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Lee and Clarendon County assistance programs.

Find help with rent, utility bills, mortgage payments, medical and even free food. There are charity run food pantries in the Clarendon and Lee County area, churches that provide free clothes or Christmas gifts, government assistance programs to help pay bills and more.

Find how to apply for emergency financial aid below. Or low income families can get free stuff, including school supplies, debt or credit counseling services, transportation (car repairs or gasoline) and much more.

Watertree Community Actions supports both Lee and Clarendon County. The assistance programs offered provide new or used clothing, eviction prevention and rent payment assistance for qualified low income people and residents. The non-profit may also have employment and job assistance, a free food pantry, utility and cooling bill assistance, or grants from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

The community action agency will also coordinate heath care and prescription expense assistance, security deposit and housing payment or utility bill assistance. Or the agency can coordinate weatherization, job training, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), as well as mortgage foreclosure prevention and mortgage payment. Call (803) 775-4354.

Watertree Community Actions, Inc. is probably the number on place to call for help with bills, housing expenses, and this non-profit provides all types of support, information, and help to the working poor. They assist the unemployed, and those who are struggling. In addition to the programs referenced above, and to add detail to the above, the agency can do the following.

  • Free mortgage prevention counseling - A housing counselor can provide foreclosure mediation with banks and lenders to help homeowners stay in their homes. They also offer so called self help classes, Section 8 vouchers, direct communication with banks and lenders, and other services. The community action agency is also HUD certified. Find other HUD counseling agencies in South Carolina.
  • Emergency financial aid and support - Emergency services are offered to the low to moderate income. Get clothing, food, rent, temporary shelter, utility assistance, help with mortgages, and counseling. Also get information on local charities as well as government programs.




  • Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing - Get access to preventative homeless prevention and rapid rehousing. The following can be provided for the program. Rent, mortgages, utilities, security deposits, and help in finding a new home or apartment to live in. Some of the program is funded by the government, and some may be from private funds.
  • Health screenings - Free health screenings and information on clinics can be provided.
  • Food Pantries - They are run on site and administer support to the needy. Receive a meal, or food for a future date. They can also help with SNAP or USDA programs.
  • Federal government programs are offered for the low income, children, and seniors. Families across Lee County and other regions can apply for help from South Carolina public aid including LIHEAP (to pay cooling bills) and SNAP, or food stamps.

As indicated above, call Watertree at (803) 775-4354. Offices are located in Clarendon and Lee Counties of South Carolina. Both government and non-profit grants and support can be arranged. Or read more on financial support from Wateree Community Actions.

Salvation Army Clarendon and Lee Counties - The location provides access to services including a free clothes closet, mortgage payment assistance, or drug rehabilitation. The Salvation army also has prescription expense assistance, firewood, utilities assistance, and mortgage help. Or seasonal support in Clarendon County may be free back to school supplies, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners as well as free toys for kids from Angel Tree or Adopt a Family. Call 775-9336

South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority - This is a government office/program that administers a number of Federal and state of South Carolina government programs that are directed at low and moderate income South Carolina individuals and families. (803) 896-9001

The region is supported by many churches as well. Clarendon County and the supporting region have parishes that assist people of all religions with food, free gasoline vouchers, hot meals, or a piece of clothing. The assistance is available to the poor or struggling, and other aid can be arranged too. More on help from churches.





Harvest HOPE Food Bank - A regional distribution program that collects, stores, and distributes groceries and free food and related items to qualified agencies in the region. Call (843) 661-0826

St. James-Santee Family Health Center is a local community clinic that offers laboratory services, pharmacy, nutritional counseling, pediatric care, or prenatal care (GYN, no OB). There is also other medical support. Call (843) 887-3274, or find other sources of free community clinics in South Carolina.

By Jon McNamara














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