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Assistance programs Fresno County.

The main financial assistance programs in Fresno County include the following. Find emergency utility bill assistance to stop a disconnection, money for paying rent to stop an eviction or security deposit help, free food or Christmas toys, medical or dental care, and more. There are also many housing programs, ranging from mortgage help to home buying loans. Or find low income housing or rental units with no waiting list.

Or students can get free back to school supplies or clothes for a kid. The resources support the working poor, immigrants, and people in a crisis. Financial aid is combined with self-sufficiency services as well and applications are in both Spanish and English.

Rent, electric, water bill, free grants and other assistance in Fresno County

The Catholic Charities Diocese of Fresno is one of the leading local agencies and offers several social service programs. It is a non-profit organization that serves families and individuals in need by providing, among other services, free food, immigration, rent help, payee support, refugee, social service, senior service programs, and financial assistance for paying utility bills. Call (559) 237-0851 or stop by 149 North Fulton Street. Click here for more details on Catholic Charities assistance in Fresno County.

Poverello House, which can be reached at (559) 498-6988, is a private, nonprofit charity organization that serves the low income and destitute by providing housing as well as meals. There is free medical and dental care, day shelter, clothing, drug rehabilitation and other social service programs, with information on low income housing with no waiting list.

Kerman Social Services promote self-sufficiency for the low income by assisting low-income families who experience severe hardships or a crisis and who are unable to pay for their necessary energy bills or needs. Dial (800) 933-9677. Also try calling Kingsburg Social Services ((559) 897-7961), Orange Cove Social Services ((800) 933-9677), or Reedley Social Services ((800) 933-9677). These non-profit organizations also may have information on services such as free child care, employment opportunities, housing, and energy bill assistance.

Cash assistance and government programs - The state, County of Fresno, and federal government all provide assistance programs and public aid to low income and working poor families. The uninsured can get help paying for medical bills. Resources provide free food and meals. Cash assistance and government grants as part of General Relief can pay rent, electric bills, or other emergency bills. Other services are offered as well such as Medi-Cal. Read more on Fresno public and government assistance programs.




Kingsburg Community Center, which can be reached at (559) 897-7961, provides emergency utility bill assistance, access to a thrift store and food pantry, and may have funds for rent assistance. The center can also offer employment assistance and job counseling.

Contact the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program at (559) 263-1135. This energy assistance program provides funds in a crisis, can help people avoid a disconnection, and can provide money to pay regular monthly bills.

Other agencies that provide utility and energy bill assistance include Sanger Community Center ((559) 263-1135), Victor Lopez Community Center (which is located in Orange Cove and can be reached at (559) 263-1135)

Short term housing - Residents who are on the verge of eviction, homeless, low income, or escaping domestic violence can receive help from several short term housing units in Fresno County. Case management services can help people get established, and find a new home or apartment to live in. Or limited amounts of financial assistance may be provided for a security deposit or rent payment. Read more housing in Fresno.

Fresno Temple Corps Community Center provides low income and other qualified residents with PG&E assistance, water bill utility payments, rent/mortgage payments, food, Brown Bag program (seniors), hair cuts, prescriptions and medications, some clothing and furnishings and Sunday evening Soup & Salvation. Case managers from the location are focused on helping Fresno families can self-sufficiency. 1752 Fulton Street Fresno, CA 93721. Phone (800) 933-9677.

Emergency funds for rent can help qualified low income families. A focus is on Fresno residents with an eviction notice, and charities can offer help from government grants or other sources of funds, such as money for security deposits. Find other housing and Fresno rental assistance programs.

Catholic Social Services has a number of churches and agencies in the region that can help low income and the working poor. Examples of the resources offered are below.

  • Project Home Again may be able to help match homeless families with regional churches to help them find permanent homes or apartments.
  • Referrals to Housing Authorities of the City and County of Fresno. This includes government aid such as section 8. Vouchers can be issued to help pay a portion of rent. Home ownership programs are also available to qualified applicants.
  • Social services are offered as a last resort, and can include food, financial aid, energy help, and more.
  • Shelter from partner agencies such as Evangel Home, Inc. as well as the YMCA in Fresno.
  • Referrals and information is a key service offered.

To learn more or get information, call Catholic Charity services at 600-3987.





WestCare California, Inc. focuses on military personnel, veterans, and their immediate family members. Some examples of the assistance offered includes Rent Payment Assistance, Bus Pass Program, HomeFront Program, Urgent Care Wellness Center, Vouchers, Housing, and more. 4928 E Clinton Way, Suite 101, Fresno, California, 93727, dial 559-255-8838

Fresno County Human Services Department Of Children and Family Services – This is the main government agency for the county. A number of resources are administered, including SMART Model of Care (MOC) and many others. Some examples of what the county may have includes emergency housing assistance, child care, clothing, and free food, including CalFresh applications. There is also utility bill assistance, job training as well as referrals to shelters or even security deposit assistance programs. 2135 Fresno St, Fresno, California, 93721.

SVdP, or Saint Vincent, is a church based group made up mostly of volunteers. The focus is on providing basic needs, such as winter coats, clothing, school supplies, or free food. However, there are cases in which emergency money may be offered. Or people in poverty can be referred to programs such as CalFresh food stamps and other benefits. Read St. Vincent programs in Fresno.

Resources for Independence Central Valley provides referrals. Specialists from the non-profit can direct qualified low income families (including the disabled and seniors) to local Fresno County agencies. Those may include housing, food programs, and even programs that can offer loans or grants for paying rent. A key focus is on homeless prevention, nutrition, and self-sufficiency. 559-221-2330.

Plaza Terrace Housing offers transitional housing. Guests of the center will be required to save a portion of their income towards eventual low income, permanent housing or apartments. They may also have referrals to those facing imminent eviction. 4041 Plaza Dr West, Fresno, CA, 93702, call 559-600-1647.

Housing Authorities Fresno City and County oversees section 8 housing choice vouchers and low income / public housing. Many of these resources have extensive waiting lists. The government affiliated agency may also have referrals to other charities and non-profits. Call (559) 443-8400 for intake.

The Family Service Center – Offers emergency rent assistance. It is for those facing imminent eviction and that meet other conditions that are in place. Other referrals may be for energy bill assistance, shelter, security deposits, and thrift stores. (559) 233-0138. Read Family Service Center emergency programs.

Fresno County basic needs, including clothing, furniture and holiday assistance, is available across the region. Families, in particular those with children, can receive free school supplies, gifts for the holidays, clothes, furniture and other needed items. Non-profits and charity run free clothing and furniture banks provided basic needs to income qualified residents. Find free clothes and school supplies in Fresno County.

Parlier Senior Center provides support services for the elderly and senior citizens over the age of 62. Assistance may also be available for the disabled in Fresno County. The location also works with agency on aging centers as well for food, senior employment programs, and more. Address is 13500 E Tuolumne St., Parlier, CA, 93648, call 559-646-3545

There are dozens of national and local charities, some of which have operations in Fresno County. They assist people regardless of religion, race, age, or gender. Immigrants, migrant farm workers, Spanish speakers and others are major clients. Various forms of financial aid are offered. More details on getting help from charities.





The Fresno County Community Action Agency, sometimes known as EOC, has received millions of dollars in federal government funding to help provide utility bill assistance to struggling and low to middle income families across the county.  But the funding levels vary each year, and could be more or less. They are trying to get the word out that energy bill help is available. Fresno County EOC employees are offering customers a "discount" on paying their monthly energy bills. The county is signing families up for the the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program.

They are trying to provide assistance to thousands of homeowners. Families that rent an apartment or home can also apply. So they are trying to help qualified low income families, not matter where they live. Those who qualify for aid will receive anywhere from $240 to up to about $400 dollars a year to help pay electric, gas, and heating bills.

In addition, the organization offers the Energy Assistance and Energy Crisis Intervention programs (HEAP/ECIP), which were created to help low to moderate income Fresno County residents. The program will provide up to $390 towards their energy bill, or provides them with wood, propane or oil. See below for more information.

The community action agency also offers additional support. Most of the financial type resources, such as for housing, rent, or security deposits, are offered from referrals. Staff will try to direct qualified applicants to relevant government as well as charitable assistance programs. However other services such as transitional housing, job readiness workshops, low cost child care and more is also available. Click Fresno County Community Action Agency.

The Assistance League provides support to children, seniors, victims of domestic violence or a disaster. Volunteers and donations, as well as money from the thrift store, fund their programs.

  • Operation Gift Box provides meals, presents, and visits to senior citizens and the homebound.
  • Children if Fresno in 6th grade or younger may be given free school supplies including clothing.
  • Other basic needs can be met as well. More on Fresno Assistance League programs.

City of Reedley Parks and Recreation - Case managers can help seniors with completing the Homeowners and Renters Assistance. A number of housing issues can be addressed. 559-637-4203

Rescue Mission can help the homeless, poor, single parents and others that are struggling. Some of their services include a free soup kitchen and food pantry as well as overnight shelters. They also run Community Care in Fresno County, which is a type of self-sufficiency program. A thrift store is also open for the general public and can have affordable clothing, school supplies, and Christmas items, among other goods. More on Fresno Rescue Mission.

The Fresno Salvation Army runs the family service center. This program offered by the agency helps meet the needs of struggling families and individuals by offering emergency groceries and food, funds for paying rent & utility assistance; meal programs; character building programs, rehab, holiday gifts and meals, transitional housing, and seasonal programs. One summer/fall service is the free back to school supply event, which gives students the items they need. Call (559) 233-0139.

Around 10 different centers are operated by the Salvation Army around Fresno County California. While the agency always has limited funding, and relies on donations and grants, they do their best to help the low income, unemployed and needy. Even if the non-profit can’t meet your needs, they can usually refer individuals to other social services or financial and government assistance programs. Read more on Salvation Army Fresno assistance programs.

Service Employment Redevelopment Jobs for Progress National, Inc. is an organization that provides rental assistance to low-income apartments, which are available in the region for disabled and senior citizens. 407 S Clovis Ste 109, Fresno, California, 93727, dial 559-452-0881







Help at Thanksgiving and Christmas is for low income families, children, seniors, and single parents. If an application has been approved, donated toys, gifts, and even meals may be served. There are Toys for Tots in Fresno County as well as food baskets at Christmas or Thanksgiving. The goal is to offer a present to each needy family in Fresno County. Find free Fresno County holiday programs.

Fresno eviction and rehousing programs assist struggling families in a crisis. Case workers will provide free advice on how to stop an eviction or pay the costs to move into a new home. Services range from free legal support to bridge housing or ESG grants. Get details on eviction help and rehousing in Fresno.

Get free legal help

Central California Legal Services, Inc. is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal advice to the elderly and programs low-income individuals. Among the services offered include advice on utility service disconnections, help for persons for domestic violence, health access, illegal terminations, elder abuse prevention, tenant/landlord, free legal foreclosure assistance, education law, consumer debts and taxpayer assistance. Click here to learn more, or call them at (559) 570-1200. Or find free lawyers and free lawyers and legal aid in California.

Health care services for adults and children

Two agencies that provide free health care for children include the Children's Hospital Central California (phone (559) 353-3000) and also the Children's Health Initiative for Fresno County (CHI). The first option, the hospital, provides free high quality, comprehensive medical and health care services to the children that live in Fresno and Central California, regardless of their ability to pay for their medical bills.

On the other hand, the Children's Health Initiative for Fresno County (CHI) helps ensure that all uninsured children who live in Fresno County have access to affordable medical and health coverage, and also a medical home.Another local clinic that offers both adult and pediatric programs is the Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission. The clinic offers high quality medical services to low-income, uninsured, and under insured individuals and children in the county. Receive both general care, as well as access to some specialty programs. (559) 263-1010.

Find additional ways to save on and get help with medical and hospital bills in Fresno. Several other community clinics operate in the area, and they are committed to offering high quality yet affordable medical care to anyone who needs help. Locate more info on Fresno County free community clinics and health centers.

Fresno residents (like many others) struggle to pay for medications. The county, and local non-profits, recommend generics. They are widely available from pharmacies and hospitals. The cost savings add up, and find details on saving money from generic prescription medications.

Debt and foreclosure help

A non-profit consumer counseling agency, ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions which was formerly known as ByDesign Financial Solutions dba Consumer Credit Counseling, offers both debt and housing help as well as foreclosure counseling. (559) (877) 877-1995.

If you are struggling with paying your credit card bills or medical debts, the agency can offer you options. Learn about debt management plans, consolidate your debt, and reduce your interest rates. You can meet one on one with a counselor to explore solutions. More on credit card debt assistance programs.

The firm also provides mortgage and foreclosure counseling. A mortgage counselor will work with the homeowner to see if it is possible to save their home. All options will be reviewed, including both federal government mortgage programs and California foreclosure prevention programs.





Free debt counseling from non-profits and other organizations are available in the community. There are even assistance programs from credit card companies, banks and other lenders. The resources help those facing a crisis and those that are behind on their bills. More on credit card hardship programs.

Fresno County free food resources

Community Food Bank (phone number (559) 237-3663) provides temporary emergency food assistance to low income and other needy individual throughout Fresno County. Every $1 spent equals 8 meals.

Another local non-profit, Evangel Home, Inc., offers people facing eviction as well as homeless women and children by providing them with free food, short & long-term shelter, and counseling. (559) 264-4714.

Clovis Family Service Center ((559) 298-6797), Glory Bound Ministries ((559) 266-8812), and the Potter’s Church (phone (559) 221-0636) are just a few other local churches and organizations that provide assistance.

There are dozens of other assistance programs and charities that work to prevent hunger. Whether it is a box of groceries or free baby formula for new moms, or maybe applications to WIC or CalFresh food stamps, resources are available. Find more Fresno County free food pantries that are focused on helping families and individuals across the community.

Head Start for children

Children up to the age of five can apply to the Head Start program and receive access to a number of free social service programs. The components of the program can vary widely, but in general they can provide educational experience, dental and medical care, and pre-kinder garden programs and resources. Every year the non-profit organizations that run Head Start across Fresno County California help hundreds of children and their families with these and other needs. Click here for more information on the Head Start and early Head Start program in Fresno California.

By Jon McNamara

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