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Assistance programs in Monterey County.

There are several local non-profit organizations and charities in Monterey County California that provide numerous forms of assistance. Low income, the elderly, disabled, unemployed and others can receive grants to pay rent and utility bills, food assistance, and other forms of help. Learn more below about who to contact for help.

Housing and rent assistance

The Housing Advocacy Council can help people find and maintain their homes and apartments. It is a a non-for-profit organization that has as its goal the mission to both assist and educate Monterey County residents, and the group wants to help them both obtain and maintaining affordable housing and apartments. Some of the services they offer include :

  • Rental Assistance Program- The agency will give qualifying individuals and families who have experienced a short term hardship or an emergency one month's rent so they do not have to incur the costs of moving or so they do not get evicted.
  • Security Deposit Assistance / Guarantee Program- Another service offered is the organization will cosign with and give vouchers to tenants who may not be able to afford to pay for the entire security deposit upfront. The guarantee will allow the tenant to pay the security deposit in installments over the course of the lease and their time in the home.
  • Counseling and Community Education Program- Another option is the ability to get counseling and advice. They offer workshops in the community on tenant rights and responsibilities, budgeting and debt reduction, and how to find an affordable rental unit.

Call the Council at (831) 424-9186 to find how to get rent help.

Another agency that can help with rent is the Monterey County Community Action Partnership (dial 1-866-323-1953 for referrals). They run the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). This eviction prevention and rent assistance program was designed to both prevent homelessness and to rapidly re-house families and individuals who are now homeless or who are at risk of becoming homeless. The number one goal of this housing program is to establish self-sufficiency. Qualified individuals can get up to 18 months of rent help, money for security deposits and utility bills, and much more.




Several other agencies and non-profit offer rent help, including the possibility of funds for security deposits. Another focus is coordinating access to self-sufficiency. If these programs do not meet your needs, find more rental assistance programs in Monterey County.

Utility bill help in Monterey County

An energy bill program that can help with utility bill is REACH. It stands for Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help. The program is an energy bill assistance program that is sponsored by PG&E and it is administered locally by The Salvation Army. The main intent of this assistance program is to promote self-sufficiency.

It accomplishes this goal by assisting low-income and other struggling families who are experiencing severe financial hardships and who are unable to pay for their necessary home energy needs. While thousands of local people would be eligible for aid, the REACH program does gives special emphasis to the  chronically ill, the elderly, permanently disabled, and assistance is also available to qualifying individuals families, only once, in an eighteen month period of time. Contact the Salvation Army at (831) 899-4988.


The Food Bank for Monterey County works with numerous local charities and agencies to distribute food to need individuals. They are located in Salinas, but cover all of Monterey County. Call them at (831) 758-1523 for more information.

Legal aid and advice

California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA) provides free legal consultations and advice to low income, rural farm workers, the elderly, disabled, and many others. Some of their focus is for programs such as housing, labor and employment, education, foreclosures, civil rights, and family security, including government programs and public benefits. Learn more or the legal programs, or call the law firm at (831) 757-5221.





Mortgage assistance and foreclosure prevention

The Central Coast Foreclosure Collaborative is a partnership of local non-profit agencies and housing counselors. They provide homeowners with foreclosure prevention tactics, hold workshop, and do what they can to help people keep their homes. They often partner with local real estate and bankruptcy experts, who will in effect tell homeowners and borrowers what they need to know if  they are in danger of losing their home, where to to turn for mortgage help, and otherwise give them options. Attorneys and other counselors will discuss all available programs, so borrowers homeowners would know how to cope with financing  difficulties and get relief with their mortgage payments. Contact the Watsonville Law Center at [email protected] to learn more.

Mortgage default/delinquency counseling, foreclosure prevention, and advice for predatory lending can be obtained from Housing Resource Center of Monterey County (phone (831) 424-9186). Find other mortgage programs.

Rent, electric bill help, food, and other assistance programs

Case De La Cultura En Pajaro may be able to provide emergency rent assistance is provided as funds permit. Other programs run by this Salinas non-profit agency include a food distribution center, as they have holiday assistance, such as meals and gifts for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Call (831) 763-0702.

Catholic Charities of Monterey (phone (831) 753-5314) offers numerous services. They include financial assistance for PG&E energy bills, rental assistance. Funds are limited, and emergency relief is based on resource availability. The funds are usually only distributed during the first few days of the month. They have offices in San Luis Obispo and Salinas. More information.

In addition to the utility help mentioned above, the Salvation Army of Monterey Peninsula offers other assistance programs. They include offering clothing, providing shelter, counsel, mediation, advocacy and referral as necessary or appropriate. They have an on site food pantry. In addition, limited financial assistance such as the REACH utility assistance program can help individuals  with overwhelming utility bills and emergency rental assistance is available. Case management can help people find a job, among other resources.  Call (831) 899-4988, or click here.

Housing Resource Center of Monterey County (phone (831) 424-9186) provides rental assistance to avoid eviction, and may have money for a currently homeless or struggling person to pay a security deposit.

Soledad Center from Salvation Army is a faith based group. Programs include food from a pantry, thrift store, and financial aid. It may be limited amounts of funds for back rent or maybe an electric bill. A focus is on homeless prevention and feeding the hungry. Or get referrals to job training and case management in Monterey County. Call 831-678-9056.





Mid-Bay Referral Center - In an emergency, can direct clients to utility bill help from LIHEAP or the Salvation Army REACH service. Or learn about low income housing, government benefits, and get other referrals. Location is 10351 Merritt Street #6, Castroville, California, 95012, or dial 831-633-3899.

Army Community Service is only for soldiers and they have referrals for veterans. There may be interest free loans for paying rent, medial costs, or utility bills. They can also provide grants in some cases for expenses, such as car repairs, security deposits or travel expenses. The aid is administered in partnership with the Red Cross. The office is at 4260 Gigling Road, Seaside, CA, 93955, or call 831-242-5501.

Central Coast HIV / AIDS is only for people impacted by this, as well as their families. They offer emergency low income housing and shelter, as well as emergency funds to prevent homelessness or evictions. Monterey County families can also get help with rehousing, and there is aid for people who are now homeless. All services are confidential and come with case management. Call 831-394-4747.

Monterey County Community Action Board - Case management, housing, referrals to food pantries and other social services are available. The non-profit works to overcome poverty in the region. If resources are not available, the center will try to offer referrals to other charities or local resources.

  • Free motel vouchers are available in limited situations, such as for the sick.
  • Emergency rental or mortgage assistance is administered for low income Monterey families with children. Either loans that need to be repaid or government grants may be issued.
  • The CalWORKs Emergency Payment Program can address basic needs, such as food or housing.
  • Several programs are offered for women, single parents, or immigrants. Examples include the Day Worker Center of Monterey County and a program known as Gemma.
  • Other services are available. Read more Monterey County Community Action Agency.

Saint Vincent Churches, or SVdP, offer basic needs and referrals as well. While the volunteer driven charity does depend on donations, there may be free food or clothing available. During certain seasons, everything from Christmas meals or toys to school supplies may be offered.

Other resources may be limited amounts of money for paying bills or medications, transitional housing, and referrals. The charity also offers support to low income families in a crisis. Continue Monterey County Saint Vincent assistance programs.







Free food pantries and feeding programs

The following centers distribute food to Salinas and Monterey low income families and individuals. Some of the sites may provide other items, such as diapers, baby food, clothing, household products, or even very limited financial support.

  • Holy Trinity Church - (831) 674-5425. King City. Emergency Food.
  • Hope Center at the McGowan House - Monterey. (831) 915-9160. Gives food on a monthly basis to those in need.
  • Family Ties Kinship Center - (831) 443-0662. Salinas CA
  • St. Pauls Episcopal Church - (831) 424-7331
  • Mount Nebo Hispanic Church - Salinas. (831) 424-9510

There are many other hunger prevention programs and food pantries in the area. They range from Meals on Wheels to intake sites for CalFresh food stamps. Other charities will also provide children with snacks over the summer or serve a hot, holiday meal. Locate information on more Monterey food banks.

Free healthcare clinics

Clinica De Salud Del Valle De Salinas is a Monterey based system of community health clinics that are offering qualified people dental and medical services. The clinics provide comprehensive health care to children, women, and men. Services include: family health care, prenatal education, family planning, general checkups, well child, adolescent and adult care, medicines, nutrition and health education.

The low income and uninsured can also get immunizations, mammograms, x-rays, ultrasound, EKG, CHDP, California health insurance programs, well child examination for children from 0 -19 years of age. If this system of clinics can’t meet your medical needs, then find information and phone numbers of additional Monterey clinics.


By Jon McNamara














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