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Columbia County assistance programs.

Emergency and crisis financial assistance

Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency - The non-profit provides emergency one-time financial and crisis assistance to families and households that are having trouble making their monthly rent or mortgage payments. Applications for the program are currently reviewed and approved based on a number of criteria and factors, including funding availability (as it is limited), the ability to positively resolve the crisis, and other factors that can impact eligibility. Call the Portage Wisconsin agency at (608) 742-3320, or read more.

The non-profit, known as CWCAC, also helps with self-sufficiency, which includes education and job training. The organization is committed to helping the less fortunate, preventing hunger, and addressing homelessness and evictions. Or learn about other Wisconsin mortgage assistance programs. More.

St. Vincent Depaul of Portage - A limited amount of financial assistance may be offered to qualified low-income families and individuals who need help to meet emergency needs. Funds from the non-profit charity are reserved for low-income individuals who need help with paying for their rent. In addition, assistance may be available for utility bills (proof of disconnection will be requested), emergency vouchers for a motel room, medical bills, telephone bills in cases of medical emergency, prescriptions, bus fare for individuals who are stranded in the area, and gasoline money for individuals who need to get to an emergency medical appointment. Other resources offered include a food pantry, clothing, a thrift store, and more. 608-742-5513

Another location is also available. It is St. Vincent Depaul of Columbus. Call (920) 623-2004.

Columbia County Salvation Army - The agency will only help people once in their lifetime. The local Salvation Army may be able to provide vouchers for low-income individuals and elderly who need to meet emergency needs and are facing a hardship. The discretionary vouchers and the amount of assistance provided is very limited and funds and aid is offered on a case-by-case basis. Vouchers for assistance are only offered for emergency rent payments, emergency motel stays, emergency heating and utility bill payments, prescription payments in a crisis, bus tickets for stranded individuals, emergency gas money, and food for people who are in a crisis. (608) 742-3320






Energy Services Inc. - This agency helps eligible low-income households pay for their winter energy services and heating bills. Financial assistance is offered on a one-time benefit payment per heating season that is intended to help pay a portion of a household’s heat, utility, electric, and gas bill costs. (800) 506-5596

Workforce Connections - The organizations offers numerous grants. Financial assistance programs may be able to provide assistance to families with a child experiencing a qualifying emergency of impending homelessness (if they are facing an eviction or foreclosure), homelessness (and moving into a new place), domestic violence, fire, flood or natural disaster. Portage WI (608) 745-6707

St. Johns Lutheran Church, phone (608) 742-2387, is yet another organization in Columbia County Wisconsin that can offer financial assistance and cash grants for individuals and families who are facing an emergency and who need help for paying bills. Requests for aid are handled on a case-by-case basis and will only provide emergency financial assistance with help for paying utility and heating bills, rent payments, transportation including bus tickets, prescription aid, emergency lodging at a local motel, as well as gas vouchers. (608) 742-2387




Reduce debts in Columbia County Wisconsin

Money Management International is the non-profit credit counseling agency that supports the local community. The non-profit provides confidential financial advice, counseling, debt and money management assistance to financially distressed families and individuals in the area. The program tries to help solve debt problems of local people in the community through assistance with credit counseling, budget planning, debt reduction, money management, and planned debt liquidation programs and services. In order to learn more on other debt settlement programs, call (888) 845-5669 or click here.

Food pantry

Saint John the Baptist Episcopal Church of Portage has free food and other aid. They may have from time to time diapers, fresh fruit, holiday baskets, meat, and much more. Call (608) 742-3774

Wyocena Community Helping Hands Pantry (call 608 742-4905) offers free food, groceries, clothing, and other non-financial aid and support.

Rio Community Center is another food distribution center. Call (920) 992-5258

Last, but not least, call First Presbyterian Church at (920) 348-5859. Food, diapers, household products, clothing, and other aid can be provided.




By Jon McNamara














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