Receive information on government benefits such as LIHEAP heating bill assistance, SNAP food stamps, or weatherization.
  • Numerous other resources are administered. More on Chester County Department of Community Development.

Friends Association operates shelter as well as eviction prevention services. The main programs include the following.

  • A Shelter Coordinator will help clients, whether they are low income or single parents, find an affordable home to live in. They also offer job placement, security deposit help, and more.
  • Residents behind on their rent can apply for eviction prevention services.
  • Referrals are given from the association to medical care, public benefits, and more. Locate additional support from Friends Association.

Center in the Park has counselors that can help people look into programs and resources to address financial needs, such as heating or utility bills. Free advice is provided to the low income in an effort to assist them with making it through a difficult period. Dial (215) 848-7722 to speak to a specialist.

Non-profit holiday and Christmas assistance programs are available for families that are struggling. Many children and seniors receive free gifts and meals. In some cases, the entire family can be supported with food, gifts, and toys that are collected from Chester County wide donations. Learn more.

Homeless, eviction, and foreclosure prevention - Chester County non-profits and government agencies provide help. Families with an eviction or foreclosure notice, or residents in a fiscal crisis, may be given assistance. Everything from grants to free legal aid, counseling, rapid rehousing, and other aid is given. Continue with Chester County homeless prevention.

Chester County Assistance Office of Public Welfare is located at 100 James Buchanan Dr, Thorndale, PA, 19372. Call (610) 466 – 1000. An extensive array of assistance and public aid is offered to low income families, the unemployed, and others. Examples include SNAP Food Stamps, Child Support Services, Health Care/Medical Assistance, Cash Assistance/Employment Training, Heating Assistance/LIHEAP, and Senior Programs.

There is a charity organization made up of churches that support a limited portion of the county. The organization operates a thrift store and food pantries for basic needs. There may be free food, Christmas meals, and basic supplies from the charity centers.

Other aid may be offered too, but it is much limited. This includes applications for government grants for back rent, heating bills, or security deposits. Much of the support will also include case management and advice for clients on addressing the crisis. More on Chester County church programs.





Chester County legal aid – Pro-bono firms and lawyers offer advice at no cost to low income families. They can get help with family matters, domestic violence, housing and more. One focus is on dealing with evictions and consumer debt issues, such as predatory loans. Staff can also advice on rights when it comes to utility disconnections and other support. More details.

Phoenixville Area Community Services refers people and residents in the Phoenixville area with information on and appropriate resources. PACS is able to provide some information on, referrals too, and direct assistance with basic human needs to qualified applicants. Receive emergency assistance with housing and utilities, as funding allows. 257 Church St, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, 19460, call (610) 933 - 1105

Housing assistance, rent help, and shelter - A number of agencies specialize in helping families and individuals deal with housing issues. Services may range from funds to pay rent and deposits, up through and including homeless prevention and shelter. The agencies are mostly non-profits and government organizations. Read more rent help in Chester County Pennsylvania.

Employment services and counseling

Chester County Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) - They offer job and career training and self-sufficiency programs for underemployed, unemployed, and unskilled in Chester County. Get help with resume reviews, access to database on open job positions, and more. Receive feedback on interview skills as well. Staff may even be able to refer clients to clothing closets for work clothes or gasoline vouchers for a job interview. 610-692-2344.

By Jon McNamara

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