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Assistance programs New Hanover County North Carolina and Wilmington.

Everyone from the poor to disabled or senior citizens can get help with their utility or electric bills, rent or housing expenses, and find other financial aid. Find a list of churches, DSS social service offices in Wilmington, charities and other groups in New Hanover County to apply at. The financial assistance as well as other social service support also includes free food from pantries, clothing for work, prescription drugs from Wilmington area clinics or medical care and much more.

Children and students in the county can get help during the school year and holidays. Charities in New Hanover County provide free back to school supplies along with snacks to eat during the summer or Christmas toys. Or learn about making retirement savings last, as many retirees live in the county. Those resources are listed below as well.

Find financial help with rent and housing expenses

The federal government is partnering with five local community organizations and charities to distribute the money to those in need: they include The Salvation Army ((910) 762-7354), Brunswick Family Assistance Agency, Pender County Housing, The A.M.E.Z. Housing Community Development Corporation ((910) 815-3826), and The Good Shepherd Center.

These federal government dollars will help low and moderate income families who live in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties. Housing and Urban Development resources help pay their rent, security deposits, and utility bills. the need for aid is tremendous, as the organization says nearly half of the callers who contact it need help with rent.

The federal government money will help provide a need for emergency utility and rental assistance for both people who currently rent, as well as for homeless people. The government money will help area charities and organizations prevent up to 1,500 evictions per year.

The program will provide temporary help with rent and also utility bill assistance, both rental and utility deposits, credit repair and counseling, limited moving assistance, and hotel and motel vouchers for up to 30 days. The longest someone can receive aid from this program is for 18 months.




Free dental/health and medical assistance programs

Several clinics and facilities in the Wilmington and New Hanover County region provide access to free or discounted medical and dental care. Those are just a few of the resources available. There are many other dental clinics in North Carolina as well as low cost medical care services.

  • Tileston Health/dental Clinic - 1303 Cypress Grove Drive,
  • NH Regional Medical Center - Vita Line 910-815-5188 or 888-815-5188
  • Northside Medical Clinic, Mon. - Thurs. 8-5 and Friday 8-12(noon).
  • NHC Health Department, 910-798-6500, 2029 South 17th St, 910-798-6500

Emergency help and crisis centers

These centers can help people deal with an unexpected emergency, may have funding to help pay bills and housing costs, and can provide other aid. Most offer rent help, free food, money for paying utility and electric bills, and other forms of aid to New Hanover County residents.

Call the Wilmington NC based New Hanover County Community Action, Inc. ((910) 762-1177) to learn about services and resources they offer low income and other individuals. They from time to time may be able to offer grants and financial assistance for paying rent and utility bills, and are a great resources to call to learn about North Carolina and federal government assistance programs. Some of the other services they offer include GED Services, Early Childhood Education, Community Services Block Grant.

The New Hanover County Salvation Army 910-762-2070 is another non-profit that offers limited help, worship programs, free food, and other financial aid. The location supports the needy in several counties in the southeastern North Carolina region, including the city of Wilmington.

Some financial assistance may be offered (for rent, utilities, or medications) but most of the services are for other basic needs, such as food, free Christmas assistance, toys, and clothing. Case workers will work with clients as well, and even offer them job finding programs or educational supplies, including school items or clothes. Learn more on Salvation Army in Wilmington.





New Hanover Catholic Charities operates across all of the southern and eastern part of the state. A number of emergency and financial assistance programs are offered for seniors, the low income, and poor. In addition, access social services and employment type programs.

Some examples of what is offered includes money for paying rent or electric bills, free food, and basic needs such as clothing. They also partner with many churches and charities in the region. Other Wilmington North Carolina area programs include immigration assistance, thrift stores and clothing closets, food pantries, diapers, and general case management. Continue with churches churches in New Hanover County.

  • Tri-County Center - Emergency services for MH/SA 24 hours next health Department
  • Rape Crisis Center, 910-392-7460 Counseling and Referral
  • 2023 South 17th St. 910-251-6551 or 910-251-6587
  • Coastal Horizons Center, 615 Shipyard Avenue, 1-800-672-9344
  • Help Center of Federal Point, Carolina Beach (910) 458-2777 - Offers help for paying rent, utility bills, and limited medical assistance. Gasoline vouchers and transportation is also offered.
  • Eviction prevention and low income housing - A number of non-profits, churches, and government agencies have funds to pay rent or can help people find safe, affordable low income housing.

First In Families focuses resources on households with members having developmental disabilities. Small cash grants can help pay utility bills, rent, prescriptions, and more. Case management, counseling, and referrals are also available for families. Address is 5041 New Centre Drive, Suite 109, Wilmington, NC 28403. Telephone number - (910) 350-2737. Or find other assistance for applying for disability payments.

Help Center of Federal Point is for Carolina and Kure Beaches only. Short term, emergency assistance for needs such as clothing, food, rent, utilities, and medications. Other support is available for holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. Call (910) 458-2777 for information.

Low income families (with children) and senior citizens can apply for free holiday assistance. Many non-profits and churches in the Wilmington area offer Christmas toys, gifts, meals, Thanksgiving turkeys, and other items to families living in or near poverty. Locate free holiday help in New Hanover County.

Families facing homelessness or evictions can turn to charities or non-profit agencies in Wilmington and across the county. They may offer either loans or other forms of emergency financial aid for paying housing expenses such as security deposits or rent arrears. Locate more on New Hanover County rental assistance information.

WIHN - Wilmington Interfaith Hospitality Network focuses on housing and meeting basic needs. Resources include shelter or short term, transitional housing. The staff at the faith based charity also partner with the client on stability or finding affordable apartments to move into. Continue reading Wilmington Interfaith Hospitality.

The United Way is a place for referrals. The have a hotline (which has a phone number of 211) that residents can call to learn about free food pantries, rent help, medical care, health insurance applications sites and more. They also discuss job training, housing and debt programs and many other resources for anyone in the county.





Financial aid for paying water bills is offered in the county. The utility providers may offer payment plans or qualified low income customers may receive grants from local charities or non-profits. These are emergency resources for Wilmington area families that have otherwise been self-sufficient. Funding is very limited as the water bill programs often rely on donations from the community, and payment plans are only provided for a small number of qualified households. More on water bill programs in New Hanover County.

New Hanover County Department of Social Services runs federal government and state of North Carolina assistance programs. The office will try to help satisfy New Hanover County citizens and their basic needs. The location also has programs for children, such as free food and clothes.

Or apply for assistance such as Medicaid, Women's Infants and Children (WIC), SNAP food stamps, low income energy bill assistance and other aid. Unemployment and welfare is also run from 1650 Greenfield Street, Wilmington, North Carolina 28402-1559. Call (910) 798-3400, or read more New Hanover social services.

Wilmington Housing Authority processes Section 8 applications, which there is often a waiting list for. The federal government funded program will provide safe, decent, low priced and sanitary housing for very low income qualified residents and senior citizens.

The program covers all of the county as well, with rent subsidized homes available. The program will pay for a portion of your monthly rent and is offered in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. Call (910) 341-7700, or find section 8 housing choice vouchers in North Carolina.

Free food assistance and grocery programs

Call these Wilmington area charities and non-profits for free food, possibly grants, and to learn about other government assistance programs and services. Many also offer holiday meals and assistance.

  • Tileston Outreach, 412 Ann Street, 910-762-5491
  • Immaculate Conception Church, 8-9:30 am Sat. & Sun. (nest to Grace Methodist)
  • Salvation Army, 820 North 2nd Street, M-F 5:30-6:00pm
  • Jesus Ministries, 6763 Market Street, 910-791-7002, Mon-Thurs. 11 am - 2pm
  • Inner City Ministries, 14th Greenfield, hot lunch Sunday at noon.
  • First Fruit, St. Paul's Church, Wed. & Sun. 7:30-9 pm dinner.
  • Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, Grace United Church, M,W,F & Sat. 1-3 pm
    313 North 5th Street, 910-762-2190. Must have picture ID & SSI Card
  • Good Sheppard Ministries, 811 Martin Street, 910-763-4424, 7-8 am & 11am-12 pm.

There are many other programs that can offer free groceries and meals, including some that coordinate home delivery for senior citizens. They range from pantries to free hot meals from soup kitchens. Find more New Hanover County free food banks, including locations in Wilmington.






Education, job finding and employment services

There are several listed below. But New Hanover County also has many retirees moving into the region, and older adults often want less stressful work to make a few dollars or work part time. There are at home jobs for them, freelance positions as well as other opportunities. Find less less stressful jobs for senior citizens.

  • Cape Fear Community College, 411 N Front St, 910-362-7000
  • Vocational Rehab, 506 Mrket St., Suite A, 910-251-5710, M-F , 7:30 am - 5 pm
  • Employment Security Commission & Job link - 717 Market St. (Veteran's services, job search & unemployment comp.) 910-251-5777
  • New Hanover County Community Action - Serious career seekers (pharmaceutical. tech., truck driving, barber school, phlebotomy etc. 910-762-1177
  • Phoenix Employment Ministry of Wilmington, Inc. - 910-343-8469
  • Cape Fear Literacy, 1012 South 17th St., 910-251-0911

Debt help and foreclosure assistance

Consumer Credit Counseling of Wilmington North Carolina provides extensive counseling and services. They are a HUD approved agency that provides services for homeowners, individuals and families to achieve financial well-being. Programs offered include counseling, education, debt management, and foreclosure avoidance plans. Learn about North Carolina foreclosure programs, as well as click here to find out how to stop debt collectors in North Carolina. Debt and housing counselors can be reached at (910) 332-8957.


By Jon McNamara

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