New York City 311 financial aid crisis center.

Find information on assistance programs from the New York City 311 crisis center. This is a service that will refer low income families and the less fortunate to a number of both private and government assistance programs. While financial aid is not paid out by the organization, they will advocate on behalf of struggling families and refer people to a number of resources.

There are self-sufficiency programs in the downstate region, and the services will provide residents of NYC with a convenient local point of contact. When using the agencies, individuals will get help with ascertaining and accessing services and benefits that may be available to them in an effort to get them back on the patch to stability. Some examples of what may be provided by the crisis centers are as follows.

  • Medical care, which can allow someone to get back to work or address a cause of a hardship. This may be offered for free at clinics.
  • 311 will have information on educational services, such as school enrollments.
  • There are various job training centers as well, and include One Stop locations.

As part of self-sufficiency, there is affordable child care in the community. This will provide vouchers to approved parents in job training or at a job. Most of the aid is for children under the age of 12, however some exceptions can be made for the disabled.

The 311 service can refer families to free food pantries across the New York City boroughs. This can provide groceries, meals, and other support to households in a limited budget, and are very effective at preventing hunger in the community. Many people are using these centers for the first time ever due to the challenging economy.

When the household budget is limited, or when other expenses are just too high, members of the community can turn to food banks that the call center has information on. These will provide people with short-term emergency assistance. While the terms and conditions will change by location and even during the course of the year, visitors to the food pantry are usually provided with a three-day supply of groceries which includes a nutritional balance of the major food groups.




Addressing housing needs and homelessness is a focus of the solution from 311 in NYC. There are local programs, such as Emergency Solution Grants or money raised from private donations, and the funds are used to prevent evictions and homelessness in Queens, Brooklyn, and other boroughs. So the funds can pay for different bills and expenses, as noted below.

When there is assistance available, and if a family is found qualified, then grants can assist with paying natural gas, heating and electric utilities. There is money for heating oil, and partial bulk fuel payments as well during the winter or colder months. In some instances, local non-profits may offer help with water bill and sewer payments if this is what could lead to homelessness.

More common homeless prevention, such as money for back rent, is also provided by referrals from 311. So the non-profits as well as charities may help qualified families with paying a portion of their rent or maybe even a home mortgage, in vary limited situations.

Most of the agencies in the crisis centers database will have strict application processes and limited resources. So that being said, at most, only one months worth of expenses will be paid in most cases. Case managers can also provide support such as legal advice on preventing an eviction and getting back on track with timely rent payments.

As indicated, referrals are available from The New York 311 service. Using the resources provided through local charities and state of New York as well as federal government benefits, every effort is made by the call center to connect the participant with appropriate resources for assistance. This is all doe for free through the referral process.




Some of the most common requests are above, but other services offered through CSBG include self-sufficiency case management, Life Skills Classes, free e-filing for income tax, youth programs, GED tutoring and much more. The homeless can learn about local shelters, and anyone that is hungry can be referred to a soup kitchen. So the available of assistance across NYC is extensive.

To learn more, call 311. This is a free service and anyone can dial for advice.


By Jon McNamara

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