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Assistance programs Columbus and Franklin County Ohio.

Non-profits, charities, churches, and the government in Columbus Ohio all provide financial help. Find a list of programs in Franklin County that can help with paying rent or utility bills, or that may give out free food. Or access job training programs, free foreclosure counseling services, or get money to pay for security or utility deposits. Find how to get financial help for bills near you in Columbus OH and the county.

Low income families can also enroll into debt reduction programs, job training or free credit repair services. Locate other forms of assistance, including from the Franklin County Department of Jobs and Family Services. There are also many free services, ranging from school supplies to government free food assistance programs or Christmas gifts. A main focus is on giving financial assistance to the low income, seniors, and disabled in the Franklin County Ohio area.

Resources and programs that provide assistance from community action

Impact Community Action is an organization that helps low and moderate income families in Columbus Ohio and Franklin County. They can provide people with grants and other funds for short term assistance, even including food. At the same time they have programs and resources to ensure people get what they need to become self sufficient over the long term, including grant money, government food programs, basic needs and more. Locate government free food programs.

A sampling of the programs they offer are below. Contact them to learn more or to apply for aid.

  • Assistance with heating and utility bills is offered by Impact Community Action. Grants are the main resource. The Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (E-HEAP) is a service that is provided by Impact to assist low-income families and individuals that are threatened with a utility shutoff notice or that have run out of bulk heating fuel, such as propane or heating oil. Assistance provided by the Ohio E-HEAP programs includes:
    • Summer Crisis Program (WCP) - Grants to pay summer cooling bills.
    • Winter Crisis Program (SCP) - Grants to pay for heating bills. This program, which is a special component of the federal government funded Home Energy Assistance Program, is a once-per-season emergency assistance that usually provides a grant of about $175 for gas or electric customers.
    • Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) - This is an extended payment arrangement plan that requires regulated electric and gas companies to accept payments for their bills that are based on a percentage of the monthly household income.




  • Rent and Mortgage Assistance may be offered. Impact Community Action provides limited funds to pay for emergency rent/mortgage assistance to eligible Franklin County residents. Contact them for more information. Find additional ways to get mortgage help in Ohio.
  • Job Coaching as well as employment resources - People who need a job can work with job coaches to help them develop employability plans along with the participant. Together they collectively devise an action plan that becomes the blueprint for the path to employment, retention and promotion. Each participant in the program offered by Impact is coached and provided with one on one training, counseling, facilitating, and skills to enhance their networking on or off the job.
  • Job and Employment Training as well as career development is a main focus. IMPACT Community Action has also created a well regarded, intensive work readiness certification program that is tailored specifically for customers who are currently unemployed and disengaged from the workforce. It is tailored towards people who need basic knowledge in order to return to entry level employment opportunities and beyond. The Employment Plus Program is an intensive, 120 hour stipend subsidized course that is accelerated over a four consecutive week period, with a prerequisite requirement of one week computer literacy classes prior to entering the program. It is a great resource to help people gain the skills needed for a new job.
  • Ohio Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) is another resource for struggling lower income households. This federal government funded program, which is run by IMPACT, was designed to reduce the energy consumption of Franklin County and Columbus Ohio’s low and moderate income households. The end result is to make heating and utility bills more affordable to these families. The program does this by making free energy-efficiency improvements for eligible households.
    Services provides to homeowners who qualify may include free attic, basement, wall, and floor insulation, blower-door testing for air leakages and even heating system replacement or repairs. The weatherization program will also identify and provide free repairs for health, safety and comfort-related problems that unfortunately are all too common in older homes in Franklin County often occupied by lower income families.

All of the resources listed above are run by the agency. They also offer much more, including referrals, case management, and direct financial aid. Their main office is located at 700 Bryden Road, Columbus, Ohio 43215, and the phone number is 614.252.2799. Find more details on programs from IMPACT Community Action.





Foreclosure counseling

The Columbus Urban League (614.257.6300) has as its mission the goal of helping disadvantaged families and individuals in Ohio to obtain economic parity, self sufficiency, a higher income, power, and civil rights. Some of the assistance programs offered to people in need include assisting residents with foreclosure and housing issues, including free pre-foreclosure counseling and mediation. They can also offer career development, job finding services and employment assistance.

HUD non-profits - Several different non-profit organizations are HUD approved, and can offer Columbus and Franklin County Ohio homeowners with free mortgage delinquency and housing assistance programs. Get a listing of Columbus foreclosure programs and agencies.

Legal aid and support

Local Franklin County Ohio residents can receive free legal assistance, consultations and representation from volunteers as well as a government funded firm. The Legal Aid Society provides free legal help to low to moderate income people who live in Franklin County.

They can provide support with civic law issues, including housing law, consumer debt problems, foreclosures, government benefits issues. Lawyers also give support with elder law, domestic violence and other civil legal matters. In addition, they can give referrals to other legal resources and agencies. Dial 614-224-8374, or learn more.

Crisis assistance programs - Financial assistance for qualified individuals in Franklin County Ohio

Receive emergency assistance from St. Stephen's Community House. This charity agency will help all members of the local Columbus Ohio community regardless of the exact neighborhood they live in or their religious affiliation. No one is turned away as they assist the entire City of Columbus. Some of the services and resources offered by St. Stephen's includes funds for basic needs such as food, housing assistance, clothing and health care.

In addition to that, the SSCH charity will nurture its children with free day care and education, they have a goal of strengthening the family with social services and parenting classes, and professionals will also care for community senior citizens with critical services, attention, and respect. This non-profit charity organization can be reached at 614-294-6347. More information on St. Stephen's Community House assistance programs.

Emergency rent help in Franklin County is available. While funds are limited, there may be assistance to help with stopping evictions or to rehouse the homeless. This may even sometimes include a non-profit assisting a Columbus area family with paying a security deposit. If you are facing a financial hardship and can’t pay your rent, read Franklin County rent assistance and the agencies that offer help.





Center For Groveport Madison Human Needs is a charity organization that provides grant money. They can offer up to $350 grants for rent assistance or up to $150 in utility and heating bill assistance to residents of Groveport Madison School District. People can receive help no more than once a year. Dial (614)586-4017.

If you are already enrolled in certain assistance programs (such as LIHEAP), if you are over 60, or if you have limited means or income, the Columbus Department Of Public Utilities may be able too offer a few options for you. The programs may include a 20 percent discount for water and sewer bills. Phone (614)645-3111.

Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services offers emergency programs and financial assistance if a child is in the home or if other conditions are met. For example, they may issue funds to pay for car repairs, or they will issue bus tickets to assist with transportation means for particular situations, such as job related or medical appointments. They can also provide heating bill assistance or other forms of aid. Assistance is also offered to help people find a job and pay for expenses during this process. Contact (614)251-6300, or find more details on public and government assistance in Franklin County.

A limited number of people, who have already tried all other local assistance programs and options, may be able to receive assistance from Joint Organization For Inner City Needs. Dial (614)241-2531 to learn more. The organization has limited funding, and strict criteria. However, they may be able to provides limited financial assistance for paying bills (when available) for electricity, water, natural gas and fuel heating oil. Assists qualified individuals once every 12 months.

Franklin County Catholic Charities - While this agency does offer a number of programs, most of them focus on helping senior citizens. They can receive assistance from programs that distribute food, medical care, transportation, and more. Some government aid may be offered too, such as food stamps or HEAP. Other resources focus on the Hispanics in the community. Learn about the various assistance programs and social services that are offered by Catholic Charities in Columbus and Franklin County.

Reynoldsburg Helping Hands, Inc. (phone (614)221-2255) can help people in the Reynoldsburg School District with paying for utility bills or prescription drugs.

Salvation Army Chapel At Worthington Woods, located in Columbus Ohio, may have funds for paying utility bills. They also partner and coordinate programs with local energy companies and assistance programs such as Neighbor to Neighbor Electric and Columbia Gas. Dial (614)274-7600, or click here to learn about other fuel resources including the Ohio Fuel Fund.

Several other Salvation Army centers operate around the Franklin County Ohio region. They administer a number of financial resources for the low income, including rent and energy bill help. However they do focus on providing other forms of non-monetary support, such as providing free food, holiday meals, winter coats and gifts. Referrals to public and government assistance such as LIHEAP and food stamps are always available too. Salvation Army assistance programs Franklin County Ohio.

Ohio Hispanic Coalition (OHCO) helps Hispanic/Latinos that are victims of crime or domestic violence. Clients can get legal aid, information on support services, and emergency assistance. They focus on economically disadvantaged men, single mothers and women from Franklin County Ohio. 6161 Busch Blvd., Columbus, Ohio 43229, dial (614) 840-9934.

Lutheran Services of Central, Northern and Southern Ohio runs several programs for the low income, homeless, and those behind on their rent. They do focus on disabled, seniors, and households with children in the Columbus Ohio area. Services include emergency shelter and transitional housing. Also get information on locating and paying the rent on a new, low income housing unit. Other LSS programs in Franklin County may be a food pantry, information on Ohio Benefit Bank, SNAP food stamps, and much more. More details on Lutheran Social Services Central, Northern and Southern Ohio.

Columbus, OH Rent Assistance Ohio Department of Development Office of Housing and Community Partnerships administers the federal government funded Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). Call (614) 466-2285. The program can provide emergency short term grants to pay rent, moving costs, provide money doe utility and security deposits, and other financial services.

Franklin County Urban League offers housing, educational, tenant, and employment services. Staff can help renters facing an eviction by coordinating mediation or provide referrals to emergency financial aid. Workforce Development and New Beginning can help clients find a new or better job. There is also housing counseling, Head Start, and more from this Columbus Ohio based agency. More on Franklin County Urban League assistance.

Broad Street Presbyterian Church, 760 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205, (614) 221-6552. This church runs programs for low income individuals. Some of the services include including budget counseling, debt reduction, job searches. Also contact them for baby supplies like diapers, furniture, and formula.







While more limited, the church may have emergency financial aid from its COMPASS service. This will include funds for paying rent or heating bills. There is also affordable day care to working parents as well as legal aid from the TTLC clinic in Columbus. Read COMPASS emergency aid.

Short term and emergency housing programs - For the homeless or evicted residents, there are shelters and transitional housing programs. Some units or apartments in Franklin County are even set up for veterans or domestic violence victims. Receive everything from free meals, clothing, job training to information on security deposit assistance when ready to move. Find transitional housing in Franklin County.

Central Community House - A local eastside of Columbus Ohio Community center. Contact them for information on and access to child care, limited financial assistance, after school programs, and secure programs, among other services.

A service known as Financial Fresh provides clients of CCH with debt reduction services or foreclosure counseling. Other aid from the Columbus Ohio non-profit can include money to pay for back rent in an emergency, use of computers for free for job seekers, and information on low income apartments. 1150 East Main Street, Columbus, OH 43205, (614) 252-3157, or click more Central Community House.

First Community Church - Provides free food assistance from a pantry and referrals. Address 1320 Cambridge Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43212, Phone number - (614) 488-0681

Galadden Community House/CIS - The Stable Families Program is a non-profit project here in Central Ohio. The goal of the program is to decrease family homelessness in Franklin County. This is a short-term program assisting families with housing related issues. Participants in the program commit to case management services and are typically provided with limited financial assistance to maintain their housing. To request assistance, all calls and referrals must go through the YWCA Family Shelter, you may contact the shelter at 614.253.7970 x2.

Churches offer social services to struggling individuals. If an applicant is living in poverty, or has a short term crisis, then assistance may be given such as food, rent help, or medical care. The services in the Columbus Ohio region are non-judgmental and extensive. Dozens of religious groups are available in time of need. Find help from churches in Franklin County.

Free furniture and clothing banks - Offering everything from free clothing for work to back to school supplies and holiday support, various churches and organizations offer basic needs to the needy. Also, thrift stores or free furniture banks may have vouchers or gift certificates for qualified very low income families or the elderly. Find free clothes, school supplies and furniture in Franklin County.

Gladden Community House - This is one of the leading emergency food assistance pantries that offers help including a three-day supply of food, free groceries, daily bread, meals, and produce. Location 183 Hawkes Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43223, call (614) 227-1600

Social Services and Emergency Aid - Resources are provided to low income, unemployed, and struggling individuals from the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services. Financial assistance can help pay rent and energy bills.

Case managers can also help people find low income housing, or offer foreclosure help to current homeowners. Income qualified families in Franklin County that are at risk of losing their rental housing to eviction may also receive help. Some medical assistance programs may also be provided too. More on housing and energy assistance in Franklin County.

Maternity Resource Center at Grace Fellowship Church of Westerville - Mostly baby supplies, such as diapers, bottles, baby food, free maternity clothing, and clothing for infants and children birth-3 years. Offers
formula and baby equipment are offered, such as strollers too. Address is 3475 Paris Boulevard, Westerville, OH 43081, (614) 890-0078 Ext. 17.

New Life United Methodist Church - This Church that offers basic medical services, a free clothing clinic, meals, food and weekly free breakfast. Address 25 West Fifth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201, telephone number - (614) 294-0134

AIDS Resource Center Ohio is only for HIV patients and/or their immediate family members. Get referrals and information on medical care and prescriptions, including public health facilities. Or the non-profit has short term assistance for rent, food, and paying energy bills. (866) 739-0820

Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging - This non-profit can help older adults and seniors in Franklin County as well as the disabled. It provides electric bill payment assistance to AEP customers. Or get information on senior job training or home care. They also can help caregivers. 174 East Long Street, Columbus, OH, 43215, dial (614) 645-7250.

Destiny Empowerment Center - As funding allows, has natural gas, heating and electric bill payment assistance. Telephone number is (614) 276-9673.

Faith Mission provides help to those facing poverty as well as the homeless. There is basic medical or dental care from clinics as well as help with job searches from the Resource Center. The Community Kitchen provides lunches, free food, and even Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Other support in Columbus includes low income apartments, including for the disabled as part of Shelter Plus Care. Continue with Faith Mission housing.

East Columbus Development Company, which is located at 240 North Champion Avenue, may have funds for utility bills. Any aid is for AEP customers that are behind on their bills and are facing a disconnection. Or it can help people that don’t currently have power. For information, dial (614) 372-0884.

First Congregational Church and their resources are used mostly for energy bills for low income qualified families in the area. Other assistance may be for rent or emergency needs like food. Some funding, possibly even loans, may be offered for paying security deposits too. 444 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215, (614) 228-1741

Rapid rehousing and homeless prevention is available using federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants. Tenants that have an eviction notice or those seeking a new, affordable residence to live in can get either financial help or legal support. More on Franklin County eviction assistance.

Charity and non-profit holiday help - Several organizations operate Adopt a Family Christmas toy programs, provide meals, or pass out free gift cards. Clients are often children or families living in poverty or seniors with no nearby relatives. Find more Franklin County Christmas assistance programs.

Advice for legal issues is available from both volunteer and pro-bono attorneys. Organizations will help consumers deal with debt collectors or contest evictions or unsafe housing. Another focus is on helping Franklin County families apply for disability or some other form of government benefit, including social security. Much more is offered, and continue with Legal Aid Society of Columbus programs.

Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio offers supportive services to homeless families and individuals for up to 90 days with the goal of obtaining stable, affordable housing. The non-profit uses a holistic approach, combining case management with rapid housing. The goal is to get people back on their feet as quickly as possible. Other services offered may include clothing, referrals, short term shelter, training and more. Note cash assistance is not available. 1751 East Long Street, Lower Level, Columbus, Ohio 43203, call (614) 251-7610. A second location is at Harmon Avenue, 624 Harmon Avenue, Columbus, OH 43223, call (614) 849-014. More on Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio..

Discounts on utility bills - Seniors that live in Columbus may be able to enroll into a program that will reduce their monthly water and electric bills. Applicants need to meet low income limits as well as age requirements. While the exact savings will vary, in some cases households can receive up to a 20% discount on their monthly bills. More on Columbus Ohio Public Utilities.

Stowe Mission of Central Ohio - A number of resources are offered, including a free food pantry, vision and dental clinic, soup kitchen, mobile medical clinic, tutoring assistance, resume review, job education and career training. 888 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43206, Dial (614) 445-8400 for information or to apply for help.

Personal, installment, and other loan programs are available in Franklin County Ohio. Borrowers, regardless of their credit history, can receive cash for paying their bills. The interest rate and fees vary based on many factors, but everything from high priced payday to more reasonable charitable loans exist. Find help from emergency loans in Columbus.







The United Way offers referrals and information. This organization can help by offering linkage to supportive services, public assistance, housing options, mental health, as well as domestic violence programs in Franklin County. There is also nutrition support, employment assistance, food pantries, referrals for education, and individual budgeting counseling. In addition, case managers can offer assistance in finding permanent housing if you are currently homeless or facing eviction.

Apply for financial assistance for paying security deposits, rent and maybe even utility bill programs from charities and government agencies associated with the United Way. The foundation may also offer furniture, cleaning supplies and other goods, such as linens. Dial 211 for referrals.

Medical care, health clinics, and medications

Uninsured, underinsured, and even those with insurance can get health care from Capital Park Family Health Center. The clinic provides health care services by appointment. Patients of the facility will pay their medical or hospital bills on a sliding fee scale based on household income. Services offered by the Franklin County clinic include physical exams, health assessments, diagnoses and treatments, screenings, social service assistance, and information on Ohio and federal government programs. (614)416-4325.

Columbus City Public Health ((614)645-6424) offers numerous services on a sliding-fee scale for uninsured clients of the clinic. Some of the services include physical exams, prenatal care, lab tests, and more. 

Lower Lights Christian Health Center offers medical care to anyone without insurance, regardless of their religion. A sliding fee scale is in place, with a minimum, nominal payment due for expenses incurred. Call (614)274-1455 for an appointment or to learn more. Find out about other health care programs. Find funds to help pay medical bills.

Vineyard Community Church offers a multitude of health care services. They provide eye exams, health assessments and general health care, dental cleaning, prescription saving and drugs, and help for other medical issues. They help low income, those without health insurance, and other comers. Fees will be based on a sliding scale and household income. Call 614-890-0000.

Two other clinics that provide low cost medical care include Whitehall Family Health Center (dial (614)234-5555) as well as Xenos Fourth Street Free Clinic (phone (614)823-6510). Both facilities offer health care services by appointment to insured, underinsured or uninsured. Patients who call the clinics will need to pay for their bills on sliding fee scale based on household income. They can also refer patients to Ohio prescription assistance programs.

Columbus Free Clinic is run by OSU medical students and volunteer physicians. The facility provides free treatment and diagnosis. (614)404-8417

Columbus Neighborhood Health Center ((614)645-3163) provides numerous low costs and/or free health care services on a sliding fee scale.

Helping Hands Health And Wellness Center is a clinic that provides general health care services, check ups and medical care to the uninsured or underinsured families with an income of 200% or less of the federal government poverty level. Call (614)262-5094.

Other options include New Life United Methodist Church (phone (614)294-0134) and Noor Community Clinic ((614)516-3075)

If those centers can’t meet your medical needs, then low income and uninsured patients have even more options available to them. Volunteer doctors and health care professionals from clinics across Franklin County offer check ups, medications, dental care, and more. More on clinics in Franklin County.





Dental care for children and young adults

Small Smiles Of Columbus provides diagnostic and corrective pediatric dental health care and other assistance for children 6 months to 20 years of age. Dial (614)470-9840.

Food pantries in Franklin County and Columbus Ohio

Call any of the following for ways to get free food and/or advice. Or click here for additional free food banks in Franklin County Ohio.

  • Central Seventh Day Adventist Food Pantry - Offers a 5 day supply of free food.
  • Gladden Food Pantry - Serves a small regional area only. Certain zip codes. (614)228-2498
  • Neighborhood Services, Inc. - This organization also serves a several day supply of food. Call them at (614)297-0592.
  • Project Openhand Columbus - Provides food and nutrition. Phone (614)298-8334

There are many other programs for combating hunger too. One of them is food stamp applications that are expedited, which can help a low income family get what their family needs in less time.


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