Kansas City assistance programs.

The programs below are focused on the Kansas City area. There are charities, churches, and government assistance programs that help pay rent, mortgages, energy bills, medical costs, and more. Free stuff is also offered in the region, including everything from furnace repairs to food, Christmas toys, winter coats, and school supplies for kids.

the assistance can be grant or loan based. Whether housing, transportation, utilities, or other expenses, charities and non-profits can help. However there are various other additional assistance programs and ways to get help in the greater Jackson County area. Learn more on Jackson County assistance programs.

Find low income housing and rent assistance

The United States Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) provides grants to Kansas City to alleviate homelessness and help residents pay their rent. The housing assistance funds being provided to Kansas City is of the ESG program. The grants were created to combat homelessness nationally and help keep families in their homes.

The money will be used to help prevent families from becoming homeless and funds will also be used towards helping those who have lost their apartments or homes. The city of Kansas City will work closely with service organizations and charities in the area, such as the Salvation Army, to provide rental and also utility bill assistance, help for heating bills, free hotel and motel vouchers, and also funding for transitional housing and moving expenses.

Missouri state officials have said they want to distribute millions of dollars each year to Kansas City and other places that have had not received direct federal government aid on a regular basis. The state also said that more than $1 million in the state allocation funds should be available each year for additional housing assistance, and Kansas City could also apply for part of that funding so they can offer even more aid to residents. The Mohart Center runs the program. Dial (816) 513-4501.





Get utility, rental, and/or mortgage assistance

Residents of Kansas City who have lost their jobs or if they are at risk of losing their homes or apartments, they may eligible for help with their utility and living expenses through an emergency shelter grant program that is being funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Aid is now available to eligible families or residents who have experienced a sudden loss of their income from either a layoff or work-hour reduction. They applicants must also be actively looking for work.

This new assistance program will provide assistance for paying utility and heating bills, mortgage and/or rental assistance to those people who are at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Applicants need to have a reasonable future ability to remain current with payments if assisted. Find other assistance programs for mortgage help.

Some other conditions of the program include applicants need to also be able to prove their Kansas City residency and they need to have one or more of the following: a court-ordered eviction, a disconnect notice from a utility company, or a notice of intent to foreclose on their home.





Residents of the Kansas City are who meet the criteria can call the Kansas City 311 Action Center at 816-513-1313 for an appointment or to learn more information. Or they can call one of the following authorized agencies: Greater Kansas City Housing Information Center, 816-931-0443; the Community Assistance Council, 816-763-3277; or Guadalupe Center, 816-561-6885.

In addition to the agencies noted above, there are a couple dozen other non-profits, charities, and government funded rent programs. The low income with children, elderly, and people with medical conditions usually can get help before other applicants. Get information on the other Kansas City rent assistance organizations.

Seton Center only focuses on certain portions of Kansas City. The non-profit offers many services to the working poor, including the The Ladies of Charity thrift store and limited financial assistance. They also offer low cost dental care, free legal aid, as well as Health and Wellness initiatives. More information on the Seton Center.

Assistance paying water bills

The department has created a new program to help people pay their water bills. It will make $140,000 available that will be used to help eligible people pay their water bills. The program should expand in size in subsequent years. Dial 816-513-1313. Program criteria include:

Applicants need to be active Kansas City Water Services customers and they also must live within the city limits. They need to have made some sort of water bill payment from personal funds within 90 days of applying for help, so they have shown record of payment payment.

Applicants must also have an income at or below 185 percent of poverty guidelines, which would be about $40,000 for a family of four.

No applicant to the program will receive more than $500 in assistance with their water bills, in a 12-month period, and most customers will receive significantly less aid.

There are additional resources available as well. Find more Kansas City water bill assistance programs.




Kansas City assistance programs for various bills and expenses

The Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City provides struggling families and low income people with all available resources and programs, including those below. They are located at 6325 Manchester Ave, Kansas City, Missouri. 816-358-6868. Learn more on United Services Community Action in Kansas City.

  • Job and Employment Readiness - This program helps unemployed and under-employed low and moderate income people find jobs and gain skills. People can sign up for a 12-hour employment class and a job referral component. In addition, class participants have the opportunity to perform job searches via the Internet and use tools at the center to find jobs. There may even be free computers for low income families.
  • Heating and utility bill help - A couple programs are offered that people can apply to to get assistance with their utility and heating bills. Aid is even provided if your service has been cut off. Those applying to the program can get up to a $800 grant from federal and state money.
  • Emergency Assistance Programs - United Services Community Action Agency (USCAA) also has numerous funds that will assist with utilities, emergency food needs, housing, and clothing. Also find other ways to get low cost food.
  • Holiday Programs - Low-income families to get help from the USCAA as they have developed several Holiday Programs to supplement low income families’ holiday needs. This will take the pressure off these families to provide during times that should be filled with celebration rather than anxiety.

MLM - Metro Lutheran Ministry of Kansas City offers assistance and Family Services. The non-profit is one of the main non-profit charity organizations for the city and surrounding counties. Some examples of programs include free Christmas gifts and meals, emergency financial aid for rent or heating bills, and food programs. However other support is available too. Read MLM assistance programs.

Low-Income Prescription Assistance Program - Low-income individuals and families are provided access to low-cost and free prescription medication. People can be connected directly to the pharmaceutical companies' drug programs. Find additional ways to get free medications. Learn more about prescription medications for free.

Family Resource Centers are part of the Kansas City Department of Social Services. The offices help families that are living in poverty or that have a low income. The main public aid programs range from Medicaid to SNAP food stamps, cash assistance from TANF, LIHEAP grants, and much more. The main goal is to help the client get a new or better job from Missouri WorkNet. More on Kansas City public assistance programs in the city.





Kansas City families often need emergency heating or summer cooling bill help. The federal government offers support from a few different grant based programs. One is of course LIHEAP, which has a long term as well as crisis component. Read more on LIHEAP low income energy assistance.

Shelter and housing services operate in Kansas City. Charities, churches, and non-profits in Kansas City take a leading role in providing this assistance. Find a place to stay, enroll into case management, and get referrals to longer term low income and transitional housing. Click here for short term housing in Kansas City.

An extensive case management and financial assistance program is run by Community Services. They have several Family Centers in Kansas City. Resources include:

  • Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) which gives money fpor rent or mortgages, free food, energy bill help, and more.
  • Free hygiene and medical supplies such as glasses, diabetes equipment (insulin pumps), adult or baby diapers and other goods.
  • Books, computers, educational and career supplies not to mention job training.
  • Other help is offered too, and read more on Kansas City Community Services assistance programs.

Free assistance during the holidays is available from non-profits in Kansas City. Some only help struggling families in the city, while others extend to the suburbs and nearby counties. They may have free Christmas gifts, meals, and other resources available at Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Locate holiday help in Kansas City.

Homeless prevention and rehousing - Agencies use HUD grants as well as other funding to help people threatened with an eviction and the homeless. Assistance provided can include one time rent help, no-interest loans, and referrals. Kansas City agencies focus on families facing a crisis. More information on homeless prevention in Kansas City.

Information on free food pantries and banks in Kansas City Missouri

While the local community action agency, the United Services Community Action Agency, may be able to direct families to programs and resources that can give them food, we also have information on dozens of food banks, pantries, churches, and charities in the Kansas City area. They serve hot meals and/or distribute free food and groceries. Many of the locations coordinate closely with Harvesters, which is the Community Food Network for the region. Get the phone numbers, addresses, and more details on Kansas City free food banks.

Rent assistance programs

The federal government has provided Kansas City a grant that was to be used to provide rent help. However, Kansas City has spent only a small fraction of its federal government stimulus money on rent assistance and  homelessness prevention, but the city hopes to begin allocating dollars more quickly, city officials have said.

To date, a few hundred households have received assistance. People have received money to help pay rent, utility bills, and security deposits. Yes, money for utility bills is also part of the government program. Read more on homeless prevention in Missouri.

The program is for people who had never faced such economic hardship before, and it is not intended to be a long term government charity type program. The federal guidelines on who can receive aid are strict, and many applicants are not eligible. For rent help or information on eligibility, call 816-474-5112.





Kansas City Early Education Head Start Program

Qualified low income children can apply to the Head Start or Early Head Start program. It can offer your child a step up on getting prepared for school, and offer them educational opportunities. The program is free, and it can also offer medical care, nutrition, and other help for your child. In addition parents can get support from Head Start as well, such as help finding a job and access to social services in the Kansas City Missouri region. Read more on Kansas City Head Start.

Other Jackson County assistance programs

Click here to find many other non-profits and assistance programs in Jackson County Missouri. They can also help Kansas City families and individuals.

By Jon McNamara

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