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Assistance programs Cincinnati and Hamilton County Ohio.

In a crisis, there are agencies that offer both emergency and long term financial help in Hamilton County. Everything from free food from a pantry to rent or mortgage assistance from a charity or church, cash assistance from the government of Hamilton County Job and Family Services. Or get free back to school supplies, money for paying security deposits, Christmas gifts, and grants for paying utility bills may be offered.

Find where to get free food or health care, prescription medications, grants to pay bills, and other forms of financial assistance in the Cincinnati area. Or apply for a legitimate job or training program, free debt reduction services, or any type of case management.

Resources and programs that provide financial assistance

A local non-profit organization, the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency (CAA), provides low and moderate income families with various services as well as resources that can help them pay bills. Case mangers help clients receive aid. The agency serves as a safety net, and its employees provide assistance with employment, heating and energy bills, supportive services, home energy efficiency, housing, youth programs, early childhood education, and rent help. Their main office is at 1740 Langdon Farm Road, Cincinnati, OH. Phone number is (513).569.1840.

  • Emergency assistance and grants are offered from the Cincinnati Ohio Community Action Agency. Their Supportive Services program will help families and individuals in emergency situations, and they will assist people in obtaining the resources they need for aid. Some of what CAA provide includes:
    • Mortgage and rental assistance programs. Find additional Ohio mortgage assistance programs.
    • Free prescription medications
    • Bus tokens and transportation aid for individuals who come to our offices for services
    • Counseling and case management services
      Free vouchers for lifeline telephone assistance
    • Food vouchers and pantry
    • Debt counseling
    • Water bill assistance programs.
    • Referrals to other agencies and other social services, such as assistance with prescription eye glasses, dental exams, and more, including in the City of Cincinnati.




  • Ohio Home Energy Assistance Program is also offered as Emergency HEAP. You can get assistance if you apply to CAA and are found to be an an eligible household. Eligible households are those that are disconnected, threatened with disconnection or have less than a 25% supply of bulk heating fuel. Emergency HEAP program runs from November to March of each year.
  • Regular HEAP is also offered from the Hamilton County Community Action Agency. Will assist households with paying their winter time heating bills as well as summer cooling bills. The regular HEAP program runs from June 1st through May 31st. Eligibility for the HEAP program is families need to reside in Cincinnati or Hamilton County and earn a household income at or below 200% of the Federal Government Poverty Guidelines.
  • Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) is a utility bill assistance plan protects households from disconnection of their service by allowing eligible customers to pay a portion of their household income each month to maintain their gas or utility service. People can sign up for PIPP year-round. Eligibility for PIPP is that people need to live in Hamilton County and have a limited household income. Call CAA for more information.
  • Duke Fuel Fund - This will help individuals who are not disconnected, but who are still struggling with paying their electric or heating bills.
  • Ohio Home Weatherization Assistance Program - This energy saving program provides energy efficiency services  and home weatherproofing to qualifying individuals at no cost to them. The home weatherization program can result in a savings of 30% or more on home heating and energy bills, and it provides much needed assistance to families that are struggling during today’s difficult economic times. The program offers several free improvements that can make homes more energy efficient, comfortable, and safe.
    • Replace or service heating or cooling equipment such as furnaces, water heaters and HVAC
    • Test and replace the refrigerator, installing Energy Star appliances when appropriate that will save people money
    • Insulate the water pipes and heaters
    • Seal return ducts to ensure proper air flow
    • Perform whole house diagnostic testing to determine air leakage
    • Repair missing plaster/drywall and missing/broken glass in windows
    • Insulate floors, attics, sidewalls, crawl spaces, and walls
    • Replace incandescent bulbs with energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs
    • Provide consumer energy education

All of the above programs are run by Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency (CAA). Dial (513).569.1840. They also offer other support as resources allow. Click more information Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency assistance programs.





Job finding services

Cincinnati Works will help Franklin County and Cincinnati individuals find a job. The immediate goal of the organization is to land them in a stable position (even if it is not the highest paying) so they can begin to develop skills. This can also lead to ca career. The goal of the the position is to help people get cash to pay living expenses. Contact the agency at 513.744.WORK. Or locate another legitimate job program.

Reduced price or free medical care in Hamilton County Ohio

If you do not have health insurance, or if your plan is not the best, Crossroad Health Center offers low to moderate income, and others who can’t provide on their own, access to quality medical care. It is either free or low priced, and the organization does ask for any type of payment if you can make one. Those of patients are helped each and every year, and doctors and other medical professionals donate their time and services to this Cincinnati based clinic. Call them at 513-381-2247.

Get free or low cost dental care from CincySmiles Foundation. This Cincinnati medical facility provides qualified individuals with dental services. They focus on low-income, unemployed and the medically compromised individuals who are currently at high risk for poor oral health including unemployed, children, frail elderly and the disabled. Call 513-621-0248.

Neighborhood Health Care, Inc. (513-221-4949) is another organization of medical professionals that is dedicated to serving the primary health care needs of the low income and uninsured community through high quality, professional, comprehensive health and medical services. They can refer people to such options as patient assistance programs.

Lincoln Heights Health Center is a local Cincinnati community health care clinic. Among other services they provide general check ups, immunizations, general dentistry, and WIC. Fees and medical bills charged to patients are based on a sliding scale. Dial (513) 588-3623.

Another option is the Sharonville Health Department. Phone number is (513) 563-1722. Fees will be based on a percentage on a households net income.

A number of other public health programs, free medical, community clinics and hospital charity care is available in the greater Cincinnati Ohio region. Get everything from free medications to specialized care. Find information on more community clinics in Cincinnati and Hamilton County region.

The Salvation Army of Greater Cincinnati

This non-profit agency helps all people in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. Some of the programs and services they provide can help with rent payments, provide free clothing, or they offer money for paying heating and utility bills. There is energy bill crisis assistance in Cincinnati and much more.

Most of the assistance from the Hamilton County Salvation Army is offered from a resource known as the Family Service program. Not only does it provide financial assistance (as indicated above) but it will offer social services, case management, and support such as credit counseling. Or apply for seasonal items including free back to school supplies, Thanksgiving turkeys, or Christmas toys or gifts.

Thousands of Hamilton County families receive help from the Salvation Army every year. They can also provide information as well, such as refer people to the Duke Energy assistance fund, known as HeatShare. Call the Cincinnati Salvation Army at 513-863-1445, or read more Hamilton County Ohio Salvation Army assistance programs.

Free food

The Freestore Foodbank, which can be reached at 513-482-4500, provides free food and even clothing to people in need of help. They also offer evening meals to hungry children throughout Cincinnati. They can also help people find safe places to live if they were evicted or are homeless.

Other charities and places to contact for food, groceries, and advice include Anderson Ferry Church of Christ ((513) 451-5330), Caring Place (513) 841-1499), Gray Road Church of Christ ((513) 541-4100), as well as the Love Star Pantry ((513) 221-5049).





Dozens of other food banks operate in Hamilton County. There are also soup kitchens for free hot meals, including for the holidays or summer months for students. Locate more free Hamilton County Ohio food pantries.

Foreclosure prevention services

A local agency wants to ensure fair and equal access to housing for everyone. So in that regards, Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) offer foreclosure assistance to Cincinnati families. They will work with the homeowner and their lender. Dial 513-721-4663 for more information on how to get mortgage help.

Working in Neighborhoods (WIN) is also committed to stopping the foreclosure crisis in Cincinnati. They are one of the primary agencies that is leading the fight against foreclosures in the Franklin County community by providing foreclosure counseling and advocacy. Their counselors will also partner with banks and mortgage lenders and servicers to help families keep their homes. Click here to learn more on Ohio foreclosure mediation programs, or call Working in Neighborhoods (WIN) at 513-541-4109.

Cincinnati legal aid

Low income families can get access to free legal help programs from Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati (513-241-9400). Lawyers work at the non-profit. They provide assistance with foreclosures, child welfare, housing, evictions, consumer, heating service disconnections, and employment-related issues.

Free credit or debt counseling

Get help reducing your debts, financial literacy, budgeting skills and economic education from SmartMoney Community Services. In addition, they also offer credit repair and Budget Counseling, free advice, as well as credit union services. There is also access to hardship programs, credit card debt negotiation, matched savings incentives, homeownership counseling and entrepreneurship workshops. Call 513-241-7266 for debt help.

There is also free Debt consolidation and assistance. Non-profits offer this in the Cincinnati Ohio and county region. If you need help getting out of debt, need foreclosure help, or credit counseling, call Advantage Debt Management of America at (513) 563-4357.

They operate a Cincinnati area office that can help people deal with medical and credit card debts, provide bankruptcy advice, and assist with auto loan payment arrears as well as other counseling. Call them to learn on debt programs.

Rent assistance, help with utilities, housing aid and counseling in Cincinnati

Santa Maria Community Services, which is located on State Avenue in Cincinnati, offers both homeowners and renters programs. Among the services they provide include delinquency help, foreclosure counseling and mortgage default resolution advice. For renters, they may be able to provide section 8 rental assistance program rental listings as well as rent payment assistance. They can be reached at (513) 557-2710.







Churches Active in the Northside offers services including Rent payment assistance, access to food pantries, Utility bill payment assistance programs, and more. (513) 591-2246.

St Vincent De Paul Society offers Hamilton County and Cincinnati residents temporary financial assistance for rent expenses. There may be emergency help for other bills as well as free stuff passed out. Funding and resources are always limited though. In addition to housing assistance, Hamilton County families can look into other services.

Saint Vincent can also offer qualified low income seniors, families with children, single parents and others additional support. Some of the primary programs administered include prescription medications, food and clothing from thrift stores and pantries, cash grants for utility and heating bill help, and much more. Call (513) 641-0382, or read more Cincinnati St. Vincent De Paul.

Hamilton County Volunteers of America - This organization operates across Ohio and the nation for that matter. They focus on housing needs, food, and shelter, among other things. They operate transitional housing for the disabled, senior and low income. Many single parents and children can use the sites too. Clients will also receive referrals to thrift stores, information on Thanksgiving meals, and details on basic need programs such as Well Rested Child program. Read more about Volunteers of Ohio.

Caring Place Of Cincinnati - This is an organization of local churches and they can provide a variety of services and assistance to members of the local community and Hamilton County. Among other aid, they can offer free food, clothing, furniture, rent, heating and utility bill assistance. Guidance include family development and support groups. Call (513) 841-1499, or click here The Caring Place.

Apartment Association Outreach focuses on providing a few different needs to qualified Hamilton County residents. They also partner with other non-profits. The organization can provide emergency food and rental assistance. School supplies and notebooks may be provided to children. Other resources include free food, groceries, and senior assistance. Read Apartment Association Outreach programs.

Hamilton County free holiday programs provide meals and Christmas gifts. Low income families (especially those with children), seniors, and the disabled are some of the main beneficiaries of charitable aid. Receive free food, Christmas toys, Thanksgiving meals, clothing, and more. Continue Cincinnati and Hamilton County free holiday assistance.

Christs Community In College Hill - Offers rent and eviction prevention help. Can make emergency payments and /or arrangements with land landlords and local community action agencies and charities. Call (513) 541-0303.

Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries Rehabilitation Center – Homeless veterans can apply for assistance with paying for security deposits, rent, delinquent heating and utility bills, furniture, and other household furnishings needed to establish a stable living environment. Also get food and help finding a job. Only homeless veterans can apply for this program. 10600 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45215, (513) 771-4800

SEH is a group made up of dozens of non-profits. They focus strictly on housing issues. The organization will try to stop homelessness and keep people safe by using some or all of the following tools.

  • Eviction prevention includes referrals to agencies that may have money for rent, heating or water bills, and other needs.
  • Short term housing in Cincinnati Ohio is available from shelters and transitional housing.
  • Clients can learn about section 8 vouchers, resources for families living in poverty, and receive other housing support from the Central Access Point. More on eviction help in Hamilton County.

Summer cooling assistance, including fans, are provided to qualified senior citizens, the disabled, sick, and families with young children in Hamilton County Ohio. The program relies on donations and fund raisers. It was established in an effort to ensure those who are considered at risk can stay cool during the hot and humid summer months. Your local community action agency and other non-profits administer it. Read free fans Cincinnati Ohio.





Catholic Charities - Several churches and centers are located in western and southern Ohio. A majority of the services offered are for job training and employment. Case managers can also direct residents to emergency financial assistance, medical care, education services and more. They also pass out furniture or household goods. Some resources are also focused on immigrants and Spanish speakers. Learn more on Hamilton County Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Hamilton County Job and Family Services - The local government organization that provides services for the working poor, low income, seniors, and unemployed. Case management can help people get a job and improve their career situation. Short term basic needs and expenses can be paid for by government grants and cash assistance programs. There is also Health care (including Medicaid), SNAP food stamps, elderly resources and more financial aid may be provided. See more on public assistance Hamilton County.

Mercy Health - St. John has emergency assistance to pay rent or utilities. This is offered to help people maintain their current housing and avoid homelessness. 1800 Logan Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, call (513) 981-5800.

Grace Place provides shelter and short term transitional housing services to women and children in Hamilton County Ohio. This will be based on referrals from emergency shelters or local non-profits. 6037 Carey Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45224. Telephone - (513) 681-2365.

Madisonville Education and Assistance Center has limited funding and covers the zip codes of 45208, 45209, 45226, and 45227. When possible, may offer funds for utility bills, rent, heating costs, or security deposits. Loans may be issued in some cases. 4600 Erie Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45227, telephone number is (513) 271-5501

The disabled in Hamilton County can get help from various programs. Whether medical care, applications to SSI, loans, home care, or some other support, assistance is offered. Both the physical and mentally disabled can get resources. The application process does take time, otherwise find more on financial help while applying for disablity.

Winton Hills church is part of Saint Vincent. Food, clothing, and basic needs may be available for Hamilton County residents. For those that are otherwise self-sufficient, one time, emergency rent or energy bill help is offered. Eviction prevention and mediation from social workers can be performed with landlords and tenants. 4848 Wineste Avenue, Winton Place, OH 45232, call (513) 641-0382

Tom Geiger Guest House – For those with a referral from the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati, they may access transitional housing or shelters. It is for the disabled, women with children, and the recently evicted. Get referrals to government benefits and low income housing as well. (513) 381-7233

Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority administers housing options and assists the needy in finding a new home or apartment. Services are focused on the greater Hamilton county area. The government organization leases housing for low to moderate-income families. Senior community apartments are offered too. Or apply for section 8 housing vouchers to pay your rent. 1635 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45214, (513) 421-2642.





Jewish Family Service of Cincinnati - While emergency financial assistance is limited, there may be no interest loans for paying certain expenses in a crisis, such as transportation, rent, or medical costs. Case managers can help people apply for Medicare, disability benefits, and other government programs. Or learn about homeless assistance resources, free legal aid and food pantries in Hamilton County. Read Jewish Family Service programs of the Cincinnati.

Council On Aging Of Southwestern Ohio – The agency also provides many programs for seniors and the elderly. Examples include Care Transitions, which helps seniors on the transition from the hospital to going back home. As part of the other aging services administered, seniors from Hamilton County may receive transportation to a doctor appointment in Cincinnati, free home delivered meals, and much more.

The non-profit can provide information on health insurance plans, offers a resource center, and provides other assistance. The address is 175 Tri County Parkway, Springdale, Ohio 45246. Call (513) 721-1025, or learn more on Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio.

Note that if that aging office can’t help, then the elderly in Hamilton County have other resources available to them. They range for resolving disputes over medical bills from Senior Medicare Patrol Program to legal aid for creating wills, nursing homes and much more. Read Ohio Agency Aging senior programs.

Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank covers the entire county. This non-profit doesn’t just provide free food, but many other services are administered, as noted here.

  • Clothing is offered to adults for employment reasons or even seasonal needs, such as winter coats.
  • Giving Fields offers fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Homeless prevention, for both eviction and foreclosure cases, is provided by the Freestore. There may be counseling or emergency money for partial rent payments.
  • The resource center offers information on applying for benefits such as food stamps, free baby formula / WIC, and SSI, among other services.

The center is focused on helping the less fortunate, and offers many other forms of assistance to the needy and low income. More on Freestore Foodbank of Cincinnati.

Free furniture, school supplies or new or gently used clothes and other basic needs are provided by non-profits, churches as well as charities. Apply at Hamilton County clothing or furniture. The centers provide low income and working poor families, including children, with free school supplies and Christmas assistance as well. or look into other numerous free items, such as furniture, coats, shoes, vouchers, and other goods are available. More on free clothes, furniture, and school supplies in Hamilton County.

Other programs are available for rent and housing needs. There are also short term housing and security deposit assistance programs. Or click here to find other non-profits and agencies that focus on providing Hamilton County Ohio rent assistance.

Hamilton County Ohio programs that are available across Ohio

Individuals as well as families in Cincinnati and Hamilton County can get financial help from the following statewide services and resources.

There are also many national programs for the region too, from charities, non-profits, or churches. Both basic needs and emergency funds may be offered. Or even find emergency help from churches.





Home repairs

Qualified homeowners can get extensive assistance from People Working Cooperatively, Inc. (PWC). The organization can give critical home repairs, updates and home modifications to low-income, elderly, and disabled homeowners. It can also provide free weatherization services to homeowners and some renters in the area. Dial 513-351-7921.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

If you need help paying your winter heating or summer cooling bills, or are facing a disconnection of your service, the LIHEAP program may be an option for you. The Ohio Department of Development administers the program for Hamilton and Cincinnati Ohio residents. Call them at (800) 282-5393. They will advise you on how the Home Energy Assistance Program works and whether it may be able to help you or not.

By Jon McNamara

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