Philadelphia assistance programs.

Low income families in the city and County of Philadelphia can get financial help. There is assistance for heating bills, money for helping to pay rent, free boxes of food, health care from clinics, and gasoline vouchers or bus passes. Low income housing as well as mortgage and security deposit help is available too.

Find how to apply for help below, as well as the leading charities, churches and government assistance programs for the low income, seniors, and disabled. clients can also get basic needs met, such as free winter clothes or school supplies, furniture, and even Christmas or birthday toys for kids.

Get help with applying for public benefits

The Mayor's office of Community Empowerment & Opportunity has several assistance programs that will help people with paying bills. The main resources available are as follows:

BenePhilly - This program provides one-on-one assistance with completing public benefits applications and the enrollment process in Philadelphia. Call 1-844-848-4376 to get help over the phone or schedule an in-person appointment. Get support with the following benefits:

  • Prescription Drugs as well as health insurance.
  • Heating costs and other utilities
  • Taxes, including property.
  • Food and hunger prevention services.
  • Paying for College
  • Disability Benefits from the state and federal government.

Additional assistance is also available by the Philadelphia Community Empowerment & Opportunity. Call 1-855-346-7445 to schedule an in-person appointment. Their Financial Empowerment Centers can help people with the activities below. Or find more details on the Philadelphia community action agency.





  • Set up a bank account and tips to avoid unnecessary bank fees.
  • Start saving with a savings account.
  • Deal with debt as well as loan collection agencies.
  • Reduce expenses, including conservation measures on utility bills.
  • Work one-on-one with your own Financial Counselor.
  • To learn more on their programs or phone numbers, call the office.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley, Inc.

Provides budget, credit and money management counseling or free advice. Most services are free. The non-profit offers counseling on debt management and debt reduction/elimination programs. Offers educational and training presentations. The goal is financial literacy. Find additional programs to get debt help. Call ((215) 563-5665)

Vision assistance

The Lions Club of Delaware Valley (800-743-6667) will assist low-income, disabled, and the elderly with eye and vision issues. As resources allow, they also provide eyeglasses. Other assistance can be arranged too. Learn more on how to get free eyeglasses.





Food assistance

Individuals and/or families that have little or very limited income can turn to a local food cupboard for help and free grcoeries. In Philadelphia, these organizations and charities that can help include. The Salvation Army ((215) 561-0178), Harold O. Davis Memorial Baptist Church, St. Gabriel's Parish (610) 532-5057), and St. Vincent DePaul Society. Many also serve Easter, Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas meals or dinners to the needy.

Another option is the Share Food Program. This organization can direct you to local distribution centers, and they run their own program in which for $20 in cash or food stamps. plus the applicant putting in just two hours of community service, participants in the program can receive $40-$45 worth of fresh food or groceries. Call them at 215-223-2220.

Dozens of food banks, pantries, and charities distribute free food, clothing, and meals in Philadelphia County. Anyone who needs help, affordable food or vouchers can contact one of these centers. Click here for more information on Philadelphia County free food pantries.

Kids Smiles

Receive free or low cost dental care for children that are covered by Medical Assistance or the CHIP health plan. They also give aid to uninsured children whose families meet income thresholds. Call them at 215-492-9291.

Rental assistance

If you are your family help with paying a security deposit or if you have been given an eviction notice, you can get help with rent from the following agencies. Tenant Action Group ((215) 575-0700), Diversified Community Services, South Lehigh Action Council, the city of Philadelphia ((215) 686 - 6785), or the Southwest CDC.

A number of non-profits and government agencies in Philadelphia administer rental programs, offer landlord/tenant mediation, and provide counseling to renters. Both loans or grants may be used. More on Philadelphia rent assistance agencies.




Philadelphia mortgage assistance programs

The City of Philadelphia has created a program to help residents who need mortgage assistance. The Housing  Retention Program provides aid to low-income residents who have children and it will also help those who are are suffering from a short-term financial emergency or crisis. Click here to read more on Philadelphia foreclosure diversion.

Find additional mortgage assistance programs for Pennsylvania. This foreclosure prevention program is unique as it mandates that banks and lenders can’t foreclose on a home until they have a conciliation conference between the lender and homeowner.

Help for single parent from ACHIEVEability Keeping Families and Homes Together Project. This is a pilot program that will help lower income, single parents who are newly unemployed and who need to be enrolled in either an academic degree program, job training, or an equivalent trade school program. Financial assistance provided from the program will include short- or medium-term rental assistance, help with paying security or utility deposits, actual utility bill payments and other small subsidies for these types of expenses.

Urban League of Philadelphia - Professionally trained mortgage and housing counselors conduct free group and individual housing and foreclosure counseling sessions. In addition, access personal credit repair and credit maintenance; debt reduction, money management through budgeting; and learn the rights and responsibilities of homeowners. Call (215) 985-3220.

Mortgage Help Center - Lender Fannie Mae has opened a location in Philadelphia that provides homeowners the ability to get free, confidential advice from a highly trained and government certified housing counselor. The location is also staffed with counselors from local non-profit housing agencies. Click here details on Fannie Mae Philadelphia housing programs.

Women Against Abuse

Grants will be provided for housing stabilization as well as housing relocation support for women and children who have had to flee their homes as a result of domestic violence or abuse. In total, the Women Against Abuse program will assist dozens of families with housing support. Dial (215) 386-1280 to learn more on this agency.

Emergency and crisis assistance for rent and bills, including heating and utility

Catholic Charities of Philadelphia is one of the primary agencies to turn to for emergency help. They partner with local agencies, such as the United Way and other churches, to help thousands of people per year. Some of the emergency assistance programs available to people in need of help include rent or utility bill assistance, clothing cupboards and food pantries, housing referrals and counseling.





The charity also has information on Pennsylvania and federal government programs, and case management. In addition, adults may be able to benefit from employment training, ESL classes, job placement assistance, and GED preparation. Call Catholic Charities at 215.587.3590, or read more on their services and Catholic Charity Philadelphia county assistance programs.

Utility Emergency Services Fund - Will pay for a gas, electric, heating, or water bill for qualified individuals. The bill can’t exceed $500.00 and needs to be in shut-off status or already terminated. All grants and financial aid provided must be applied to utility bills in which the account will reach a zero balance once aid is applied. Call (215) 829-0545 in order to find other electric bill programs.

Additional services, such as grants for paying rent, can be provided by the Philadelphia Utility Emergency Services Fund / UESF. Clients can also receive case management and enroll into budgeting classes. The non-profits also run shelters and provide other housing support. More on the Utility Emergency Services Fund.

City of Philadelphia offers the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). Call (215) 6867106. This federal government stimulus funded program can provide emergency rent help, utility and security deposits, credit counseling, and other housing assistance.

Short term and emergency loans are offered across the county from a variety of lenders. The money, whether from a private or non-profit lenders, can be used for paying bills, addressing car repairs, or paying for costs such as housing, rent, and more. There are also no credit-check loans, short term financing, and more in Philadelphia.

Southwest Family Services Center works to prevent a housing crisis. They can offer cash assistance to assist or a repayable loan. The funds can pay rent, utilities or security deposits. Staff work to prevent evictions and homelessness in the city of Philadelphia. 6214 Grays Ferry Ave, call (215) 724-8550.

Homeless or people facing eviction can turn to the Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, or VOA. They operate in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and are part of the national charity organization. Low income apartments, referrals to emergency funds or loans for paying rent, and other aid is coordinated, especially for veterans and the elderly along with single parents. Other services include free career counseling, homeless reintegration, and much more. More on Volunteers of America Valley assistance programs.

Pathstone is located at 930 Washington Avenue in Philadelphia, PA 19145. Migrant workers, immigrants, and the very low income may be clients. They may have programs ranging funds to pay heating bills to rent as well as mortgage help. There are also grants to pay for security deposits, nutritional programs, and other support services. Free food and information on public aid, such as Medicare Extra Help, WIC, or Medicaid or CHIP may be provided. Dial 610-925-5600.





New Kensington CDC - Resources from this agency include utility and heating bill assistance, foreclosure diversion, budgeting counseling, first-time homebuying, and also assistance with applying for the Pennsylvania Rent and Property Tax Rebate program. Dial ((215) 739-6910).

Diversified Community Services, Inc. will offer services or referrals in an effort to help people facing eviction. Some of the resources offered may include cash assistance for paying rent, utility bills, and other housing costs such as security deposits. The resources are available from the Dixon House that is run by the non-profit. The location is 1920 S 20th St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19145, call (215) 336-3511, or read more.

Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund may have financial assistance for those families who are caring for terminally, seriously injured, critically, and chronically ill children. Call (215) 643-0763

Norristown Ministries Hospitality Center runs a program often referred to as stepping stones. It will try to help people gain self-sufficiency and includes rental and/or utility bill assistance, emergency food, Public Assistance, financial counseling, personal hygiene items, furniture and more. Employment and job finding resources are also offered. The main office is at 530 Church Street 1st Floor, Norristown, PA, 19401. Telephone (610) 277-1321

Philadelphia Housing Authority offers rental vouchers and housing assistance for residents who are facing a crisis. Learn about public housing, low income apartments, and rental assistance from programs such as section 8. Call (215) 684-4000, or click more information on Philadelphia Housing Authority.

Southwest Community Development Corporation runs the REACH Homeless Prevention Program, which will assist those who are currently homeless with obtaining stability and self-sufficiency. 6328 Paschall Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19142, call (215) 729-0810

Tenant Union Representative Network (TURN) offers individual counseling, rental and mortgage payment assistance, and more. They focus on providing a wide variety of other housing related services. If you are facing homelessness due to unpaid utility bills then some assistance may be provided as well. Call (215) 940-3900 for information.

United Way referral line of Philadelphia County - Referrals and information is given. Get advice on applying for LIHEAP heating bill grants, prescription assistance from PACE/PACENET and/or Medicare Extra Help, the Medicare Savings Program, Medicaid or CHIP. There is also a listing of dental clinics and applications to free health care programs.

The service can also link families to the Property Tax or Rent Rebate, City Property Tax Assistance Programs, or SNAP (food stamps). Staff can also provide referral information for Social Security Disability Benefits, Supplemental Security Income, WIC, Unemployment Insurance and TANF. Or anyone seeking free stuff for their family can get help too. Call 1-866-964-7922 for free referrals.

United Communities Southeast Philadelphia may be able to help catch up with their monthly payment obligation to the landlord, bank or the lender. Both renters and homeowners may be able to receive support. (215) 468-1645.

Catholic Social Services – Three main offices serve residents in the Philadelphia region. The types of programs include limited financial assistance for paying either home mortgage or rent as funding from FEMA allows. They also run the Utilities Emergency Services Fund (UESF), which will pay for an electric, gas, energy or water bill which does not exceed $750 and in shut-off status or already terminated. Maybe most importantly residents can meet with a social worker to develop a plan for long term self-sufficiency and explore all options, like government assistance.

  • 4400 N. Reese Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19140, call (215) 329 - 5660
  • 7340 Jackson Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19136, dial (215) 624-5920
  • 6214 Grays Ferry Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19143, phone (215) 724-8550





Center in the Park – Meet for free with a counselor to explore ways to get help with utility bills, home heating fuel, housing or just if you have a general financial need. Address 5818 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19144. Phone:(215) 848-7722

Impact Fund is a resource that links families to assistance programs. The United Way of Philadelphia County and many other non-profits as well as social service offices play a key role in running this program. Everything from grants to dental care, food, employment, and more is offered. There are even links to application sites for SSI disability, welfare, and other public aid. More on Philadelphia Impact Fund.

Congreso de Latinos Unidos – Access Family Social Services which can provide assessment and short-term case management for resource connection including public benefits navigation, legal and immigration issues, energy bill help from LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)/Crisis applications. 216 W. Somerset Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19133. Call (215) 763 - 8870

Douglas Community and Outreach Center – The non-profit provides seniors in Philadelphia with referral assistance to government aid and completing LIHEAP applications, and counselors advocate on behalf of seniors. 613 S. 60th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19143. Call (215) 432 - 0109

Fern Rock-Ogontz-Belfield Community Development Corporation – People who live in zip codes of 19120, 19126, 19138, 19141, and 19144 can apply for utility bill assistance. 1201 W. Olney Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19141. Call (215) 549 - 8755

Housing resources and employment from Urban League - The agency can provide information on job training and carer development in Philadelphia. Other services from the HUD certified agency revolve around assisting homeowners or tenants that are facing eviction. More on Philadelphia Urban League programs.

Intercultural Family Services, Inc. – Housing programs and rent assistance is offered. The agency can provide cash assistance and grants for rent, utilities and security deposits to resolve a housing crisis and prevent homelessness. 4225 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, Phone:(215) 386-1298 Ext: 255

SSVF, or Supportive Service for Veteran Families, is for low income military members, veterans and families. Various housing assistance programs are available, such as shelter, transitional apartments, and funds to pay expenses or back rent. Other assistance in Philadelphia County is for transportation costs, gasoline, child care, doctor bills and more. Veterans looking for a new home can get assistance or a loan to pay the first months rent or security deposit. Also get referrals to VA benefits.

  • Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center, 213/217 North 4th Street
  • Project H.O.M.E. is another agency that offers this. 1515 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19130. Main phone (215) 232-7272.

Philadelphia Board of Directors of City Trusts – Funds are offered for energy bills, such as gas and heating oil. 21 S. 12th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107. Call (215) 568 – 0440

Clothing closet centers and thrift stores can provide Philadelphia families with either free or low cost goods. A number of items may be distributed. This can include items like winter clothing, coats and boots. Students may receive free school supplies. Or looking in Christmas assistance, gifts, and toys for lower income residents. More on free clothing closets in Philadelphia.

Salvation Army - Greater Philadelphia – Low income and working poor can apply for help with paying utility bills, rent, and food among other costs. Several different centers operate around the greater Philadelphia County region. They also have case management and homeless shelters.

Other resources that are available include holiday assistance (free Christmas toys), winter coats and meals as well as back to school supplies. Social workers can also address the roof cause of the hardship, and offer services such as credit counseling and employment programs. 4344 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19124. Call (215) 288 - 3596, or click here for details on Salvation Army Philadelphia assistance programs.





Social Services and TURN - Emergency financial aid is offered for qualified Philadelphia families to help them pay bills and housing costs in a crisis. Programs are run by community centers, the Salvation Army, and a non-profit known as TURN. Learn more on emergency assistance in Philadelphia.

Susquehanna Neighborhood Advisory Council – The agency provides both cash and crisis grants to the needy. Cash grants help families pay for their heating bills. 1815 W. Susquehanna Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19121. Call (215) 765 - 2200

There are many income opportunities in Philadelphia. Jobs, side hustle, smartphone apps and other tools can be used to make extra money for the bills. Everyone from immigrants to seniors to undereducated can use these tools. Find details on how to make free money.

Casa del Carmen may have rent, mortgage and utility assistance from FEMA grants or other sources of government funding. Callers need to ask if funding is available, and the program may provide cash assistance. When available, the money can be used for paying a portion of rent arrears, utilities and security deposits to prevent homelessness. A focus is on Latinos in Philadelphia, but others can apply as well.

Meet with a social worker to develop your unique plan to self-sufficiency. Another program known as UESF will pay for an electric, electric, or water bill which does not exceed $750 and is already terminated or is in shut-off status. Offices are at 4400 N Reese St and 6214 Grays Ferry Ave in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Call (215) 724-8550 or (215) 624-5920, or find more information on financial aid from Casa Del Carmen.

Senior assistance is available from the Philadelphia Agency/Corporation on Aging. Dozens of programs and activities are offered. They range from housing (such as home repairs and energy assistance) to food (free delivered meals and nutrition) and legal aid. Information and referrals to government benefits including health insurance and Medicare, prescriptions and transpiration assistance are just a few other resources offered. 642 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19130, (215) 765-9040. Or more on help for seniors in Pennsylvania.

Donation and giveaway programs operate for school supplies. Kids, immigrants, the poor, and students from the inner city can get help. Clothing, basic school supplies, computers, and other goods are offered. The assistance is offered during the summer as well as early fall. More on Philadelphia regional school supply programs.

Friends Neighborhood Guild, Inc. operates the Neighborhood Energy Center (NEC). It offers counseling and education to consumers that have various energy related needs. NEC can provide limited financial assistance for utilities using both private and federal funds, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF), and Crisis Grant.

Another service is the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Other aid includes plumbing repair and support through the Conservation Assistance Program (CAP). Family budget, referrals, counseling, and advocacy are available. 701 N 8th St 8th and Fairmount, Philadelphia, PA, 19123, call (215) 923-1544

Klein JCC and their In-Home Support Program can help senior live independently in their homes. Services, assistance, and support are offered for the elderly. Examples include home delivered meals, minor home repairs, transportation services, short term personal care, utility and medical assistance. (267) 245 - 7791

Agencies for debt reduction and credit services - There are almost 10 non-profit organizations in Philadelphia Pennsylvania that focus on helping consumers reduce their debts, pay bills, improve credit scores, and deal with other financial matters. Advice and services can be offered for free to income qualified applicants. Sign up for mortgage delinquency counseling, or a debt management plan. More on credit counseling in Philadelphia.

Office of Supportive Housing operates across the city of Philadelphia. The agency provides cash assistance with rent, utilities and security deposits to prevent homelessness. Applicants need to be out of options, and also have an eviction or disconnection notice. (215) 686 - 6785

City Team of Philadelphia - This is a national charity with operations in the county. They offer shelter, advice for the unemployed, and recovery programs for those with an addiction. Other services are also available from the Philadelphia County location, and low income families as well as single parents and the vulnerable can call upon the non-profit. More on housing and help from City Team.

The Housing Trust Fund also is part of the office of housing mentioned above. They may have funds to pay rental costs are part of the citywide homeless prevention program. There is also Supportive and Transitional Housing units available in Philadelphia County as well as long income apartments. Grants can be used from the Trust Fund to pay first months rent, moving costs, or maybe a portion of the security deposit for formerly homeless residents. Find more details on eviction prevention programs in Philadelphia.





Philadelphia County Assistance Offices and the Department of Public Welfare can help low income people pay their heating bills through energy federal government assistance grants like LIHEAP. A number of offices are around the county, as listed below. Also apply for programs like SNAP food stamps, section 8, TANF, disability, free child care and more. There are also innovative short term cash programs available, including such things as making money using a smartphone.

  • 301 E Chelten Ave 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19144, call (215) 560-5200
  • 2701 N Broad St. 4th Floor, main number (215) 560-4600
  • 5853 Germantown Ave, (215) 560-4800
  • 1348 W Sedgley Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19132, main number (215) 560-4700
  • 4601 Market St, Philadelphia, PA, 19139, (215) 560-2301
  • Philadelphia State Office Bldg 1400 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA, 19130, (215) 560-2900
  • 1334 Bainbridge St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19146, telephone (215) 560-4400
  • 219 E Lehigh Ave, (215) 560-4000
  • 5070 Parkside Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19131, (215) 560-6100
  • 4111 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA, 19124, dial (215) 560-6400
  • 5740 Market St 1st Floor, Philadelphia, PA, 19139, (215) 560-3800
  • 4109 Frankford Ave, dial (215) 560-6500
  • 900 N Marshall St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19123, (215) 560-3600
  • 990 Buttonwood St, (215) 560-4300
  • Continue reading Philadelphia public assistance programs.

Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging - May provide cash grants up to $100 for heating and utility bill emergencies. All other sources of funding and government assistance must first be exhausted before applying to this non-profit. There is also information on local Meals for Wheels deliveries, applications to Medicare, affordable housing and other support. (215) 765 - 9040. Read more on Agency on Aging and senior help in Pennsylvania.

Regional Housing Legal Services offers the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project (PULP). This is available across the state, in all counties, towns, and cities. Counselors can assist low-income residential utility and energy consumers, and help them connect to and maintain affordable services. Get help in dealing with Landlord-Tenant related utility issues as well. (717) 236-9486 Ext: 205

Philadelphia Rescue Mission is known as Philadelphia Sunday Breakfast. What the low income and homeless may be able to get help with from the center is as follows.

  • Free meals served daily.
  • Emergency shelter for the homeless.
  • Information and referrals to transitional housing in Philadelphia County.
  • Several other outreach and social services are available. Read more Philadelphia Rescue Mission.

Holiday programs, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, can provide the less fortunate families, children, and seniors in Philadelphia with help. Some of what may be offered in Philadelphia County includes free Christmas gifts, toys, clothing, groceries, and meals as well. More on free holiday and Christmas help in Philadelphia region.

Philadelphia Water Revenue Bureau – May be able to help customers whose meet certain poverty levels and who are experiencing difficulty paying their bills. (215) 685 - 6300

Helpline is a call center type solution. Anyone that needs referrals for basic needs, medical care, housing, and any type of financial aid can call. Specialists from the service will direct the caller to some type of solution for their need. Click more information on helpline services in Philadelphia.

Faith based groups provide support to all religions in Philadelphia County. Local churches assist immigrants, the poor, children, and parents seeking to better themselves. The resources may include:

  • Whiz Kids child development and affordable day care or pre-school.
  • Free vouchers to shop at a church run thrift store for furniture, winter coats, boots, and toys.
  • Some locations assist with financial needs, such as food, rent, heating bills, or car repairs. Find more details on Philadelphia churches.

Legal assistance is available for free from firms such as Community Legal Services and others. Numerous services are offered, including information on applying for public benefits such as SSI disability or food stamps. Attorneys can also work with tenants on preventing evictions, offer referrals to homeless prevention in Philadelphia, and ensure people get free legal support for civil issues. More free legal aid Philadelphia.

Winter heating bills - Your utility and/or natural gas company, along with energy centers across Philadelphia, can help people pay their winter energy bills. Whether you heat with natural gas, electricity, oil, or some other fuel type, financial aid and support may be offered. Click here Philadelphia heating bill assistance.

Rescue Relief For Senior Citizens – Supports the elderly and senior citizens. The agency provides cash grants, financial help, and other aid with everyday necessities. Programs can help seniors, connects them with information and resources to meet other needs, and offer guidance. Resources include Food Assistance, Medications, and Heating Bills. 2671 E. Cumberland St., Philadelphia, PA, 19125, dial (215) 426-1977





South Lehigh Action Council – Individuals and families can apply for the UESF program here as well. Funds for water, electric, and energy bills may be provided. 2211-13 W. Sergeant Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19132, call (215) 923 – 1544. The Southwest Community Development Corporation also serves as an intake site for utility assistance program applicants. Both of these locations may be able to offer up to several hundred dollars for energy bills for qualified customers.

Philadelphia assistance programs target newborns, including infants and babies. Low to middle income parents that are struggling to provide for their new child can get help from the following.

  • Food programs, including emergency infant formula.
  • Free diapers, wipes, Pampers, and more.
  • Furniture as well, whether it is a car seat or crib or bed.
  • Other services range from counseling to material goods, pregnancy tests, and more. Continue with free diapers and bay items in Philadelphia.

Society of Saint Vincent - The faith based charity in Philadelphia, and its partner churches, assist with basic needs. They operate thrift stores, assist seniors, and may have financial support in a crisis for needs such as medications, rent, or energy bills. Read more.

Low income housing, shelters, and transition units are available in the city and across all of Philadelphia County. A number of services are available at the sites. They can provide individuals or families a place to stay for a short period of time, offer a meal, clothing, or other basic needs. However, more importantly, work with a case manager to find a long term, affordable housing unit to live in. Also locate rental assistance programs, money to pay a deposit, and a job so you can pay for it. More on low income housing in Philadelphia.

Affordable or free child care - Families across Philadelphia can call upon the Child Care Information Services. The non-profit can offer qualified applicants several different programs. Direct financial assistance or cash grants may be made available to pay for day or child care. Or more than likely the agency will refer parents to local resources. More on free daycare in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia programs and non-profits that cover all of Pennsylvania

Below is information on various programs and agencies that provide foreclosure counseling, utility help, food and other assistance to all of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Inc.

This organization will have almost $600,000 in grants to provide legal services to help people avoid the loss of their rental home. There is also legal advice to also help them secure everything from disability payments to housing. The program helps with civic legal cases. This can also apply to households that may already be homeless. Call 215-981-3800 to speak to a legal professional at Philadelphia Legal Assistance. Find more on free legal assistance in Pennsylvania.




Tenant's Action Group (TAG), which can be reached at (215) 575-0700, helps deal with the legal issues and disputes between landlords and tenants. The organization helps tenants with finding solutions, can offer mediation, and provide information and places to go for housing and legal aid.

Utility, water and heating service disconnection crisis assistance

The city has established a crisis hotline (215-587-006) that will assist families and individuals who receive a utility emergency shutoff notice. In addition to providing funds to pay a bill, it also assists both renters and homeowners in need of heater repairs, replacements, or system tune ups. This assistance program is a federal/state government resource that provides assistance and funds for individuals who are income-eligible for the crisis assistance.

Another local non-profit agency to contact for energy bill help is New Kensington Community Development Corporation. This non-profit can be reached at 215-427-0350.

Utility Emergency Services Fund, which can be called at 215-972-5170, is a non-profit agency that offers utility bill help to income-eligible people that receive a disconnection notice or a shut-off notice for a bill that is $500 or less. The non-profit agency's policy is to pay the bill down to a zero balance in order to get the person back on their feet.

Carroll Park Community Council, Inc. provides emergency assistance for families who have received a disconnection notice for their energy services. They focus on western Philadelphia. the phone number is 215-877-1157.

A local charity that serves northwest Philadelphia is Germantown Settlement. Call them at 215-849-3104. They provide utility assistance for water, heating, and electric bills.

Consumers can also turn to various cooperatives and buying organizations that provide reduced cost home heating oil. They may be able to save up to 30 per gallon on their oil. Learn more on home heating oil buying groups.

Water service shut off - Water bill payment plans and a low income program are offered for families and individuals who are faced with a shut off. A limited amount of cash grants and emergency funding can help pay water bills in a crisis situation. Read more on water bill help in Philadelphia.

Another option for water bills is the TAP discount program. It is in effect an income based plan. The household (whether they lease or own) is charged a fixed, consistent monthly amount on their monthly water bills at a rate that is based on their account. This service will also help wipe out any existing balance on the account. More on Philadelphia Tiered Assistance Program.





Free community clinics in Philadelphia

There are numerous places and clinics that people can turn to in Philadelphia that provide access to medical care, dental services, and even prescription medications. This city and county are divided into a few different districts. Call the following numbers to learn where to go to for medical care. Dial 215-685-6570, 215-685-1803, or 215-685-7504. If you are not in a certain district, the professionals at these locations should be able to refer you to the correct location. Or find more information on free and sliding fee community clinics.

Get help finding a job and increasing income

The Philadelphia Unemployment Project (PUP) (phone number 215-557-0822) is a free service that people can use to find help with information about programs for the unemployed as well as place to find resources or and assistance with conducting a job search. The goal is about increasing income and skill sets. The center has a Jobs Club, computer training center, job developers, benefit counselors, fax machine and Internet connections. All services are no cost to the unemployed.

Greater Philadelphia area Head Start

Get access to educational, health and medical care, and social services from this service. The Head Start program is funded both by the federal government and the state, and it was created to help low income children under five years old, and resources can help their parents too. About 20 agencies run the program across Philadelphia and surrounding counties. Read more on Philadelphia Head Start programs.

By Jon McNamara

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