Clackamas County public and government assistance.

The county of Clackamas and the various social services and public aid they administer will help people get the short term support they need as well as acquire the skills they need to be successful over the long term. There are a number of programs offered for the poor, seniors, unemployed, disabled, and others in Clackamas.

The homeless can explore several housing assistance programs. The county offers services for residents that are on the verge of eviction, looking for a new home, or otherwise facing homelessness. Social workers will offer support and guidance to residents who are trying to establish themselves in permanent housing. Part of this is providing them with the skills necessary to gain greater self reliance, which can include education or job training. Dial 503-650-5750.

One component of the resources indicated above is a program known as Rent Well. This is provided by Clackamas County as a multiple week tenant readiness training program. It can assist individuals or families that are at risk of homelessness find and remain in a new home or apartment.

After successful completion of the classes and workshop, the participant will receive a Rent Well Certificate of Completion. That can be provided to landlords in the county. It has helped people get placed into a new home and has proven to be an excellent option for people with no rental history, poor/no credit, past evictions on their records, and/or criminal history. It works as the landlord will realize that the county government played a role in the process. 503-650-5647.

The federal government and state or Oregon sponsored Energy Assistance Program helps low income Clackamas County households pay their cooling bills during the summer or heating bills during the winter. A component of this public aid program may also pay a clients electricity and natural gas costs all year long.

The application period is only open certain times of the year. To get the latest information, including when to apply and information on eligibility standards, call 503-650-5640. It will provide information on who can apply (such as seniors) and what the process is.




Transportation Reaching People is for the disabled and seniors. It can provide qualified residents with free or low cost transportation to medical appointments, shopping, or personal business. Door to door transportation is provided by screened and approved volunteer drivers using their private auto. If and when needed, TRP qualified staff drive wheelchair accessible vans. The goal of the publicly funded assistance program is to assist individuals and seniors by preventing unnecessary institutionalization and promoting independent living.

Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) will provide older Clackamas adults with access to free information on public health insurance services. Get help in navigating the system and learn about government sponsored benefits for older persons and individuals with disabilities. While a significant amount of information is provided, the primary focus of SHIBA is to assist older adults with understanding and obtaining their Medicare benefits.

This is a national program and the SHIBA program in Oregon uses trained community volunteers to help persons with disabilities and seniors understand their public and even private health insurance benefits. Highly trained volunteers work one-on-one with those currently enrolled in Medicare. Services are also offered for those Clackamas residents who will soon be eligible for Medicare. The goal is to increase beneficiaries’ knowledge about billing issues, benefits selection, and the appeal process. Volunteers that are part of SHIBA also provide assistance to beneficiaries during the open enrollment process.




Money Management Programs will provide guidance and assistance to seniors so they can better manage their finances. An improved financial condition can help promote independent living and also helps prevent homelessness and unnecessary institutionalization. It is paid for by the government and is a free service to Clackamas residents.

The Social Services and public programs listed above are just a sampling of available resources. Many seniors, low income families, and disabled benefit from these government programs every year. Call the Clackamas County information line at 503 650-5622 for details.


By Jon McNamara

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