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Coles County IL assistance programs.

There are several agencies that offer financial help, free items, social services and more in Charleston Illinois. The assistance, whether for rent payment, utilities, mortgages or basic needs (like food or clothing) are offered all across Coles County. Find more details below.

Financial assistance and free stuff in Coles County

Catholic Charities of Coles, Douglas & Edgar Co. - Several different services and assistance programs are offered. They offer help to low income families, immigrants, single mothers and others. Resources include the MedAssist prescription assistance for free or low cost prescription drugs. Catholic Charities also offers referral services to federal and Illinois government programs such as TANF or food stamps.

Coles County families can also use the Blessings Food Pantry, thrift store, or apply for financial assistance for expenses such as rent and utilities. There is also help for children in foster care. Or families can also adoption and volunteer opportunities. While more limited, the center may offer direct financial assistance for needs such as energy/heating bills or medical expenses in a crisis. Phone 217-235-0420, or read more on Coles County Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Charleston Area Churches Food Pantry, phone number (217) 328-3030, distributes food items to be used in meal preparation, they run a food pantry, and they provide support to persons determined to be in need of help. The aid is offered for a short term period of time only.

Eastern Illinois Foodbank - This organization partners with other agencies, and they acquire, warehouses and distributes quantities of food, groceries and other essentials to clients in a network of partnership agencies and churches, including agencies in Coles County Illinois. Call (217) 328-3663.

Embarras River Basin Agency, Inc. - This is the local Charleston and Coles County Illinois community action agency. Call them at (217) 923-5155 or (618) 395-2714. ERBA is a non-profit Community Action Agency organized to administer grants, assistance programs and other programming as well as social resources for the target population of low-income citizens of all ages.

The ERBA community action agency provides services and administers grants to low income as well others in need of help. Some examples of the case management are emergency assistance offered is as follows. A focus is on immediate relief as well as long term support.





Financial assistance is offered in Coles County. It ranges from housing and rental assistance to energy bill programs. Subsidized apartments or homes are offered as part of TBRA - Tenant-Based Rental Assistance or HUD section 8 vouchers. There is also emergency funds for paying rent or a security deposit for permanent housing. During the winter months, LIHEAP heating bill applications are processed by EBRA.

In addition, the community action agency helps with self-sufficiency. The non-profit operates Workforce Development and can refer residents to training and job placement. In addition, some financial aid to pay for work supplies may be available, such as clothing or transportation. Several other resources are operated by Embarras River Basin Agency in Charleston Illinois and other towns. Click more details on ERBA assistance programs.

Children's Assistance Fund - This program furnishes immediate basic needs for children. They may be able to receive hats, coats, hats, mittens, etc. in addition to fulfilling special requests for underprivileged Mattoon students in emergency situations when other sources of income or aid are unavailable to them. Call 238-5800 or (217) 234-8022.

Coalition for People in Need - Several different churches united and have partnered together to form this program. Together they may be able to assist individuals and families with free food, rent help, utilities, prescriptions, gasoline, heating and water bills, with no regard to gender, race or religious affiliation of the applicant. Call 217-348-8449

Mattoon Community Food Center - The agency furnishes emergency and supplemental free food at no cost to qualifying low-income families, the working poor, unemployed, and other who are struggling who need assistance in Mattoon, Lerna and Humboldt. Dial 217-258-8321.

By Jon McNamara

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