Multnomah County public and government aid.

Residents of Multnomah County and Portland Oregon can look into applying for help from the government. Several public assistance programs are administered in the county, surrounding suburbs and City of Portland, and they address a wide range of basic needs. Resources focus on the low income, seniors, families with children, and others who are struggling and need help.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) use to be called Food Stamps. This government created and funded resource puts a national focus on ensuring lower income families remain healthy, and helps them pay for food, groceries, baby formula and other items. SNAP helps Multnomah County households buy food to meet their nutritional needs, and they can shop at most grocery stores in the county. It can even support some more so called moderate income families and people do not need to be destitute in order to apply. Also, if you are found quailed for SNAP, you or your family may also be eligible for other public aid or cash assistance such as Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program or the Oregon Telephone Assistance Program.

Social Security is another one of the main cash benefit programs. This can include payments for Social Security Disability, Retirement, Medicare, and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits. You can dial (800) 772-1213, or the county may be able to provide further information.

The Oregon Health Plan is available for Multnomah County families. Those who have no private or other government health insurance can access various free or reduced priced medical or dental services. You also need to be pregnant, under 19 years of age, and/or be selected from a list by the state and county.

Multnomah County Emergency Services and Public Safety Net Programs are all offered directly by the county and city of Portland. No federal or state government funds are used to pay for these. The county can offer.

Housing Assistance for people with disabilities, senior citizens, and elderly who are at risk of homelessness (eviction/foreclosure), who are in unsafe housing, or who are currently homeless.





Limited medical expenses may be paid for by the Special Needs program, and can be used to stabilize a person’s medical condition or other life circumstance.

The Multnomah County Project Independence (MPI) program is available to people with disabilities that are 18-59 years old and live in their own homes. Applicants also need in-home services but don’t meet the federal government Medicaid financial criteria for them.

Emergency Prescription Assistance is available for people with disabilities who are in the waiting period for Medicare, uninsured seniors, or people with out-of-pocket Medicare Part D costs. This county program can help them acquire needed medications.

Medicare is always an option for seniors and the disabled, and this is the program that offers many people their only source of health care. There are several primary components to it. But in general, qualified Multnomah County and Portland Oregon residents can receive help paying medical bills, outpatient services, assistance for prescription drugs, and even government subsidized insurance premiums.

Medicaid is paid for by Oregon and the federal government, and is the main public program for the very low income, those with qualified disabilities, blind and low income seniors. Not only can it pay for medical bills (if eligible) but some components may pay for personal care services such as eating, home care, bathing, etc.

To apply for these or other resources, stop by or call an office near you. Some locations are listed below, but there are other centers in the county.

  • 421 SW Oak St, First Floor, Portland, Oregon 97204, call (503) 988-5460
  • 10615 SE Cherry Blossom Dr, Portland, OR 97216, main phone number (503) 988-5480
  • 421 SW Oak St, Ste 510, Portland, OR 97204, (503) 988-3620




By Jon McNamara

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