Lee County Florida assistance programs.
Get financial help, free items or services, and other support in Lee County. Churches, charities, and government agencies help low income families, the working poor, seniors, and disabled. Find help for rent or mortgages, free medical care (including dental and prescriptions), free food from pantries, money for security deposits and other aid in the Cape Coral region and county. There are also loans for paying bills, free clothes, case management and more.
Emergency assistance is offered from the Caring Center. Residents of Lee County can receive assistance with a variety of bills and expenses from The Caring Center, community action, and agencies noted below. Help is provided in the form of payments to businesses such as landlords, mortgage holders, utility companies, and more. Read below to find how to access these programs.
- Car repairs and transportation (including used cars for work) can be arranged to in an emergency. These programs are for struggling people trying to become self-sufficient. Find how to get a free car for low income families.
- Rent and mortgage assistance may be arranged as well. Homeless prevention services allow individuals to sign up for and receive face-to-face screening as well as an assessment of their personal needs. Program eligibility is also reviewed with regard to various resources. People who are qualified for aid may receive assistance with paying for first month’s rent, security deposits, prevent an eviction, or they may even receive help with paying for a past-due mortgage. Many additional organizations may offer this form of aid, and dial 211 for information. Find additional ways to get help with mortgage payments.
- Utilities - Receive assistance with water and electric bills from programs such as LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program), CTS (Care To Share - Florida Power & Light) and Emergency Services Utilities. Even water bills may be eligible for aid.
- The Cape Coral Caring Center, Lehigh Community Services, and also the Bonita Springs Assistance Office provide emergency help with bills, food assistance, and other aid for the thousands of people who have lost their homes and jobs.
This center, phone number #(239) 945-1927, will help pay utility bills for people who may lose their electric service, and the center also helps families get free and discounted prescription medicines for children by using referrals among other options. Call the Cape Coral Caring Center for help.
Rent help from Bonita Springs Assistance Office
Provides food assistance and rent help. They provide financial assistance to community residents to lessen the impact of a crisis, whether it is the result of financial circumstances or a personal crisis. Contact Bonita Springs Assistance Office them at (239) 992-3034.
Organizations that provide general help
The Beacon Thrift Store, which is located at 5465 Pine Island Road (phone 283-5123) can provide struggling people with immediate relief with helping to pay utility and medical bills, they can provide food, clothing and other household needs. In addition, the organization strives to seek long-term solutions for troubled individuals and families, and help them become self-sufficient. Among the steps to a solution someone may need is the ACESS-program
In addition, Beacon dollars have been used to secure prescription and medical help for the low income and elderly, grants can assist them with obtaining prescription drugs and paying for medicines, rent assistance, food cards, free gas cards, property maintenance, mileage reimbursement, specialty needs, help and funds for paying property taxes and utility bills. The list goes on. The Beacon Thrift Store also helps to provide clothes for children for school, clothes to the homeless, and even power chairs for the disabled and handicapped. When possible, the Beacon also provides referrals to other agencies and charities.
An organization that provides help to people over 50 is the Dr. Piper Center for Social Services. They can be reached at (239) 332-5346. They can provide information on assistance programs, job training, a senior companion program, and more.
Free health care in Lee County
A clinic to turn to for medical care is the Family Health Centers of Southwest Florida. The number one goal of this agency is to provide high quality, free or competitively priced primary and preventive medical, dental and health related educational and medical services to all people, whether they can afford to pay or not. (239) 278-3600.
Visiting Nurses Association of Southwest Florida has a goal to provide high quality home as well as community based health care services to residents of southwest Florida regardless of their ability to pay for their medical bills as resources allow. The association can be contacted at (239) 337-4848.
Several other health and dental centers offer patients free or low cost medical care. Many also have a sliding fee scale in place, which will lead to lower fees for individuals. Find more Lee County Florida free community clinics.
Seniors and the elderly (or overweight or really anyone) in Lee County often struggle to get medications or supplies. One in need resource is for diabetes. There are resources for that. Whether it is insulin, test strips, or something else, find free insulin and diabetes supplies as well as other health care.
Free foreclosure help, debt and credit counseling
If you are behind on your mortgage or facing a foreclosure, or if you need help dealing with medical or credit card debt, the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Florida & the Florida Gulf Coast. The non-profit group will help financially distressed people and homeowners move from a crisis situation, and it will help them control their future by providing practical solutions to foreclosure and credit problems. Contact them at info@CredAbility.org, or click here to find other ways to get debt help.
The government of Lee County Florida runs a couple toll free hotlines that provide information on resources to call or apply at for help. There are also other housing counseling agencies that can assist homeowners who have a foreclosure notice. Find more Lee County Florida foreclosure counseling agencies and programs.
Emergency financial assistance
The Interfaith Caregivers of South Lee is a non-profit agency that serves as an emergency source for financial assistance, food aid, transportation, food stamp and government program information, such as Medicaid registration, literacy and education, anti-drug and physical abuse counseling programs. Call the agency at 239-267-3510.
Another resource to contact is Lehigh Community Services. This agency will help needy families and individuals in Cape Coral, Lehigh and Lee County Florida with food, emergency financial assistance for paying utilities, mortgage, or rent, provide self sufficiency and offer counseling. 239-369-5818, or more on Lehigh Services.
Catholic Charities of Lee County (239-334-4007) runs programs that are aimed at reducing poverty, providing grants and referrals, and will support families and empowering communities in the Cape Coral Florida and Lee County area. Find Catholic charity Lee county assistance programs.
Community Cooperative Ministries (CCMI) provides food, groceries, and other aid. The group is dedicated to providing various forms of support, including nutritious meals, groceries, gasoline vouchers, transportation assistance, affordable preschool education and referral services on Florida and federal government programs to the low income, homeless, seniors, working poor, children, unemployed, and the frail. 239-332-7687.
Another option is the South Lee County Caregivers. This charity serves as an emergency source for financial assistance, food, transportation assistance, gasoline, food stamp and Medicaid registration, literacy and education, anti-drug and physical abuse counseling programs for Lee County and Fort Myers residents. Call them at 239-267-3510.
The Salvation Army of Lee County provides shelter, food, health care and medical services, counseling, cash grants, and other support. There is also physical, social, emotional, psychological and spiritual aid to persons in need. Find other Florida charities, or dial (239) 278-1551.
This Salvation Army center not only supports residents in Lee County, Cape Coral, and Fort Myers Florida, but the organization also provide assistance to nearby counties. Occasionally, a limited amount of financial assistance may be offered for basic needs such as utility bills or rent. And of course, the Salvation Army does provide case management services. They also provide free stuff, including food from a pantry, back to school supply drives for kids, Christmas toys and holiday meals. More on Salvation Army emergency assistance Lee County.
Cape Coral Caring Center runs an assistance program for Cape Coral residents that offers assistance with basic essentials and expenses. They have a food pantry, limited electric bill assistance, and baby formula and items. Assistance is only short term. Call (239) 945-1927. One focus is on feeding newborns though, and this is where the free baby stuff for low income parents in offered from.
Broadway Community Church, which is located in Fory Myers and the phone number is (239) 275-1411, provides access to a food pantry for those in need. Will deliver food if handicapped or no other possible means of transportation. In addition, they may have limited help with utility bills when funds are available. Provides Thanksgiving baskets and meals on a first come first serve.
Senior Choices is a local Aging and Disability Resource Center in Lee County Florida. Assistance is offered for the elderly, their care givers, and the homebound. Services provided include free meals, information on health care programs, energy bill assistance applications and more. Even get referrals to home repair resources. The address is 15201 N. Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33903. Call (239) 652-6901.
Family Self-Sufficiency Program/ Lee County Dept. Human Services. This is a service that offers emergency services and financial aid to assist eligible households with mortgage payments, rent expenses, and utility bill expenses when they encounter an unforeseen financial hardship, such as car repairs, illness, death in the family, or temporary loss of income. Limited prescription assistance is also possible when funds available. Dial (239) 533-7900. The agency can also help guide people on debt matters, such as when an applicant needs to reduce a payday or car title loan.
Lee County Department of Human Services runs the government created Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). This emergency program can help people pay rent, provide energy and utility deposit assistance, and additional housing aid. The department serves as the regions community action agency and they offer numerous other resources as well. Call (239) 533-7930. Read more Lee County Department of Human Services.
21st Century C.A.R.E. Cancer Patient Financial Assistance – People diagnosed with cancer may qualify for free meals, transportation assistance, medications, medical supplies and equipment, shelter and temporary housing, respite services, childcare, and other supplies or services related to cancer treatment. 2234 Colonial Boulevard, Fort Myers, 33907. Call (239) 936-3756
Area Agency on Aging for SWFL – Individuals age 60 and over can call for information on services and assistance programs that may be offered by local charities, non-profits, or the government. 15201 N. Cleveland Ave, Suite 1100, North Fort Myers, Florida 33903, (239) 652-6900. Click here for more information on Florida Agency on Aging programs.
Beacon of H.o.p.e – Pine Island residents can access a thrift store, computers for internet access, Limited financial assistance to help only Pine Island Residents with bills and rent, DCF ACCESS, and other aid. 5465 NW Pine Island Rd., Pine Island, Florida 33922, (239) 283-5123
Lee County Human Services - A number of government and cash assistance programs are offered for the low income, seniors, and disabled in Cape Coral and Lee County Florida. Call the county to get help with expenses such as rent, prescription medications, and other basic needs and bills. Find public assistance in Lee County.
Cape Coral Housing Development Corporation – Various housing programs offered, including homeowner workshops and down payment assistance, foreclosure counseling, and information on mortgage assistance programs from Florida government and federal government. 824 SE 47th St Unit 1, Cape Coral, FL 33904, call (239) 471-0922
Low income free holiday programs - Parents with children, residents living in poverty and the elderly can get help. There are free Christmas gifts, meals, toys, and more. Some charities also focus on ensuring immigrants also have assistance given to them. Apply for Thanksgiving or Christmas help early. More on Lee County free holiday programs.
Department of Children and Families- ACCESS Programs – Apply for Food Stamps, Temporary Cash Assistance and government Medicaid. 2295 Victoria Ave, Fort Myers, Florida 33901, (239) 936-5000
EHEAP/ Senior Friendship Centers – Runs the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAEP). This government funded program can help families whose energy source has been cut off or is in jeopardy of being cut off, or it can help people who need financial assistance or cash grants to purchase floor heaters, essential home heating fuel, blankets or fans. 5272 Summerlin Commons Way, Fort Myers, FL 33907, call (239) 652-6901
Harlem Heights United Way House – Some resources offered are Job training and Placement, food stamps and Medicaid, clothing, congregate meal site, supportive aging services and community engagement, as well as direct assistance and advocacy. 15570 Hagie Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33908, call (239) 482-7706
L.I.G.H.T. of Southwest Florida, Inc. – Another non-profit for cancer patients and their families to try for help. It can assistance those who need financial assistance to get the life-saving treatment they need. 20277 Leopard Lane, Estero, Florida 33928, phone number (239) 288-5125
Free clothes, school supplies, furniture, work items and more may be provided by regional clothing closets as well as furniture banks. The centers are scatted across Lee County Florida and may also provide free Christmas assistance, gifts, and even services like career counseling or furniture. Many also have free furniture for a home or apartment. Find more information on free clothing closets, furniture and school supplies in Lee County.
Lehigh Community Services – The Lee County Florida center assists Lehigh residents with paying for past due electric bills, water, food vouchers, clothing, furniture, school supplies, and holiday assistance. 201 Plaza Drive, Suite 103, Lehigh Acres, Florida 33936, main phone: (239) 369-5818.
Lee / Hendry / Glades WIC Program – Food stamps, WIC, and other public assistance administered. 3920 Michigan Avenue, Fort Myers, Florida 33916, dial (239) 344-2000
St. Vincent and Church of the Resurrection Conference may offer emergency assistance for basic needs, such as rent, energy bills, food, and medications. While resources are limited, the organization and its staff do their best to assist the needy. They also work closely with other local groups such as the Cape Coral Florida United Way in an effort to ensure the most amount of aid gets to those who need it. Read Lee County Catholic Charities assistance programs.
Emergency rental assistance - Several housing organizations, churches, and non-profits focus on offering rent and housing payment assistance. From time to time funds may also be available for paying security deposits, moving costs, or there may be vouchers for hotels or motels. Read information on more Lee County rental assistance programs.
Lee County one time emergency eviction help covers housing related needs. Money from non-profits or the government is used to pay for housing. Or applicants can be referred to shelters, benefits such as section 8, or supportive housing for senior citizens or the disabled. Find homeless prevention in Lee County.
Fort Myers Rescue Mission, dial 239.334.7365. Also has information on shelters for the homeless, meals sites, and clothing centers.
Veteran's Resource Center, main phone - 561.422.8262. Veterans and their families can also learn about other programs, such as eviction prevention, grants for paying rent, and job training. Other solutions include SSVF, emergency loans and federal government funded benefits.
Social Services and Café Concierge/Homeless Outreach - Works with recently evicted and homeless. The non-profit can help with basic needs. Examples include assistance with applying for public assistance (ACCESS), referrals to shelters, hygiene products, and clothing. Case managements is provided, and when the client is stable, the center may have referrals to Lee County rental assistance and security deposit programs. In Dunbar dial (239) 242-0401 or in Cape Coral Florida call (239) 332-7151. They also offer free eviction defense lawyers for legal aid.
Fort Myers area temporary housing - The options are extensive. Families and individuals can access shelters or transitional apartments. There are non-profits that focus on the disabled as well as senior citizens in Lee County, and many short term and low income housing programs are administered by non-profits and charities. Find transitional housing and shelter in Lee County.
Pine Island United Way House will sometimes offer financial aid. Programs may include electric bill assistance, information on food pantries, and other support. 5456 NW Pine Island Rd Bokeelia, FL 33922, (239) 283-5123
Clothing closets and thrift stores
These sites may have gently used goods for low income families. Some centers or charities will offer items for free, others will be sold at reduced rates. Work and school clothing, Christmas toys for children, and other items may be available in Lee County.
Bonita Social Service Center, dial 239.390.2928
Bonita Springs Assistance Office, 239.992.3034
Cornerstone Ministries, dial 239.337.4140,
Fort Myers Christian Outreach Center, telephone 239.481.6262
Kiwanis Club of Lehigh Acres Thrift Store, dial 239.369.6336
Lehigh Community Services, 239.369.5818
M.C. Library Education Center Corp, 239.288.5349
Nations Association Charities, 239.332.7575
Salvation Army/Thrift Store - Cape Coral, 239.540.0265
Salvation Army/Thrift Store. The Fort Myers location can be reached at 239.628.1147
Verity Pregnancy & Medical Resource Center, 239.433.1929
Voices for Kids of Southwest Florida, 239.533.1435
Lee County Florida assistance programs that support all of Florida
In addition to the financial assistance for bills and other expenses listed on this page, find other statewide assistance programs for the low income and people who need help in Fort Myers.
In addition to the state of Florida resources in the list above, there are other charities, grant programs, and financial aid resources. They can help the unemployed, low income, working poor, and others. Whether it is free stuff, cash money or grants, or something else, assistance is out there. More details on free personal hardship grants for bills.
Free legal foreclosure assistance, mortgage, debt help and other legal aid
If you can’t afford an attorney to represent you in a civil legal case, Lee County Legal Aid Society offers free legal programs. They are a non-profit firm that provides low income, unemployed, and others with free high quality direct legal representation.
It can advise people on housing issues, stop a foreclosure, eviction prevention, illegal job terminations and layoffs, help from debt collectors, and more. They are headquartered in Fort Myers, but serve the entire area. Call the firm at (239) 334-6118, or click here for more free legal advice.
Bonita Springs Area Housing Development Corporation is a HUD approved counseling agency. Counselors will provide money debt management, Pre purchase Counseling, Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling, Postpurchase Counseling, Foreclosure Aid, Green Energy Star Rental HOMES - Accepts Section 8 Vouchers. Phone (239) 495-7100.
Consumer Credit Counseling of Central Florida provides confidential debt and foreclosure counseling, and debt reduction programs and solutions to all segments of the community. Offers free budget, foreclosure and mortgage, credit, and housing counseling and education. Call 1-800-741-7040. Click here for additional Florida mortgage assistance programs.
Free food and social services
An all volunteer organization, Café of Life, provide access to social services and a hot noon meal five days per week to the poor, elderly and needy of Bonita Springs Florida. The group distribute collected groceries, surplus food, and clothing, and offers some social services. Dial (239) 593-9325.
Another place to turn to for groceries, food, and household items is the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. They both collect and distributes food to hungry and other needy people through a network of local charities and agencies, and they also educate the public about the causes of and solutions to hunger in the area. 239 334-7007.
All Soul's Episcopal Church distributes food, on Wednesdays, to residents of North Fort Myers (239) 997-7685.
Broadway Community Church ((239) 931-8200) is located in Fort Myers and is another food pantry. Learn more on food banks.
Faith Fellowship Ministries ((239) 278-3638) runs a food pantry that provides supplemental food.
Those are just a few of the main food banks for Lee County Florida. Dozens of other non-profits operate in the region. Find additional free food pantries in Lee County.