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Assistance programs Olmsted County and Rochester.

Find how to apply for financial help, free stuff, government or medical assistance and other resources in Rochester Minnesota as well as Olmsted County. There are many charities, churches, and government grants as well as loans. Funding is limited, but low income, disabled or elderly families may be able to get funds to pay for housing including rent, home buying programs, or utility bills.

There may be free stuff including Christmas toys, winter jackets, propane, or school supplies. Or get counseling, including how to save money or budget on a low income. The free items for low income families are combined with financial assistance programs as well as grants.

Long term support is arranged as well. There are professionals that help with SSI disability applications, transportation programs, as well as credit card debt assistance programs in Rochester. Or find job programs, free career counseling, and more.

Olmsted County and Rochester Community Action Agency financial aid programs

If you need help with paying bills, rent, counseling, or access to programs to become self-sufficient over the long term, turn to Three Rivers Community Action, which is the local Rochester and Olmsted County Minnesota community action agency. Dial 507-732-7391.

  • Help with bills from crisis assistance - One of the programs they run is known as Outreach Services. Both emergency and crisis assistance is available at some county offices as well as contact centers throughout the county only as funding permits. This assistance for bills and expenses may provide help with motel vouchers, heating bills, food emergencies, transportation assistance, or other emergency needs that help sustain or create improved self-reliance of an individual or family. In addition, clients of the community action agency who are receiving crisis assistance or funds may also work with staff to establish a plan for stability over the long term.
  • Debt and credit repair - Another service offered is a Dollars & Sense Class credit repair, budgeting, and debt assistance program. The service is a free, three-hour class that is based on the Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy curriculum and covers credit repair, budgets, debt assistance, savings and spending, credit reports, debt reduction, credit card help, and identity theft assistance.
  • Food assistance programs - Families get access to nutritious foods, groceries, and other aid. While they do need to apply, this is a great option for those people whop are concerned with providing for their family.




  • Rent assistance and mortgage help in Olmsted County - Two options included are Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program as well as the federal government funded Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-housing Program.
  • The first option/program is designed to decrease homelessness and help keep people in their homes or apartments by providing one-time financial assistance with a rent or mortgage payment. the program is focused on those households or tenants that need a short-term “bridge” until their financial situation is expected to stabilize.
  • The Homeless Prevention program will be targeted towards those families and individuals who have been impacted by the nations current economic crisis and who may be struggling to obtain or maintain housing due to unemployment or underemployment. This is even more important as the result of the weak job market. Funds and rental assistance through this new program is an income-based subsidy, meaning that the qualifying household must pay 30 percent of their adjusted gross income towards their rent expense. The Three Rivers Community Action agency (phone (507)-732-7391) will commit to no more than three months of rental subsidy upon the initial consultation with Three Rivers Community Action’s Outreach Services staff member. Funds are also available to pay heating and utility bills.
  • Energy and heating assistance - Two options here include the weatherization program as well as the Energy Assistance Program. The energy program is a program that provides grants and cash. The energy program provides financial assistance to help with a household’s winter heating and electric bills. Financial assistance and cash grant payments are made directly to the household’s utility company, and not to the applicant themselves. The Reach Out for Warmth program is also available for households whose income is slightly above the standard Energy Assistance Program guidelines.
  • The weatherization assistance program is a federally government funded program, with support from Olmsted County and the state of Minnesota, that provides energy conservation home improvements to reduce energy consumption costs as well as heating and utility bills. Each home that enrolls in the weatherization program is inspected before and after work is done in order to ensure that homes are more energy efficient upon project completion, and ensure that people due in fact save money.

Call Three Rivers Community Action at (507)-732-7391 to learn more about the resources mentioned above. TRCA also provides other support to low income qualified families, and find more information on assistance from Three Rivers Community Action.





Olmsted County Minnesota emergency financial assistance programs

Olmsted County Community Services offers a number of referrals and outreach services. The non-profit can help people find local resources that can address basic needs, help people apply for government and public benefits for which they may be eligible, and more.

  • Homeless Prevention and Rent Assistance Programs – Offers case management to assist people with maintaining housing. Employment is also addressed, as it is key for longer term self-sufficiency and stability. Also apply for short term emergency rental assistance or help with paying mortgage.
  • Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota (FAIM) – Helps people save money and deal with credit issues. It offers a savings program to help low-income households build assets and save money. Family Loan Program is available to help with repair or purchase of a car, down payments on a mobile home, security deposits or employment-related tools. Read more Minnesota free credit counseling.
  • Cash assistance may be offered for Olmsted County single, adults without children, including people who are ill, elderly, injured or otherwise incapacitated. Examples of bills paid for include medical services for pregnant women, low-income families, children, and people who are 65 or older.
  • Family self-sufficiency will help the under or unemployed obtain a new job or skills. For those that qualify, there may also be short term loans provided for their basic needs as they progress through the program.
  • The disabled in Olmsted County can get help too. This includes information on applying for government grants, disability, SSI and other support - even home modification. Continue with help with disability applications.
  • Community Services helps with employment. There are free coding and IT classes in the region, healthcare job programs, and vocational schools among other resources. Find a list of free non-profit computer coding classes.

Olmsted County Community Services is located at 2117 Campus Drive SE, Suite 200. Rochester, Minnesota 55904 Olmsted. Call (507)328-6400, or find more information on Olmsted Community Action Agency programs.

Eviction prevention, homeless services, and rental assistance helps with housing needs. Rochester Minnesota homeowners can also get mortgage help as well. Loans, grants, and other financial aid is offered for paying all sorts of housing costs, including rent or security deposits. Continue with housing and rent assistance in Olmsted County.

Rochester and Olmsted County Salvation Army. Financial assistance may be available to help the low income in a one time, short term crisis situation. This can include rent to prevent evictions, security deposit or first month rent to end homelessness, or money to prevent a utility disconnection. A thrift store may have sporting goods, household appliances, furniture, clothing, shoes, bedding, and similar items. They also operate the Good Samaritan medical and dental clinic.





Low income families may also get free seasonal support, and this includes everything from school backpacks to notebooks, tablets as well as Christmas toys or Thanksgiving turkey dinners. The main address is 20 1st Avenue NE, Rochester, Minnesota 55906, phone (507)288-3663, or click here Salvation Army Olmsted County.

The disabled in Olmsted County can get help with state, federal, and local benefits. There are SSI applications, home improvements to make their house disabled friendly, Meals on Wheels delivery services, as well as recreational activities. Legal aid can be arranged too. More on Minnesota disability assistance programs.

Lutheran Social Service of Rochester Minnesota. Call (507)990-9335. Services offered include case management, client assessments, life skills training and information and referral services. A major focus is on long term financial stability, saving money, and budgeting for clients. Find details on how to save money on a low income.

Some workshops and programs can help with job skills, money management, landlord/tenant law, nutrition, and accessing community and government resources. Subsidies and vouchers can be applied toward paying rent, food, deposits, utility bills, transportation, education, and furniture.

Channel One Food Bank and Food Shelf can offer up to 5 days of free groceries to Olmsted County residents. Items provided include milk, produce, milk, bread, personal care items, and dairy products are provided if they are available. People can receive help once per month; however the food bank will not turn anyone away. 131 35th Street SE, Rochester, MN 55904. Dial (507)424-1700100

Christ Our Rock Lutheran Church – Runs a food pantry. Main number (507)252-5088

Olmsted County free emergency food panties and soup kitchens - Non-profits as well as churches and charities feed the hungry. Income qualified families can receive everything from clothing to a box of groceries or Christmas meal. Some centers also have seasonal items, such as free school supplies. Or Rochester area families can apply for SNAP food stamps and similar services. Read more free food pantries in Olmsted County.

Clinics and free/low cost medical care

Olmsted Medical Center – This is the Main Clinic in the region. It offers specialty and primary services to its patients, including services such as Family Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Pediatrics, Podiatry, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and more. Variable rate billing can be in effect too. 210 9th Street SE, Rochester, MN 55904, Phone number (507)288-3443.

Good Samaritan Medical Clinic also is available for Olmsted County residents. Various services are available including prescriptions, pediatric care, eye care, diabetes, smoking cessation help and more, and asthma. Some services are offered for persons without health insurance or medical assistance and who have a health concern. 120 North Broadway, Rochester, Minnesota 55906, call (507)529-4100. Click here for more free community clinics in Minnesota.







Migrant Health Services, Inc. - Migrant workers and their families only can receive medical care. Some assistance offered includes diabetes and hypertension clinics, as well as prenatal care. Also vouchers for prescription medication and doctor visits can bring the cost of the medication or visit down to $10. Call (507) 529-0503 for information or appointments.

Other national and regional medical and dental programs are out there. The indigent, homeless, uninsured, and low income can get free or low cost medical services including medications. There are eve national non-profits, including GoodRX for saving on medications as well as Medicaid, dental clinics, and so much more.


By Jon McNamara

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