Mercer County New Jersey assistance programs.

Get information on how to get help. Find assistance programs in Trenton and Mercer County New Jersey that can help with utility and heating bills or provide emergency financial aid for paying rent or a security deposits. Also locate foreclosure and mortgage help or debt counseling and reduction programs from non-profits. There are also free transportation services, gasoline vouchers, job programs and more. Charities and non-profits across the area help those in need.

Find help for electric, utility, and heating bills

Crisis Ministry, which is based in Trenton, provides heating and utility bill assistance for eligible Mercer County and Trenton New Jersey residents or struggling families. The non-profit can be reached at 609-396-9355.

Another organization to try is Mount Carmel Guild. This agency provides utility bill assistance for low income and qualified eligible Mercer County residents. Apply to the agency for grants, loans and other forms of financial assistance.

Several other services are available in Trenton from the agency. They provide home medical care for seniors as well as free Christmas meals and gifts. There are other holiday programs too, including for Easter and Thanksgiving. Or call the Mount Carmel Guild for referrals. Dial 609-392-5159, or learn more.

Trenton residents who rent can call the Winter Heat Hotline. This hotline was established for renters only  and its primary purpose was to report heating problems to Trenton city inspectors so the issue can be examined and resolved. 609-989-3560.





Foreclosure prevention programs

Two options for homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments, or who are facing a foreclosure, include the New Jersey foreclosure mediation program as well as the Mortgage Assistance Pilot (MAP) program. Both of these are local court and government created programs to help New Jersey families deal with the housing crisis.

Energy bill, food and housing program

HOME Investment Partnership Program administers several federal government energy bill assistance programs. They run the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)/Universal Service Fund (USF) which provides grants for paying winter heating and also summer cooling bills. They also administer for the county the weatherization program, which installs free energy conserving updates to peoples homes. Call them at (609) 989-6858. Mortgage, rent, food and housing assistance is on site.

Contact the Housing and Residential Assistance Services Of Mercer Emergency and Community Services. This non-profit charity agency provides utility and heating bill assistance to eligible, qualified residents of Trenton and Mercer County. The agency provides funds for mortgage payments, utility and heating payments, security deposits, back rent, and money that can help homeowners avoid a foreclosure. Dial 609-394-8847 to apply for help and learn more.

A hotline has also been established to provide information on programs. Dial the Human Services Non-Emergency Help line by at 1-888-908-4636 to learn where to get mortgage help, funds for paying rent, or energy bill aid.

The government has also created an agency. Call the Mercer County Division of Community Services at 609-989-6982. Speak directly to a counselor to learn about various services that are offered, which include information and referral to various programs, education, legal services and free assistance, emergency assistance (e.g. housing, rent, utilities and homelessness), nutrition, access senior and neighborhood centers, after school & summer day camp programs, senior and youth programs, debt counseling programs, programming for the disabled community, emergency food assistance, where to get foreclosure help from, advocacy and a broad range of other human services.





Concerned Citizens of Ewing offers social services. For example, access services and resources and programs include: Emergency Relief (food, holiday baskets, clothing, transportation);Youth (recreation, camp, respite); Education (tutorial/homework, writing, career counseling); Family (parent meetings, outreach services, food);  and Adult Education. Trenton NJ. Phone (609) 882 - 0856.

Consumer Credit Counseling of NJ - Debt Management Program assists clients in formal plan to repay debts. Other services include Housing Counseling & Reverse Mortgage Counseling, including free Mortgage Default & Delinquency advice, pre-purchase & rental counseling, and foreclosure advice. They are a HUD approved counseling agency. Click here for more, or dial (888) 726 - 3260

East Trenton Center operates a food pantry, including offering food distribution of free fruits and vegetables, holiday meals such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, and more non-financial support. Call (609) 393 - 8009. John O. Wilson Hamilton Neighborhood Center - This non-profit provides back mortgage payments, emergency food for needy families, rent and security deposit assistance to those who qualify, counseling, transportation to doctor, dentist, info on debt reduction plans, and other health related services, by appointment on an emergency basis to the needy. Hamilton New Jersey. (609) 393 - 6480.

Lawrence Neighborhood Service Center offers the following to the working poor as well as low income residents. Services include transportation, emergency crisis intervention, day care, summer camp, information and referral, recreation, cultural programs, and an emergency food pantry. Phone (609) 883 - 3379.

Trenton Salvation Army is part of the statewide organization. They offer various year round as well as seasonal solutions to families, veterans, and the homeless among others. The main resources available include, but are not limited too, the following.

There is support for veterans, including Operation Red Shield. Shelters and housing assistance programs may refer the homeless or people facing eviction to rent or utility bill help, and a mobile feeding programs is for low income families. Other support in Mercer County includes free Christmas meals or gifts, clothing, school supplies, and much more. Continue reading.

Mercer County programs for the homeless and low income tenants - Federal and state grants are available along with legal aid. Both financial aid and case management is available in the Trenton area. Resources may help with the following.




  • Attorneys address housing discrimination and illegal eviction notices.
  • Financial aid, including loans, may help with rent or housing expenses, housing, and more.
  • Other support is provided too. Read more.

Child and day care

The Mercer County Child Care Voucher Program will help working poor, and low to moderate-income working families who reside in Trenton and Mercer County New Jersey with paying for the high cost of child care. Phone (609) 989-6926.

Information and referrals

Call the United Progress, Inc. at (609) 392-2161. This non-profit charity agency provides information and referrals on where Trenton New Jersey residents can turn to for such services as debt reduction, help for energy bills, mortgage help, and much more.

Low income programs for paying bills in Mercer County

Catholic Charities of Trenton helps people of all faiths. They offer numerous services and resources to individuals and families who need help. Get help from such programs as the following.

  • Prescription assistance - Receive financial assistance (when available) for paying for medications and medical supplies. Click here for additional prescription programs.
  • Food pantry - free food and household supplies are distributed to people who need help.
  • Housing - A shelter is run, and limited financial assistance for paying for such expenses as rent and mortgages may be available from time to time.

Cal the charity agency at (609) 394-3202.

HomeFront is a local community action agency for Mercer County. They are involved in administering several social services, including offering referrals to government grants, financial aid, and other support. Some of the main assistance programs are noted below.

  • Basic needs, including clothing for work or school, free groceries from a pantry, and hygiene items.
  • Shelter for women and children in Trenton is available as part of the Family Preservation Center. This can be combined with permanent, supportive housing solutions.
  • While HomeFront will have some financial assistance available, it is very limited. Funds or loans may be issued for paying energy bills, rent, medications, or similar expenses.
  • Case management, employment, and job training is also offered as part of Work Readiness and other services.

They are focused on assisting those that are less fortunate in the county, including the elderly and working poor. More HomeFront programs.

Temporary rent assistance - As many as 10 agencies in the county focus on housing needs. They include social service agencies, charities, and non-profits. Each runs their own program.





Resources include, but are not limited too, cash grants for paying rent to mediation and legal aid. Some centers also provide rehousing services, which will be funds for a security deposit or even motel vouchers for a night or two. Find a listing of programs for paying rent in Mercer County.

Dental and health care

Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton - A clinic that provides dental and medical care on a sliding fee scale, so patients only need to pay what they can offered. They also administer Pfizer’s Sharing the Care program, which can offer free medications. (Read more on this service.) Other health care provided includes podiatry, immunizations, adult medicine, ob/gyn care, social services, eye care, and even behavioral health care. (609) 278 - 5900

Call Trenton Division of Health to learn about a wide range of services including a full range of primary health and medical care, health screenings, check ups, sexually transmitted disease education, prescription assistance programs, screening treatment and follow-up services as well as HIV testing and pre-and-post-test counseling. Dial (609) 989 - 3242

Free food pantries and distribution centers

There are several organizations that residents can turn to. The centers will offer a box of groceries or other items, such as personal hygiene items or volunteers serve a free holiday meal. There may also be Christmas gifts for children and a Meals on Wheels service for senior in Mercer County.

  • Cadwalader Asbury United Methodist Church has free food from their pantry. Rice, meat, baby formula, and more is offered. Call (609) 392-1037.
  • Rise food pantry - Call the Hightstown charity at (609) 443 - 4464.

There are many other food banks in the area. They will generally have groceries as well as clothing and basic needs. Read Trenton and Mercer County food pantries.


By Jon McNamara

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