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Assistance programs Lake County Ohio

Find information below on charities, churches, and other agencies such as the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services that provide financial help for utility bills, social services, rent, and other emergency assistance. There are also free groceries from food pantries as well as charities that give out back to school supplies or clothes (for students and adults). The agencies do have limited funding, but they are also a great resource to learn about both Ohio and federal government assistance programs for immediate help.

In general, funds as part of financial assistance programs (either grants or loans) are combined with both financial literacy/budgeting as well as general case management. This allows the client, or low income family, to get long term stability. Non-profits help them pay down debts, refinance a mortgage or auto loan, save money, apply for Meals on Wheels, and get back on track. Find details on Lake County Ohio resources below.

Low income assistance, medical care, and other financial aid in Lake County

Catholic Charities Community Services of Lake County is one of the leading non-profit agencies in the area. The agency offers a variety of services and assistance programs, and they have always been focused on meeting both the social and emotional needs of the Painesville and Lake County region. The agency continues to provide assistance today by offering emergency services and outreach programs.

One of the primary programs that Catholic Charities offers is known as Food Force of Lake County. This was created to assist individuals and families with paying for rent, providing mortgage assistance and qualified individuals can even access a food pantry (Food Force) if the family is in need of emergency resources. They also help the struggling by given out referrals, vouchers for items such as medications, operate a thrift store and given other support. Dial (440) 946-7264 to learn more, or click here Lake County OH Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Another charity is the Lake County Church Network. This is a local network of churches, that is supported by the United Way and other organizations, that provides help to the less fortunate, unemployed, and low income individuals. The Lake County Church Network can only assist residents of Lake County Ohio.




Over time the network has aided families and individuals that have been facing a hardship, and that were having difficulty paying for their their mortgage and or rent, food costs, financial assistance for heating and utility bills, travel expenses, and general necessities that people may need. Email them at [email protected]. Click here to learn more on Ohio mortgage programs.

If you do not have health insurance, or your income is limited, the Lake County Free Medical Clinic will help people who have a limited or no income. The criteria is 200% FPL and below. In addition, the clinic also helps those people who do not have health insurance, who are underinsured, or who are on state medical assistance. The various health and medical services offered are for residents of Lake and neighboring counties. In addition, dental services and programs are also offered for children in Lake County only who do not have health or dental insurance. 440-352-8686

Dental school clinics in Northeast Ohio can also provide “basic care” or maybe more advanced services. Students from colleges work with full time dentists on these services, and offer checkups, cleanings, extractions, minor dental surgery and other help. The care is free. Find dental schools near you that are looking for patients.

Painesville and Lake County Salvation Army may be able to help meet your needs. Among other programs they offer include:

  • Funds for paying utility and heating bills
  • Rent assistance, and occasional as well as limited mortgage help
  • Free food and groceries
  • They also have an on site health clinic, and can refer patients to local hospitals and other medical sites or help pay co-pays.
  • Homeless program provides shelter and other services for those who are currently homeless, and those who on the verge of losing their home.
  • Youth programs, including after school care, free school supplies, Christmas toy and senior programs.

Call the agency at (440) 354-3774. The Painesville area Salvation Army also operates a low cost thrift store, provide free Christmas toys from Angel Tree or School supplies and other support. Continue with Salvation Army Lake County Ohio.





Rent assistance and housing services are available countywide. A combination of grants from the United Way, the state of Ohio, and other sources are used by non-profits to assist with hosing costs. Depending on the need and qualifications of the family, there may be security or utility deposit assistance, rent help, and more. Some programs also focus on senior citizens and/or the disabled. Continue with rent help in Lake County.

Lifeline, Inc. - This is a non-profit agency in Painesville, Lake County Ohio. They administer several assistance programs, with a focus on seniors. Programs administered include utility and electric bill assistance, free food, home delivered meals, and other support.

Northeast Ohio Saint Vincent de Paul support Lake County as well as the region. Most years, tens of thousands of people get help, or at least referrals. There are Hunger Centers for free food or meals. Some emergency cash aid can help with rent, mortgages, or energy bills. Or families can get free clothes (including winter coats or boots) or furniture or school supply items. More on Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Cleveland region.

Residents of the community can also meet with case workers and social workers. These professionals can refer individuals to other services, such as government aid. Hundreds of people are assisted every year. Click here for Lifeline of Lake County.

Find eviction, foreclosure help, and temporary housing in Lake County Ohio. There are two charities that focus on housing issues, and specifically stopping homelessness. The programs support a diverse background of residents, including the disabled, single moms, and the elderly. Assistance includes the following:

  • Cash grants for bills such as security deposits, utilities, or rent.
  • Counseling for both tenants and homeowners.
  • Rehousing services that locate, and help pay for, a new home.
  • Other programs are also available, and read more Lake County homeless prevention and rehousing.

Lake County Department of Job and Family Services (OFJS) offers short term temporary time limited aid. it is government assistance and includes programs such as SNAP food stamps, child support, free state of Ohio day care vouchers, Medicaid healthcare, help for seniors and more. Any type of support, especially financial, depends on self-sufficiency and the client seeking work or holding down a job. As Lake County JFS also works with employment resources, and find free job placement organizations in Ohio.

Free food, groceries, and hygiene supplies are offered by food pantries in the region. There are also soup kitchens and USDA (/government run programs) for feeding the hungry and less fortunate. Everything from groceries to household cleaners, free boxes of canned food, and other goods are offered. A couple dozen options are in the region. Find free food pantries in Lake County.





Last, but not least, try calling the local community action agency, the Lake/Ashtabula County Community Action Agency. Phone number (440) 997-1721. They run a Head Start program, a Health Services Division, and also offer a Housing and Weatherization Division. They agency may be able to provide direct grants for bills and expenses, but are also a great resource to learn about other local charities, non-profits, and both Ohio and federal government programs. Learn more on programs from community action agencies.

The Ashtabula and Lake County Community Action Agency is a leading place to turn to for referrals, assistance, and information. The non-profit can help people apply for various financial assistance programs, job training opportunities, and offer other support. Some of the leading resources are below.

  • HEAP applications can be processed. This is the main federally funded utility and heating bill assistance program that is administered by the Ohio Department of Development in partnership with local community action agencies. It will help pay for heating costs, including oil, propane, kerosene, coal, or wood. There are many other free energy conservation programs from weatherization.
  • The Winter Crisis Program or the Summer Crisis Program, also known as Emergency HEAP, is a grant for the winter or summer season only. The Community Action Agency can help those threatened with disconnection of their heating or cooling source or it can help pay for the reconnection of their utilities.
  • Other energy programs to apply for include the Percentage of Income Payment Plan, which can provide discounts or wipe out old bills if successful. Utility Company Fuel Funds are grants that can help as well, as resources and funding allows. The Ohio Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) will assist Lake County families with improving energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption and ensure a safe home and environments to live in.
  • Food assistance applications are also processed by the Lake County Community Action Agency. Examples include Senior Nutrition. This includes Congregate Meals, which is a mid-day hot, nutritious meal. Another option is the Home Delivered Meals program, which can allow seniors and the elderly in Lake County to remain in their homes. The non-profit and volunteers will provide a hot, nutritious meal delivered to the home each week day.
  • The WIC program, or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), provides women and children from low income families with food, meals, and support. The aid is for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women as well as infants and children up to age five. Among the food offered includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, cereal, baby food, milk, and eggs. Other supplemental foods may be served too.
  • The Ohio Benefit Bank Program can provide individuals information on public aid, such as food stamps, Medicaid, and more. The guidance and support may help them get access to the services they need. Or find cash assistance in Ohio.







  • While funding is not common, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program uses federal government funds to provide utility bill and rent assistance to Lake County area households. Money can be used to pay for bulk fuel as well as one month assistance with water and sewer bills. This is a program of last resort for the poor and low income.
  • Housing assistance is offered in Lake County from a program known as New Hope. This ACCAA community action program offers everything from emergency funds to pay a security deposit or back rent to transitional housing. Case managers will also work with clients on finding a new, low income apartment or home to live in. In some cases, a zero percent interest rate loan will be used as a form of rental assistance. Case management, job training, and more is available from counselors in Lake County Ohio.

Call the Lake County Community Action Agency can be reached at (440) 997-5957. Read more on the community action agency of Lake County.

By Jon McNamara














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