Kankakee County assistance programs.

Find charities, non-profit organizations, and other groups that can provide rent, security deposit and mortgage help, financial assistance for utility and heating bills, and even free legal advice to those who need help. Find everything from grants to pay daily living expenses, charitable programs for helping with housing or mortgages, free cars, low cost or free food, clothing and more. There are agencies that assist the low income, the disabled, seniors, and others. Financial assistance programs are available for paying various types of bills in Kankakee County.

Resources for those in need

Catholic Charities (phone number 815-933-7791) is a multi-service, comprehensive agency that provided a wide variety of assistance. The non-profit charity organization addresses community and the needs of low income residents through assistance programs for seniors, individuals, children, families and other in cooperation with available community resources. They have been known to provide limited financial assistance for paying rent, energy bills, and other expenses.

Another organizations that provides financial assistance, food, and other support is the Center of Hope. This non-profit organization helps low income Kankakee County families and individuals. Among the services they offer is a client-choice food pantry in which people can select food items on a weekly basis. In addition, the center will also assist individuals who are working towards a solution to their challenges by providing financial assistance for paying rent, utility, energy, and heating bills, and vouchers and funds for prescription medicines.

Learn about other programs for free medications. They can also provided donated vehicles that can be used for getting back and forth to work. Last, but not least, the Kankakee County Center of Hope will also provide clothing and some donated home furnishings to those in need. Call the agency at 815-937-4277.





Kankakee County Salvation Army has referrals only. The phone number is 815-933-8421. The charity is a non-profit, faith based organization that provides 24-hour emergency assistance programs that include emergency shelter, rent or heating bill assistance and a so called drop in center for the homeless.

In addition, the agency also operate a food pantry that provides free food to both youth and adults, as well as a thrift store that passed out clothing and household products, feeding program, church, counseling, character building activities, and referrals to Illinois and federal government programs. There are also seasonal programs in Kankakee County from the Salvation Army including free Christmas toys and school supplies. Read more.

Food, clothing, and holiday help - Several food pantries, churches, and other groups feed the working poor and offer them other support. Children may be given a free Christmas gift or school supplies. Parents can apply for a free box of groceries or clothing for work or the winter months. Other material support is arranged too, as donations allow. Click Kankakee County food pantries.

Rent help and shelter

Harbor House offers emergency shelter for all victims of domestic violence. The facility will offer these individuals access to a 24-hour crisis hotline, adult and child individual and group counseling among other support programs. 815-932-5814.

Free advice from lawyers and non-profit firms

If you can’t afford an attorney, Prairie State Legal Services provides free legal advice, consultations, representation and education. The services are for both senior citizens and low-income persons who require advice and legal assistance to meet their basic human needs to deal with civic issues. You can contact the non-profit law firm at 815-935-2750.





Housing help, including foreclosure assistance and rent aid

The Kankakee County Community Services, Inc. runs the so called Homeless and Near-Homeless Aid Program. The solution offers case management and crisis intervention to families or individuals who are experiencing housing issues. Assistance provided to renters and homeowners, which is not necessarily always financial aid, may also include foreclosure counseling or temporary emergency shelter.

When there is money available, KCCSI may have funds for mortgage and rent payments, transitional shelter, security deposit assistance and/or referrals to other programs. It a low income family is not qualified for a grant, then a loan may be provided to them for their bills or rental costs. Other help is offered too. For example, they can guide you to Illinois mortgage assistance programs.

Many other services are available from the community action agency. They help people find jobs, gain new skills, and offer information on public aid. Call the agency at (815) 933-7883, or find details on programs from Kankakee County Community Services.

Heating, utility bill, and energy conservation programs

The federal government and Illinois supported Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and weatherization programs are also run by the Kankakee County Community Services, Inc. Phone (815) 933-7883.

The LIHEAP program was created to offset the high cost of heat-related utility bills for low-income and elderly families. The energy bill assistance program provides a one-time cash grant / direct vendor payment on behalf of the client to the utility or gas company.

There is also a crisis component for customers and households that are disconnected from a heating or utility source. For these customers the emergency services / crisis  LIHEAP program provides guidelines and cash assistance that will allow the household to get reconnected within 48 hours. The funds can help keep a low income family safe and warm during the winter.




The weatherization assistance program provides, for free, the labor and materials to help make homes more safe, comfortable and energy efficient. After the improvements are done, the program can help people save hundreds of dollars per year.


By Jon McNamara

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