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Houston assistance programs.

Below are a few resources specific to the City of Houston. However, individuals have many more options at their disposal. You can find additional Harris County resources and assistance programs that can provide you with help.

Rent, mortgage, utility, and food assistance

One of the resources to use in Houston to receive a variety of assistance is Catholic Charities (phone 713-526-4611). They provide help to all people, regardless of faith. The Guadalupe Center on South Jensen Drive is the primary location.

Those in need can receive food assistance, which is provided from Basic Needs Services. In addition, rent assistance, medication, and utility bill assistance and grants are available to both families and individuals who are experiencing a short term crisis.

The center offers rental assistance to Houston families families who are in a crisis. The case managers will also work with individuals during this timeframe to help them get job training, locate jobs, and will also help them find permanent stable housing if needed.

In order to be eligible for mortgage/rent assistance, clients must have an eviction or vacate notice or an eviction notice. The grants provided are in the form of a one-time rental assistance (1 month), utility bill assistance, or short-term rental aid. If funding is available, rent/mortgage assistance provided is limited to 1 month's rent/mortgage, with a maximum provided of less than $800. If someone needs utility help, the Houston resident must have a cutoff notice for utility bill assistance. Grants and cash provided for utility bills are limited to 1 month, with a maximum of $100. In addition, note that clients are limited to receive assistance just one time per year.

Another agency that may be able to provide mortgage or rent help is Windsor Village United Methodist Church. Among other options, they administer the federal government funded Emergency Food Shelter Program (EFSP). This program and church organization may be able to provide periodic federal government funded mortgage, rent, and food assistance to people who need help. Dial (713) 551-8792.




Some other Houston Texas specific agencies to call for financial assistance with bills, rent, food, and more include Neighborhood Centers Inc. (713-665-3600), Northwest Assistance Ministries (281-583-5600), and West Houston Assistance Ministries (713-977-9942).

West Houston Assistance Ministries (WHAM) is one of the leading non-profit organizations in the region. They can distribute food, clothing, household products, and other items to the needy in the community. They also have details on other government run programs, both state of Texas and federal government. Many Houston residents also call a non-profit around the holidays in order to get help for themselves and their children. This is one of the specialties of WHAM. Read more on city of Houston holiday help.

Other agencies provide help during the holidays. Volunteers collect toys and serve meals to low to moderate income families. Non-profits and local businesses also try to help less fortunate families in the city. More on Harris County free holiday assistance.

Cash loans are also available to low as well as moderate income families in Houston. The funds can be issued in short order, and the money can be used to pay for any number of bills. Dozens of lenders operate in the city, and each has their own terms and conditions in place when it comes to lending money. Continue with  Houston payday loans.

Houston Beat the Heat

Reliant Energy, working with partner agencies and service centers across Houston, opens cooling centers for people to use during the hot summer days. In addition to that, the utility company may also disburse additional financial aid to low income customers, and the funds can be used for paying summer electric or air conditioning bills. In some cases, a free box fan may be passed out to seniors or those at risk as part of Beat the Heat, however this is not available every year. Other options may include the CARE program and more. Some of the main numbers are.

  • Gulf Coast Community Services, 713-393-4700
  • Harris County Community Services - Department of Social Services, 713-696-7900
  • Sheltering Arms Senior Services - Harris, 713-956-1888





Access to food assistance programs

Target Hunger, a United Way supported agency, assists individuals and families who live in the inner-city neighborhoods of Houston who are food insecure and can’t provide for themselves. Almost 10,000 people are provided food each and every month, and the organization continues to grow and distribute more food to people in need. You can dial 713-226-4953 to reach the non-profit.

The above is just one example of a food bank in the Houston Texas area. Dozens of others exist and operate throughout he city and suburbs. Click here for more food banks and Houston free pantries.

Health care

The San Jose clinic provides low income and uninsured with access to medical care, medications, and dental services.

That is just one of the clinics that operate in the Houston Texas area. In total individuals and families have several dozen locations to choose from. Find a listing of more Houston free clinics.

Additional Harris County Programs

Get information on other Harris County Texas assistance programs.


By Jon McNamara

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