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Houston, Polk, Rusk, Wood, San Jacinto County assistance programs.

Find where and how to get financial help in the region, including Houston, Rusk, and nearby counties. Most support comes from churches, charities, or government assistance. There is free food; grants to help pay utility bills or rent; homebuying and mortgage assistance; free dental or health care and more.

Charities also provide free stuff to low income families in Polk, Wood, Houston, and other counties. That may be back to school supplies or Christmas or birthday toys. Or find free furniture banks, gasoline vouchers, or vouchers to pay for gasoline or a motel among other social services.

Resources for financial needs, such as energy bills, rent, and medical

The leading non-profit agency in the region is GETCAP, or Greater East Texas Community Action Program. It focuses on solving poverty in the area, including the counties of San Jacinto, Rusk, and nearby towns and regions too. Some of the main programs are noted below, however others may be administered as well.

Emergency financial assistance and basic needs can be met by this agency. However, it is very limited and there are many limitations in place. Low income families can receive free medications, food, rental help, one time cash grants, and maybe even minor home repairs. In some cases, a loan may be issued to pay for these expenses. But GETCAP does this as a last resort. Find a variety of interest free loans for paying bills.

Child development includes Early Head Start (for infants) and another option is Head Start, for slightly older kids. The federal program, which is administered locally by GETCAP, provides meals, educational support, medical check ups and more.

Educational programs are for people that live in Polk, Houston, Rusk, or maybe Wood County. There may be ESL training, GED, and other classes. There are also Family Literacy/GED services for parents as part of Head Start, indicated above.

Utility bill assistance is also available from Greater East Texas Community Action. If they qualify, there may be grants to pay water, electric, and air conditioning bills. Financial aid is focused on families with children, seniors, or the disabled. Most of the grants for utility bills is for customers of Reliant, Cherokee Electric, TXU, Wood County Electric, Direct Energy, Upshur Rural Electric, Centerpoint, AEP and others.




Free energy conservation / Weatherization is available. It is for disabled clients, seniors, and those who spend a large percent of their income for their utility bills. The federal sponsored program may provide for updates such as caulking, attics and weather stripping. The goal is to help people save money, which will free up income for other bills.

The Greater East Texas Community Action addresses employment needs and income in the region too. There are opportunities for Spanish speakers, migrants, and anyone seeking to increase their income so they can afford to pay the bills. Find a variety of options, even such things as how to get paid to play games.

There are several offices in the region. Some of the addresses include as follows.

Mount Enterprise Community Health coordinates health care in the region. There is low cost, or maybe even free dental or medical care. Doctors, dentists, and other professionals help families in the Rusk County area as well as nearby towns and cities. The clinic is at 1115 Hwy 259 South, Henderson, Texas 75654, call 903-392-8203.

Livingston First United Methodist Church of Polk County - The ministries that are part of this faith based group help the poor and low income. The charity may have a number of resources for the needy. Programs such as Helping Hands may have free food, Christmas meals and gifts, gasoline, and financial aid. There are also food pantries and clothing closets on site for the needy and less fortunate.







Central Christian Church may have both emergency financial aid and basic needs. The charity organization can sometimes have gasoline vouchers, boxes of food, vouchers for medications, and more. There is also an on site thrift store for shoes, clothing, and Christmas goods. 110 East Sage Street, Winnsboro, TX 75494. Call 903-342-5883. Read Livingston First United Methodist programs.

Food or clothing programs

East Texas Food Bank - The center supplies groceries, food, and more to churches and charities in counties such as Rusk, and San Jacinto. They do not directly serve the public, but can offer referrals.. What may be offered is fruits, vegetables diary products, and more. Telephone - 903-597-3663.

Bread of Life Ministries - They location offers a free food pantry to the poor and low income. Free holiday meals may be served too. Address is 1001 East McDonald, Mineola, TX 75773, dial 903-569-8708.


By Jon McNamara

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