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Cumberland County Maine assistance programs.

Get help from charities, community action agencies, non-profit agencies and other organizations in the Portland Maine area as well as Cumberland County. People in need of help can get assistance with paying rent, utility and heating bills, access to mortgage programs, and much more. There are also other resources during the winter months, including free winter clothes or jackets for kids.

There are also free food pantries as well as homeless shelter. Or get seasonal support in Portland Maine, including free Christmas toys or back to school supplies. There are a combination of grant as well as charitable programs, even lenders for loans that help with bills. Find a listing of Cumberland County Maine agencies, phone numbers and their programs below.

Family services assistance program

Freeport Community Services, which can be reached at 207.865.3985, offers families and individuals a wide variety of programs and services. Some of the options include case management, food, mortgage counseling, fuel assistance, a job bank, a medical loan closet, a holiday help line, information and referrals to Maine and federal government programs, a family life support group, elder services, clothes, camp, transportation, and other aid.

Legal services program

The Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project provides free legal services and assistance to low-income non-citizens and their U.S. citizen family members regarding immigration issues and immigration-related access to both federal and state of Maine benefits and services through consultations and referral, full legal representation, immigration application assistance, as well as education and outreach programs. Call  207.780.1593 for free legal advice.

 

 

 

Free legal aid for the elderly

Another non-profit law firm (800.750.5353) can provide legal help to anyone in Portland Maine and across the state. The firm offers free phone services, including consultations, enabling every needy Maine senior to have both direct and free access to a attorney or a lawyer over the phone. The tool free helpline provides legal information and referrals to clients relating to basic needs such as housing, food, rental needs, mortgage assistance, evictions and medication and also brief legal representation. Legal professionals who handle calls will advise clients about their options and rights for a wide array of legal issues and problems.

This other free, non-profit law firm to turn to for help is the Pine Tree Legal Assistance organization. This firm provides assistance to the states low income, and it has helped expand access to justice for traditionally disadvantaged groups including young people and Native Americans. Some of the other services offered by Pine Tree Legal Assistance's legal services programs include IRS tax disputes, foreclosure assistance services with a focus on predatory lending, housing discrimination, and also a resource known as developing Kids Legal, which is Maine’s first statewide children's legal services project.

Armed Forces Emergency Services Program

If you or a member of your family is in the military, get access to 24-hour-a-day emergency communication, cash grants, and other financial assistance. The American Red Cross of Southern Maine offers aid to military personnel. Families or individuals who have a member on active duty in one of the military services can receive assistance. Call the Red Cross at 207.874.1192. Learn more on military assistance programs from Operation Homefront.

 

 

 

 

Emergency assistance for paying bills and grants

The Salvation Army, Direct Assistance Program, is another resource to turn to for help. This assistance program provides for the basic needs of individuals: and families. Get free food, clothing, money to pay for rent, shelter, prescription drug medications, referral and advocacy. There are also free seasonal and holiday programs, ranging from back to school supply giveaways to free Thanksgiving meals and Christmas gifts from the Salvation Army.

The Portland and Cumberland County Salvation Army will try to assist people until they can become self-sufficient over the long term. This can including helping people find a job, or maybe gain a new skill. There are several locations of the non-profit in the region. Read Cumberland County Maine Salvation Army assistance.

Frannie Peabody Center, which is based in Portland Maine, offers housing assistance including rental subsidies and short-term grants and financial assistance to help with paying rent, mortgage, heating and utility payments to help maintain stable housing and to help people keep their utility service connected. Call 774-6877.

Tedford Housing runs the federal government funded Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. This program provides eligible families and individuals with case management and counseling, housing search and placement, legal services, referrals. There is also free debt reduction advice as well as potential for short term financial assistance such as rental assistance, security deposits, heating and utility payments, or money to pay moving costs. Brunswick Maine. 729-1161.

Bridgton Community Center helps residents with financial assistance with the cost of winter heating fuel. Call 647-3116.

Cumberland County agencies for rent help - Several non-profits and government programs focus on addressing a number of housing, eviction and rent issues. Individuals can apply for emergency cash assistance, legal consultations, and general case management services. Click here for more details on rental assistance in Cumberland County Maine.

Many homes in Cumberland County Maine heat their homes using more traditional methods, like firewood, kerosene, heating oil and the like. The local towns offer emergency cash aid. Or there are charities. For more details, learn about free firewood for heating a home.

Warm Thy Neighbor runs and emergency heating bill assistance program for income qualified residents in Cumberland County. It can help with heating oil, kerosene, propane, natural gas, wood, and electric heating sources. 34 Federal Street, Brunswick, Maine, 04011, call 729-1161.

SVDP Saint Vincent de Paul Cumberland County serves free hot meals, food, gives referrals as well as free clothes and more. In some cases there is financial aid, applications to SNAP food stamps, homeless shelters and more.

 

 

 

 

The main soup kitchen and feeding site is in Portland Maine. Seniors, the poor, immigrants and others can get meals or food. Blankets can be provided to the homeless. Other assistance can be offered too based on need. Read more on SVDP Portland Maine assistance programs.

Peaks Island Tax Assistance is a non-profit charity that raises and distribute funds to assist Cumberland County individuals with property tax relief and energy bill assistance. 766-0067. Learn more on property tax help.

Portland Maine area free Thanksgiving and Christmas programs help the low income and lonely. Applicants can be given free food, served a meal, or they are given a toy. Other forms of help may also be given to qualified applicants of these holiday programs. More on Cumberland County free Christmas assistance.

Cumberland County Catholic Charities works with the statewide organization to offer resources to the working poor and low income. Other aid is provided to senior citizens and the unemployed in Maine. One main program is called Relief and Hope. This will provide emergency financial assistance for basic needs such as rent, housing, and heating bills.

Other services include free food, medical and dental care, and referrals. The non-profit also provides help in partnership with churches and other charities. Read more on Catholic Charities in Cumberland County Maine.

Health and Human Services Department, Social Services Division is one organization to contact for short term help. The government organization may offer temporary financial assistance for fuel, heating bills, utilities, food, and housing. In addition, a limited amount of support is offered for non-elective medical necessities.

Other help in Portland Maine includes fuel oil, rent assistance and utility payments, holiday assistance, limited continuing education expenses, and free school supplies. The support may be issued in the form of loans or referrals. As the Department is a place for details on state and federal government benefits. Location of the office is 196 Lancaster Street, Portland, Maine 04101. Call 775-7911. Or more on Cumberland County Maine social services.

Towns in Cumberland County Maine provide general assistance in a crisis. This can include free food, housing, and emergency rent or energy bill assistance. Each town has limited resources and public funding. Some examples of places to call are below, but all towns will usually offer some form of general aid.

  • 25 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine 04106, 767-7617
  • 175 Northeast Road, Standish, ME 04084, telephone 642-3461
  • 20 Front Street, Harrison, ME 04040, dial 583-2241
  • 75 South Street, Suite 1, Gorham, ME 04038, telephone number is 222-1670
  • Another town office is at 426 Bridge Street, Westbrook, Maine 04092, main number is 854-0676
  • Additional aid is available in Maine and nationwide. Locate more on public assistance.

 

 

 

 

The Portland as well as Brunswick Housing Authority is a great resource. Among other services they process applications for the federal government funded Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. This provides rental assistance in the form of subsidizing a portion of your monthly rent and utility bill expenses. Public funds are paid directly to Cumberland County landlords for qualified families. The client needs to still pay a portion of their expense. In Brunswick dial 725-8711 or Portland Maine 773-4753.

The Opportunity Alliance - Grants to very low income homeowners and funds can be used to repair, tune up or replace central heating systems. 50 Monument Square, Portland, ME 04101. Main phone number is 553-5800.

Basic needs in Cumberland County, such as clothing, household goods, furniture, school supplies, and items for children, are provided by clothing closets as well as low cost thrift stores. The centers may offer free notebooks or shoes during the school year, clothes for work or a job interview, and help at Christmas too. More on Cumberland County free clothing closets, school supplies and furniture banks.

The state of Maine has many retirees as well as senior citizens living in it. There are various financial aid programs for the elderly in Cumberland County. Meals on Wheels, transportation, home care, respite services, housing and much more is offered. Find details on assistance for the elderly.

Portland Maine Community Action Agency

The local, non-profit Portland Maine community action agency, The People's Regional Opportunity Program (PROP), offers low to moderate income individuals numerous services and assistance programs. Find a sampling of what they offer, as well as the phone number below.

  • Rent Assistance and Homelessness Prevention - This program provides funds to pay rent. It is also a case management program that seeks to prevent evictions and homelessness in areas around the City of Portland and Cumberland County.
     
  • Foreclosure Mitigation and Housing Counseling - People who are struggling with paying their mortgage can get access to information and services to avoid foreclosure and establish realistic budget for housing costs. Click here to find additional Maine mortgage and foreclosure programs.
     
  • Child Care - A child care program provides for the full-day and part-time care year-round for your children. Some of the services are free, some are low cost. The subsidized child care fees are based upon a sliding scale and are based on both family size and total household income. There are some criteria in order to be able to qualify for the free or subsidized child are slots, including parents need to be working, in job training, or going back to school.
     
  • Central Heating Improvement Program - Receive a grant from this program of up to $3,000. The money needs to be used to replace or repair malfunctioning or inoperable heating systems. Services are offered and paid for by both Cumberland & York County. Find additional programs that can repair or replace heating unites. Continue with finding help for heating system repairs.

 

 

 

 

  • Maine HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) - If you are a renter or a homeowner, and if you have high heating bills in relation to your income, the HEAP program may be able to help. The Maine HEAP program provides benefits to households by making a supplemental payment on their behalf directly to their fuel vendor or utility company, whether the fuel is heating oil, coal, electricity, wood, or gas.
  • ELP (Electricity Lifeline Program) - Customers of Central Maine Power who do not live in subsidized or government housing may apply for the ELP program, through which CMP will provide an energy credit on a household's monthly electric or heating bill.
     
  • ECIP (Energy Crisis Intervention Program) - This energy bill assistance program may provide emergency cash grants to both homeowners and renters when no other funding sources are available. So the applicant can’t be receiving help from the state, federal government, or their local utility company. Assistance may be offered in the form of free fuel delivery, minor heating system repairs, or grants to prevent a utility or heating service disconnection.
  • CHIP (Central Heating Improvement Program) - Another repair type resource. This repair/replacement program provides funds and money to be used for repair and/or replacement of central heating systems that are inefficient, malfunctioning, or threaten occupants' health or safety.
     
  • Central Maine Power Assistance Credit - This utility assistance program allows Central Maine Power (CMP) to provide aid for new single-phase electric services. Income eligible homeowners buying a new home that require a new electric service may apply for the credit. The CMP program will provide a credit to reduce the cost of installing wiring and poles to connect to CMP's distribution line.
     
  • Home Repair Loans - The Home Repair loan program provides low interest loans (often as low as 1%). The loans are both deferred and forgivable, and the maximum amount provided will be up to $25,000. The money is lent to qualifying homeowners for needed home updates, improvements, and repairs. These low interest loans are tailored to an individuals personal situation, so anything from a leaking roof to a crumbling home foundation is a reason to apply for the home repair program.
     
  • Weatherization - This program can help people save hundreds of dollars on their heating and utility bills. The Weatherization Assistance Program is free to qualified families, and it provides a home energy audit to qualified homeowners. The program can pay for energy saving improvements such as attic and wall insulation, caulking, new windows, and other energy-saving measures that reduce home heating costs and bills.
     
  • PROP was established to be an assistance program that may be able to provide support. The non-profit supports Cumberland County Maine residents only, and resources are very limited. Many people will need to be turned down. A number of programs are run, including dental assistance, help for heating bills, food, medical assistance, eyeglasses, and hearing aids.

The community action agency can be reached at (207) 874-1140.

 

 

 

 

Foreclosure prevention and debt programs

Portland based Money Management International provides counseling, information, advocacy, resources to help Maine homeowners avoid foreclosure. A housing counselor will provide one-on-one assistance to homeowners, at no cost the the client, and all services are free of charge. The assistance provided includes determining a budget, exploring debt reduction plans and coming up with a payment plan in cooperation with the bank or lender to prevent default or foreclosure. Dial 888-845-5669

Food pantries and free soup kitchens

There are many places for free food, hot meals, and other support in Cumberland County. Most of the feeding sites, whether charities or non-profits or township offices, have referrals, applications to benefit programs and other support. Even find Maine food stamp public benefit programs.

Casco Alliance Church may be able to provide a one week supply of food. Casco Maine - 655-4054

Front Street Community Pantry distributes food to Portland families

Harrison Seventh Day Adventist Food Pantry - Get Free food, clothing, information on community resources and federal and Maine government programs. Call 583-6178

First Baptist Church Portland (phone 773-3123) is a so called non-emergency food pantry.

There are dozens of other churches, soup kitchens and charities that fight hunger. Find information on additional free Cumberland County food pantries that cover Portland and surrounding areas. Some offer free hygiene supplies, holiday meals, or even applications to SNAP food stamps.

Clinics and free or affordable dental or medical care

The Community Dental - Portland Dental Health Center can provide people with affordable dental services and oral health treatment. Some people may get dental care for free, so may need to pay a minimal fee that is based upon a sliding fee scale. Some of the dental services offered include basic preventive and restorative dental care, such as cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, sealants, fillings, fluoride, root canals, dentures & partials, and tooth extractions. All of the services provided are delivered by State licensed hygienists and dentists. Call them at phone: 207.874.1028

India Street Public Health Center is part of the Portland Community Free Clinic network. It relies upon volunteer nurses, physicians, and medical professionals to provide free health care. Some of the assistance includes nutrition counseling, physical exams, pap screenings, check ups, sick visits, disease management, well visits, and general health screenings. There are also senior citizen prescription discount programs and other resources. 874-8982.

 

 

 

 

Adult Free Medical Clinic services include prescriptions, screenings and referrals for those with no medical insurance and very low or no income levels. 94 Washington Avenue, Portland, Maine 04101. Call 774-3197 for an appointment.

By Jon McNamara

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