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Assistance programs Kanawha County and Charleston WV.

Several organizations in Charleston and Kanawha County West Virginia offer financial assistance to people in need of help. Residents can get grant money to help them pay for rent or utility bills. There may be financial aid to help pay a mortgage, free food from pantries, and even prescription medicine. In addition, most of these non-profit organizations, charities, government agencies (including DHHR) and churches can refer people to other resources in the Charleston WV area.

Many of the families in Kanawha County who are struggling, and asking for support, have never had to do so before. They can find free school supplies for their kids, emergency utility or energy bill help, furniture, or even free Christmas toys or other stuff. You should never hesitate to ask for help when times are tough. Find information and details on various charities and financial resources that are available to local residents in Charleston West Virginia.

Programs from community action in Kanawha County

The Capital Resource Agency, Kanawha County as well as Elk Valley Office, which can be contacted at (304) 414-4475 or 304.548.5392, offers several social services. Not the non-profit is also sometimes referred to as EnAct.

Applicants can get help to pay for their rent, free food, money for paying heating or utility bills, and even prescription medications. While much of the aid is provided from referrals, they do operate some programs on their own. Staff work to help the low income gain self-sufficiency and stability. Or they give referrals to energy or utility programs, and learn more on emergency utility bill help.

The Weatherization program is another service that is offered by Capital Resource Agency, Inc. They administer the Weatherization program, which provides assistance for low-income individuals, seniors, and the disabled in West Virginia.

This federal government funded program assists qualified families or individuals by performing some energy conserving and weatherization work in their homes to improve energy efficiency and help them lower their energy bills. These services and updates can include repair and/or replacement of furnaces and air conditioners, repair and/or replacement of windows, and installing new insulation in the home. Phone number is (304) 414-4475 or 304.548.5392. Or read more on government weatherization assistance.




The non-profit community action organization, also known as EnAct, can provide other help as well, in particular around housing , rent and homeless prevention. For example, they can even counsel homeowners on how to get mortgage help. Read more on help paying mortgage.

Many other programs are offered, including around employment, budgeting, financial literacy and more. The main community action agency office is at 1701 5th Ave, Charleston, WV 25387. Or read more on, and click Capital Resource Agency.

Emergency financial assistance programs Kanawha County

Mountain Mission (304.344.3407) also offers funds to people who are facing a crisis situation. Apply for emergency assistance, including funds to pay back rent, utilities, food, clothing, and free prescription medication for struggling individuals and families who live in North Charleston, Tyler Mountain, and those who live anywhere from Sissonville Road to the Jackson County line.

Nitro-St. Albans Care and Share also administers assistance programs for those who live in the Nitro and St. Albans areas. 304.755.2280

The Charleston West Virginia Salvation Armyoffers money to pay rent, utilities, mortgage assistance, free  clothing, footwear, incidental household items, as well as food assistance. There may also be transportation help in specific cases, furniture as available, various types of sundry requests, and more. 304.343.4548

Apply for help at South Charleston Community Civic Council. They administer emergency assistance programs for individuals and families in South Charleston, Alum Creek, Tornado, and parts of St. Albans and Charleston. They can also refer people to other government programs or charities, or to other resources in the city of Charleston WV.

Another option is the Tyler Mountain/Cross Lanes Community Services. Contact this non-profit agency at 304.776.5813. They help people in Cross Lanes, Tyler Mountain, and surrounding areas, and can assist with rent arreages, prescription drugs, unpaid utility bills, and food. Or click here to find patient prescription assistance programs.

Rivesville Free Methodist Church Food Pantry helps people both in Charleston, Rivesville, and throughout Kanawha County West Virginia. They offer several programs including providing financial assistance and money to pay utilities, housing expenses, and transportation. Food vouchers and groceries are also available. All aid is on a limited basis. Dial (304) 278-5702.





Kanawha County Coalfield CAP - Community Action Partnership offers some support to the greater Charleston area. Case managers can direct low income clients to weatherization, which can help them save money on their heating bills. Veterans can get rent and deposit help from the SSVF grant program, and there are also resources such as free meals for seniors and utility bill help from Low Income Energy Assistance.

Another focus is on general money management and budgeting in Kanawha County. Learning to live within means is key to wealth building and financial stability. Find more details on how to save money. There are many free, simple things to do. Or learn more on Coalfield community action agency assistance.

Catholic Charities - This organization will help the low income, working poor, and the struggling, regardless of their religion. A number of churches and Catholic Charity centers operate across West Virginia. While limited, some emergency financial assistance may be offered for expenses such as rent, utility and heating bills, and medications. The centers can also refer people to community clinics, free food pantries, and offer help with holiday meals and gifts. More on West Virginia Catholic Charities.

Union Mission - Family Services (phone (304) 925-0366) provides low income and qualified individuals with an on site food pantry, clothing, baby supplies, furniture, household items, financial assistance including rent and utilities, and a thrift shop.

Local Rapid Rehousing and Homeless Prevention programs take a pro-active and reactive approach. Several agencies across Kanawha County (including churches, law firms, and non-profits) can help families facing a one time emergency apply for help. Grants as well as vouchers help with back rent, pay legal expenses or moving costs, and offer other support. More Kanawha County eviction assistance.

KVSS (Kanawha Valley Senior Services) administers programs for the elderly and disabled. They offer care from the Our Place center, provide transportation for appointments, and offer referrals to financial aid or government benefit programs. Clients can learn about everything including how to apply for SSI as well as the pros and cons of Medicare. There is also respite services provided too, and read Kanawha Valley Senior Services.

The following agency focuses mostly on South Charleston West Virginia, however some services are available to others in the greater Kanawha County area. Heart and Hand House administers a short term emergency financial assistance program for individuals or families. Among other things, access a clothing store, Christmas food and toys, limited emergency assistance, and food pantry. The emergency assistance may be issued in the form of a loan, but all solutions around utility and rent help will be explored. (304) 744-6741, or read Heart and Hand Community Center assistance programs.

Various free basic needs can be provided to low income families and the working poor for free. There be items such as clothes, diapers, free winter coats for kids or senior citizens, diapers for new parents, school supplies and more. Free furniture banks may give couches, lamps, beds, computers and other goods. The goal is to free up the households income for their other bills. More on free clothing closets, furniture banks and school supplies in Kanawha County.





Salvation Army, Charleston area has Financial Assistance as well as free items. The charity, which can be reached at (304) 343-4548, is tasked with helping low income, the working poor, and other qualified families and individuals with the basic human needs they need to make it through the day. The services they offer include free clothing, furniture, utilities and heating bill assistance, rent help, or medical prescriptions.

There is also seasonal Christmas program (Food and Christmas Toy Shop, Angel Tree), charitable activities, and food along with a back to school supply event. This Salvation Army center supports the needy in Kanawha County as well as nearby areas. Read more on Kanawha County and Charleston Salvation Army.

Housing and rent payment assistance can be obtained from non-profits as well as government agencies. All resources are limited. When an income qualified family, or someone facing a crisis, is qualified for emergency aid, then funds for paying back rent or other needs, such as a deposit, can be provided. More on rental assistance in Kanawha County.

Churches are also a resource in the Charleston WV area. They help the poor, homeless, single parents and others. Whether a free hot meal, or a few dollars to pay a bill, support is offered. The goal is to provide immediate relief as well as referrals to long term help. More on financial help from churches.

Department of Health and Human Resources administers the cash and public assistance programs in Kanawha County. These mostly focus on people in poverty, the unemployed, disabled, and immigrants among others. Everything from cash aid from WVWorks to Medicaid, food stamps, and child care vouchers may be provided. Or low income families can apply for Medicaid or dental care programs. Many other government benefits are also offered as well. More on Kanawha County public assistance programs.

Assistance for food or free groceries in Charleston West Virginia region

Dozens of free food pantries and soup kitchens are located across Charleston and surrounding towns. The locations can provide free boxes of food that contain fresh or canned goods. Many also have staff that can help low income families apply for programs such as SNAP food stamps or WIC vouchers. Other assistance in Kanawha County includes Christmas or holiday meals, or some offer clothing and hygiene items.







Covenant House operates one of the leading pantries at 600 Shrewsbury Street. They offer free hot meals, hygiene supplies and other goods from a pantry. The address is 600 Shrewsbury Street, Charleston, West Virginia 25301. Dial 304-344-8053

The Samaritan Center in Dunbar has free food, may serve hot meals, or have a home delivery service for seniors. Call (304) 768-3828.

St. Peter's United Methodist Church offers financial aid along with food in a crisis. (304) 727-7531.

There are other centers too. There may be soup kitchens, free food pantries that give away food daily, Meals on Wheels services and other aid. Each will focus on the working poor and struggling families. Find free Kanawha County food pantries.

Job training

Government funds are used to help people gain new employment skills or pay for job training. The Capital Resource Agency, Inc is a primary source of information. They can offer low income residents of Kanawha job training programs. One program, known as "Avenues to Employment", are completely free to low income participants. There are other employment resources too, even including such tips as on turning household “junk” into money.

The Employment Programs include assistance starting in-home day cares, Certified Nursing Assistant classes, LPN educational supports, and general job placement. There is also free career development, and family development, as well as a partnership with cable and phone companies to train technicians for high tech type role installations and opportunities.

Other programs

Receive free schools, clothes, and uniforms for school aged children from the Kanawha County Schools Shoe Fund. This organization can be reached at 304.348.1342. Other free stuff can be given to kids for educational needs as well. The funds wants to ensure that children have the supplies and clothes they need to be successful in school.

Free medical or dental care from community clinics

Receive free dental care for school-age children, low income and the elderly. The Kanawha Dental Health Council, Inc. provides this service to meet individuals dental needs. Call them at 304.348.6613.

Upper Kanawha Medical Center of Cedar Grove West Virginia (phone (304) 595-1770) offers some services on a sliding fee scale. Access a full program of comprehensive primary health care, medical and dental care. In addition specialist services include prenatal case management, general surgery, specialized occupational respiratory care, urology and family planning services. Find other ways to get medical bill help.





West Virginia Health Right offers limited aid on a first come first serve basis to Charleston WV residents. Services offered include Health Care; Prescription Assistance; Health Department; Information & Referral; Medical Care and much more. (304) 343-7000


By Jon McNamara

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