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Assistance programs in Freeborn County MN.

Organizations that provide help with bills

Families who need help with paying their rent, utility bills, and other expenses can still access help from some local nonprofit organizations. Semcac, the local community action agency, and the Salvation Army both offers numerous resources and services to those in need.

Crisis assistance

This is assistance that is available at some county contact centers run by Semcac. This assistance is only available as funding allows. The funds may help people through difficult times by providing motel vouchers, food emergencies, cash grants for energy bills, transportation, or other emergency needs that help sustain or create improved self-reliance of an individual or family. In addition, counseling and other long term support will be provided.

Dollars and Sense Money Management

Another service offered by Semcac. The free, three-hour money management class is based on the Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy curriculum and covers budgets, credit card help, savings and spending,  credit reports, debt settlement and debt reduction, identity theft, and credit repair.

The Energy Assistance Program

This is a federally funded assistance program that administered by Semcac and the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The energy bill assistance program provides financial assistance and cash grants to help pay for a household’s winter heating bills. Both homeowners and renters may apply for aid.

Housing and rental programs

Eviction Prevention and Assistance may be available from Semcac as funding allows. Short term, one time assistance for paying rent or a mortgage payment may be offered. This is one time, short term help and in only intended to help stabilize a family's housing situation. Case management and follow up is required.




The homeless can also use the Freeborn County shelter. Can help in the form of increased stability, assistance with secure permanent housing and transition back into the community. Other resources may be free food, medical care, child care, and transportation.

The Rural Housing Assistance Program may help with first month's rent and/or security deposit. Other resources in the area may be referral, information, and advocacy for qualified low income/homeless clients. Clients need to sustain rent payments on their own after Semcac assistance.

The Weatherization Assistance Program

Another a federally funded program that is offered by Semcac. It provides free energy conservation home improvements to reduce energy consumption costs and bills.

Semac can be reached at (507) 864-7741.

Albert Lea Salvation Army

The local branch offers several programs. They offer a myriad of assistance programs to local community members, including a food pantry, after-school and summer day-care programs for low-income families, free prescriptions, temporary shelter, rental and fuel assistance, and even debt and budget counseling to help families achieve economic independence over the long term.

The Albert Lea Salvation Army can be reached at 373-5710.

Emergency assistance, including rent and food

A few additional resources to try in Freeborn County Minnesota for assistance include the following.





First Presbyterian Church operates a free food pantry only. The center will be stocked through community food drives, surplus government commodities, contributions, state of Minnesota funding and the support of area churches. The address is 308 Water St, Albert Lea, MN, 5600, dial (507) 373-2035.

Albert Lea Housing and Redevelopment Authority, or HRA, has various housing programs. The agency will have information on low income and public housing. They are also involved in the section 8 voucher / rent assistance program. One of the goals of the agency is to offer affordable housing for qualified low income families and residents. The address is 800 Fourth Avenue South, Albert Lea, MN 56007. Call 507-377-4375.

Channel One Food Bank & Food Shelf can be reached at (877) 500-8699. They run programs such as Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS) supplemental food program or the Mothers And Children (MAC) food program.

By Jon McNamara

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