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Dukes County assistance programs.

While one of the less populated counties in Massachusetts, there are still a few non-profits, charities, and organizations that people can call for financial help with paying bills and expenses.

The entire Cap Code and southern Massachusetts region is served by the Catholic Social Services of Duke County. A number of services and programs are provided. Among them including.

Mediation and negotiation - Credit and debt counselors from the non-profit can act as a mediator between low income families and individuals in the region and their creditors. And the type of counseling and support is fairly extensive, in that services are offered for all types of creditors. Some access mediation and negotiation for all types of expenses and debts, whether they are medical bills or debts, local landlords and back rent, utility companies, credit card companies and debts owed to them, etc. Counselor can help with budgeting and money management counseling, as well as direct individuals to debt management plans.

Emergency help for bills - The local Catholic Services, in part by partnering with local churches and charities, may be able to provide both emergency and even basic help to families so they can meet their living needs. For example, apply for and get access to free food, utility bill and rental assistance, gently used or new clothing, homelessness, rent assistance and, also, as needed direct financial assistance for things like prescription medicine and other types of needs and bills that Dukes County and Edgartown families may be facing.

Call the local Catholic Charities at (508) 674 - 4681.

Abington Massachusetts based Cape Cod Times Needy Fund (phone (508) 778 - 5661) also can help with a large number of needs. You need to apply for aid of course, and go through a screening process. However if you are successful, the Cape Cod Times Needy Fund provides the low to moderate income, unemployed, and working poor with services such as mortgage and rent payment assistance. Financial aid and grants can help pay energy, utility, and heating bills. Other services include prescription expense assistance, transportation expense assistance, health care and medical bill payment assistance. Last, but not least, other resources are holiday gifts/toys, homeless financial assistance programs, and camperships.





Community Action Committee of Cape Cod and the Islands (phone number (508) 771-1727) is another great place to contact for help, and they accept applications.

Rent and housing assistance - Counselors and advocates assist low income individuals and families with maintaining their present housing, avoiding eviction, and staying in their homes. But a number of housing resources are offered in addition to those. For example, tenant/landlord/housing authority negotiations, landlord/tenant mediation, teach tenancy skills, provide tenants rights info, the program can offer financial assistance information for rental arrearage, utility and heating bill arrearage and benefits maximization. To continue with more information and details, access stabilization and housing services which are provided for 12 months or longer to the clients that have been placed or maintained. These additional housing and rent services include referrals to supportive services, monthly to quarterly contacts to monitor the tenancy, referrals to such programs as utility bill help in Massachusetts, and informational mailings.

Some of the other programs offered by Community Action Committee of Cape Cod and the Islands include Transitional Housing Program (THP), Housing Assistance Program (HAP), Homeless Outreach Program, and Child Care referrals. Read more.




By Jon McNamara

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