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Dutchess County Assistance Programs.

Find how to get emergency financial help in the Poughkeepsie New York and Dutchess County region. Low income families, senior citizens, and others can find programs that help pay their rent or security deposts, heating or utility bills, provide free food, as well as medical or dental care. There is also mortgage help and free gasoline vouchers. There is emergency assistance from churches, charities, non-profits and even government human service agencies that help the low income, poor, and others.

Senior Home Assistance Program

Seniors or the disabled in Dutchess County can receive home repair assistance or even free minor home repairs from this program, however it is a volunteer run service and only some work may be done or the applicant may be denied due to resource levels. The goal is to address the concerns of the elderly as well as disabled who are physically incapable of providing safe living conditions in their home or who may not have the resources currently needed in their homes. Many people hope that this initiative will contribute to the right and ability of the elderly to age in their home in a manner that is as independent and safe for them as possible. Phone 845-454-7310.

The program is being run by the Rebuilding Together Dutchess County. The members have organized themselves into teams to respond as quickly as possible to the requests made by the homeowners. The services and aid provided will cover non emergencies, and the work may take place throughout the year.

The group will perform a variety of minor tasks. Services provided may consist of installing grab bars in showers, installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, provide assistance for reaching difficult light bulb replacements, repair gutters, give assistance with minor outdoor maintenance, repairing locks and other minor handyman type problems, fixing heating systems.

The help provided from the county and the volunteer organization should save elderly homeowners substantially on home repair bills, not to mention improve their living conditions.




Help will bills and emergency aid

The non-profit community action agency, Dutchess County Community Action Partnership, which is located in Poughkeepsie and can be reached at (845) 452-5104, offers low income residents several different programs, and can refer people to other local agencies and non-profits.

  • Prescription medication - The non-profit helps low and moderate income families and individuals that require maintenance prescription medication. The agency will help people apply to the drug manufacturers for free medication. In addition, the Mastroianni Fund was also created to provide prescription drug assistance of up to $400 annually for patients and individuals who do not have health insurance or insurance doesn’t cover required prescription drugs.
  • Food and groceries - Qualified families and individuals will receive groceries and food enough for each household member to have 3 meals per day for 3 days.
  • Clothing is provided for employment reasons, and th agency also operates a free food pantry.
  • The community action agency, known as DCCAP, also administers HEAP heating bill assistance programs and energy conservation, such as weatherization.
  • Other resources are income tax preparation, job training, referrals to rental assistance, and other support. Locate additional help from Dutchess County Community Action Partnership.

Another non-profit that can help is Community Based Services. 845-452-5104. They run assistance programs that various services and resources to low and moderate income residents. The programs will help individuals and families deal with a short term hardship or a one-time crisis and other ongoing issues. Services provided to low income individuals include free food and health services, medical prescriptions, heating and utility bill assistance, emergency financial aid and more. Find additional utility crisis assistance programs.

Dutchess Outreach, phone number 845-454-3792, can help eligible client who meet specific guidelines as outlined by Dutchess Outreach. These qualified individuals may be eligible to receive one time financial assistance and cash grants up to once per lifetime including rent/mortgage payment, utility bill payment assistance, prescription drug assistance, health care, and other aid.





The Family Partnership Center, which is located in Poughkeepsie NY and can be reached at 845-454-3792, runs the Emergency Assistance program. This is a service that guides a client through the vast array of government programs and provides help when other resources and programs are not available and the client meets specific guidelines as outlined by Dutchess Outreach. The applicant may be eligible for one time financial assistance and cash grants once per lifetime including help for rent or mortgage payment, utility and heating bill payment, prescription drug assistance, and health care.

Hudson River Housing runs the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) in Dutchess County, which offers case management, counseling, rent help, housing location, limited financial assistance for security deposits, credit counseling, rent subsidies, utility and heating payments, and moving costs. 845-454-5176.

Salvation Army - Beacon as well as Poughkeepsie Corps provides gas and electric bill payment assistance from the Good Neighbor Fund. There are other resources as well, ranging from rent help to homeless shelters, free groceries or food, case management, and a ministry.

The Salvation Army supports all of Duchess County. They also help children and teens, with assistance including after school programs to affordable summer camps, free school supplies or uniforms as well as Christmas gifts and presents. Many other social services are offered too, including a Family Store, referrals and more. Locate Duchess County Salvation Army assistance programs.

Catholic Charities of Dutchess County - Vulnerable individuals and families can get assistance with one or more of the following. Access food stamp applications, public entitlements, emergency food, eviction prevention, utility bill assistance, shelter, and other government benefits assistance. Volunteers and case managers also provide financial literacy classes and workshops that teach people how to improve credit and make every dollar count. 218 Church Street, Poughkeepsie, New York 12601, dial 845-452-1400

Dutchess County Department Of Social Services (DSS) – Runs many of the public assistance and government aid programs, and can help people apply for them. A listing is below.





  • LIHEAP, which is a federal government funded, seasonal program that may be able to help working poor and low income families, seniors and individuals with a permanent disability. Funds can pay heating and utility bills, and the services offered include.
  • HEAP in an Emergency is for people with a crisis, specifically heating. Assistance is provided for people who do not have resources on their own to resolve the situation. Financial assistance and grants can be paid out is based on available resources, household income, and the number of household members.
  • Regular HEAP is for primary heating and cooling bills. So grants and cash can pay a monthly heating or utility bill.
  • Furnace Replacement/ Repair HEAP – Helps low income Dutchess County homeowners replace or repair furnaces, boilers and other direct heating components. All items addressed need to keep the home’s primary heating source functional, and funds paid are need to be applied to that need.
  • Public assistance – Other programs that can be applied for include SNAP food stamps, or TANF cash assistance (Temporary Aid to Needy families).

The social services office can be reached is located at 60 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, New York 12601, phone number 845-486-3000. Click here for additional government and public aid programs.

Holiday assistance programs can do everything from feed a family for free to give kids toys, gifts, clothing, and more. Donations and volunteers are always needed to these Dutchess County agencies that offer free holiday assistance. If those can’t help, there are more regional services too. Everyone from the Salvation Army to a local church provides help 9free food, meals, gifts, etc.) at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and other key holidays. Read more information.

Mortgage and debt assistance

A credit agency known as Pathstone offers various free mortgage and debt programs. Homeowners and debtors can work one on one with a professional who will provide free debt and mortgage counseling for borrowers and homeowners who are having trouble making their mortgage payments or paying down their debts. The agency can help borrowers understand their budget issues, the fine details of their mortgage and they can advice people on the foreclosure process and their rights during the process.

If needed, when appropriate, and at the homeowners or borrowers request, the counselor can enter into negotiations with their lender or bank to modify their current loan so that they can become current on their loans and afford to pay the mortgage into the foreseeable future, and be able to stay in their home. (845) 569-0770.

Neighborworks Homeownership Center of Dutchess County is a HUD approved housing counseling and foreclosure prevention agency. Dial 845-454-5176. Read more on Neighborworks.





United Way of the Dutchess Region offers heating bill assistance as a last resort. Applicants need to have applied for other government and non-profit assistance first, such as DSS and HEAP. A grant can pay for oil, electric, or natural gas bills. The office is in Poughkeepsie. Dial 845-471-1900.

Dutchess County Veteran Service Agency may have assistance for veterans and their families. They can get help in applying for federal government, state and other benefits, such as blind annuity or the property tax exemption. Or learn about free VA healthcare along with job placement or housing resources. Also get referrals to other local benefit agencies, dependency and indemnity compensation, and government support, including grants for bills or rent. 22 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, call 845-486-2060.

Halina Share Memorial Food Closet may have free food, groceries, and even limited amounts of emergency gas bill payment assistance. There are also personal toiletries as well as hygiene products. Call the Wingdale New York agency at 845-832-6287.

Get health care from a clinic

Community Health Services runs a free medical clinic at sites throughout the Poughkeepsie area as well as county on specific days each month. Call them to learn more or make an appointment. 845-677-4000.

Hudson River Healthcare of Beacon NY (845-831-0400) offers health care to qualified people on a sliding fee scale.

Vassars Brother Medical Center (phone 845 431-5616) is a community, public clinic for patients without primary care physicians or other health care options.

Dutchess County Institute For Family Health is a local community clinic. A number of medical services are offered, and these can include routine check-ups, health education, treatment for illnesses, and vaccinations. Other services offered by doctors or medical professionals will include hearing and vision tests, men’s health services including care for prostate problems and STI screening, women’s health services including gynecology exams, PAP tests and family planning, and much more. Location is 11 Crum Elbow Road, Hyde Park, New York 12538, dial 845-229-1020





Prescription medications - Lower income and uninsured families in Duchess County New York can look into savings as well as financial help with paying for medications from a local Healthcare Consortium. Counselors can help patients find medications, and explore various discount and assistance programs. Read more.

Food pantry and banks in Dutchess County New York

Get free food and groceries in the upstate region. There are a number of free local food banks and pantries (that rely on donations as well as volunteers). Learn more on food banks and how they operate.

Some of the places, charities, non-profits and food banks to contact for free food or other non-financial aid include Holy Trinity Caring Ministry (845-471-5932). Another is First Reformed Church in Fishkill which provides a free food service program which maintains an emergency food closet. Clients and low income are eligible to stock up on a weeks worth of food or groceries every six weeks. Call 845-896-4546. United Methodist Church (845-758-6283) and Dutchess Outreach (phone 845-454-3792) are other local food banks.

Pleasant Plains Presbyterian Church – Runs the Town of Clinton food pantry. Provides supplemental food to the needy.

Saint Columba Food Pantry which is located at Saint Vincent De Paul Society. Address is 835 Route 82, Hopewell Junction, NY, 12533. This center primarily provides emergency groceries and food to all needy and low income persons in the geographical area of the three churches or parishes. Offers holiday food and grocery  baskets to established clients of the food pantry as well. Telephone number is 845-227-7863

Saint Mary's Church only covers residents in the immediate area. Provides food and meals. 11 Clinton St, Wappingers Falls, New York, 12590

Trinity Episcopal Church – Food pantry open to Fishkill residents.

Beulah Baptist Church – Provides a free meal on Saturdays, by appointment only. Address is 93 Catharine St, Poughkeepsie, New York, 12601





There are several other charity food pantries as well as free soup kitchens in the region. Low income families may receive groceries, a hot meal, and other support from the non-profits, and locate additional Dutchess County food banks.


By Jon McNamara














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