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Assistance programs Rochester and Monroe County New York.

Find how Rochester and Monroe County families will get financial assistance or free stuff from a number of places. Learn how to get help with paying energy or utility bills, grant money for rent, eviction prevention services, and free food or gas vouchers among other resources. There are a number of charities, churches, and government social service agencies that offer financial help as well as free advice including debt reduction, foreclosure prevention programs, and more.

Low income families will get other support too. There is free Christmas gifts, car assistance programs,  furniture vouchers or clothes from charities in Rochester NY. Non-profits help tenants avoid evictions or give free day care vouchers. Or find free back to school supplies or government funding from grants for paying bills.

Financial help from community action programs in Rochester area

The top local non-profit agency to turn to in times of need is the Action for a Better Community, Inc. (ABC). They are the local community action agency, and not only do they administer their own financial assistance programs but they can also refer you to other federal or New York State grant programs. Receive access to numerous services, including utility and heating bill help, emergency funds to pay rent, job training, debt counseling, and more.

  • Free energy conservation and repair programs are offered by the ABC community action agency. If you are considered lower income, or maybe have recently lost a job, and if you reside in a house that may have substandard insulation, an old heating unit or furnace, the question of how to pay for your heating and electric bills become a concern. Sometimes a homeowner may be placed into a dangerous situation, if their service is about to be cut off, or if they resort to an unsafe heating method.
    This program includes furnace repair or replacement, weather stripping, extra floor and wall insulation, and emergency bill assistance and grants. The Energy Conservation and Repair Program works directly with families individuals and families to ensure that all measures are being taken to properly weatherize homes, reduce the amount of monthly bills, and to ensure peak efficiency of heating units for income eligible families.
    There are many benefits to this program. Not only does it provide safer environments for individuals and families, but it also helps them to maintain and improve housing stock and home values throughout the City of Rochester and the larger Monroe County area. The program also provides consumers with free tips and advice for how to conserve energy.
  • Training, economic literacy, and access to debt assistance
    are important for long term stability. The Monroe County NY Community action agency focuses on this. This wide ranging assistance program offered by ABC provides counseling, advice for how to get out of credit card debt, and free economic literacy workshops.
    There is also government job training, pre home purchase advice and training, information on ways to get moderate repairs and rehabilitation done to your home, and post-purchase mentoring. In addition, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is also available during the income tax year for walk-ins. Economic Literacy assessment and individual classes and free counseling are available.




  • Free child care assistance, both state and federal, is for low income parents. When a family is seeking to become self-sufficient, whether through job training, a new job, vocational training providing for care is of special concern. Free day care is available in Rochester NY.
    ABC's Child Development Center works with individuals and families by providing them with support and child care assistance. They offer an early educational and recreational opportunity, so that as a family they may continue their journey toward self-sufficiency. It is important to note that ABC's North Street CDC is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
    This accreditation ensures that children, who may range from age six weeks to five years, have access to the best educational, nutritional, health, child care, and family programs that are available in the local community. School-age child care is available both after school and during vacations.
    The government (state, county of Monroe and federal) all provide free daycare assistance as well. This ranges from vouchers to help in locating a safe, affordable provider in the city of Rochester or county. Find free daycare services near you.
  • Housing assistance programs are offered by Action for a Better Community. The community action agency may also be able to refer you to federal government programs that can help pay rent. There are a number of national resources, and find help with rent and learn more.
    New York also offers several foreclosure and mortgage assistance programs. The organization may also be able to walk people through this process, and how to go about getting assistance. Learn more mortgage assistance in New York.

While Action for a Better Community, Inc. is headquartered in Rochester NY, they have offices that cover all of Monroe County. Call them at (585) 295-1825, or click here more information Action for a Better Community programs in Monroe County.

Emergency financial assistance for bills, free stuff and more in Monroe County

Community Resource Services (CRS) is Catholic Family Center’s services provider for families and individuals seeking emergency assistance for immediate basic needs of daily life. Programs in Monroe County include crisis intervention/basic needs services. This include a free food pantry, clothing closet, prescription assistance, or help fixing housing issues. There are also free holiday programs, financial aid and case management for families in economic crisis. The address is 539 Joseph Ave, Rochester, NY 14605, or call 585 - 232-2050.

  • The HomeWorks program, which is offered by the Catholic Service Center, provides very low cost scheduled and emergency home repairs, maintenance, cleaning, and other similar housing services to seniors (60+) and disabled people throughout Monroe County.





The Rochester based Community Services offers a resource called Family Services. The program is all encompassing and wide ranging.  The organization will help meet the basic needs of local residents, by providing them with free food, access to clothing, shelter, and health care. Some people in Monroe County can get free bus passes or gas car for transportation.

Specifically, a variety of services are provided to those in need including advocacy, counseling and referrals to government programs and other local agencies. Or apply for case management programs, home management skill-building, financial workshops and job training. Specific financial assistance includes: food, rent and mortgage assistance, day bus pass, prescription fulfillment, personal items, and household products. Dial (585)327-7200, or the address is 145 Parsells Ave, Rochester, NY 14609.

The Rochester Salvation Army offers dozens of programs to the hardest hit residents. Get help from all of these services. There is free Prescription assistance or Food vouchers and nutritious bags of groceries for low-income families or single moms. Or get emergency Rent and Mortgage Payment assistance, Assistance with preventing RG&E shut-offs, Bus passes, Gasoline Vouchers, and much more. Dial (585) 987-9540.

Other resources available in Monroe County New York from the Salvation Army include Family Services. This is an emergency program which can provide cash assistance to qualified families. It is offered on a very limited basis to people faced with a crisis. Other social services includes Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and toys, free school supplies as well as coats for kids. Find more details on the Monroe County Salvation Army.

East Rochester Community Resource Center Program, which can be reached at (585) 586-0525 is only for people in the eastern part of the city. The agency offers numerous form of assistance. Qualified applicants can get help with paying rent, up to 1 time and it is partial assistance. They can also receive utility and heating bill assistance from Rochester Gas and Electric.

  • Other resources offered include Household goods such as Bedding/Linen and Kitchenware. There is a free Clothing distribution center, Appliances, and prescription medication assistance. Note that resources are very limited. When available rental assistance is offered for East Rochester residents only, and applicants need to prove that they have resided there for at least two years. The address is 333 E Chestnut St, East Rochester, NY 14445.




Free Basic needs are offered, such as clothing, household goods, free food from a pantry and baby formula. One time financial assistance for rent, utility bills, or a security deposit may be provided. Other aid includes prescription drugs and services for seniors. Dial 585-586-0525

Another non-profit agency to call is The Housing Council. The services they offer include Foreclosure and mortgage default counseling. They also run the federal government funded Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program, which is offered for families and individuals who are at risk of losing current residence, of being evicted or who may be currently homeless. Funding for the program is intended to help people with utility bill payments, provide money for back rent or for financial help establishing new residence. Dial (585) 546-3700.

Basic needs including free clothes, furniture, school supplies and other resources may be available at non-profit centers, churches, thrift stores, furniture banks and clothing closets. Several locations around Monroe County provide goods to the less fortunate and low income in the community. Items may be provided for school, free Christmas assistance, or even a job interview. Some of the centers may even have limited amounts of financial aid or referrals. Click here free Rochester clothing closets, furniture and school supplies.

  • Free school supply and backpack giveaways occur. These are in addition to the programs above. Kids from low-income families, as well as teachers, will be given the stuff they need for school. Backpacks full of free supplies, tablets or laptops, uniforms and more is provided. Learn more on free school supplies in Rochester NY area.

The Financial Assistance Division is one branch of Monroe County. The department can help low income families learn about and apply for a variety of government programs, some of which are run by the state and others by the federal government. Qualified residents can receive everything from free food to rent vouchers and funds for paying heating bills. Additional examples include food stamps, public health care, and grants for paying for basic living expenses. Get details on public assistance in Monroe County New York.

Heating bills and utility disconnections - The non-profit American Red Cross works with companies, including Rochester Gas and Electric, to provide more moderate income customers with grants to pay their energy bills, in particular winter heating costs. A component of the program can even pay off any arreages on the customer’s account. Read more on American Red Cross heating bill help in NY.

Monroe County Department of Human Services coordinates short term, public and government assistance. This includes Health Care and Medicaid Insurance, cash aid from Temporary Assistance Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, and a grant for paying funeral costs, among other resources. Also get information on loans for rent expenses and low income housing and apartments. Read more on government assistance.

Social Services also help low-income families and the poor apply for Medicaid. Or access other benefit programs in the state of NY. Address is 111 Westfall Road, Rochester, NY, 14620, call 585-753-6298

Southwest Area Neighborhood Association provides several social services and outreach programs. Included are vocational counseling and training, food pantry referrals, emergency eviction prevention, rent assistance and more. As funding allows may have utility, gas and electric bill payment assistance for Monroe County families. Address is 275 Dr Samuel McCree Way, Rochester, NY 14611, dial (585) 436-3090





Hope Ministry may distribute free food vouchers to supplement their pantry. Other basic needs include clothing and household goods. When possible, the non-profit has funds for paying rent, natural gas and electric bill payments, car repairs and even prescription medication assistance. Address is 1450 Ridge Road, Webster, NY, 14580, dial 585-265-6694, or click more Hope Ministry assistance programs.

Transitional housing assistance programs - Families across Rochester New York and Monroe County can receive access to a homeless shelter, assistance in locating and paying for a permanent home, case management, and more from non-profits and government organizations. Low income housing resources are available. Details on Monroe County transitional housing.

Community Place of Greater Rochester coordinates Family Emergency Services. This includes prescription assistance, utility bill payment assistance, and help for rent. Case managers also offer advocacy, counseling, and train people on home management skills. Address is 145 Parsells Ave, Rochester, NY 14609, dial 585-327-7200.

Monroe County free toys and meals at Christmas or Thanksgiving will help children from lower income families have some holiday joy. Agencies also focus on senior citizens in the region. Whether it is a free, small gift, food basket, or even financial aid to help make it through the winter, programs are available. Find Monroe County free holiday programs.

PathStone - In addition to the housing counseling above, the non-profit may also offer nutritional assistance,  mortgage assistance and money for heating bills. The goal is to offer social services to help the less fortunate. Note that most of the aid is for migrant or seasonal farm workers. Call the Housing Counseling service at 585-546-3700.

Programs to stop homelessness in Monroe County include both state funded resources as well as those run by local charities. If someone needs a grant for paying arrears on rent, utility bills (including electric, water, or heating), or advice, support may be arranged.

  • Some agencies in the network help veterans, single mothers, senior citizens and the disabled by issuing grants.
  • The city of Rochester also coordinates legal support to tenants facing eviction and refers low income families to housing solutions.
  • Other support can also be arranged around homeless assistance in the city and county. This may include rental assistance, emergency shelter, and cash for rent in arrears. More on Rochester area eviction help.

Lifespan of Greater Rochester can help the elderly and senior citizens. Resources include the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) as well as crisis aid. This can assist those with a disconnection notice or furnace repairs too. Other services include home delivered meals, referrals, and in-home care. They also help senior citizens in Monroe County apply for Medicare, give care giving assistance and other services. Location is 1900 S Clinton Avenue, Rochester, New York, 1461. Call 585-244-8400







Town of Webster will only support qualified low income people from the town. Call 585-671-2060. The town may have emergency financial assistance for utilities, medications, and car repairs. Scholarships may be offered to Webster High School students. A food pantry may have perishable food, diapers/formula and can even offer delivery to seniors and the homebound.

Programs for single mothers or parents - Over 60% of households in the Rochester area are run by a single parent. There are various resources available to them, and the focus is on supporting the child.

  • Vouchers can be used by working parents to pay for a portion of child care.
  • Basic needs for the child, such as back to school supplies, holiday assistance, and winter coats.
  • Other aid includes public benefits such as TANF, housing, and much more. Find help for single moms.

Western Presbyterian Church only help residents of Macedon, Palmyra, or Farmington NY. The charity has limited amounts of financial assistance for individuals and families. Funds can help with paying utilities, housing and rent. Many churches and charities partner together to offer this. Address is 101 E Main Street, Palmyra, New York, 14522. Dial 315-597-9171

Churches and Catholic Charities provide assistance across Monroe County. Many of their programs are focused on helping senior citizens and the elderly, however other services from the church can provide financial aid. For example, funding may be offered for expenses such as rent, prescriptions and clothing. They also process applications for heating bill assistance in New York. Other resources in Rochester include HomeWorks, free legal aid, and much more. Continue with information on Monroe County Catholic charity assistance programs.

Rochester New York and Monroe County have several non-profits that run eviction and homeless prevention programs. Charities or government office can pay out funds to use for emergency rent help in a crisis. More on Rochester NY rental assistance.

Get help finding a job or new career skills

Yet another service provided by Catholic Service Center (((585) 546-7220) is around employment and self-sufficiency. The organization provides Employment Services for low income individuals as well as refugee and welfare-to-work clients. Counselors will provide training resources, and other job finding assistance.

The Urban League of Rochester, NY also has a variety of job finding and training programs. They run the Employment Services program and have an on site Career Training Center, which specializes in helping low and moderate income individuals achieve economic self-sufficiency by finding a job and growing their skills.

The Center is a structured career center and a free computer lab offering career assessments as well as access to the internet. There are also free career development workshops, business start-up support and other programs. Counselors also work with clients of the program and center. The office is at 265 N Clinton Ave, Rochester, NY 14605. Dial (585) 325-6530.




Free health care and community clinics

Rochester New York based Mercy Outreach Center is staffed by volunteer medical, dentists and health care professionals. They offer numerous health care programs, including Outpatient services, Dental services for adults and children, Health screenings, free General health care check ups, and much more. Call (585) 288-2634.

Another option that provides both medical and dental services is Westside Health Services - Woodword. Call them at (585) 436-3040. They provide free or income based dental care to the low-income, people with no money or insurance and other aid. The clinic is at 480 Genesee St, Rochester, NY 14611.

Monroe County is served by a few dozen other community clinics as well as health and dental care centers. Find more Monroe County New York free community clinics.

Emergency food and pantries

Central Church Of Christ runs a food pantry and soup kitchen. They also may be able to offer clothing which can be given out during meal as well if needed by the person seeking help. Call (585) 325-6043, or the address us 101 S Plymouth Ave, Rochester, NY 14608.

Combined Communities Food Closet Project FISH, which is based in Honeoye Falls but also serves Rochester and Monroe County, is an emergency food cupboard. In addition, they also may be able to provide diapers and baby formula as needed by low income families. Dial (585) 453-2370

Another option is Memorial AME Zion Church Andrew Gibson Memorial Food Pantry. They can be called at (585) 546-5997 and also run a food pantry.

Several other food pantries, charities, government agencies, and churches also provide groceries to the low-income and nutritional support to the needy in the community. Meals, groceries, emergency perishable items, baby formula, and much more is distributed. Find locations of additional free food pantries in Monroe County.

Access to free legal counsel

The Legal Aid Society of Rochester New York strongly believes everyone deserves the right to legal counsel. So they provide free advice, whether someone can pay or not. They can provide legal assistance for civil cases, which includes foreclosure prevention, landlord tenant rights, child support, evictions, and other types of cases. Call the Rochester non-profit law firm at 585.232.4090.

Monroe County Legal Assistance Center (585)325-2520 is yet another firm that people can contact for legal aid.

Free foreclosure prevention services in Monroe County NY

A resource offered by the Urban League, known as the Home Store, helps low and moderate income families stay in their homes. The resource includes the Foreclosure Intervention and Default Counseling program. This assistance program provides professional, free, and very comprehensive foreclosure prevention counseling to homeowners who are seeking assistance.

The goal is to help low income property owners. The Urban League can help prevent foreclosure or assist those who may be already in the home foreclosure process. Home and mortgage counselors will work closely with each individual who joins the program on a one-on-one basis, and together the counselor and the homeowners will develop the best strategy and plan for each person's personal financial situation. Call (585) 325-6530.





PathStone is a non-profit agency that provides free mortgage counseling for Monroe County NY homeowners. there is help with home loans for borrowers who are having trouble making their mortgage payments and who may be facing a foreclosure. Read more free foreclosure counseling, or dial (585) 340-3324.

Car loans and transportation programs in Rochester NY

If you either need to buy a car or repair a car for work related reasons, then receive access to very low interest rate auto loans as part of Ways to Work. There are several conditions to the program, including must be employed, have a limited income, and have a family. Free or low cost cars can alos help-single moms or dads. But the intent of the auto loan program is to ensure people can get the transportation they need to get to work.

There are local and national non-profits that provide funds to help single people, the under employed and others find or buy an automobile. It needs to be work related use. More on Ways to Work auto loans.


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