New Castle County assistance programs.

There are many agencies that help the working poor, struggling, and immigrants or farm workers in New Castle County as well as the city of Wilmington. Find how to get everything from affordable housing from a non-profit to grants to help with rent from charities or churches. Other resources range from free food to transportation, job programs, budgetin, and emergency energy bill help.

Find grants that can help with bills, mortgage and rent assistance, and even job training

Thousands of Delaware families receive help every year from The First State Community Action Agency. This non-profit organization provides people with various resources to both help them make it through a short term hardship, and also ensure they become self-sufficient over the long term. Another place for people to turn to for aid is Catholic Charities and their Basic Needs Program. These groups provide assistance to people in all three Delaware counties, including New Castle and the city of Wilmington. Find information and details on both organizations and their programs below.

Emergency services and grants

This is an option offered by First State Community that people can turn to in order to get help with eviction prevention services, mortgage foreclosure counseling, funds to pay utility and heating bills, rent help, and free medical prescriptions. The program is targeted at those people who are faced with a short term crisis situation.




Cars for careers

This is a vehicle ownership program is designed to provide a pathway to vehicle ownership for individuals who are currently receiving TANF benefits. The Cars to Career program is sponsored by the Delaware Division of Health and Social Services and it is administered by First State Community Action Agency.

Career closet

If you need reasonably or free professional clothing, this program can provide you with the attire you need for that job interview or new job. The clothes will be in new or very good condition, and are donated by local businesses or professionals.





Delaware Weatherization Program

First State's Weatherization Assistance Program enables low and middle income families to permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. This program is free to homeowners and renters, and it can help them save hundreds of dollars per year on their heating and utility bills. Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Housing counseling

A wide range of housing assistance and services are offered to families in New Castle County by First State. Some of the services offered include pre-purchase homeownership counseling, budget and credit card counseling, rental and rental delinquency counseling, and mortgage default and foreclosure counseling.

Stop by First State Community Action Agency at 308 North Railroad Avenue in Georgetown Delaware. Or call them at (302) 856-7761.

Catholic Charities’ basic needs program

This assistance program has numerous goals. One of them is it aims to prevent homelessness for as many needy families as possible. They will accomplish this goal by providing emergency financial grants to help families make mortgage, rent, utility, or even heating bill payments.

Catholic Charities, located in Wilmington (phone (302) 655-9624) has also seen a trend in that an increasing number of calls are coming from families with lower-middle-class incomes, and people are calling for the first time ever, seeking financial assistance for their bills.

If you do seek help from the Basic Needs program, those who are seeking assistance must have a proven emergency need or they must be facing a crisis. They must require financial aid with basic household expenses and bills such as their monthly mortgage and rent payments, energy costs and heating bills, prescriptions or maybe they need food aid.

Another focus of the local Wilmington Catholic charities organization is to provide free food. They partner with pantries and churches to do this. Additional programs offer pregnancy counseling, process LIHEAP applications, help low income families apply for food stamps and more. Click Delaware Catholic Charity programs.




Emergency financial aid and help for bills

Also try contacting Wilmington Delaware based Lutheran Community Services, Inc. at (302) 654-8886. Some of the services and assistance programs offered are targeted to help people who have low incomes, the unemployed, senior citizens, and others who are experiencing a short term hardship or crisis and as a result have difficulty meeting their family's basic needs for paying for utility bills, providing food and housing. Services and resources available include a variety of emergency food programs, emergency housing assistance in the form of low or no interest loans and grants to low income individuals and families, free weekly produce distribution and food,  and programs to keep people from losing their home in a crisis and becoming homeless. More information on help from Delaware Lutheran Community Services.

Cathedral of Saint Peter only supports qualified clients in the zip codes of 19801, 19802, or 19850 in Wilmington. All funding is limited. They offer services for utility bills and other resources that help meet the human needs of all people in the service area supported. This may also include referrals to food pantries, suggestions on agencies to apply at for grants for rent or a deposit, and more. Telephone - (302) 654-2275.

Claymont State Service Center - Provides human services, utility and heating bill help, financial services, and Medicaid to residents in the area. Call (302) 798-2870

Hudson State Service Center - Various assistance programs are offered including Public Health, Community Mental Health, Government Social Services, and a Family Visitation Center. State Service Center services offered include: holiday food baskets, Community Resource Assistance Services, Toys for Tots, emergency financial assistance for utility and heating bills and rent, child dental transportation, and emergency food assistance and groceries. Newark Delaware. (302) 283-7500

Peoples Place - The non-profit helps the low income and poor in Wilmington and in Delaware. A focus is on housing issues, but other assistance may be offered as well. Examples of resources offered include Opening Doors (transitional housing program for women), housing from SAFE (a shelter program), help for veterans in New Castle and across Delaware, and much more. Click People Place programs.

Kingswood Community Center, Community & Family Services - A sampling of the resources and services offered include a clothing closet, crisis alleviation program assists individuals and families who are in need of help and/or information on housing (rental and first time homebuyers program), maintains a list of job availability (ACCESS Delaware), provides emergency financial fuel/energy assistance, runs a mass distribution food program and Job Fair. Wilmington DE (302) 764-9022

West End Neighborhood House - Among other services, offers emergency food. groceries, and clothing closets. Periodic emergency cash grants and financial assistance are provided for rent expenses, mortgage and/or utilities bills. Phone (302) 658-4171

Neighborhood House, Family Services - This non-profit agency operates a food bank and also sponsors the HOPE food assistance program for persons and families in the South Wilmington area. Also provides crisis alleviation, employment preparation, information on government programs, holiday and Christmas assistance, life skills development, and information and referral to local charities and non-profits.





There are other resources available in New Castle County from Neighborhood House. The non-profit offers various housing services, and this can include free foreclosure prevention. Tenants can explore eviction prevention programs, including one time rental assistance. Or the homeless in the Wilmington area may be placed into transitional housing or receive help in paying for security deposits. Call (302) 652-3928, or click more Neighborhood House programs.

Resurrection Parish, Outreach (phone (302) 368-0146) - Assists New Castle County Delaware residents with paying last $100 on utility or rent for 3 families per week. Another service provides approximately 1 weeks worth of food for 3 families per week.

Saint Helenas Parish Social Ministry - You need to call for an appointment. Provides emergency free food, cash grants and funding for utilities, rent, and mortgage payments. The charity offers transportation to doctors or medical appointments for persons in the area. They also address landlord/tenant concerns, evictions and legislative issues. Other food programs from the ministry include the home delivery for the elderly or disabled and meals from the The Emmanuel Room. Call (302) 764-7545, or read Saint Helenas Parish Social Ministry programs.

Volunteers of America Delaware Valley in Wilmington operates across the area. Case managers and social workers can advise people facing eviction or the homeless. Both self-sufficiency is coordinated as well as basic needs, such as food, clothing, or emergency shelter.

Since a focus is on housing issues, referrals may be available to federal funding or grants. These can include programs such as rent or the security deposit on a new low income apartment in New Castle County. Another focus is on veterans in Delaware. Click more information.

Clothing and households goods in Wilmington and across the county are provided by charities and social service agencies. There are a couple dozen organizations that provide everything from work attire to school supplies or even cribs or diapers. Some of the items have a low cost, which much of the assistance is available for free. More on New Castle County clothing closets.

New Castle County Salvation Army provides information, referrals, and other support to working poor, low income families and seniors. Some assistance is available for students and teenagers too. Receive emergency heating and utility bill assistance from programs such as Good Neighbor Energy. Get information on Wilmington and state of Delaware government assistance such as TANF and food stamps. Housing programs include rent and mortgage assistance, as well as access to shelters, when faced with an eviction or foreclosure. Continue with Salvation Army Wilmington Delaware emergency assistance.

Housing counseling, foreclosure prevention, and debt reduction assistance programs

Housing Opportunities of Northern Delaware Incorporated - Provides HUD foreclosure counseling, first-time home buying counseling, reverse mortgage, mortgage delinquency assistance, down payment assistance programs and credit counseling. Phone (302) 429-0794

Interfaith Community Housing, which is located in Wilmington Delaware and can be called at (302) 652-3991, provides homeowners information on housing, foreclosure, budget, and mortgage counseling. Click here for more information on Delaware mortgage assistance programs.





New Castle Delaware free legal aid

If you are facing civic legal issues, such as a foreclosure, utility disconnection, eviction, or other issue, then contact the Wilmington based Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, Inc. The goal of this not for profit law firm is to provide free, high quality pro bono legal services to all low income, indigent, and working poor individuals with meritorious civil legal problems. (302) 478-8680

Legal Services Corporation of Delaware, Inc. is another option. The primary mission of the Legal Services Corporation of Delaware, Inc. law firm is to use the practice of law to help low-income, elderly, and other qualified families in Delaware. Legal Services emphasizes representation and protection of those rights that are crucial to the viability of a stable individual or family. Attorneys all strive to meet this goal by working to protect families' rights in the areas of foreclosures, safe and affordable housing, financial stability, predatory lending, and consumer protection. (302) 575-0408

Community health clinics

Claymont Community Center - The center is a primary health care service provider for individuals and families with little or no health insurance. The health clinic  provides general exams, women’s health services, blood pressure screenings, minor illness treatment, physicals, adult/child immunizations and referrals to specialists or clinics. Services provided by volunteer doctors, nurses, and physicians.

Westside Family Healthcare has located all around New Castle County Delaware. The facility provides quality health and dental care for the entire family. Call (302) 655-5822, or click here for additional free health care programs. They have locations in Newark, Wilmington, and other locations.

Free food banks and closets

The following churches, non-profits, and other agencies can provide free food, and sometimes maybe even more to Wilmington and New Castle residents. Some may provide clothes, baby items, diapers, or other forms of non-financial aid.

Church of Our Savior - Limited availability. Call for information. Dial (302) 764-4642

Eastlawn Area Human Services, Inc. - Phone (302) 764-4323. The agency provides food, holiday baskets, job finding assistance, and other services.

Hanover Church Clothing Closet - Food and clothing. (302) 658-5115

Peoples Baptist Food Closet - New Castle Delaware. (302) 658-8156

Several other charities operate food pantries in New Castle County. Those families that are very low income can also apply for public aid, such as from the USDA food stamp program or residents can receive referrals. If these centers can’t help you, then locate additional food banks in Wilmington Delaware region.



By Jon McNamara

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