Hidalgo County assistance programs.

Find where to go to for financial help in the area of Hidalgo County Texas. Many charities as well as government affiliated agencies or churches provide support. Families and individuals can get help with rent or utility bills, legal aid, free groceries or clothing, or housing resources. The poor, immigrants, disabled, and others often get assistance, and find details on these programs and others.

Utility, housing and other emergency help

The Salvation Army branch located in McAllen offers several resources and services, and they are also  trying to offer some assistance to Rio Grande Valley families as the summer heat kicks into gear and temperatures increase.

The organizations “Beat the Heat” summer assistance campaign will provide fee air conditioning units as well as several hundred 500 20-inch fans to Rio Grande Valley residents who need help before Sept. 30.

There are some conditions to getting help. Valley residents who are need of aid who currently have health problems will receive the free air conditioning units, while any local resident without financial means or experiencing a hardship can receive a free fan or more.

The local utility companies are funding the plan. CPL Retail Energy, which supplies electricity to customers throughout South Texas and is the primary utility company, donated $7,000 to start the campaign.




In addition to the service above, for those families who find themselves behind on their housing payments, or in the middle of an unexpected short term hardship or crisis, the Salvation Army provides assistance with paying rent and or direct cash grants for utility bill payments.

In addition, they offer clothing, food assistance from a pantry, senior and elder programs, free shelter for people who are homeless, and holiday gifts and meals. Call the Salvation Army, McAllen/Hidalgo County location at (956) 682-1468. Or read more.





Help with rent, bills, prescriptions, and other financial assistance

Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, which is based in San Juan but has programs that service all of Hidalgo County, offers numerous assistance programs for individuals and families in need. Emergency Assistance is offered, which includes. Electric Bill Assistance - This is financial :assistance to help people pay utility bills. Funding is limited. Tim's Coats is a program that distributes winter coats for needy families. Other assistance programs will respond to persons needing assistance with prescriptions, rent help, shelter, and transportation expenses related to medical need. The center can also provide over the counter medication. Dial (956)702-4088, or read more Hidalgo County Catholic Charities assistance.

If you are aged 65 or older, Silver Ribbon Community Partners (phone (956)682-1301) offers numerous services and resources for seniors. They offer financial assistance and resources for the emergency payment of shelter, transportation, payment of utilities and cooling bills as well prescription drugs. They also run a room with emergency supplies such as ensure, prescriptions, Glucerna, clothes, canned items, medical items, diabetes supplies, and small medical equipment for seniors health care needs.

Advocacy Resource Center For Housing ARCH  - A number of housing and rent programs are offered. ARCH educates tenants on their rights, helps mediate landlord-tenant problems or issues referrals are sent to Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid. The non-profit may provide case management and financial assistance with paying rent, security deposit, utility bills and deposits, disconnection notices, moving expenses, hotel and motel vouchers, eviction prevention, and foreclosure prevention assistance. 2507 Buddy Owens Boulevard, McAllen, Texas 78504, (956)631-4277

Clothing assistance programs - Across Hidalgo County Texas are several organizations that can help families meet their basic needs. What may be provided to the less fortunate and low income includes free school supplies, general clothing, Christmas toys, and more. The focus of the clothing closets is on children and the working poor in McAllen and nearby towns. Click here.

Rio Grande Valley churches – Catholic Charities – Some limited, emergency financial aid may be available. This includes rental and utility bill assistance, security deposits, counseling, free food and clothing. A focus is on veterans as well. Location is 955 West Price Road, Brownsville, TX 78520. Main phone 956-541-0220.

Society of Saint Vincent - Volunteers make up this faith based group, however aid is available regardless of religion. The charity may have everything from vouchers for medications to funds for back rent to stop homelessness. They also have a thrift store, clothing, referrals and raise money from the Edinburg community for other low income programs. Read St. Vincent de Paul Hidalgo County.

Family Endeavors supports veterans and their families in Hidalgo County. The agency offers outreach services, case management, and help in applying for VA and government benefits. Very low income may also receive financial assistance or loans to pay rent, utilities, moving costs, or deposits. Case management and job training is available. 361-356-3949.




Funds for housing or rent are often available from non-profits in Hidalgo County. Agencies will provide qualified low income families with emergency, one time assistance for a variety of expenses. Learn about several rental as well as security deposit assistance programs in the region. Click more information.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission has located in Hidalgo County as well. This government agency may have emergency funds to help pay bills for families that are facing a crisis. 1-877-541-7905.

County Of Hidalgo Community Service Agency - This non profit administers social service and government programs for working poor as well as low-income eligible clients through direct services for utilities such as offering cash grants or payments for electric pr gas current bill or disconnection notice, or propane for heating or cooling purposes and as the weather dictates. Other programs can include housing advice, food pantry, clothing, and more. 2524 North Closner, Edinburg, Texas 78540, (956)383-6240

Hidalgo County Rapid rehousing and homeless prevention programs - Tenants and the currently homeless can get assistance. Local non-profits, such as the Advocacy Center and Rio Grande Legal Aid, offer advice and financial help. There is help for the working poor, unemployed, and senior citizens, among others.

Assistance available may be cash grants for housing costs (rent, utilities, or cooling costs) as well as case management. Homeless prevention also places families into a new home or income based apartment. Read more Hidalgo County homeless prevention.

CACOST - Community Action Corporation of South Texas administers several government programs and benefits in the area. The non-profit also offers medical care in Hidalgo County and administers the CSBG program. Some of what is available includes low income energy bill assistance, Head Start centers, and weatherization. They also help veterans from programs such as Housing 4 Texas Heroes. Other resources are available too. Find more details on Community Action Corporation of South Texas

Government assistance - The county runs various human and social services for the needy, low income, and indigent. Most of the aid offered is health care and food for children, however the county also provide referrals and other cash assistance. Social workers can help the very low income apply for cash assistance and other benefits. Continue with Hidalgo County public assistance.

Hildago County Community Services Agency provides referrals to programs such as government grants for paying utility bills and security deposits to Head Start or weatherization. Other services in the county include applications to SNAP food stamps, information on job placement, homeless prevention from loans for paying rent, and additional government or non-profit support. More information.





Assistance during the holidays - There are several charities as well as government agencies, such as the Police Department, that provide free presents from toy drives. Other Christmas and Thanksgiving resources may be hot meals, presents for children, small gifts and assistance for immigrants or the unemployed in Hidalgo County. Learn more.

Mortgage, debt, and foreclosure counseling in Hidalgo County Texas

There are several different non-profit organizations and HUD approved location to contact.

Amigos Del Valle, Incorporated provides counselors with Money Debt Management and Debt Reduction Services, Advice on Predatory Lending, and Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling. Also learn about payday lending laws. They are based in Mission Texas and can be reached at (956)581-9494.

South Texas - McAllen Consumer Credit Counseling  offers consumers and homeowners in Hidalgo County with a host of assistance programs and options. Among the services offered by counselors include Debt, budget and credit card counseling, debt management and consolidation plans, Consumer education and information, help for credit card bills, Pre-Bankruptcy counseling and certificates. In addition, they are one of the Texas HUD approved housing counseling agencies So they offer homeowners and borrowers with Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling, Foreclosure Prevention Counseling, and provide information on Texas mortgage assistance programs. Dial (800)333-4357.

Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Incorporated TRLA provides consumers with free legal advice on Mortgage Delinquency and Mortgage Default Resolution Counseling, Home Pre purchase Counseling, Landlord/Tenant Disputes, and Renters Assistance Programs. (956)447-4800.

Referrals are provided from Open Hands. While they do operate a food pantry (as indicated below) the staff are also a great source for information on government grant programs, public housing, and more, such as the following.

  • Linkage to application sites for SSI disability, section 8 housing, and loan programs for bills or rent.
  • The un-insured, including immigrants, can get referred to clinics for medical and dental needs.
  • Food Stamps applications and WIC vouchers can help low income parents.
  • Many other Hidalgo County social services can be linked too. Read Open Hands Community Charitable Services.

Debt help and credit counseling

If you need help paying your medial or credit card debts, or just need advice on how to improve your credit scores or gain budgeting skills, Consumer Credit Counseling Service is a non-profit agency that may be able to help. Among other services, they provide free budgeting skills. They can help people reduce and control their debt expenses. And they also offer foreclosure and housing counseling.

Some of the solutions they recommend include entering into a debt management program, consolidate your bills, consumer education and information, debt crisis assistance. They operate a total of five area offices. They also offer free telephone counseling available. Call them for an appointment to start down the path of reducing your debts. Click here to find additional ways to reduce debts, or dial them at 956-428-0072.

Free food and groceries

Two locations to turn to if you need food or groceries include the Rio Grande Food Bank (956) 682-8101) as well as the Open Hands Community Charitable Services. Both partner with other agencies and charities to provide food to needy families in the area.





Food Bank Of The Rio Grande Valley, Inc. is another charity organization that distributes food, groceries’, and commodities for the needy individuals in the county on an emergency basis. The regional organization works with other Hidalgo County food pantries, churches and feeding programs. 956-682-8101.

There are dozens of other soup kitchens and food pantries in the region. Income qualified, low income families can receive everything from hygiene items to clothing, boxes of groceries, and more. They also operate programs for seniors, such as Meals on Wheels, provide baby formula, and more.

  • Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center is located in Brownsville. Dial (956) 831-6331.
  • First Baptist, based in Weslaco, provides fruits, canned groceries, and more.
  • Loaves And Fishes is located in Harlingen. Basic needs, referrals, emergency food, and other social services are available.

There are dozens of other charities to turn to for free food. They can help feed a family for a few days, and also help households apply for SNAP food stamps and other benefits. Find other food pantries in Hidalgo County.

Free legal aid and consultations

In addition to Rio Grande mentioned above, another non-profit law firm is South Texas Civil Rights Project. They provide free legal services for low income people. Click here to learn more, or dial (956)787-8171.

Low income and health care for under and uninsured

Nuestra Clinica Familiar is a clinic that provides health care to local residents. If you can’t afford to pay you can still take advantage of the facility. The health care clinic maintains nine separate service sites and medical facilities, and it provides medical services such as laboratory, radiology, family planning, pharmacy and prescription medications, integrated eligibility, social services, nutrition counseling, HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, and health education and training. The facility will help patients pay for dental and/or medical services. Dial (956) 787-8915 to learn more or apply for medical help.

The Nuestra Clinica has several branches around the county. However that is not your only option. People who are struggling with paying their medical bills have other health centers they can contact for assistance. Find more clinics in Hidalgo County.



By Jon McNamara

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