Clarke County assistance programs.

Rent, housing, utility, and mortgage help

The local Athens and Clarke County Georgia community action agency, Action Inc., provides numerous forms of assistance to low income, the unemployed, and working poor. One of the main assistance programs offered is known as Fresh Start. The Georgia Fresh Start assistance program is an initiative that is offered will provide a one-time emergency crisis assistance payment of $3000 for qualified families to pay past-due utilities, rent, mortgage and/or shelter expenses. Dial (706) 546-8293.

Always try calling the local Athens Salvation Army branch at (706) 543-5350. Sometimes they can provide people with information on where to turn to for financial help to pay utility bills and rent, or from time to time they may even have some funds to distribute themselves.

InfoLine of Athens and Clarke County - This is a Georgia organization that helps by offering information and referrals for paying bills, including for housing needs. Families facing eviction can get referrals to emergency aid. There is SSVF for veterans, permanent support housing such as low income apartments, and grants for a security deposit or back rent. Much of the financial aid in Clarke County is available from referrals only. More on community services hotline.

Credit, debt, and mortgage help

Totally Free, Inc. offers a wide variety of financial counseling and advice. Among the services offered include Foreclosure Prevention, Budget Counseling, Credit Counseling, Housing Counseling, Credit Card debt Negotiation, First Time Home Buyer, Review Mortgage, Tips for raising credit scores, Individual Development Account Program, and information on Reverse Mortgages. Call the Athens Georgia agency at (706) 380-4732.

Food assistance, clothing, pantries, and other aid

There are several churches and non-profit charities in the Clarke County Georgia area. They can provide free food, clothing, or other forms of support. The exact type and nature of the programs will vary, so you will need to call them for the specifics. The agencies and charities are as follows.





Athens Emergency Food Bank ((706) 353-1153) provides free food to needy individuals.

Cornerstone Ministries - (706) 549-0000

East Athens Development Corporation - (706) 208-0048

New Covenant Worship Center - Receive free food up to once every 6 weeks. They are also part of the Angel Food program. They are based in Athens. Phone (706) 613-5232.

Ebenezer Baptist Church - (706) 549-3899

Open Hearts Center, Inc.- (706) 354-8566

First AME Church (Food Pantry) - (706) 548-1454

Health care from a community clinic

If you can’t afford to pay for medical or doctor bills, try calling the Athens Neighborhood Health Center at (706) 543-1145. The clinic may be able to provide patients with low cost medical care for a variety of conditions.



By Jon McNamara

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