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Muskingum County assistance programs.

Get a list of all the places to go to, and apply at, for help in Muskingum County. Below is a list of community agencies, charities, and churches which focus on helping the low income and those in a financial crisis. Whether it is free food or some money to pay for rent, medical care, or heating/energy bills, some assistance may be available as a last resort.

Information on grants and ways to get help with bills

People who are struggling in today’s weak economy have places they can turn to for aid. They include the Muskingum Economic Opportunity Action Group, Inc. and the United Way of Muskingum.

The programs offered by the Muskingum Economic Opportunity Action Group, which is a community action agency, include the items listed below.

  • Employment Training Program
    For those who need a job, or need to develop their skills, the Employment Training Program was developed to provide job seekers with on the job training. They can also get referrals From Job and Family Services and Experience Works. Each participant in the job training program receives individual attention and coaching. It is the goal of the program to train the participants to have employable skills, or to improve their current skills. They want to prepare them to enter the work force and become self sufficient over the long term.
  • Energy Bill Assistance Programs
    Muskingum Economic Opportunity offers residents both E-HEAP and HEAP. E-HEAP is run currently as two programs. They include winter and summer crisis programs.
    • The Winter Crisis Program was designed to help local residents in case of a shutoff or disconnection of their main heating source. Help can also be provided if someone is about to run out of fuel, and if they have less than a ten-day supply of bulk fuel or heating oil. The Winter Crisis Program operates each and every year from November 1 thru March 31. It was designed to help eligible, low to medium income families and individuals with a one-time cash grant or payment towards their main and/or secondary heating source. Another component is that assistance with furnace repair and heating units is also available if needed. Find other ways to get free heating oil.




    • The second option is the Summer Crisis Program (SCP). This option was established to assist low to moderate income families and individuals (especially seniors) with the high cost of summer cooling and utility bills. In addition, it can also provide a free air conditioner to individuals with a qualifying medical condition. The Summer Crisis Program operates every year from June 1st thru August 31. It can help low to moderate-income families and individuals with paying their electric bill and it will also furnishes free air conditioners to individuals with a qualifying medical condition and medical emergency.
    • The last option available is the Ohio Percentage of Income Payment Program (PIPP). This allows eligible customers to make lower utility payments. Their monthly payment will be based upon their current household income.
  • Weatherization Programs
    This is a federal government funded program, and the Weatherization Assistance Program was designed to help people conserve energy. They can reduce energy consumption and lower their overall household utility cost, and it is for low income households. The weatherization program accomplishes this goal through the initialization of Energy Conservation Measures in eligible households. The improvements made to a home are free to the owner.
    • Another option is Warm Choice. It is a version of a weatherization program that is funded by Columbia Gas for income eligible customers of Columbia Gas only.
  • Baby Pantry
    The Baby Pantry offers help to low and moderate income eligible individuals and families with juice, formula, baby food, and even free disposable diapers when available. This program is very helpful when the baby is first brought home from the hospital. It has also provided beneficial when the doctor changes the baby formula. Another reason that people turn to the baby pantry is when they are short on cash, or when WIC benefits are not available for another few days.

To learn more about these assistance programs, contact the Muskingum County Community Action Agency at 453-5278 or stop by their main office at 828 Lee Street, Zanesville, Ohio.

When it comes to hunger prevention, there are food pantries and soup kitchens. A number of charities, ranging from the Salvation Army to The Lighthouse and Jubilee, provide free groceries, household supplies, and give other support. Clients of a food pantry may be a working poor residents or just someone who has a short term crisis. More on Muskingum County food pantries.

Muskingum County Job and Family Services is the main government agency for the region. A number of emergency assistance programs, human services, and public aid is offered to the less fortunate. A call center was created for information and to help people apply, and the number is 740.454.0161. Examples of the resources available are below.





Cash assistance can be provided for basic needs such as rent or utility bills. Job and Family Services of Muskingum is the organization to call for Ohio Works First, SNAP food stamps, and child care vouchers. Low income families can also apply for HEAP heating bill assistance, free medical care, and programs that can help the homeless pay a security deposit as well. A number of other social services and self-sufficiency programs are offered too. Dial 1.800.242.0029.

Rent and mortgage assistance grants

AEP has provided the United Way of Muskingum with funding that will be distributed to people in need to help them pay for their housing costs. The money is targeted at AEP customers who live in the area who just need a little extra cash to take care of some of their housing expenses. Grants will be used to help those who are one month behind on their rent, or those who need mortgage assistance. So these extra grant funds should help people avoid a foreclosure filing. Find additional ways to get mortgage help. Click here.

There are several other charities and non-profits that may offer one time rent or even security deposit help. In addition, the homeless in the region may be placed into a shelter, given a meal, and referred to permanent housing units. Find more details on rent help in Muskingum County.

Gasoline grants

Another option is a grant program for people with transportation needs. Assistance is available in the form of a free gas voucher for those who need to travel to an out-of-town doctor appointment, and if they can’t afford to pay for their gasoline. This is not the only option people have if they need help paying for gas. Find another free gasoline program.

To learn more about the grants for rent, mortgage, or gasoline, you can call the local United Way at 454-2255.


By Jon McNamara

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