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Okanogan County assistance programs.

The low income and working poor in Okanogan County have a number of resources and non-profits available to them. While the leading agency to call for referrals and assistance is the Okanogan County Community Action Council, other non-profit agencies and programs are noted below.

Okanogan County Community Action Council works to solve the underlying causes of poverty. While they seek to address long term solutions, some short term financial aid may be provided for basic needs.

Rental assistance, including hotel and motel vouchers, are offered for people who are currently homeless or at risk of eviction/foreclosure/homelessness. Programs administered, and case managers on site, work to stabilize families and help them find or remain in safe, affordable apartments or homes. So this can include emergency funds for paying rent, or short term housing in motels.

Emergency cash/eviction prevention may be offered for those Okanogan County individuals who have a notice from their landlord. If you are at imminent risk homelessness, call the agency to learn more about emergency housing and eviction prevention programs. More emergency rental assistance programs.

Ongoing rent assistance or subsidies may be offered. Some conditions include the applicant will need to agree to continuous family development relationships with a Client Services Representative.

Security deposit and first month’s rent assistance is offered for people who are currently homeless and who are moving into stable housing or an apartment. This program may be offered for Okanogan County families who have located safe and affordable housing.

Motel vouchers may be distributed as a last resort, and are a form of shelter. Only if all other resources have been used up may these be provided. Your length of stay is short-term and will depend on several factors, including a family needing to find a permanent solution.




Utility and energy bill assistance is offered by Okanogan County Community Action Council (OCCAC) from a few programs.

LIHEAP, or Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, may be the primary resource. This program assists the low income and those faced with poverty. Applicants can be homeowners or renters. The government can help them pay their heating bills and may even have grants for heating system repair costs. Whether you heat with oil, wood, pellets, propane, or electric heat, you may qualify for aid.

Project Help is a donation service that operates in Washington and that can help with paying energy bills and deposits of Okanogan PUD. Priority is given to those customers who are faced with a crisis and who are in urgent need of financial assistance and who are ineligible for other federal government and emergency assistance. Read more.

Applicants need to be faced with an upcoming disconnection, be faced with an emergency or medical hardship, or a reduction in income that is outside of their control. Income limits are also in place. In addition, some assistance may be offered for paying for a connection or reconnection of your service, if it was previously turned off.

Save money on your energy bills from weatherization. This program provides the low income and working poor with energy saving and conservation measures and enhancement to homes or apartments. Some of what can be provided includes hot water tank wrap and low-flow shower heads, extra insulation of walls, ceiling, floors, ducts and pipes, broken glass repair and replacement, and more.

Food assistance programs and referrals are offered. The Commodity Supplemental Food (CSFP) is available for new mothers (up to one year postpartum), low-income elderly (at least 60 years old), pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children up to age 6. The government program provides USDA commodity foods, which is up to 30 pounds of items, to clients. The agency also has a list of food pantries and bank for the needy and low income. Click here for more information.





Other resources include food stamps. These can be applied for at the non-profit Okanogan County Community Action agency. Vouchers and a benefit card can be used to buy items at a local retailer or grocery store. Another program offered is Food For All, which provides nutrition education through gardening, hands on classes, and produce gleaning.

Home Improvement Programs can be offered in combination with weatherization, and can include various health and safety improvements, basement and foundation repair, new roofs or repairs, or mobile home repairs. Either low interest loans or grants may be offered for these repairs.

Okanogan County Community Action Council is located at 424 South 2nd Avenue, Okanogan, Washington 98840, and can be reached at (509) 422-4041.

Additional non-profit Okanogan County Washington organizations

The Housing Authority of Okanogan County may have some rent and housing programs, such as section 8 vouchers, for families facing imminent threat of homelessness or those who are currently without a home. Income limits are in place, and resources are offered for the elderly, seniors, and children from low income families. 110 Oak Street, Okanogan, WA, 98840, main number is (509) 422 - 3721

The Cove can be reached at (509) 997 – 0227. Resources can help address both short and long term needs. This can include assistance with car repairs, money for paying rent and utility/heating bills, and other aid. Another service in high demand is free food programs.




Omak Food Bank distributes free food, groceries, and meals throughout the community. Call (509) 826 – 1717.

Salvation Army Centers provide referrals, family services, and may have emergency assistance programs. A focus is on income qualified families with children, the disabled, and seniors in Okanogan County Washington. Some cash may be available for paying heating bills, utilities, or rental costs, however it is rare and has restrictions. Other resources include free Christmas programs (Angel Tree), job counseling, and ongoing case management from social workers. Continue.

St James Episcopal Church – Food and support is offered to people in Brewster and Pateros areas of Washington. The center is located at 515 W Indian Avenue, Brewster, Washington, 98812.


By Jon McNamara


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