Tampa Bay Crisis Center assistance programs.

Anyone across Hillsborough County can call the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. The organization operates a service that offers information to struggling families, regardless of their income or age. Learn about everything from government grants for paying bills and basic needs to charities and non-profits that operate in the community.

When seeking help, customer service representatives find various community resources. Agency personnel search databases and use tools to locate the best financial assistance programs for the need in questions, and give this information to residents. Examples of what may be obtained are below. What will happen is the caller is given a referral to the appropriate agency.

  • Emergency assistance can help with a number of expenses, including rent, medications, air conditioning bills, and more. Some of the more common requests of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay are below.
  • Housing – Whether behind on rent, or homeless, get referrals to financial aid for back rent or transitional housing.
  • Utility costs – Federal programs such as LIHEAP are available in Hillsborough County, or charities may have money for delinquent energy bills to stop disconnections.
  • Medications – Clinics may have items, or doctors can refer patients to pharmaceutical assistance programs.
  • Job placement expenses – Vouchers for gasoline, work attire, and more can help Tamp Bay families gain self-sufficiency.
  • Deposits – Formerly homeless, that are now stable, can get help with rental or utility deposits.
  • Homeless Prevention – This can include everything from grants to landlord and tenant mediation services.
  • Weatherization is focused on seniors and the disabled, and the Crisis Center can direct callers to community action agencies to apply at.

When requesting financial help from any of these non-profits that the center may refer a person too, funding is very limited. In general, there will be appointments made with Case Managers, and any funds will generally be paid out by a charity on a first-come, first-served basis.




Callers to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay can also learn about more basic needs. This can be food, clothing, or even furniture. There are also seasonal services too, such as free school supplies or Christmas meals or gifts. Examples of these services are as follows.

  • Meals on Wheels is for seniors and the homebound in Tampa Bay and surrounding counties. This will bring them a free, hot meal.
  • Surplus USDA Commodities are available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and distributed to Hillsborough area Florida eligible households.
  • Pantries may have emergency food boxes.
  • Students and children can enroll into free school lunches or receive meals over break from churches across Tampa Bay.
  • Nutrition Education workshops are for participants, and they will be given tips and educational support on ways to stretch food budgets.
  • The crisis center will have referrals to locations for free personal hygiene products.

Hillsborough County agencies also want people to gain stability. So the Crisis Center will have information in its database on job placement and educational services. There may be local GED training workshops, or classes for immigrants such as ESL. Or a common request is for credit counseling services as well. These will tend to help clients both find and keep a job.





  • GED workshops can help lead to better job opportunities and allows access to higher education in Florida.
  • Case management and Family Development will help clients of a non-profit set strength-based goals to empower people to become self-sufficient.
  • -Homeowners can benefit from referrals to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, which provide free housing counseling in the areas of mortgage delinquency or foreclosure prevention.

Another reason to call the Crisis Center in Tampa is to learn about public benefits. There are programs such as SNAP food stamps for low income families, and LIHEAP can help seniors or the disabled with the payment of their energy bills. The disabled can also learn how to apply for SSI, and which centers in Hillsborough can guide them on this process.

The assistance above is only some of what the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay staff can help with. They do not provide direct financial aid, but rather information is provided to families that are facing an emergency. The services are all encompassing, and touch upon financial aid as well as many other needs. Call (813) 964-1577 for details or referrals.




By Jon McNamara

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