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Lake County assistance programs.

Locate housing, financial and rent assistance

Lake County Social Services administers several programs for low income residents, seniors, the homeless, and families. A focus is on offering housing services with funding from the government Housing and Urban Development, Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Program, and the Lake County California Redevelopment Agency. Section 8 is available (though there is a waiting list) and other services too.

Rental assistance from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is paid for by HUD and is for very low income households in the county. It offers safe, decent housing, offers choice, and will often come with case management. The vouchers will pay a portion of rent, and the candidate needs to pay the balance. Find other rental assistance programs that can help people in both Lake County California and that operate across the nation.

Family Self-Sufficiency, or FSS, is also part of the program. It encourages employment from section 8 beneficiaries, can offer referrals to job training, credit repair, information on financial aid when ready to move, and other financial literacy. The objective of the Social Service resource is to get people on the track to long term stability. Call 995-4200 for more information on this Lake County resource.

The Lake County Food Stamp program will assist with meeting the nutritional needs of people, children, and seniors with low incomes.  Food Stamp benefits are provided by California Social Services and the federal government. All aid is intended to purchase food or grocery items for the household. Applications are from 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway Lower Lake, CA 95457. Call (800) 628-5288.

GR, or General Relief, is a Lake County paid for financial assistance program for indigent county residents. Funds, loans, or grants may be used to pay for rent, food, housing, shelter, utility bills, clothing and even medical care. Some assistance may be for burial or funeral costs.

Any rent payments from GR are issued directly to the participant’s landlord.  Food Vouchers may be issued to the applicant. Other needs can be met by Social Services general relief. Participants do need to participate in work or job training programs though, including General Work programs. People may be placed into some assignments, even unpaid ones, in order to get cash assistance for their bills. Other resources include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and /or State Disability Insurance (SSDI) for the disabled. Address is 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway Lower Lake, California 95457. Telephone - (800) 628-5288.





Catholic Charities provides coverage to Lake County. They assist the working poor, low income, and those living below the poverty line, including the elderly. Other clients include the disabled, children, and residents facing poverty. They offer the Rural Food program, in cooperation with local charities and non-profits. 528-2646.

Staff from Catholic Charities also help people apply for Cal Fresh/SNAP food stamps and health insurance plans. Call 528-8712.

Catholic Charities has two locations in Lake County. Middletown Community United Methodist Church, 11581 Armstrong Street as well as the Kelseyville at Glebe Hall, St. Peter’s Church. 528-8712. Other referrals or support may be administered too.

The Salvation Army can provide support as well. They can address basic needs. Some centers may have financial assistance for paying utility bills or rent in a crisis. Other resources include shelter, free food pantry, transitional housing, and Christmas assistance. The Lake County centers may also have a clothing closet or school supplies as well as referrals. 14420 Lakeshore Dr., Clearlake, California 95422, (707) 995-1128. Other social services are offered as well. Read more Lake County California Salvation Army.

Free foreclosure counseling in Lake County California

People over 60 years old can now get free legal help. This assistance is now available to Lake County homeowners who are 60 years of age or older and who need advice and some type of assistance in avoiding foreclosure. The program can also help them with maintaining the affordability of their housing.

A nonprofit agency serving northern and central California, California Human Development, has partnered with the Senior Law Project that is based in Lakeport to provide legal services and non-litigation resources and aid for seniors in the area. Click here to find other ways to get free legal aid.

Legal advice and assistance can be provided by this organization towards obtaining a home loan modification, interest rate reduction or some other type of remedy that may help keep seniors and their household members in their homes.

This assistance program is currently being funded through a contract with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program and free legal advice and counseling is available for only a limited number of clients on a first-come, first served basis, so apply for help early.





In addition to helping people in Lake County, California Human Development can also provide foreclosure intervention counseling to all other households living anywhere in California, free of charge and with no income or age restrictions, through its HUD-certified counselors which are located throughout the state.

For more information or to apply for foreclosure intervention please contact the California Human Development’s Housing and Economic development manager at 707-372-4588.

In addition, seniors citizens who are living in Lake county and who are interested in legal assistance may contact the Senior Law Project office at 200-B N. Main St. in Lakeport or at 707-263-4703 to request an application or to learn more.

Emergency food, financial assistance, rent, and social services

Housing Programs can coordinate rental assistance, mainly from the Section 8 voucher program. Note this is only for very low income families, and often has a waiting list. Vouchers can be distributed to help people pay for a portion of their rent, housing costs including energy bills. 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway, Lower Lake, California 95457. Phone (707) 995-4200

The Food Stamp Program, which can be reached at (800) 628-5288, can help the nutritional needs of people and families with low incomes, the working poor, or unemployed. Food Stamp and CalFresh benefits are intended to purchase healthy perishable, canned goods, and other food items for the household.




North Coast Energy Services, Inc., addresses several needs, and the non-profit helps improve the Lake County household’s health, stability, and economic security. Programs offered include, but are not limited to, weatherization, consumer education & advocacy, utility bill assistance, home improvement, career counseling and job training, and more. 966 Mazzoni St., Ste. 3B, Ukiah, CA, 95482. Call 800-233-4480.

A number of resources are focused on senior citizens and the elderly in the community. Receive assistance in the form of Meals on Wheels, applications for government health care, congregate meal sites, and recreational activities. The homebound and other qualified elderly residents may even receive free transportation. Some of the centers and agencies include Highlands Senior Service Center ((707) 994-3051), the Lakeport Senior Center, Inc. (call (707) 263-4218), as well as the Redwood Coast Senior Center in Fort Bragg California. Call (707) 964-0443. Or find more information on elderly assistance programs.


By Jon McNamara


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