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Assistance programs Oswego County.

Get information on financial assistance programs for low income families, senior citizens, the disabled, and other qualified applicants. Find everything from grant money to pay rent or electric bills in Oswego County to free groceries from a pantry, winter clothing, free home repair grant programs and other support.

Learn about the local community action agency, the Oswego County Opportunities, Inc., as well as various churches and charity organizations. Qualified individuals can find free health care programs, ways to get affordable housing or locate free school supplies such as laptops or Christmas gifts for children from low-income households.

Crisis and general financial assistance in Oswego County

One agency that offers a multitude of programs is the Catholic Charities of Oswego County. They offer several of their own assistance programs. In addition, the various churches can also refer people to other programs or charities if they are not able to provide them help the person needs. They focus on meeting the most basic of emergency needs for those people who need help in Oswego County New York. Some of the programs they offer are the following:

They may have assistance for clothing and free work attire, cash for prescriptions and paying for medical expenses, or clinics. Get help with locating job opportunities, grants for utility and heating bills, educational opportunities, employment skills and job search. This can include free gasoline vouchers for a job.

There is also money for rental and security deposits, holiday baskets and meals. In addition, Oswego Catholic Charities also assist with food stamp applications and access to health insurance and other government programs. Call 315-598-3980, or find more assistance from Oswego Catholic Charities.

Another place to turn to for emergency assistance is the Fulton or Oswego Salvation Army. Call them at 315-343-6491. This agency runs a food pantry that distributes free groceries, and they also offer programs such as rent/mortgage assistance, help for paying utilities or energy costs. Additional support includes temporary homeless shelter, free clothing, furniture, household supplies, or some emergency transportation services.




There is also seasonal support at the Salvation Army, ranging from free holiday food baskets to winter coats for children or the elderly. Or get free Thanksgiving or Christmas help. Learn more on help from Salvation Army in Oswego.

Rental assistance is provided by the City of Oswego. It is paid for by the federal government. Based on funding, the disabled, senior citizens, and low income families can get help with paying a portion of their monthly rent or housing costs. The tenant based Housing Choice Voucher Program pays a portion of your expense.

It is often combined with the Family Self Sufficiency Program. This is meant to help people become self-sufficient, improve their income, find a job, and acquire new skills. The goal is to help people become economically independent. Dial 315-343-3452 or stop at the office, which is located at 20 W. Oneida St., Oswego, New York 13126.

Financial assistance for rent, utilities, heating bills, food, and more in Oswego

Oswego County Department of Social Services - The government agency runs and administers Cash Assistance under the Family Assistance Program, offers health care and Medical Assistance, Information on Rent Programs, and Safety Net Assistance. Social Services also offers applications to Food Stamps, Home Energy Bill Assistance, Child and Adult Protective Services, Foster Care, Adoption Services, and Day/Child Day Care. Call 963-5000

  • Temporary Assistance (Family Assistance or Safety Net Assistance) - A government created program, sometimes also called SNAP, the Temporary Assistance is a program to help qualified low to moderate income families or individuals to meet basic needs such as shelter, rent assistance or utility and heating bill payments. Program may provide a one-time cash payment to meet an emergency need or ongoing cash assistance to meet basic needs of local Oswego County residents.





  • SNAP food stamps - Social Services help low income families apply, including to emergency EBT cards. Low income families, single moms in Oswego County and others who are struggling can use food stamps to help pay for some of their groceries. It is the most widely used benefit in the nation. Read more on food stamp EBT cards near you.
  • HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) - This is created by New York and federal government. There are regular and emergency benefits and grants paid out. These are one-time cash payments that are meant to offset the high cost of home heating bills and expenses during the heating season.
  • Government and cash assistance - The local social service office can help people apply for the extensive number of federal government and New York state public aid programs. These can include health care, cash for paying for basic needs, and other resources. Click here for additional information on public and government assistance in NY, including conditions that need to be met for applying.

Call 963-5000 to apply for aid or learn about the Social Services. Or continue Oswego County public aid.

If you need help paying rent, or homeless prevention assistance, or even medical support, call Oswego County Opportunities, Inc.. The Fulton based agency offers payments for rent, and runs a program known as the Homeless Intervention Program. It provides supportive services, cash grants, and counseling that is all designed to stabilize households by preventing homelessness, offering money to pay rent and expenses and by facilitating the transition from homelessness to permanent housing for people who have been evicted.

The organization also operates as the regional community action agency. So they operate various other services for struggling families, the unemployed, and people that are struggling with their bills. Other examples of services from Oswego County Opportunities are as follows.

  • They operate transitional housing known as PATH.
  • Employment resources are available from Job Assistance Readiness Training - JART.
  • Food programs in Oswego and Fulton include pantries, Christmas and home delivered meals.
  • There are also resources for victims of domestic violence and the disabled.
  • Case management, self-sufficiency, budgeting and other classes are offered in partnership with credit counseling and other agencies.

Individuals can get access to additional health care programs from the Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. This community action agency will offer health care services for the entire family. A highly trained professional staff of physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals all contribute to the health care program. The focus is on health maintenance and disease prevention. The non-profit organization can help with cancer items and diagnosis, medications, adult medicine, and more. Call (315) 598-4715 to schedule an appointment or learn more.

The Oswego County Opportunities Fund administers a total of over 50 assistance programs to local families. They can also refer people to programs, such as HEAP for energy bills, and rent assistance programs.

The main office can be reached at 342-7618. Or get more details on Oswego County Opportunities programs.





City of Fulton Community Development Agency (phone 593-7166) - A few services offered include Section 8 housing, weatherization, and home and housing repairs. Section 8 offers housing for low income families.

Eviction and rent assistance may be provided in very limited circumstances. Based on the applicant’s income, agency funding levels, and other factors, either one time grants or other help can be provided for everything from a deposit to back rent. Find rent help in Oswego.

Free winter clothes, including coats, boots, jackets and more are often passed out by charities in Oswego County. A major focus is on children, the elderly, homeless and even college students. They can help keep the poor, low income and elderly warm during the winter. More on free winter coat giveaway near you.

Oswego free food banks, soup kitchens and pantries

Places to turn to for free food, or to apply for food stamps, include Catholic Charities, Fulton 593-8440, Sandy Creek/Lacona Community Cupboard 387-5323, North Shore Ecumenical Food Pantry 675-3144, as well as Our Lady of the Rosary, Hannibal 564-5356, Salvation Army Fulton 593-8442, Our Lady of the Rosary Hannibal 564-5201, Salvation Army Oswego 343-6491, St. Michael’s Church Central Square 440-1587.

There are dozens of other locations, including soup kitchens and holiday meal sites, in the area too. Get a comprehensive listing of free food pantries in Oswego County.

Those are not the only options though. Some of the locations partner with organizations in both Central and Western New York in order to end hunger. Find more food pantries in New York.

Free legal aid

Two different organizations to call include the Free legal clinic, which can provide consultations on a wide range of legal matters. Qualified individuals will be referred to an attorney to represent them free of charge. 806-6164. Another firm is Legal Aid Society of Mid NY. This firm will help people with civil legal matters with an emphasis on housing issues and state as well as federal government matters.

Provides free legal advice and representation in select cases to individuals whose Public Assistance, unemployment, SSI/SSD, Medicaid, Food Assistance and Stamps or HEAP has been denied, terminated or reduced. Prevents evictions and homelessness by defending tenants from eviction.

Pro-bono attorneys also provides representation on tenants rights issues in public and subsidized housing, as well as representing low income and working poor clients in domestic violence issues. Or get help solving housing discrimination, consultations and housing code enforcement cases. Click here for more on free legal aid, or call 342-2191







Free prescription assistance and health care programs

A clinic that is available and offers no cost services is the Rural and Migrant Ministry. Phone 298-1154. The location serves as a free medical clinic as well as a and healthcare advocacy agency. The organization is non-denominational and all people, regardless of income or background, are welcome for medical care, prescriptions, and other aid.

The Rural and Migrant Ministry of Oswego County, Inc. runs what is called the “Open Hands Clinic”. This is a health care clinic that provides free primary healthcare, prescription medications, dental services, and limited counseling services. Low income, people with no or limited health  insurance, and other struggling residents can use the services. They will on a limited basis pay for basic dental services. Dial 315-298-1154 to learn more about the medical services they offer. 315-343-6491


By Jon McNamara

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