Dallas County United Way referral line assistance programs and services.

Dallas families who need help can contact the non-profit United Way Referral Line for information on the programs, resources, and services they administer with their partners. Thousands of low income families and people facing poverty receive help from the charity on an annual basis. Some examples of what can be provided include the Elderly and Family Services programs, which offers clothing, food, toiletries, back- to-school supplies, holiday wish lists, utilities and other types of grants and financial assistance programs.

As another example of a resource offered, the Emergency Assistance Services provides referrals to services. The needy and low income can get information on where to apply for emergency financial help, including the possibility of funds for paying bills, housing, and other financial assistance. This is very limited and based on funding, but money can help pay for all of those critical basic needs and expenses such as utility bills, rent, food, and clothing. Almost 20,000 Dallas families receive some form of emergency assistance from partners of the United Way. Many more receive free food, groceries, and meals.

Details on Dallas programs from referrals

The Older Adult Services offers some of the following resources for people 60 years of age or older. Access nutrition education, social services, food and meals, and recreational activities. Transportation is available too. Most of the services are offered by bilingual staff members.

Another one of the main resources offered is the Senior Program. Every day hundreds of senior citizens receive health screenings, hot meals, activities, social events, and financial and government assistance. Also learn about public assistance for seniors such as Medicaid and Medicare, or transportation services.

Family Assistance Services is the former name of the emergency program administered by the United Way partners. The referral line can provide linkage to a wide range of financial assistance programs to the low income and needy. This includes emergency assistance for rent or utility bills, Food Pantries, access to low price Thrift Store shopping, and more. All financial aid is paid out on a first-come first-served basis, and emergency funds are very limited.




Housing assistance may be provided using the referral service only, as the United Way in Dallas County does not provide their own funding. If you are struggling from a crisis and are seeking financial assistance for paying your mortgage, rent, or utility bills, then you need an appointment. They are only made by phone. As indicated, all assistance is limited and will strictly be based on available funding. Additional emergency services that are provided in the Dallas Texas area include:

  • Food Assistance, which is offered all year long.
  • Back to School Assistance which may include free or low cost school supplies, including shoes, notebooks and/or uniforms.
  • Cash and financial assistance for rent, mortgage and electric bills, as indicated above. Find more Dallas rent assistance.
  • Holiday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Assistance, which includes Thanksgiving Dinner items, free gifts and toys, and Christmas food and meals. Many people do request help from the United Way Emergency Referral Line around the holidays.
  • Social services and public aid – Get information on where to apply for assistance from programs such as food stamps, WIC, or Medicaid.
  • Education and Job Training, including GED/Job Placement, Literacy & Vocational Training, and ESL Classes are offered in the Dallas area.

Many of the United Way Referral Line partners only serve parts of Dallas County. If you live outside of their service area, then they will not be able to provide you with rental or utility bill assistance. However they can often refer families to other options and local non-profits in their area. Linkage to other agencies and guidance may be offered by staff members. While this varies widely, it can include suggestions on transportation, basic needs, and more.

Income Tax Assistance is run in a partnership between Asset Building Coalition of Dallas as well as the United Way. The program can offer free tax assistance and help filing federal government taxes. This service is open to elderly and low-income families from January to May each year. Usually several hundred people use this income tax filing service.

Advice is offered from the Money Skills for Life program. Participants will learn how to manage their money, reduce debt and manage their credits, create a spending plan, be better savers, and repair credit. The service is run in partnership with Wells Fargo and their Hands on Banking program. A number of classes are offered throughout the month.





Food Pantries operate in Dallas Texas, and the United Way Referral Line can refer people to them, and they partner with these organizations. Some of what can be distributed includes canned fruit and vegetables, dried and canned Beans (Pinto or Black), canned tuna, peanut butter, cereal, soups, meats, and more.

Employment and Empowerment Services are offered in Dallas by partners of the United Way Emergency Referral Line. These are after all key to addressing the root causes of poverty. Case and social workers will strengthen families and eliminate barriers to employment.  Some of these services include job preparedness, training and placement assistance. These include Computer literacy, ESL, GED & Citizenship classes, Vocational training, Job Readiness and Placement Assistance, and more.

Immigration and Refugee Services are available. The organization arguably helps more than any other non-profit entity. They will help with cultural orientation, job placement, cash assistance, and help people find housing.

There are dozens of churches, charities, and human service groups that residents may be referred too. There is assistance for immigrants, the disabled, elderly, and Spanish speakers among others. The United Way, and their partners, are some of the main providers of emergency help in Dallas County. For more information or referrals, dial (877)541-7905.



By Jon McNamara

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