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Assistance programs in Itasca and Koochiching County.

Churches, charities, and government assistance programs help the less fortunate. Find where to get rental or energy bill assistance, free food or clothes (even school supplies), medical care and more in Itasca and Koochiching County. A number of resources help low income families, senior citizens, the disabled and others.

Grants or loans may be issued. They can pay for back rent, mortgages, or security deposits. Or get emergency heating bill help, car repairs, and free debt counseling services in the region, including Grand Rapids.

Falls Hunger Coalition - If you need food or other nutritional support, this charity organization can help. The non-profit organization runs a food shelf that was created to serve and support families and individuals who do not have food or who do not have the resources to buy groceries or provide for their family. The organization offers a three to five day food supply for needy individuals. Call 218.283.8020

Koochiching and Itasca County are supported by a Salvation Army branch. A number of assistance programs and resources are offered, including both financial as well as non-financial aid. A sampling of some of the programs and resources offered include below. Or call (218) 326-4847

  • Mortgage assistance, including foreclosure counseling and prevention tactics.
  • Emergency funds to pay heating bills as well as monthly electric bills.
  • Prescription medications can be provided as a last resort, or vouchers for the prescriptions.
  • Housing and rent payments can be made. Also funds to pay security deposits or first months rent.
  • Seasonal assistance, including free Christmas gifts, Christmas Angel Tree toys, back to schll uniforms or supplies and more.
  • Thrift store is run on site. It can provide vouchers for clothing and/or furniture.
  • Lodging for homeless and transient individuals.
  • Soup kitchen and bread distribution - Hot meals, bread and pastries are all offered.
  • Read more on the Salvation Army assistance programs Grand Rapids MN area.

KOOTASCA Community Action, Inc. - This local community action agency serves residents of Itasca and Koochiching Minnesota. The assistance programs provided for the low income in the community include these listed below.




Family Homeless Prevention (FHPAP) This project is to prevent homelessness for families and individuals in both Itasca and Koochiching Counties. Funds are utilized to provide short-term rent assistance or mortgage foreclosure prevention assistance to eligible households.

Counseling for housing issues is provided in some cases before any direct financial aid is provided to pay your rent or home loan. Qualified participants in the housing, rent, and foreclosure assistance program need to have a stable household income and they must also have the ability to pay their mortgage or rent on an ongoing basis. Participants in all housing programs need to be able and willing to receive financial counseling, debt reduction, case management, as well as one-on-one tenant training.

On site housing and credit counselors provide advocacy, information on rent assistance programs, housing search assistance, government mortgage and foreclosure prevention, and connection to other resources and charities if needed. Some funds are utilized for transportation issues and/or car maintenance or even repairs if this is a barrier to ability to work for the client.

Energy Bill Assistance Program is also run by KOOTASCA. The program provides financial and cash assistance for low to moderate income households in both Koochiching and Itasca Counties Minnesota with paying for their home energy needs. Utility bill assistance can be offered to help make direct payment to the energy vendor.

Financial can be used for emergency heating system repair or replacement. Also employees of the agency can advocate with energy vendors, utility and power companies and human service providers on behalf of consumers. Last, if the need is dire, crisis assistance is available for help for fuel deliveries, heating oil and utility disconnections. Find additional energy bill help in Minnesota.

Head Start is run from this location. The program for children was designed to help young children, who range in age from birth to five, and their families achieve their full potential, by ensuring they have access to education, food, and health and dental care.





Medical and health care is organized and administered at the facility too. The community action agency can help provide low income and qualified local residents with access to a broad range of resources for medical, mental health, dental assistance, and food as well as nutrition services. The agency can also provide access to health and safety education for parents, children, and staff. Promote preventative health services and early intervention for diseases and medical conditions. Counselors can also link families and patients to an ongoing system of Minnesota free health clinics.

Save money on energy bills from the Minnesota Weatherization Assistance Program. Various energy conservation techniques are offered to help people save money on utility and heating bills.Deferred Loan Program can provide up to $25,000 to people who need funds to maintain or improve their home. Use the money for repairs, home updates, and other housing needs. Many low to moderate income families benefit.

In additional to loans to pay for home repairs or updates, there are also free government grants for home repairs. The advantage is that the money does not need to be repaid, which is the case with the loan programs above.

Call the Grand Rapids Minnesota based KOOTASCA Community Action, Inc. agency at (218) 327-6701

Baby Steps Boutique can help children, families, and pregnant women. Numerous services can improve the health and well being of kids, families, pregnant women, and young children. Get information on assistance programs, and resources like diapers and baby food.  218-326-2300

Grand Rapids Food Shelf can provide food and other aid to the low income, elderly, and disabled. They food pantry is located in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and can be reached at 218-326-4420.





AEOA - Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency can provide help, referrals, and support to struggling families. While financial assistance is limited, and often relies on the issues of federal government grants, there may be help to pay for heating bills, rent, and homeless prevention.

Other basic needs can be met as well. They partner with the Northeastern Minnesota Network and operate meal sites in counties such as Itasca. Congregate dining locations are for the elderly, and referrals are widely available.

Other resources include preschool program for children, employment from Food Stamp Employment and Training (FSET), part time jobs for seniors, and more. Staff from AEOA are committed to ending the cyle of poverty. Read more on Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency.

By Jon McNamara

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