Mecklenburg County public assistance programs.

Low income families in Mecklenburg County can get help from the government in finding jobs, applying for cash assistance, health care, food, and more. Most programs are administered by the Department of Social Services.

A key to breaking the cycle of poverty, or to getting off of public assistance, is a well paying job. So Mecklenburg residents can turn to the JobLink Career Center. The locations provide a number of services to employers, job seekers, the unemployed, and people looking to acquire new skills. The locations offer comprehensive training and employment services to the Mecklenburg County community as well as the entire state of North Carolina.

A few examples of the services available to the unemployed and Job Seekers in each center include some or all of the following.

  • Career Information and Guidance, including assessment as well as information about training opportunities and education.
  • Unemployment insurance information, including get help in filing for claims and public aid.
  • Career Centers have job listings using America's Job Bank and North Carolina's Job Bank.
  • Resume preparation and practice interview skills.
  • Job Placement and work registration.
  • Get referral to other partner agency services, education and training assistance, and more general Labor Market Information.

The Food and Nutrition Services Program provides government assistance to low income households in Mecklenburg County. The limits to this program are different, depending on the ages of persons in the home as well as the number of residents. The FNS cash benefit provided by Mecklenburg County is based on the total amount of household income available to the members of the residence. Funds can only be used to buy critical food items, and can’t be used to buy household products or items like tobacco.





Low-income women, infants, & children up to age 5 can receive food and supplemental nutrition from the federal government Women, Infants, and Children program. Those residents who are at nutritional risk can receive healthy foods to supplement diets, referrals to health care, and information on healthy eating.

Cash assistance and Medicaid coverage is provided by the North Carolina Work First Family Assistance. This is also commonly called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Mecklenburg County. It can provide cash assistance, grants and health care coverage to families with minor children.

In addition, Work First Family Assistance provides qualified low income parents with employment services and short-term job training. The objective is to help people become employed, increase their income and move toward self-sufficiency. Other families, where grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives are caring for their relative children are also able to receive public assistance and related services.

The state’s Family and Children's Medicaid public health care program helps with paying medical bills such as prescription drugs, doctor fees, lab work, and hospital charges. Medical benefits may be authorized for services and bills such as general physician services, prescription medications, hospitalizations and different levels of care in residential and nursing facilities.

The North Carolina and Mecklenburg County Medicaid for Pregnant Women (MPW) coverage is limited to medical bills, services or treatment for conditions that affect pregnancy.

While income criteria are in place, in general aid is offered for children through age 20 who live alone, with one or both parents, or with other adults. Medicaid may also help pregnant women, with or without other children as well as parents caring for children under age 19.

The Mecklenburg County Department Social Services main office is at 301 Billingsley Road, Charlotte, NC 28211 with a secondary center at West Charlotte, 3205 Freedom Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina 28208. Call 704-336-3000.



By Jon McNamara

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