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Jefferson County Illinois assistance programs.

Find where to apply at, and how to get financial help for paying rent, utility or energy bills, housing, and more. There are organizations across Jefferson County, ranging from churches to charities or non-profits, that assist low income families. They give out cash grants, loans, free food boxes, clothing, and other goods to the poor and low income. Find resources below.

Emergency services and grants for bills

Crosswalk Community Action Agency is a local, non-profit organization that people can turn to for help. They have resources and services available for low to moderate income people, and others who may be facing hardships in the weak economy. Stop by or contact them at 410 W. Main Street, West Frankfort, IL 62896. The phone number is (618) 932-6438. Some of the programs are resources they offer are below. Contact them to learn more about these or other assistance programs.

Help for Heating and Utility Bills - Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The agency receive millions of dollars from the federal government, and they distribute the funds to people who need help with paying their heating or utility bills. The amount of the grants that will be provided will be  determined by a number of factors when someone applies. They include the number of people who live in the home or apartment, the total household income, type of heating fuel or oil that is used for heating and the geographic location of the family. An applicant to the LIHEAP program does not have to own their home. They can be a renter. They do not even need to pay energy bills directly to get assistance. An overdue bill or shutoff notice is not required in order to get aid.

Emergency assistance and crisis grants are available if the household is disconnected from any energy source that may be needed for paying heating bills and/or a delivered fuel supplier has refused to deliver and the tank contains 25% or less or heating fuel. Read more on LIHEAP in Illinois.




Emergency Services Program

This is another option for people and it is funded from a number of different sources. The help from this program is intended to provide onetime only assistance and cash grants to households and individuals who may be truly experiencing an emergency situation. There are loans and grants offered if someone is in need of immediate life necessities, such as help with paying their rent, shelter, medicine, medical and hospital bills, etc. Outreach sites for emergency services and resources are available throughout Jefferson County Illinois.

Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP)

This is a free program for low income homeowners that was created to help people conserve energy and save on their heating and heating bills. People can save hundreds of dollars per year on average. It was designed to help low-income residents save fuel, and therefore money while increasing the comfort and safety of their homes. Some of the improvements done to your home may include

  • Repairing doors and windows
  • Sealing cracks with caulk and weather stripping
  • Insulating attics, walls, and floors

They will also provide work on your furnace or heating unit, include clean and tune, repairs, or even providing you with a new furnace.

Rent Eviction and Homeless Prevention Program

If you need housing aid, the program provides rental assistance, utility assistance, funds for security deposits, and other supportive services, such as mortgage help and counseling. The assistance is directly related to the prevention of homelessness to eligible individuals and families across the county who are in danger of facing an eviction, foreclosure or homelessness or are currently homeless. The housing program is designed to stabilize families and individuals in their existing apartments or homes and ensure they do not get evicted.

All of the resources listed above are offered by the Crosswalk Community Action Agency.





Another non-profit to call is the Salvation Army. They have a center that supports both Marion and Jefferson County. A number of assistance programs and social services are administered. The locations can help people apply for public assistance such as food stamps or WIC. Receive emergency heating and utility bill assistance from LIHEAP or cash reserves that the case workers may distribute. Other programs and resources include the Angel Tree holiday program, back to school, and a free food pantry and clothing closet on site. Dial  618-339-5854.

Food pantries in Jefferson County Illinois

Several different churches, non-profits, and charity organizations provide free groceries, food, and meals to the low income and needy. Centers may also have programs such as Thanksgiving baskets or Christmas meals/gifts for the needy. Some locations to call are below.

Park Avenue Baptist Church runs the highest trafficed Food Pantry. It serves about 3500 people a month.
900 Park Av
Mt Vernon, IL 62864
The center is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1 – 3 pm, and families or individuals can come in as often as they like.

  • Central Christian Church which can be reached at 618-242-2407 and is located in Mount Vernon.
  • Angels on Assignment - Phone 618-242-1108
  • Serenity Sanctuary Foundation support all of Jefferson County.
  • Food Pantry at West Side Baptist Church is located at 2900 Veterans Memorial Dr. Phone 618-244-7113.
  • Hams Grove Baptist Church may have meals and spiritual guidance. Bellrive, Illinois.
  • Epworth United Methodist Church at 1305 N Main in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Telephone  618-242-5394.

By Jon McNamara

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