Forsyth County North Carolina assistance programs.

Find information on organizations and charities that provide financial help to people near or at the point of utility cutoff and eviction from their homes. Other forms of aid can also be offered that will ensure people become self-sufficient over the long term.

Get rent and utility bill help

People who are faced with having their utility service turned off, or who may be evicted can turn to Sunnyside and Crisis Control Ministry for assistance. The non-profit charity organization provides grants, counseling, financial help, and referrals to other resources to people who are at or near the point of utility cutoff and eviction from their homes.

Most of the people seeking aid are doing so for the first time. Just over the last few months, about 1,800 households were making their first request for assistance from the organization, and about 55 percent of them were recently unemployed. Requests for assistance for paying electric bills is up 41 percent year over year, and assistance for gas and fuel bills is up 46 percent over last year. The number of people requesting rent help has also skyrocketed.

One thing to note and be aware of is that Duke Energy can take up to three months before deciding to cut off a customer's utility services, so people have time to get assistance.

Sunnyside can provide financial help at a maximum of once every six months, and the amount of money that they will typically provide is equivalent to the amount that is needed to prevent cutoff or eviction

Crisis Control, said that the non-profit agency makes financial-assistance decisions on an individual-case basis. Over the last 4 months the organization paid 502 electric bills and 172 fuel bills, and helped dozens of people pay their rent. Call them at (336) 724-7875 to learn more or apply. Or learn more on financial aid from Crisis Control Ministry.





Emergency assistance and grants

Another place to turn to in Forsyth County and Winston Salem is the local community action agency, Experiment in Self-reliance, Inc. The agency is located in Winston-Salem and can be reached at (336) 722-9400. They offer the resources noted here, as well as many more.

Self-sufficiency program - A counselor will be assigned to the applicant. The counselor will work one on one to help the person become self-sufficient over the long term. For example, they will help a person find a job, develop life skills, and more. In addition, clients may also receive financial assistance and cash grants as part of their individual case plans. The assistance can help them pay bills over the short term. Such assistance may include childcare assistance, or tuition and books for improving education, transitional housing, money for transportation and more. Also emergency assistance is also available in some circumstances, in the interest of preventing clients from becoming homeless or in other crisis situations. Emergency assistance can include grants for utility bills or funds to pay rent.

NC Saves - Forsyth County residents can receive debt counseling, credit card help, budgeting skills, and more. Participants in this program may also be eligible to become ESR clients. This can provide them with intensive case management services, including budget counseling, tools to help them get out of debt, and basic economic literacy training. Click here to find other ways to reduce credit card debt.

The financial counseling program emphasizes savings, asset building, debt reduction, budgeting, and wealth accumulation, and provides participants with the tools to help them become financially stable, eliminate debt, and eventually become economically self-sufficient over the long term.

All of those services, and more, are offered by ESR - Experiment in Self-reliance. They also focus on offering referrals and other support. Find more Experiment in Self-reliance resources.

In addition to the organizations listed above, find how to get rental assistance from non-profits that specialize in meeting housing needs. The main goal is to help people avoid evictions and homelessness. Find more rent help in Winston Salem area.

Payment plans for water bills, including extensions, may be available in the county and Wintson Salem North Carolina. Customers that have shown a past payment history may qualify for assistance on their water and sewer bills. Or get a referral to a non-profit. Click more details.




Debt management and repayment

If you are behind on your bills, Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Forsyth County (896-1191), offers consumers a debt management program. The agency employes Certified Credit Counselors who will review your financial situation, and the counselors can conduct a financial analysis on your behalf to determine your debt repayment capability and together you can explore your options for getting out of debt. They will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf and also establish a cooperative plan to eliminate your debt. The plan will lower your monthly payments, reduce interest rates, improve your credit scores, and even waive any fees.

Cancer support resources

Cancer Services, Inc. provides financial assistance, physical support, grants, and emotional support for individuals with cancer and the agency also provides community education on all types of cancer. Click here to learn about other ways to get help for cancer expenses, or dial 760-9983.

Access to medical care

One agency has the objective of providing early, high quality and free access to medical care for those residents of Forsyth county and Winston Salem who cannot afford to pay for their medical and hospital bills. The health clinic, known as Community Care Center (760-1234), is staffed by volunteer healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses and other non-medical volunteers who have an interest in the health and well-being of the local community.

Hispanic Clinic, Novant Health helps people of all races. Located in Winston-Salem North Carolina. It is a free Healthcare clinic that is staffed by retired Novant Health employees, medical professionals, nurses, and physicians. Call (336) 718-5000.

In addition to the locations above, a few other dental and medical centers in Forsyth County provide free care to the low income, unemployed, and individuals with no health insurance. Find the phone numbers and addresses of more community clinics in Winston Salem and the county.

Foreclosure assistance programs in Forsyth County

Homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments, or facing a foreclosure, can turn to Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Forsyth County. The professionals at this organization are credit counselors who can help with debt issues, but who are also certified Housing Counselors through the NC Association of Housing Counselors and also the Affordable Housing Coalition. In addition, the agency is a HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency for all of your housing counseling needs. They can help people by using the North Carolina foreclosure mediation program, negotiate directly with lenders, and guide people through tools at their disposal that can be used to save their homes. Learn more, or call 896-1191.

Winston-Salem based Fair Housing Enforcement, Winston-Salem Human Relations Department ((336) 727-2429) is a HUD approved Fair Housing Enforcement Office that can direct people to foreclosure prevention programs, and resources to help with landlord / tenant issues and evictions.





Legal representation and advice

Legal Aid Society of Northwest North Carolina, Inc. is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal advice and representation in civil legal matters (including foreclosures, family law, domestic violence, landlord/tenant cases and consumer law) to low income clients in Winston Salem. 725-9166.

Help with bills

The Forsyth County Salvation Army supplies basic human necessities such as shelter, free food and groceries, and clothing. In addition, financial assistance can help with past due rent, utility and air conditioning bill payments and security/utility deposits. In addition, the Salvation Army provides shelter and case management for homeless families and single women across the county. Various holiday programs are provided too, and can include Christmas meals and gifts for children, as well as Thanksgiving food baskets. Call 723-6366 for more information. Additional details.

Get help paying utility bills (both during the winter and summer) from the Winston-Salem Low income energy assistance program (LIEAP). this federal government funded provides a one-time/year cash payment to help eligible families/individuals pay their summer cooling and winter heating bills. Call (336) 727-2850.

Centenary United Methodist Church works with volunteers and Community Ministries in Forsyth County. They try to offer free food, Power Lunches, or referrals to partners that offer financial aid. In some cases loans are issued for paying bills or other needs such as rental costs, utility bills, medications, or security deposits for the homeless. They are also part of the Loaves and Fishes faith based group. 646 W Fifth Street, Winston Salem, NC 27101, dial (336) 724-6311, or read more.

Kernersville-East Forsyth emergency assistance – The organization has fuel, free food or groceries, utilities, rent, and vouchers for medications. An eviction notice is needed for some of the assistance available. Address is 431 West Bodenhamer Street, Kernersville, North Carolina 27284-2502. Call (336) 996-5401

Experiment in Self-Reliance offers transitional housing in Winston Salem. While the goal is to proactively stop homeless, for these needed lodging there are some low income apartments and housing units. Some are for the recently evicted or families too. A security deposit or rent payment, based on income levels, as well as self-sufficiency workshops are required. (336) 722-9400.

Sunnyside Ministry of the Moravian Church, located at 319 Haled Street, has programs for the working poor. They offer free food and financial aid in Forsyth County. Money may be offered for paying rent, utilities, and even medications. Some clients are also single moms, and other vulnerable households can contact the charity. Call (336) 724-7558.

Housing & Urban Development, charitable agencies, and human service organizations work to stop homelessness and evictions in the community. They offer financial help for paying bills or housing needs along with social services.

The aid is for low income families as well as those at or near poverty levels. Eviction help is also for single moms and the underemployed in Winston Salem. While the availability of grants for rent or water bills is limited, some clients can be given access to case management no matter the situation. More on Forsyth County homeless prevention.

St. Peter's Family Support Program offers a program to develop community leaders. This includes job-readiness skills and providing information on community resources. While limited, the agency may have emergency financial assistance for paying rent and/or utilities. 3643 Old Lexington Road, Winston Salem, North Carolina 27107, call (336) 784-1887

Forsyth Department of Social Services offers several different public aid and government assistance programs. These can be either federal government or state of North Carolina resources. Examples of the available programs include some of those that are in highest demand, such as SNAP food stamps and low income energy bill assistance/LIHEAP. Medical and child care is available in Winston Salem and across the county from Family and Children's Medicaid program as well as subsidized day care. Many other government programs are available from social workers from Temporary Economic Assistance and Maintenance. More on public assistance in Forsyth County.

AIDS Care Service helps people and their families that are living with HIV find decent, affordable, long-term housing in Forsyth County. In addition, apply for emergency funding for assistance with paying rent and utilities. 995 Northwest Boulevard, Winston Salem, NC 27101, telephone (336) 777-0116





Winston-Salem Office can help families facing a crisis. The government provides financial assistance for paying rent, utilities, fuel, prescription medications, and offers free food. Disconnection or eviction notices are required. Call (336) 724-7453 or reach the Kernersville office at (336) 996-5401.

Forsyth County non-profit clothing closets distribute goods to the needy, low income, and children. The inventory depends on donations and fund raisers. Examples of what may be provided includes free clothes, Christmas toys and clothes, school items, and personal hygiene goods. Seasonal programs are also available from the clothing banks. Click clothing centers in Winston Salem.

King Outreach Ministry may provide some limited coverage to Forsyth County residents. Or they have referrals to churches and charities in the region. Clothing, money for food, toys and more are available. Call (336) 983-4357.

Charitable holiday assistance is for low income families. For families that are struggling, they can apply for a free Christmas toy for their child or maybe an article of clothing. Other residents of the county can inquire into a meal at Thanksgiving or Christmas, or senior citizens may request home delivery. Learn where to seek holiday and Christmas help in Forysth County.

Find a job

The Winston-Salem Urban League (725-5614) can help people find a job. The agency offers job finding services, including pre-employment training, resume review and preparation, help building networks, and referral for African-Americans, the disadvantaged, low income individuals and other minorities in the area.

Food assistance in Forsyth and Winston-Salem NC

AGAPE Care and Share provides food items and groceries free of charge to families and individuals in need of help. Families are eligible every 60 days for food assistance. (336) 744-4004

Bridges Church is a faith based group that offers emergency boxes of food from a pantry or Christmas meals. Call (336) 782-2253.

Christ Rescue Temple food pantry - The charity has groceries for children and seniors as well as the working poor in Winston Salem. Phone number is (336) 722-9841.





Other food banks and soup kitchens include New Jerusalem Church (phone (336) 723-9743), Morris Chapel (dial (336) 595-8101) as well as Sunnyside Ministry (dial (336) 724-7558).

However there are dozens of other non-profit food pantries in the county that offer groceries, clothing or benefits, such as food stamp applications. For details, locate Winston Salem and Forsyth food pantries.


By Jon McNamara

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