Lancaster County Nebraska assistance programs.

When a financial crisis hits, find the charities, churches, and government organizations in Lancaster County that provide help. Everything from emergency utility bill or rental assistance is available along with free food, senior care, and clothing or household supplies in Lincoln.

Get help with paying bills, including heating and utility bills

The local community action agency, the Lincoln Action Program, is a non-profit organization that is committed to helping low and moderate income individuals and families in Lancaster County, Nebraska. The organization provides families and individuals with low incomes cash grants and other resources that they need to make it thru short term hardships and also thrive over the long term.

Rent assistance - Housing and Resources Counseling Program

This provides emergency financial assistance that is used for housing expenses, such as funds to pay a security deposit, monthly rent, gas and/or electric bills, and water expenses. In order to apply for rental or utility bill assistance, the amount that is needed by the applicant must be past due. Find additional ways to get rent help in Nebraska. There are national and local programs that can help make rent payments.

Utility and heating bill help

In addition to above, through the LES Energy Voucher Program as well as the "Gift of Warmth" program, applicants may receive vouchers and cash grants that are used to help pay heating and energy bills. The assistance provided is a one time grant, and it will average $300 per household.

Job training and education

The Lincoln Action Program provides job-training and education skills that help individuals increase their employment income and career prospects. LAP program participants can earn GEDs; obtain computer skills (ranging from basic keyboarding to programming to website design); complete training for janitorial and construction work; become trained medical and legal interpreters; and receive instruction and counseling for starting, operating, or expanding a viable business.





After the training is provided, the organization will also help individuals find jobs based on the skills they have attained through the various services and training.

Emergency assistance

If an individual or family needs any type of emergency assistance, the community action agency will not only provide what is necessary for the applicant to help them work through immediate crisis, but even more importantly they will provide them with the tools and knowledge that is necessary to keep from needing that help again and what is needed for long term success.

Some of the emergency assistance that LAP provides includes aid for many basic needs, including housing stability, food and clothing, utility efficiency, health care, prescriptions, medical services, parenting, and child care. Many low income and uninsured benefit for these financial assistance and health resources. Read more on free health care.

Eviction prevention

This Landlord/Tenant assistance program focuses on preventing and stopping evictions, encourages and supports landlord & tenant mediation, and also provides information regarding landlord/tenant rights and obligations. The activities offered by the program work towards keeping families housed and it will also help them to develop the skills and knowledge that is needed to avert future housing crises.

Weatherization assistance programs

Families can save hundreds of dollars per year on their energy bills from this program. It will provide homeowners or renters with free weatherization services that meet the income guidelines as established by the state and federal government. Weatherization assistance is free, and it includes but is not limited to: window and door weather-stripping, blower door guided sealing, furnace inspections and tune-ups, insulation of attics, sidewalls, and crawl spaces; general infiltration work such as glass replacement, and additional caulking.

To apply for any of these assistance programs or resources, or to learn more, contact Lincoln Action Program. The Main Office is located at 210 "O" Street, Lincoln, NE 68508, and the phone number is (402) 471-4515.

Food, rent assistance, and other aid in Lancaster County Nebraska

Catholic Social Services runs a couple assistance programs. They include the St. Francis Food Pantry Program, which is involved in distributing groceries and food baskets to families and individuals in need of help, and they also refer them to local charities and agencies that participate in the citywide food pantry tracking system. Another service is the Emergency Services / Financial Assistance Program, which will assist families and individuals in emergency situations so they can maintain housing and provide for rent. Call the Lincoln Nebraska agency at (402) 474-1600. Or read more on Lancaster County Catholic Charities assistance programs.




Center for People in Need Inc. is distributing food weekly to low to moderate income families, the working poor, and unemployed at five neighborhood sites across Lancaster County. Dial 402-476-4357

Community Action Partnership of Lancaster is another non-profit community action agency for the entire county. Numerous emergency and family services are available along with more general case management. Relying on federal grants and private donations, the agency does its best to help low income Lancaster County Nebraska families. In some cases loans are used and need to be repaid.

  • Emergency Financial and and Services - This is mostly for housing needs. Funds may be available to make a partial rent payment or for utility bills. The homeless that are on the path to stability may receive help with paying a security deposit.
  • Permanent and Supportive Housing is in the region. Case managers can also work with families to find or mediate a solution.
  • Job training, Head Start, and Representative Payee are for the unemployed, children, and seniors respectively. Other services may be free income tax preparation (VITA) and more.
  • Applications for government benefits, such as LIHEAP heating bill assistance or food stamps.

The agency will do its best to help the low income in the Lincom region and across the county. Find additional assistance programs from Community Action Partnership of Lancaster.

Indian Center Inc. offers emergency assistance, including monthly rent and heating and utility bill assistance, bus passes, gas vouchers, and personal care items for people in need. Dial 402-438-5231.

Good Neighbor Community Center runs the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which was created for helping low income people who are food-insecure, though shoppers-choice selection to allow for ethnic diversity. 402-477-4173

Salvation Army - Lincoln Corps runs numerous programs. Receive food, counseling, and maybe even limited financial assistance for bills such as rent and energy. While the main centers are in the city, services are offered for all qualified low income families across Lancaster County. Some of the other resources offered can include free Christmas meals and gifts, vouchers for clothing, shelters, and ongoing case management. A focus is always on homeless prevention. Call (402) 474-6263, or locate Lincoln County Salvation Army social services.

Free legal aid in Nebraska

A non-profit law firm, Legal Aid of Nebraska, provides free legal services and representations for a variety of civil cases, including protection orders, divorce, custody/visitation, foreclosure legal advice, establishment of paternity, child/spousal support, other family law matters, consumer/finance (credit, predatory lending, debt, bankruptcy, tax, etc.), public benefits (TANF, Medicaid, disability, food stamps, unemployment), and housing (public housing, landlord/tenant, rent arrears, and real estate) as well as collaborative with local DV programs to provide wraparound services to clients and make referrals to other agencies and organizations as appropriate. Click here to learn more on free legal programs, or dial 402-348-1069.

Food banks in Lincoln region and the county

There are several non-profits and places to turn to for free groceries, hot meals, and emergency food boxes. A few examples are below, as well as information on additional Lancaster facilities.

Norris Area Food Pantry offers holiday assistance, bags of groceries, hot meals, and canned goods. (402) 792-2901.





Heartland Hope works with several regional charities and food banks. (402) 733-2077

Catholic Charities has several centers in the county. The site helps Lancaster, Lincoln, and other nearby Nebraska towns. Call (402) 474-1600.

As noted, the low income and anyone who needs help has other locations available. Whether it is a soup kitchen and charity, there are more options when groceries or a meal is needed. Find more food pantries  Lancaster County.

Health care

The Center for People in Need offers a resource called the Health Hub. It is a health / medical care  program that matches poor people and those with no health insurance with chronic illnesses to a bevy of invisible or intimidating community systems and health care providers. The goal is to help people save on their medical bills. Phone (402) 476-4357


By Jon McNamara

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