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Assistance programs Dakota County.

Get emergency financial help for bills and basic needs. Struggling and working poor families can find charities, churches, or government agencies that offer assistance with rent or mortgages, free medical or dental care, or cash grants to pay electric or utility bills in Dakota County, Lakeville and nearby cities. Or get free food from local pantries, Meals on Wheels services and other stuff. There are also other free items in the community, ranging from Christmas toys to clothes, furniture, or back to school supplies.

Find where to apply at in Dakota County for help paying those bills, or learn where to get cash assistance, debt counseling, and general guidance in the Hastings and Lakeville area. Or look into the best gig or work from home jobs. Whether government assistance or a non-profit, there are resources.

Financial resources and ways to get help with bills

Almost 40,000 people in the Scott, Carver and Dakota Counties area receive help every year from the local private non-profit organization Scott-Carver-Dakota CAP Agency, Inc. They offer numerous services and programs for low and moderate income families and individuals who need support They have several offices around the area, and service Hastings and Dakota County residents. The main office is located at 712 Canterbury Road, South Shakopee, Minnesota, and the phone number is (952) 496-2125. The programs they offer are below.

Rent Assistance - They offer eviction and homeless prevention services that are designed to help people who are at risk of being evicted or homeless. It can also aid people who are currently homeless. The program will also help them secure transitional housing or maintain existing housing. Housing and Rent assistance offered includes short or long-term case management services that are intended to help clients stabilize their situation and become self-reliant over the long term.

Energy and Heating Bill Assistance Program (EAP) - This will provide free cash grants to help pay residential utility and heating bills. Additional funds and grants are even available for energy crisis situations and energy-related repairs, such as repairs to heating unit. Information on energy conservation practices is also offered to help people lower their energy bills. Read more on energy bill help in Minnesota.

Weatherization Assistance - This federal government funded program provides resources and services to help people reduce both home heating and cooling costs. The updates are free, and can include such improvements as extra insulation, caulking, minor furnace repairs, diagnostic tests, and furnace replacements. Participants in the weatherization program also receive home energy-saving tips.




School Supplies - Families and children can be eligible for CAP Agency services may receive free school supplies for their children.

Emergency Services - For people facing a crisis or short term hardship, the program will help families and individuals get through an immediate crisis for which all other resources have been exhausted and they have no where else to turn to. Assistance and grants that are offered are limited to funding available. Find information on programs for mortgage help and credit card hardship programs.

Income programs - There are a number of ways to increase income, make money, or gain new career skills. The Scott-Carver-Dakota CAP Agency works with clients on this. All educational levels and skills sets can apply. Even learn about such things as starting a passive income for free.

Food Aid - The Scott-Carver-Dakota CAP Agency, Inc provides a nutritionally balanced, five day supply of free food to families and individuals who are in need of assistance.

Foreclosure help

The Dakota County Community Development Agency administers a program that provides free foreclosure counseling. It helps borrowers who are struggling with a mortgage payment. The program, known as CDA’s Foreclosure Prevention Program, will provide free one-on-one counseling and other forms of assistance for homeowners who are facing foreclosure or who are already going through the process.

Participants in the program will also receive information on what happens during the foreclosure process, they will be referred to methods and programs that can provide mortgage help, be advised of homeowners’ rights, and counselors will try to find solutions for long-term housing needs. Additionally participants will be able to ask questions, get answers, and receive confidential advice from trained homeownership specialists

Interested parties can call the Dakota County CDA at 651-675-4555.





Dakota County low income and basic needs programs

Contact Hastings Family Service to learn about programs and various services in the area. The non-profit agency is a private, non-profit, community-supported charity agency that provides assistance and support to low income families and individuals. The staff try to focus their assistance on those in need, including the "working poor," those who are hungry, low income, homeless, or unable to provide for basic needs or pay their bills. People often call HFS when there is nowhere else to turn to for aid. 651-437-7134.

The Hastings and Dakota County Salvation Army also offers emergency programs and social services. They may offer more programs then any other local agency. A sampling of the services they offer low income and other individuals in need can be found here.

  • Food pantries and thrift stores - Find free food, groceries, and discounted household products
  • Seasonal support - The Salvation Army helps Dakota County families get free holiday meals (Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas), gives away school supplies or backpacks, and of course Christmas toys.
  • Electric and heating bill assistance - Get help paying a bill if you are faced with a disconnection
  • Rental assistance - Limited funding may be available to pay for rent, security deposits, or other housing expenses.
  • Medical assistance - Grants for paying for prescriptions or other medical bills. Also get advice on how to find free health care and deal with medical expenses. Click here to learn more on applying for medical bill help.
  • Help finding a job - Various resources are available that people can use to help find a job.
  • Transportation assistance - Get help from the Hastings Salvation in the form of gasoline vouchers or bus tokens.

The main office is located in Rosemount and can be contacted at 651-322-3510. Read more Salvation Army Dakota County.

Dakota County Northern Service Center can assist with housing expenses such as rent and utilities. Other programs assist with medical and other basic needs. All emergency assistance is short-term in nature, and people can only apply at most once per year. Any type of payment is provided directly to a landlord for rent, housing, damage deposit and repairs. Or if a resident has been rejected for benefits, there are steps to take when public help denied.

Financial aid is offered for utility company expenses in order to prevent shut offs. Assistance also helps with transportation to secure or maintain employment including car payments, repairs and maintenance, insurance, and funds to help for obtaining a new driver's license. 1 Mendota Road West, Suite 100, West Saint Paul, Minnesota 55118, call (651) 554-5611. More on Minnesota public aid.





Cenneidigh-KCQ, Inc. - Dakota Outreach and Housing Support Program – The main resource they offer is known as Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH). It helps individuals in Dakota County Minnesota who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and who also have a mental illness or condition. It also assists singe parents or families with children.

Social workers and case managers assist qualified individuals with accessing basic needs including offering free food, clothing and shelter. Other programs address housing and community resources. They also run the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) program on behalf of the government. The agency is Eagan, MN based, call (651)287-0956, or more on the Dakota County Supportive Housing Unit.

Contact 360 Communities can provide referrals and support to the needy. A food shelf or pantry is on site, and the non-profit also operates Family Resource Centers. 501 East Highway 13, Suite 102, Burnsville, Minnesota 55337, call 952.985.5300, or click more assistance from Contact 360.

Eagan Resource Center – Dial 651-686-0787. 3910 Rahn Road Eagan, Minnesota 55121. Serves families in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, and Rosemount. Programs can provide food, meals, and other non-financial support.

Hosanna Lutheran Church – Offers free clothing, holiday and Christmas toys, and other household items. Call 952-435-3332.

Prince of Peace Church Mission Outpost – Food and clothing is offered. Clothing is limited to 10 items, and may have some minimal costs. Food and groceries are provided at most twice per quarter. Call 952-898-9311

Free basic needs and clothes can be obtained from a few places. The primary options in Dakota County and Hastings include discounted thrift stores as well as clothing closets. Everything from free school supplies to hygiene items, diapers, birthday toys and everyday clothes are available for free or at a low cost. More on Dakota County free school supplies and clothing closets.

Free holiday assistance in Dakota County Minnesota is targeted at families with children. Other assistance, mostly home delivered meals, are for senior citizens and the disabled. What may be provided includes toys, gifts, and winter coats for children. Most agencies also have some type of meal or food basket as well at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Find free holiday programs in Dakota County.

South Metro Vineyard Church – This facility runs a program known as The Fruit of the Vine. Staff can help individuals locate assistance programs for paying heating, electric, water, or utility bills. Some limited direct aid may be offered too, as The Fruit of the Vine has an emergency energy assistance grant that can provide up to $200 to Dakota County families.

VCS also operates a dental clinic for the uninsured. Other programs include a mobile food pantry for the homebound and supplies from Tear Drop Ministries. The address is 13798 Parkwood Dr., Burnsville, Minnesota, 55337, dial (612) 567 – 3688, or read Vineyard Community Services.

Rosemount Office of CAP Agency offers food, season programs, and energy bill help. The state and federal government Energy Assistance Program (EAP) helps pay for furnace repairs and home heating costs for income-qualified households. It also provides for the repair or replacement of homeowners' malfunctioning heating and cooling systems. Other services include meals at holidays, free back to school supplies, and a food pantry. 2496 145th St W, Rosemount, MN, 55068. Call (651) 322 - 3550







Dakota County Employment and Economic Assistance - The government run agency provides qualified families with a number of resources that can help them meet emergency financial needs. There is also, of course, details on various full time jobs, work from opportunities or gig type roles. Any support provided will be short term, and will only assist a family with addressing a crisis. A focus of the public aid is on low income families with children, seniors, and those who are most at risk who need some form of job - even including working from home. Find more details on best work from home jobs.

St. Vincent of Dakota County and the area can help meet basic needs. They run a free/thrift store which can provide food, clothing, winter coats, and similar goods. The charity may also have referrals to other charities in the area that can provide everything from shelter to financial support for families living in poverty. Call (612) 722-7882, or learn more about St. Vincent de Paul Dakota County.

Angel Foundation Financial Assistance Program may have emergency financial assistance for basic needs such as food, utility bills, and rent/housing payments. The assistance is for cancer patients in Dakota County and nearby regions who are currently receiving treatment. If funding allows, up to $850 may be paid. Other services covered includes Credit card payments, Childcare fees, Car payments/insurance and more. (612) 627-9000 or call (651) 675-7434.

Dakota Lutheran Services - If you are struggling with a housing need, then the agency may be able to help. They operate across Minnesota and the county and run shelters, transitional housing units, and can help families find more affordable housing. In some limited cases funds for paying back rent or deposits may be offered. Other resources include Scattered-Site Permanent Housing, subsidies for rent, comprehensive assessments, and case management. Read Minnesota Lutheran Services.

Resources from Jewish Services -  Social services, referrals, and maybe short term emergency assistance may be administered. Some resources are for seniors, the disabled, or members of the Jewish faith. Other programs are available for the general population. If the center can't meet your needs, they may have referrals to other Dakota County charities or government benefits. Click Jewish Services programs Dakota County.

Dakota County Community Development Agency (CDA) offers a rental/housing subsidy for individuals with serious mental illness while they are on waiting lists for federal government, state aid or other permanent housing. 228 Town Centre Dr, Eagan, MN, 55123. Call (651) 675-4400.

Examples of the financial assistance provided by the county include the following. Receive help with housing expenses, such as rent and utility/heating bills. In some examples child care can be paid for and provided by the county. Medical bill assistance can be provided for various state and federal government programs. The county also offers programs such as food stamps and the Minnesota Family Investment Program. More information on Dakota County public assistance.

Senior programs in Hastings

Hastings Senior Center is an agency that provides a variety of comprehensive assistance programs to help meet the social, educational, financial health care as well as human service needs of persons 55 and over in the community. A big focus is on healthcare, and locate information on Extra Help for Medicare beneficiaries.

There are a wide variety of resources for the elderly. Some are focused just on senior citizens or retirees in Dakota County. Other resources from the Hastings Senior Center are offered regardless of age. Call Dial 651  - 480-7670.





Clinics and health centers in Dakota County Minnesota

Portico Healthnet – Offers low cost, affordable, yet high quality health care. The non-profit can help people find and access programs from clinics and medical centers. Aid is for the uninsured. Work with a specialist in finding, applying, and enrolling in a health care plan. General medical bill assistance is provided. Dial 651-603-5100

St. Mary’s Health Clinics is located at Mount Olivet Church, 14201 Cedar Ave, Apple Valley, Minnesota. Low income and uninsured patients are assisted, as long as they are not receiving health care or other forms of assistance from any government subsidy programs. Free services include diagnostic tests, access to a clinic, lab tests, x-rays, and most prescription medications. Specialty referrals provided as well as needed. Patients who are eligible are also assisted with applications for Minnesota’s and the federal governments public health care programs. Phone 651-287 -7777.

West Side Health Center - Provides social services and a wide variety of comprehensive health care. Bilingual/bicultural staff are on site, and all health care offered is part of a sliding fee scale in place. Medical services include urgent care, primary, assistance with health plan enrollment, preventive care, dental, complementary, pharmacy, OBGYN, mental health, social, child care, and transportation. Call 651-222-1816

MN Donated Dental may be able to match dentists willing to give free dental care to the elderly (over 65), permanently disabled, or some children from low income or uninsured families. Only those low income and qualified people without any form of dental insurance are eligible for help. Phone 651-454-6290

Normandale Community Dental Clinic offers variable rate billing and a sliding fee scale. Families in Dakota County that have state assisted health insurance plans or a Medical Assistance plan may qualify. 9700 France Ave South Bloomington, Minnesota. Call 952-487-7020. Read more on free dental care.

Cradle of Hope runs programs for pregnant women. The individual needs to meet a number of terms, including have a plan for self-sufficiency and be faced with an emergency. The non-profit provides one time financial assistance and cash grants to women who are ineligible for medical assistance or financial aid from other resources. Some women can even be given access to help from free diaper banks.

There may be need immediate help with maternity related expenses. Financial assistance is granted regardless of an applicant’s marital status, race, religion, household income or age. W. Cty Road B2 Suite 241 Roseville, Minnesota. Call 651-636-0637 1935

Free food banks, groceries and distribution centers

Thousands of residents struggle with providing food and the next meal for their family. An option for them can be non-profit food pantries, charities, and feeding sites. Some of the leading locations to turn to are below.

Neighbors, Inc. food shelf supports the Dakota County region from their office in Saint Paul. Call the center at (651) 455-1508.

Farmington Food Shelf provides meals, emergency food boxes, and applications for government aid such as food stamps. Phone (651) 463-5019.





The Dakota Community Action Council is a non-profit that helps deal with the causes of poverty. (952) 985-5300.

Additional food programs - There are several other government or non-profits to contact for help. There are pantries, soup kitchens, and even budgeting classes on how to grocery shop. Emergency resources are offered as well as more long term support, such as applications to food stamps or WIC vouchers for baby formula. If these locations can’t help you, then find other free food pantries in Dakota County.


By Jon McNamara

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