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Assistance programs in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

Find how to apply for, and get financial help with bills as well as free stuff in the Charlotte area. Grants, government cash assistance, and other financial assistance is available to help pay for rent, utility or water bills, housing, and medical needs as well. Low income families and the working poor may also be eligible for job placement or training in the Mecklenburg County NC area, which is often combined with debt help, free gas vouchers or a car for work. Locate financial help with bills near you in Charlotte North Carolina and the county below.

There are other financial assistance programs and social services in Charlotte NC and the county as well. Whether it is free household or personal stuff (like clothes, school supplies, gasoline cards for a job or Christmas gifts), eviction or rehousing grants, loans for paying bills or something else, the low income can get help.

Get financial help with paying bills, rent, and basic needs from CAF

The Charlotte Area Fund is a nonprofit Community Action organization that provides local residents with a wide variety of support, including financial assistance for utility bills. The charity CAF will offer the Self-sufficiency Project, which uses an individualized case management and counseling. The non-profit ill provide people with funds for certain expenses, grants, employment and also educational assistance to those in need of help. There are also free basic need and stuff for work or educational reasons for clients, and read more on free stuff.

  • In addition, the project provides nutrition assistance through education and they also offer low-cost and free nutritious food to those who have been as assessed as in need of food aid. Other assistance programs offered include limited financial assistance for emergency needs and bills, such as rent, utility bills, and help with medication expenses. Assistance is also available for safe standard housing through grants that can be used for rent deposits and also funds to pay for first month's rent may be offered on a limited, first come first serve basis.
  • Some of the other programs developed by the Charlotte Area Fund that can help people with bills and other them support include:
  • Manpower Training Program, Head Start, Weatherization to reduce energy bills, a Credit Union and low interest salary advance loans from credit unions, Budgeting, a Food Bank, and Consumer Education/Counseling.

The Charlotte Area Fund is located at 901 North Tryon Street in Charlotte North Carolina. Call (704) 372-3010 for more information on their services. Or more on Charlotte Area Fund.




Assistance from the Crisis Assistance Ministry

  • Help with Rent - If you are in imminent danger of eviction, they may be able to pay some, or all of your rent. You need to be late on your payments and also to have received an eviction notification from your landlord. Individuals seeking assistance with rent are typically given an appointment.
  • Mortgage assistance - They work with credit counselors to provide assistance to people who are facing a foreclosure. Contact them for more information on mortgage programs.
  • Energy bills - If you have received a disconnection notice on your utility service, they may be able to provide assistance to you with paying all or a portion of your energy bill payments.

Many other resources are available from the Ministry, including furniture from the Free Store, loans as part of Housing and Financial Stability, and more. The Crisis Assistance Ministry is located at 500-A Spratt Street in Charlotte. Phone number (704) 371-3000. Funds are limited with a strict application process. Learn more on help from Crisis Ministry.

Emergency aid from the Matthews Help Center

Another local organization that people in need can turn to is the Matthews Help Center and Thrift Store , call (704) 847-8383. They administer numerous resources, including:

  • Financial assistance program, which will help people meet life’s basic needs, such as funds for paying rent, utilities and/or medical bills. The agency operates by appointment only.
  • Temporary Housing, which can provide people shelter for up to one month if they were evicted or their home was foreclosed on.
  • Clothing - Families can pick up new or gently used clothing, including work attire and clothes for school.
  • Baby items or diapers . The Help Center and store may give out supplies for low income parents, even including free diapers for low income families.





Free health care services

Low income, the under and uninsured, the unemployed and others can receive high quality, low cost medical care from the Charlotte Community Health Clinic. This not-for profit clinic provides primary health care to low income and uninsured residents of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The clinic provides low cost health care in clinics around the area. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals contribute to the resources provided. Call 704-316-6574 or  (704) 316-6561.

Another local facility is the Community Health Services / Care Ring. This clinic provides free or very affordable, accessible and high quality medical and health care. The facility targets its programs for those patients that are uninsured, lacking access to health care, or underinsured. Call the clinic at (704) 375- 0172.

Qualified low income or uninsured residents of Charlotte and the surrounding county can get free prescription medications from MedAssist of Mecklenburg. Dial (704) 536-1790. The agency provides free prescription medications and drugs to qualifying low to moderate income Mecklenburg County and Charlotte North Carolina citizens. They also provide information and allow people to access a Referral Program. This service provides free information and referral services to help lower-income residents access low-cost, free or discounted medicines regardless of the applicants age.

A clinic based in Davidson, Free Clinic of Our Towns - Ada Jenkins Center, offers several types of  primary care and medical programs to uninsured, low income and under-insured individuals who live in North Mecklenburg and S. Iredell county. Dial (704) 896-0471 to learn more or make an appointment.

Charlotte, neighboring towns, and all of Mecklenburg County have other resources for the low income and uninsured. A number of other hospitals as well as government qualified health and dental centers provide low priced (or free) yet high quality medical care. There are a couple dozen other locations that individuals can call or apply at for care. Find listing of more Mecklenburg County free community clinics.

Legal aid and consultation services

Two local non-profit law firms to turn to for legal programs are listed below. The options include Legal Aid of North Carolina (704-971-2621) and Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Inc. / Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (Call (704) 376-1600 or dial 704-376-8627). These two firms try to ensure that low income and others who can’t afford an attorney have access to representation and free advice. A number of volunteer attorneys and staff help the low income as well as elderly.




They want to ensure that everyone has equal access to justice. They can help with evictions, legal help for foreclosures, utility service disconnections, and family civil matters. Learn more on North Carolina free legal programs.

Help for bills, rent, and other financial assistance in Mecklenburg County

Another non-profit agency that may have funds from time to time is the Charlotte North Carolina area Salvation Army. (Call 704-324-4731 or 704.716.2769) The agency runs a food bank, provides free holiday meals and gifts, may have funds to help pay rent or utility bills, and help low income individuals in other ways, including free vouchers for gas or transit (including bus tickets) for a job interview in Charlotte..

There are also free back to school supplies for students, including uniforms or Chromebooks. Or get access to transitional housing programs or free summer camps for kids. Most of the resources offered in Mecklenburg County are non-financial, however services are wide ranging. Find how to apply for help from the Charlotte NC Salvation Army.

Good Fellows' Club is an agency that provide emergency financial aid. Money may be used for rent or paying utilities. The program will help those who do not have help available from other resources. The program provides emergency financial assistance for rent, or utilities. Applicants need to have an eviction or disconnection notice.  Dial (704) 333-5040.

Housing Authority Of The City Of Charlotte - May be able to provide rent help and eviction prevention from the rapid rehousing and homeless prevention program. Limited help for utilities may also be offered. Other resources include HUD section 8, Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) and income based apartments. Call (704)336-5183, or continue reading Housing Authority of Charlotte.

The Greater Charlotte Jewish Federation offers some referrals and assistance to people of all religions. Some of their other resources are more focused. Examples of the services available in Mecklenburg County include a food pantry, emergency financial aid, loans for college students, and senior care. Some of the financial aid for paying rent or security deposits is even offered in the form of a low interest rate loan. Find more information Jewish Center of Charlotte.





Ada Jenkins Center offers numerous resources, including some that may be financial in nature. Programs include a Computer Center, After School Tutoring, Mobile Medical and Dental Clinics, and more. There are referrals to auto repair or car repair grants, gasoline vouchers and other transportation.

Some financial aid offered may be for paying utilities, rent, clothing, furniture and household goods. The Davidson based non-profit can be reached at (704) 896-0471 and supports Mecklenburg County. Locate emergency help from Ada Jenkins Center.

Mooresville/Lake Norman Christian Mission will help people leave poverty. They do this by offering work skills, education including interviewing, resume writing, case management and job readiness skills. Short term rent and utility assistance may be offered to prevent an eviction or disconnection. Other resources include food pantry, transitional housing, and elderly and disabled assistance programs. Call (704) 664-2357

More seniors are retiring to the Charlotte region. There are elderly and retiree assistance programs. Free medications, equipment for mobility, food, home care, and more is offered. There is also assistance for caregivers, and learn more on how seniors can get help.

Living Water Community Development Corporation offers assistance to individuals who are HIV/AIDS positive. This includes benefit advocacy, emergency financial assistance for rent, utilities, medical, dental and prescription medications. Computer training and job search may be offered too. 3906 Hickory Grove Rd, Mount Holly, NC 28120, telephone (704) 822-3004.

Interest free loans, whether from churches or charities in Charlotte North Carolina, can help a resident make it through a short term difficulty. There are auto dealers that give free or cheap cars (with a loan) or hardship funds too. The costs are much lower and they often have flexible payment plans in place. Find how to apply for loans that do not have interest.

Several Saint Vincent de Paul churches and Venetians in Mecklenburg County help the poor, families in poverty, and vulnerable. Based on donations, there may be low cost items sold from a thrift store; emergency financial assistance clothes; workshops on shopping and heating healthy; free blankets, shelter, and hygiene supplies for the homeless; hot meals and Christmas help; and other support. More on financial help from St Vincent in Mecklenburg County.

Rental assistance, including eviction prevention, is administered by several charities, non-profits and churches. Some of the programs focus on families facing a disaster, such as a fire. However other Mecklenburg County non-profit organizations may provide emergency funds for a partial rent payment. The homeless may also be able to receive help with security deposits. Or since funding is limited, some agencies may issue a loan to help pay for housing costs in the short term. More on rent help in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.




Carolina Lutheran Services focuses on homeless prevention, shelters, and transitional housing. Much of the assistance they offer is done is in coordination with other government resources and local Charlotte housing programs. Call the agency for information on shelters, transitional housing, emergency rent programs, and other support. Clients of many of these units can often have other basic needs addressed, including food and clothing. Continue with Carolina Lutheran Services.

Charlotte area free Christmas and Thanksgiving programs are available from churches, charities, and other groups. Children, seniors, and those facing poverty may get a free meal or gift for their child for the holiday. Donations and volunteers help offer these services. Continue with Mecklenburg County free Christmas resources.

Summer cooling assistance - When the temperature hits 90 degrees or higher, which is all too common in Mecklenburg County, many people struggle to stay cool. In particular seniors, low income families with children, and the disabled are most at risk from the extreme heat and humidity. Luckily there are a number of non-profit agencies, churches, and even community action agencies that may be able to help. They can distribute such items as free fans or gently used air conditioners, or even cash for paying electric and cooling bills. Find free fans for colling in Charlotte.

Department of Social Services (DSS) – Some of the programs run by the Mecklenburg County North Carolina Social Service branch include phone bill assistance from Link-up, which provides low-income individuals a 50% discount, up to $30. Another option is Lifeline provides a discount, up to $11.35 off the local monthly service bill. In addition, they administer the Weatherization as well as Low income Energy Assistance. Both can help people pay their energy bills or reduce them.

Call them as well for referrals to emergency rent and housing programs as well as information on other programs that provide assistance for people who are experiencing an unexpected financial shortfall. Aid is focused on those who have insufficient resources to pay bills and expenses. Other resources include food stamps, cash assistance / TANF, and a number of health care and medical bill assistance programs are offered to Mecklenburg County residents as well. 301 Billingsley Rd., Charlotte, NC 28211, Phone (704) 336-4812. More on public assistance in Mecklenburg County.

Free clothing, furniture, holiday assistance, and basic needs - Many families need free or low cost personal type items, such as school supplies for children, clothing for work, or furniture for your home. Several non-profits, churches, furniture banks and charities in Mecklenburg County North Carolina focus on meeting that need.

Some of the centers may even have special Christmas assistance programs, and limited amounts of cash assistance for bills, food, and other expenses. There are clothing closets, low cost thrift stores, and places for furniture or appliances in the county. Read more free clothes, furniture and school supplies in Mecklenburg County.

  • School supply items may be given out during the summer. There are free items for kids and teachers from low income districts as well. Charities and schools also help, and find free school supplies in Mecklenburg County.

Representation and legal support can help qualified low income families and senior citizens in Mecklenburg. Tenants can get free help for stopping illegal evictions and assistance is available for homeowners. Lawyers can provide guidance on applying for government benefits, such as SSI, and maybe representation at hearings. Other legal aid is available for domestic violence, senior issues, and more. Continue Charlotte free legal aid.

Transitional housing from Friendship Community Development is for women, children, and the homeless. Not only can people receive a place to stay for a period of time, but the organization offers guests other support as well. They can receive training, enter into GED classes, and get information on government rent assistance or public housing. Social workers from community development will work with clients. Continue with assistance from Friendship Community Development.

Mecklenburg County housing assistance is provided by a number of non-profits. Some locations can provide referrals or maybe even direct rental assistance to prevent homelessness. However many of the Charlotte area organization administer transitional housing type units and services, short term shelter and offer other forms of low income housing and related programs. Participants can usually work directly with a case manager. More on Charlotte housing programs.

Churches and Catholic Charities - While the Mecklenburg County branches do not provide much, if any direct financial assistance, they do offer the low income other services. One of the primary resources they provide is free food from a pantry. Holiday meals, and Christmas gifts may, also be distributed to the needy. Some programs focus on helping refugees and immigrants, in particular Hispanics. Or get referrals to public and government assistance. More on Catholic Charities Charlotte assistance programs.





Homeless to Housing Program from Community Link assists homeless individuals and families. There are varied services with eligibility requirements. If found to be eligible, an individual or family can receive help securing a rental unit or home as well as temporary rent assistance. Customers also receive home visitations from a social worker or housing coordinator, help accessing other community resources, and guidance to help repair credit and improve a customer's financial situation. 601 East 5th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202, call (704) 943-9490 or (800) - 977-1969.

Charlotte Urban Ministry - The charity provides short term apartments and accommodations as part of Housing Works. Many other resources are available too, including referrals from their Homeless Services Network, counseling, and assistance to the disadvantaged such as single moms. A limited, temporary cash payment or loan for a rent payment is available. There may be some occasional funds for application fees or security deposits. More information Charlotte Urban Ministry housing programs.

Charlotte branch of Love in the Name of Christ can provide for basic needs, with referrals to financial aid. The faith based group and local churches offer everything from possible car repairs to free food and a Computer Ministry. Other programs may be home repairs for senior citizens in Mecklenburg County, Christmas toys for children, diapers from Baby Layette and more. Read Mecklenburg County Love Inc.

Rapid Rehousing-Eviction Prevention Services are provided by a few non-profits in the region. Tenants that are in rent arrears, those facing legal disputes with their landlord, and the currently homeless may all be clients. The resources from the program range from grants to motel vouchers or funds for utility bills, including water. Find Mecklenburg County homeless prevention programs.

Crisis financial assistance - Funds and grants can be paid to people faced with a crisis. Money is available to pay housing expenses, such as rent and security deposits, as well as cash assistance can go towards paying electric and energy bills. Non-profits such as the Crisis Ministry administer the program for families across Mecklenburg County and Charlotte North Carolina. Find how to apply and where to get money for paying your bills. More on emergency assistance in Mecklenburg County.

Faith based charities, churches, and religious groups are common in Mecklenburg County. They often help the poor, immigrants, unemployed, and ill. Some also offer pre or after school care for kids. A church can also be an option for referrals to financial aid, ranging from car repair programs to ESL classes, clothes, or furniture banks. Get help from Charlotte NC churches.

Free food and pantries

Some of the places and charities that may be able to provide you with groceries, free food, and information on programs include Thrift United Methodist Church Food Pantry ((704) 392-9807), Food Pantry - Saint Paul Baptist Church ((704) 334-5309), Liberty Baptist Church Food Pantry ((704) 399-0142), Loaves & Fishes @ Calvary United Methodist Church ((704) 523-4333) and Community Service Center - Berean Seventh Day Adventist Church ((704) 377-4741).

While those are many of the leading pantries in the Charlotte North Carolina region, a few dozen other soup kitchens and food bank centers operate across Mecklenburg County. While hours may be limited, as well as the amount of food they can provide, they can be an effective resource. Find additional Mecklenburg County free food p









Information and referrals to other Charlotte and Mecklenburg agencies

While Housing - United Family Services (phone (704) 332-9034) does not provide cash assistance, they partner with other local non-profits and charities that may be able to. They can refer people to local charities and agencies, and are a great place to turn to for advice and information.

Foreclosure, debt, and credit programs

Two non-profit agencies that offer debt reduction plans, foreclosure prevention and counseling services, as well as credit repair services include ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions (phone (336) 294-1332) as well as Consumer Credit Counseling - UFS (phone (704) 332-9034). The Urban League of Central Carolinas (phone 704/373-2256) may be another agency that can both help people buy a home, and they can advise Charlotte NC families on how to save their home from a foreclosure. Also, learn more on North Carolina mortgage and foreclosure prevention programs.

Alliance Credit Counseling, Inc. of Charlotte NC (Call (704) 341-1010 or (704) 943-5233) provides counseling, bankruptcy advice, and information on how to reduce debts, such as credit card and medical.

Also, click here to find a comprehensive listing of HUD certified agencies that serve Mecklenburg and Charlotte NC area homeowners. Charlotte foreclosure prevention services.

One of the big challenges in NC and the Charlotte area is payday lenders and predatory lenders. Individuals who take on one of these loans can get help. Learn about payday loan consolidation.

In addition, Mecklenburg County is also supported by a number of not-for profit counselors. They will meet with individuals and review their financial situation, and determine if they can be helped. Some of their initial services and consultations may be free of charge. After this meeting, both the counselor and the individual may decide it is best to begin a program such as developing a personal budget, debt management or housing counseling. These additional programs may have a minimal fee. Find a listing and learn more Charlotte not- for profit credit counseling agencies and the services they administer.

Free help finding a job and employment training

The Urban League of Central Carolinas offers several programs to both help individuals find a job as well as to improve their skills and increase their income. Some of the job and career programs offered include Professional Adult Empowerment Program as well as Customized Computer Training. The center also provides free material items to low-income families who need a job, and that will often include a free bus pass or gas card to get to the work-site, uniforms, professional clothes and a car or truck

The goal is to help the unemployed and others get back on their feet and become self-sufficient. There are programs for people reentering the work-force too. Dial 704/373-2256. Or click here for more details on the national Urban League organization.

City of Charlotte

In addition to these resources for all of Mecklenburg County, the city of Charlotte has additional assistance programs. Learn more on the city services that may be at you disposal.


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