Orange County California assistance programs.
Find help with bills from charities, churches, and Orange County government agencies. Funds can help with paying rent or mortgages, assist with the security deposits, cover utility bills, or address transportation needs (free gasoline or bus passes). Or cash aid is a form of emergency assistance for low to moderate income families.
There are also other assistance programs in the region, including from churches. Some organizations give free stuff to the needy (like Christmas toys, food boxes, meals, or school supplies). Or they support immigrants with housing, documentation, and ESL classes for Spanish speakers. Struggling families or immigrants can apply for financial help, free food, or even debt reduction programs from the organizations listed below.
Funds to prevent an eviction and provide rent help
Various Orange County non-profs receive federal government funds to help city and county residents who are on the brink of losing their homes, housing, or apartments. The money is being provided on an annual basis from ESG grants or the government’s Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program.
The housing assistance program is primarily for individuals and families that are on the brink of facing eviction and becoming homeless. Money is even available for people who are currently homeless to help pay for storage or security deposits costs.
The federal government funds are used to provide short-term rental assistance, help for paying electric and heating bills. There may also be money for security deposits, hotel and motel vouchers, legal services, and housing searches. However mortgage assistance is not included.
The local charities and non-profit organizations that will be disbursing the funds include Mercy House ((714) 836-7188), which runs a homeless prevention program, and SPIN ((714) 751-1101), which assists local residents who need help finding housing. Other Orange County California agencies (such as those listed below) may also assist.
People who apply for the grants will need to provide various forms of identification, including a birth certificate and credit report, and also proof of employment through pay stubs and details on their hardship. Residents of Orange County must also show bills or statements from landlords, lease agreements, copies of utility bills, or some other forms showing proof of city and count residence.
Orange County CA programs and resources to help pay bills
The Community Action Partnership of Orange County provides various resources and programs to low as well as moderate income families. The Partnership partners with both public and private organizations and charities to provide assistance to people who need it. They try to solve local problems and improve communities by bringing services and hope to people.
The Partnership provides a variety of help to pay bills, emergency services and hardship grants. They enable struggling families to meet their basic needs and develop the skills and knowledge to get back on their feet. Some of the programs offered are below. Contact them at 12640 Knott Street, Garden Grove CA or (714) 897-6670 to learn more about these and other resources available to you, or to apply.
- HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) - HEAP will help clients who are in need help paying their gas, electric, heating, or cooling bills. Applicants to the program determine which type of utility bill they need help with paying. If qualified, a credit will appear on your bill. If the monthly utility bill you pay is included in the clients rent (if you are a renter), then the client receives a check in the benefit amount. You an only receive assistance at most one time every year.
- ECIP or F/T (Fast Track or Energy Crisis Intervention Program) - The ECIP program assists families who are facing a crisis of having their gas or electric service disconnected. It can also aid those who have already had their electric or gas disconnected. After you apply for and are accepted into ECIP/FT, the appropriate utility company is contacted and told that an application has been processed with the pledge amount to stop or postpone the pending loss of gas or electric service. If the utility service is already disconnected, the person requesting aid is responsible for paying all reconnection fees or deposits.
- CLTS (California Lifeline Telephone Service) - The CLTS program is a discounted rate for local telephone service. 2 two different types of plans are available to applicants. Limited amount of local calls or unlimited local calls are the options available. Any out of the area code, long distance or additional phone features are additional charges to the consumer. More on way to get help with telephone bills.
- CARE/FERA (California Alternative Rates for Energy, Family Electric Rate Assistance) - CARE will provide families and individuals with a discount on their gas or electric bill. The utility company will need to provide the discount on the bill, and they will also need to determine if the individual qualifies for FERA or CARE, whichever of those options provides the greater savings for the customer.
- Debt and credit counseling - Orange County families who need help in rebuilding credit, accessing loans, or paying down credit or medical debt can get assistance. The Community Action Agency works with non-profits on this service, which can be free. There is also legal aid for dealing with collectors. More help dealing with debt collectors.
- Weatherization - This is a federal funded program that provides minor home repairs to families to help them save on their energy bills, and to also improve the quality of life and health and safety. Needed home repairs and/or replacement as well as qualifying measures are determined by a home assessment will be undertaken. Weatherization services provided to homeowners are available at a maximum of one time every 10 years.
- Refrigerator Replacement - A client may qualify, based on income and other guidelines, for a energy efficient replacement refrigerator at no cost to the applicant. Replacement of the refrigerator consists of removing and also disposing of the client’s old refrigerator and replacing with a new energy efficient unit that will save the homeowners on their utility bills.
- California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance - This auto insurance savings program provides an affordable auto insurance option to low-income drivers with a good driving record.
Other resources are run by the community action agency as well, which is known as CAPOC for short. The phone number is (714) 897-6670. Or read more on Community Action Partnership of Orange County California.
Friendship Shelter - The non-profit agency can provide free budget and/or credit counseling, debt reduction, and information on rent and energy assistance. Or access job placement services. Call (949) 494-6928
Get information, and help in apply for financial assistance, from Housing Authority - Orange County. Their are offices in Irvine, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, and other areas. Assistance programs, including those that can provide rent help from section 8, electric bill assistance, and food, are offered to all Orange County California low income residents. There is even a list of housing assistance programs available. Get advice and assistance in applying for aid. Call (714) 480-2900.
AIDS Services Foundation Orange County can help HIV or AIDs patients. If qualified, receive utility, mortgage, rent, or security deposits assistance. The center can also provide transportation services to clients for medical appointments, and this includes van and taxi rides, bus passes, or ACCESS fare coupons. Call 949-809-5700
Family Assistance Ministries offers some homeless prevention services. This can include funds for basic housing costs such as rent or utilities. Referrals are also available to other agencies in San Diego County. They also provide motel vouchers, a discounted prescription medication card, toiletries, and many other resources in their service area. The address is 1030 Calle Negocio, San Clemente, California, 92673, dial 949-492-8477, or more on Family Assistance Ministry assistance programs.
Community Outreach – Can provide one time electric, water, and gas bill service payment assistance for those in need. Telephone 714-637-2085
Assistance League of Orange – Services include a daily bus pass to those in need when funding is available. Provides utility and electric bill assistance. Scholarships can be provided to high school seniors who reside or attend school within the Orange Unified School District. 124 South Orange Street, telephone 714-532-5800
Saint Joachim Catholic Church – Assistance programs and resources include prescription medications, water and utility bill assistance, groceries, and more to the needy in the Parish region. 1964 Orange Avenue, Costa Mesa, California, 92626, call 949-574-7400
Free basic needs, school supplies and clothing - Southern California, Irvine, Orange County, and other nearby towns are served by dozens of clothing closets, thrift stores, churches, and charities that offer basic needs to the low income. This includes clothing, free school supplies, furniture, diapers, maternity clothes, and much more. Continue with Orange County free school supplies and clothing closets.
Friendly Center, Inc. – Residents in the Orange Unified School District who are at risk of having electricity services disconnected may get help. Also provides information, case management and referrals for families in crisis. Other services include Basic English as a Second Language (ESL) class for adults. Brown Bag Food Program, Government Commodities, and free food is offered. 147 West Rose Avenue, Orange, California, 92867, dial 714-771-5300
Society of Saint Vincent De Paul - A conference of churches and religious organization partner together, often with other charities. Various social services and emergency assistance is offered. Examples of programs administered include free Christmas toys, clothing, and meals. There is also help for immigrants (legal or not), Mexicans, and Spanish speakers among others.
Direct financial aid may be paid out to Orange County families in a crisis for expenses such as rent or energy bills. But St. Vincent has limited resources for this. Other resources include food, help for senior citizens, referrals and case management. Read more Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Orange County.
Emergency rent or security help is provided by a number of organizations and churches that operate across the area, and many rely on federal government grants for their funding. Other housing services can include shelter or information on low income apartments for clients. Find information on about 15 other non-profits to call for Orange County CA rent assistance.
Orange County Catholic Charities - A limited number of resources are offered. Most are focused on seniors, immigrants, or families that need help with basic needs, such as food or holiday assistance. There is also a low cost thrift store for furniture and household goods. Also get help applying for government aid such as CalFresh food stamps or low income housing. Continue with assistance from Orange County Catholic Charities.
Community Center distributes baby supplies such as food, formula, and diapers when available. Also provides electric and utility bill payment assistance to those in need when funds are available. Clothing and rent may also be offered. ESL classes that meet Amnesty and Civic requirements are held all year round. May offer employment services and job placement for youth and adults. Offers affordable and high quality legal assistance for low income residents. Hygiene items and clothing are available for those without housing. Several locations operate in the Orange County California region.
- Santa Ana non-profit at 714-543-8933
- Ponderosa Park Family Resource Center, 2100 South Haster Street, Anaheim, CA, 92802, dial 714-750-2826
- Downtown Anaheim Community Center is at 250 East Center Street. Dial 714-765-4500
- The La Habra center can be reached at 562-697-1199
South County Outreach is an income based program that can help people pay their utilities if they are faced with a disconnection. Or if your service is currently disconnected then financial assistance may be provided as well. Funds for water bills may be offered too.
The non-profit only supports the South Orange County area. While funding is limited, there may be funds for paying rent, and they also operate a client choice food pantry and thrift store. Individuals working towards self-sufficiency can also apply for the transitional housing program. 26776 Vista Terrace, Lake Forest, CA, 92630, telephone 949-380-8144, or find more South County Outreach assistance programs.
Share Our Selves offers local residents the Energy Assistance Fund, which is for paying electric bills. 1550 Superior Avenue, Costa Mesa, California, 92627, call 949-270-2100
Free resources for the holidays - Low to moderate income families in southern California and Orange County may receive free meals, Christmas toys, gifts, and food at the major holidays. Programs operate across the county at the major milestones, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Children may get toys too. More on free holiday help in Orange County.
Southwest Community Center supports the Santa Ana region. Some of the resources offered include bus fares, natural gas and utility bill assistance. Call 714-543-8933 for information.
Programs to stop evictions, homelessness, and rehouse Orange County families operate in the region. Non-profit agencies, including in Anaheim and other communities, provide help in this capacity. They support clients including single moms, immigrants, and senior citizens among others with their housing needs.
People can apply for cash grants or loans for paying their utilities to stay housed, and this may be for water, electric, or energy bills. Rent can also be paid, along with security or deposits for connecting phone or electrical service. Click Orange County homeless prevention.
Beach Cities Interfaith Services is another non-profit to contact for energy assistance. Support is for people who are faced with a disconnection or whose power is now shut off. Call 714-969-4462.
San Antonio Family Assistance can pay security deposits and first month rent. In addition, if you are facing eviction or are faced with an unexpected expense, emergency rental assistance may be offered. 714-974-9728
Water bill payment plans or financial help can be arranged. Companies as well as non-profits will offer support to people facing a shut off of their service which could result in an eviction from a home or apartment. Or there may be payment plans or deferrals. Find more details on places for water bill help.
Credit unions - One of the main ones in Orange County is SDCCU. This national lender provides low interest rate personal and salary advance loans to members. The funds can be used for paying bills, medical costs, rent, and other needs. Read more SDCCU credit union.
Housing assistance, including transitional units and shelters are located across southern California and Orange County. Not only do they provide a place for someone to stay, but case managers and staff from many of the centers will help families locate a permanent home or apartment to live in. They can also provide assistance in apply for funds to pay security deposits, first months rent, and other costs. The county and non-profits do what they can to prevent evictions and prevent homelessness. Click here transitional housing in Orange County California.
Grandma's House of Hope administered the Emergency Solutions Grant. It helps women, including those with families, find and pay for housing units. Funds can pay for security deposits, rent payment assistance, and utilities. Expenses that a client incurs in the process of acquiring housing can be paid for. Anaheim based. Dial 714-558-8600
The Salvation Army Southern California and Orange County offers several programs for the low income, seniors, and working poor. They administer the Energy Assistance Fund, which provides Edison electric bill payment assistance to those in need. When resources are available, provides prescription expense assistance.
Other aid includes free clothing vouchers, groceries, bus passes, and phone cards. The Salvation Army also help by providing free Thanksgiving turkey dinners, back to school supplies to students as well as Christmas gifts or toys from Angel Tree. There are multiple locations. Learn more on Salvation Army assistance programs Orange County.
Orange and Southern California Lutheran Services can assist low income and struggling families in the county. If the charity can’t meet your needs, then referrals may be offered. Both basic needs and information on emergency assistance may be available.
While the charity depends heavily on donations and volunteers, Lutheran Services will do its best to offer food, rental help, and shelter. Case management type services are available for people seeking a job or gaining stability. In some cases the agency may have referrals to more specialized services in Orange County such as motel vouchers or gasoline assistance. Click Lutheran Services Orange County.
Financial assistance from Social Services - The County works with local non-profits to provide money to pay bills, rent, medicines, and other needs in an emergency. Some of the programs are also administered directly by the county government. So a combination of government and private funds are pooled together to help the less fortunate. Tens of thousands of low income, elderly, unemployed, and struggling Orange County residents receive some form of assistance every year. Read more Orange County emergency assistance.
Orange County programs and agencies that cover all of California
Locate information on other assistance programs as well as national non-profit organizations that provide rent help, housing, credit counseling, and other services. These agencies operate across California as well as Orange County.
There are a wide range of national assistance programs, government resources, charities and other groups as well. They may offer free items, counseling, grant programs or other support. Continue to find foundations that help with bills.
Mortgage assistance, credit counseling and foreclosure prevention
With California hit particularly hard by the housing crisis, the Orange County Home Ownership Preservation Collaborative, or OC HOPC for short, is an organization that may be able to help. The organization is a partnership of government, non-profit, and business leaders who are all committed to preventing foreclosures and helping people stay in their homes. The group is strongly committed to promoting and preserving the dream of home ownership by Orange County families through outreach, financing, education, and counseling.
The group holds workshops and provide other forums so that banks, lenders and housing counselors will provide help. Clients can get free individual counseling, advice, and other assistance to those homeowners who are struggling or who may be worried about or experiencing a home foreclosure. Mortgage and housing counselors will be available for confidential meetings to offer free legal and housing advice to homeowners across California. Find other ways to get mortgage help and foreclosure assistance, including from state government mortgage assistance programs.
Contact the Orange County Home Ownership Preservation Collaborative at (714) 313-8699 for information on how to get foreclosure and mortgage help.
Another agency to turn to for foreclosure help us the Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County. The NHS OC organization has well trained housing counselors who will meet face-to-face for a couple hours with homeowners who are behind on their mortgage or facing a foreclosure. The counselors will meet with borrowers to find the best solution to address the problem and remedy the default, including refinancing, loss mitigation, foreclosure mediation, or loan workouts or modifications.
These options can include repayment, refinancing and forbearance plans. In addition, the housing counselor will review and assess homeowner's budget and financial situation to develop an action plan and budget, and help them reduce debt. Call for foreclosure help at 714-490-1250.
Debt reduction and counseling - Several non-profit agencies operate in Orange County California and provide either free or low cost services to qualified families. Counselors can help people deal with unpaid bills and/or credit card debts, and also offer potential solutions to a foreclosure or unpaid mortgage. Read more on free credit and mortgage delinquency counseling in Orange County.
Employment services and job training
Catholic Charities of Orange County can help people find a job, grow their career, and increase their income. The Employment Service Center, which is run by the organization, provides employment services and job training programs to Orange County residents. There is also information on non-traditional resources, such as gig or side economy jobs.
Counselors will work with the applicant to develop life and job skills that move clients toward independence, an increased income and self-sufficiency. There is help for Spanish speakers, the under or unemployed as well as people seeking to make more money. Call 714-347-9600, or find help for gig economy workers.
Free food banks in Orange County California
The entire region is supported by dozens of non-profit food pantries, soup kitchens, churches, charities, and government programs. The agencies provide items to the needy such as canned goods, emergency food boxes, holiday meals, and perishable items. They help feed the low to moderate income and other vulnerable groups, such as immigrants and the elderly. Many of the centers will also off support such as clothing, baby supplies, CalFresh and household items.
- Saint Vincent de Paul Society - This charity organization has several locations in Orange County, including in Irvine (949-551-8601) as well as Placentia (714-528-1487).
- Saint Joachim Catholic Church - Has emergency food boxes, groceries, and other perishable items. Costa Mesa, California, 949-574-7400
- Calvary Chapel-Garden Grove - Food, meals, and information on shelter and housing for the low income. 714-897-8972
- Beach Cities Interfaith Services - Huntington Beach, dial 714-969-4462
There are additional food programs, both short term and long term. Click here for information, including phone numbers and addresses, of other free food banks in Orange County.
Medical and dental care
If you are uninsured or underinsured, and have no money to pay for medical bills and have no other option for heath care, Share Our Selves is a local clinic that may be able to help. They provide access to dentists for cleanings and dental work, doctors and other medical professionals for health care needs, and provide numerous health care services. Call the clinic at 949.642.3451. They may also be able to help people reduce medical and hospital bills. Learn more on California laws for medical debts.