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Immediate Financial Assistance

Rental Assistance

Food Pantries

Utility Bill Help

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Public and Government Assistance

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Assistance programs Scranton and Lackawanna County.

Find financial assistance programs in the city of Scranton as well as Lackawanna County. Find how to get money for paying rent or utility bills along with access to job training, eviction or foreclosure prevention, and other support. There is also free groceries from pantries as well as school supplies or uniforms for children.

The charities, churches, and government programs in Scranton PA and the county offer both loans as well as grants to pay bills in an emergency. Agencies address housing needs, or even offer free health care, food or prescription drugs. Or during the winter, read about places for free heating oil or Christmas toys. All of the assistance in the Scranton area is offered along with debt help, career services, and work requirements which can include free gasoline vouchers or car repairs for a job..

Emergency financial assistance for paying bills in Scranton PA region

SVDP of Scranton as Food bank, free groceries and feeding sites/kitchens are offered. If you need help feeding your family, St. Vincent de Paul (phone 570-207-2283) operates a food bank and soup kitchen. Children, adults and the elderly can get help. The is a place where people can take home food needed in an emergency or crisis situation. They are affiliated with Catholic Services. People who apply and are accepted will receive enough food for a family, consisting of 6 meals, plus staples and other necessities. More on St. Vincent de Paul Lackawanna County assistance programs.

Catholic Social Services of Lackawanna County partners with local agencies such as the United Way, State Shelter, FEMA, State Food, and the Diocese of Scranton to provide financial assistance for individuals and families who need help. There are resources for paying bills, budgeting and free basic needs. There is also non-financial assistance such as foreclosure and budget counseling and referral to other appropriate government programs as well as social services are provided.

The goal of the agency is to offer financial help for utility, heating bills, and rent. This can help people meet emergency needs and guide clients toward self-sufficiency over the long term. The program is not intended to supplement their income continuously and is not intended to be a long term charity program. There is also ESL classes, GED, and immigration services. Dial 570-207-2283 to learn more or to apply for help, or read Lackawanna County Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Case mangers from Catholic Charities can help provide shelter and transitional housing units. Emergency rental assistance may be offered as well from time to time. Or find other eviction prevention programs.




The Salvation Army Corps Community Center of Scranton Pennsylvania offers financial as well as free material aid to all Lackawanna County residents. The local Salvation Army branch offers low income and other individuals a wide variety of social service programs that include utility bill and water bill programs as well as grants for gas and electric service. There may also be free food baskets, clothing vouchers, or free back to school supplies.

The Lackawanna County Salvation Army will also try to give out heating fuel assistance programs for paying for oil, coal and wood. Or get gasoline vouchers, access to homeless shelters and other free stuff. In addition, other forms of emergency assistance may be provided on a case by case basis to people in need of help. Call them at (570) 344-9878. Details include :

  • Utility and fuel assistance - They provides fuel and utility bill assistance. They can help people with PP&L and PG Energy, if they have received a disconnect notice. In addition, they will help those people who do not qualify for other state and county government assistance, and it will help those who have already used up their grants and cannot purchase their own fuel or heating oil. They only provide this assistance once a year, so use the program wisely.
  • Food assistance - The Salvation Army will provide food aid and make food baskets for individuals or families. The agency will provide them with enough food until they get income or food stamps from the government.

Other support may be provided too by the Salvation Army in the Scranton area. Whether is is referrals to a no-interest loan program, Christmas toy assistance, or deposits for leaving transitional housing, referrals are offered. More on Lackawanna County Salvation Army programs.

Another non-profit agency to turn to for help is United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern PA. This agency offers low income and other needy individuals a host of assistance programs, resources, and services. As just a sampling, gain access to emergency food bank and clothing outlets. There may be free furniture or household stuff. Or apply to Crisis Intervention Programs; Childcare programs for working families and much more. Call them at (570) 343-8835.

The Jewish Family Service of Lackawanna County can help people of all faiths. Call (570) 344-1186. Among them include:

  • Dental Clinic -  This center provides free dental care to eligible low income and/or uninsured Lackawanna County residents and is staffed by volunteer dentists from the Scranton District Dental Society
  • Financial assistance - Limited short-term financial assistance for rent, mortgages and utility bills is provided for individuals and families who qualify. There support is for Scranton PA area families cannot afford food, housing expenses, shelter, or other emergency needs.
  • Food pantry - Receive free or low cost food and groceries.





Additional rental programs and eviction prevention - Several non-profits, agencies, and charities are listed above. In addition to those centers, a number of other organizations specialize in dealing with housing issues. People on the verge of eviction and who are faced with homelessness should explore these emergency programs as well. More on Scranton and Lackawanna County rent assistance.

Lackawanna County Assistance Office runs public and government assistance as well as social services for the county. Programs include medical transportation assistance, free legal assistance, cash and grants for bills or work items. This is a form of welfare, or public aid in PA.

Public aid is also for the low income or single parents around health care and medical bills assistance. Apply to programs such as SNAP food stamps or MEdicaid among others. As a major focus is around medical care for the underinsured or low income. Find details on Medicine Assistance Tool - Partnership for Prescription Assistance, or the office is 200 Scranton State Office Building, 100 Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503-1972, phone 1-877-431-1887

Homeless Prevention - This Scranton service includes everything from programs to stop an eviction to foreclosure counseling and rapid rehousing. Agencies across Scranton receive government money each year, and they use the funds to provide support to qualified families.

  • Housing self-sufficiency includes information on job programs, credit repair to pass a landlord credit check, and more.
  • Grants can be used for expenses such as a security deposit, heating bill, or rent.
  • Some clients may apply for loans for their housing, or single parents can receive support too. Many other services are run, and more on Lackawanna County homeless assistance.

Community Action grants and programs

Community Action of Scranton provides resources across the county. Some of them are indicated above, such as heating bill help from LIHEAP. However other self-sufficiency programs are available as well, such as job training from Employment Advancement and Retention Network (EARN) or the federally funded WIA program. There is also information on free daycare vouchers in Pennsylvania for working parents.

  • Rent and mortgage help is offered from the  Agency for Community EmPOWERment of NEPA partners with local charities and agencies to provide emergency payment of rent and/or mortgage. The funds are intended to help prevent eviction or someone losing their home. Call them at (570) 963-6836. Callers can get referrals to resources in their community.
  • Low income energy bill help is offered. The federal government funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Crisis Component provides emergency utility and energy bill assistance to eligible Lackawanna County residents to help them divert a crisis. A major focus is on winter heating costs, whether the home is heated by oil, gas, or electricity. Find details on places for free heating oil.
    The program can provide utility bill payment assistance to reconnect/prevent termination of heating related utility services, and it can also provide for the repairs or replacements of non-functioning furnaces and heating units.
  • Community Action also helps with financial management, budgeting, and employment. Whether a Scranton resident needs new skills or to be “retrained”, or for information on free computer coding, internet access, or other support services, community action can help. Even locate other job training programs in PA.





The program is run by the Scranton-Lackawanna  Agency for Community EmPOWERment of NEPA, and dial ((570) 963-6836 to learn more. Additional resources from Scranton-Lackawanna Human Development Agency include Head Start, information on government benefits such as SNAP, and much more. A goal is to help families in poverty (or close to it) regain stability. Continue with community action in Lackawanna County.

Health care for the uninsured, low income and/or unemployed

The Scranton Primary Health Care Center has a partnership with the local United Way. The non-profit also works with the local government in which the center offers free medical care to the unemployed residents of the county. There may also be some dental assistance too, including free emergency oral surgeries.

The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne County government provide funding and cash assistance to offset the cost of a medical visit for persons who are unemployed. Dial (570) 344-9684 to make an appointment or learn more.

Community clinics in Lackawanna County Pennsylvania also help the uninsured. The Leahy Community Health & Family Center, which is located in Scranton, is a free community clinic that is offering primary health care services to the uninsured and low income residents of Lackawanna County. Adults and children can get help too.

The Leahy Center offers free “non-emergency” health care to uninsured Lackawanna County residents who may otherwise forgo health or medical care due to cost, unpaid bills, or they can help people who seek care in hospital emergency rooms. The Clinic strives to provide high quality care to all who need help. Call (570) 941-6112.

Food, free meals and groceries

Bread Basket of NE PA, Inc. - The organization is an interfaith network of volunteer pantries and food banks. There are also local soup kitchens. They are involved in distributing nonperishable food packages and groceries to low income families in the community. Dial (570) 343-2324 to learn more on inexpensive source of meals or groceries.

There are several other free food pantries as well as soup kitchens in the region as well. Or low income families can apply for government aid including SNAP food stamps. The services available in Scranton and surrounding towns can provide a free holiday meal, deliver food to the elderly, provide clothing, or offer suggestions on how to apply for food stamps. Read more on Lackawanna County free food pantries.

Foreclosure prevention and free housing counseling

A local agency that can provide free counseling and mortgage help is the United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern PA. Their phone number is (570) 343-8835. They have HUD approved counselors who will partner with the homeowner, and find solutions. They can offer foreclosure mediation programs.

The state also has other (1) foreclosure prevention programs as well as (2) resources for buying homes. United Neighborhood Centers will refer people to those services in Lackawanna County. The staff can direct people to programs offered by the state of Pennsylvania. Read more on Pennsylvania mortgage help.







Credit repair, counseling, and debt programs in Lackawanna County

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of NE PA - Many housing and credit programs are offered by the non-profit. For example, they provide a debt management program, a utility repayment plan, as well as an emergency mortgage assistance program. They also offer free educational seminars and services, and a full range of HUD approved housing as well as foreclosure counseling services. Dial (866) 699-2227 or (570) 602-2227. Also click here for more on Pennsylvania HUD agencies.

There are a number of other debt (including medical debt) as well as credit counseling services in Lackawanna County. Not only that, but non-profit counselors can help people budgeting, save money, or help them build up their credit profiles. Some of the advice from Consumer Credit Counseling Service of NE Pennsylvania can be free for those residents on a low income. Even find out about help with stopping debt collectors.

By Jon McNamara













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