Assistance programs in Pinellas County and St. Petersburg area.
Find details on how to get financial help from churches, charities, and government assistance. Pinellas County organizations provide grant money to help with rent or utility bills to free groceries, medications for low income seniors, housing, and debt advice. There is also free stuff like back to school supplies and daycare vouchers. Get financial assistance in Clearwtaer, Pinellas County, St. Petersburg and other cities. Learn how to apply for grants or loans to pay bills below.
A number of assistance programs are also for senior citizens and the working poor in Pinellas County FL. There is everything from free funeral or burial help to job placement, mortgage assistance as well as free Christmas gifts for kids. Both emergency financial aid and free items are available in the region.
Financial assistance from Community Action Programs
There are services that can help individuals and families become self-sufficient and get short term assistance for paying bills. The Pinellas Opportunity Council, Inc. (POC) is a non-profit Community Action Agency that has been in operation since 1968. They partner with state, federal, local and private charities and organizations to offer assistance programs to Clearwater and Pinellas County families. Some of what is offered are noted below. However, there are other. Contact them at 501 1st Avenue N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Their phone number is (727) 823-4101 or (727) 937-9393.
- Emergency Services and Crisis Program
People facing a crisis can get limited financial assistance and grants on a one-time basis that can be used to pay utility and heating bills, pay for fuel oil, rent/mortgage payments, food aid, clothing, and other emergency situations. Persons seeking more information or assistance from this program should call the office in their area to setup an appointment to apply.
- POC Federal Credit Union
The organization also provides affordable financial services, such as low interest loans. There is information on savings accounts, certificates of deposit, counseling, money orders, and more for low-income members.
- Residents may be eligible for loans to help with paying bills as an options. There are small dollar amount, competitively priced interest rate loans to low-income parents or people with questionable credit. The purpose of the financial assistance program is to help individuals and families who are striving for self-sufficiency by providing them funds to pay for unexpected expenses and bills that could interfere with their ability to remain employed or stay in school.
As an example of what is offered, loans are available for the following purposes. Car purchases and repairs for work or educational needs. Funds can be used for housing assistance, medical costs, job related tools and uniforms, or child care. The focus is on long term self-sufficiency. Low interest car loans from Ways to Work may be another option.
- Other resources are offered by POC as well such as Chore Services for the elderly and disabled. The focus is always on helping people works towards self-sufficiency. More on Pinellas Opportunity Council programs.
Find help with rent, mortgage, and energy bills in Pinellas County
There are many housing focused resources as well. Most of the non-profits, agencies, and programs below can help with utilities, food, rent, and more. To find additional locations in St. Petersburg Florida and the region that focus on rental assistance, read more on St. Petersburg rent assistance.
Pinellas County, Health & Human Services Department is located at multiple offices. Low and moderate income families can get grants and help for paying mortgage, rent or utility bills. There are SNAP food stamp applications, Medicaid and other government aid. There are also programs for the disabled, the sick, and additional energy assistance for the elderly when funds are available. ACCESS Florida is a tool to use. Read more on Florida foreclosure programs.
There are also social services and public assistance grants available. A number of government programs provide funds to the unemployed, low income, and seniors. There are details on government benefits, ranging from food stamps to Medicaid or burial help for the poor and/or uninsured. There are grants, energy help, and other resources. Burial and cremation assistance is offered, and read more on free funeral help.
Social services can help pay bills and housing costs and also deal with the underlying cause of the financial hardship. So receive advice on debt management and mortgage assistance too. More on emergency assistance in Pinellas County.
- 2189 Cleveland St., Clearwater, FL 33765. Call (727) 464-4200
- St. Petersburg office is at 647 1st Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33701. For information, dial (727) 464-4200
Low income energy assistance and weatherization programs. St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Pinellas County County residents can get help with paying their home cooling and utility bills, as well as even the occasional winter heating bill. On the other hand, the weatherization program provides Pinellas County residents with energy saving updates to their home as well as home repairs and energy conservation measures. Contact the Pinellas County Urban League at 727.327.2081 to learn more or apply for utility bills help.
High Point Neighborhood Family Center, which can be reached at (727) 533-0730, may be able to provide rent and housing assistance. There may also be free basic needs ranging from small appliances to pots and pans, some furniture and other goods. The financial help is for Clearwater renters who have an eviction notice.
Oldsmar Cares is a local non-profit agency which provides rent or cooling and utility bill assistance. There is also a free food pantry, and a clothes closet. The charity will have possible rent help, all at no cost to those in need in the Oldsmar Florida area. Dial (813) 415-7373
St. Petersburg and Clearwater Salvation Army - The agency helps the low income and people at risk. Financial assistance can be provided to help stabilize a family’s situation. Programs offered include rent help, cash for utilities, and homeless prevention services.
Pinellas County residents can turn to the Salvation Army Thrift Store for support too. Among other social services the Pinellas County provides includes food, as well as financial assistance for paying rent, electric, and water bills. There are also low cost items sold from the thrift store to anyone from Pinellas County FL.
One of the resources in high demand is Christmas and holiday assistance, including Adopt a Family. There are also free school supplies as well as uniforms. Food, meals, clothing, and other emergency aid is provided from on site social workers. Read more Salvation Army in Pinellas County.
- Tampa Area Salvation Army may be an option. It is a regional faith based charity. A variety of social services are offered by the Salvation Army's Tampa Area command center. They offer low income and other people in need a wide range of assistance programs that can help families and individuals overcome hardship. For example, find ways to get help with housing expenses including rent, limited funding for utility bills, and more. They can even refer people to other local agencies if in face they can’t directly aid the applicant. Call 813-226-0055.
Isaiah's Inn provides rental assistance to full time, employed parents. They are based in Clearwater Florida. Call the agency at (727) 449-2600.
St. Vincent de Paul Society Helpline (South County) maintains a telephone help-line which is used by those individuals who are needing financial help or that are looking for information on money for free to pay bills. The church can offer referrals for assistance with food, clothing, information on mortgage and foreclosure programs, furniture or the payment of utility bills.
A CARE center is also available on site for meals, clothing, and hygiene needs. St. Vincent also focuses on veterans and their housing needs by offering deposit help, aid from SSVF, and details on benefits. Dial (727) 825-0725, or more on Pinellas County St. Vincent de Paul.
The Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) is run by multiple charities as well as the Pinellas County Health and Human Services Department. It provides rent help, eviction prevention, and funds for utility bills. Any support is combined with case management. There may be minor AC or HVAC repairs, information on FL utility company payment plans and landlord-tenant mediation.
Families that are assisted may be in poverty or homeless. While income requirements are in place, the agency can offer emergency eviction prevention as well as help people find low income apartments in Clearwater and other cities. Call the agency at (727) 464-8452, or click Pinellas County eviction assistance.
Free clothes, basic needs, furniture and other material goods are offered from Clearwater and St. Petersburg Florida clothing closets or furniture banks. Churches, charities, and not-profits provide vouchers and free items to children from low income families and others who are struggling.
Another option is to shop at a thrift store for lower priced goods. Other items provided can include free Christmas supplies, school items, backpacks, free furniture and more. Thousands of individuals use these locations every month. See Pinellas County free clothing closets, furniture and school supplies.
Another government or non-profit agency to call is Pinellas County Community Development Department. It is based in Clearwater Florida, and help is available for home repair loans. There are also other housing and rent relief options. Dial (727) 464-8210.
Pinellas County Catholic Charities - The primary low income program they offer is known as Friends in Need. It will help families obtaining their most basic needs. This means Catholic Charities may be able to help with housing, shelter, free food, or energy bills. The organization also runs a health care clinic, and provides immigration services.
There is also the Catholic Charities, City ESG Homeless Prevention. The agency may have emergency financial assistance and cash grants. The support may be available for past rent or unpaid bills based on a assessment of the applicant. There may be limited funds for a mortgage payment too or hotel vouchers. The applicant needs to live in the city itself, can’t be eligible for support elsewhere and they also need to bring necessary verification of their need and identification.
The main address is 1213 16th St. N. Saint Petersburg, Florida 33705, dial (727) 893-1313. Their services are available across the region, including in St. Petersburg. More on Catholic Charities in Pinellas County.
St. Giles Manor of Pinellas Park Florida will offer low income housing to senior citizens and the elderly. They will need to pay a portion of their income towards monthly rent expenses. A church sponsors this. Call (727) 541-5741.
St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church and their Ministry of Helping Hands provides financial help, or loans, to parish residents. There may be free basic needs as well including clothing, rent help, food, electric bills and funds to other basic utilities, including water. Address is 1507 Trotter Road, Largo, Florida 33770-4366, telephone (727) 584-2318.
City of St. Petersburg HOME Voucher Program runs the TBRA, Tenant Based Rental Assistance. Applications are from the Boley Center. It can provide rent, utility bill and deposit assistance for eligible households. They need to be at or below 50% of the median family income, is limited in scope, and will only satisfy a small number of applicants from the city. Location is 445 31st St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33713 or call (727) 821-4819.
Homeless Emergency Project can help eligible clients in the form of short-term financial assistance. When funding allows, there may be 3 months payments for utilities, rental assistance, or even security deposits. In addition, the agency operates low income and transitional housing, including for single parents and veterans in the region, including St. Petersburg.
Other assistance from HEP in Pinellas County includes free food and personal hygiene items, legal aid for stopping evictions, as well as grants for paying the rental or utility deposit on a new home or apartment. Call (727) 442-9041, or continue with Homeless Emergency Project housing programs.
Disability Achievement Center is a non-residential center for independent living. The agency will assist people of all ages and disabilities gain or maintain independence in their homes. Core services provided are Information and Referral, Peer Mentoring, Independent Living Skills, and Youth in Transition
The supporting services from the center include Medical Equipment Recycling Program (MERP), Consumer Equipment and Modification Assistance. There is also support for Employment Services, and Deaf as well as Hard of Hearing Programs, including free hearing aids. Office is at 12552 Belcher Road South, Largo, Florida 33773. Call (727) 539-7550
Daystar Life Center St. Petersburg offers a program known as Basic Needs Assistance. As funding allows, it can offer clothing, food, medications, and very limited amounts of utility bill assistance. For people who need help getting to work or an interview, the non-profit may offer free gasoline vouchers and/or bus tokens. The agency can also assist clients in obtaining identification in the form of Florida ID, a birth certificate, or a Driver's license. 1055 28th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712, telephone (727) 825-0442, or click more information on Daystar Life Center assistance.
Free holiday programs, ranging from Thanksgiving to Christmas and others, can help the less fortunate in Pinellas County. Children may receive free Christmas presents or toys and seniors a hot meal. Other charities in the region may pass out food boxes, serve a meal or hold special Christmas events. More on free Christmas assistance Pinellas County.
Clearwater Housing & Economic Development Assistance assists both new and current homeowners. Look into down payment assistance, housing rehabilitation loans, or free energy conservation services. There is also free foreclosure counseling and budget classes for individuals seeking homeownership. Phone (727) 562-4030
Pinellas Metropolitan Ministries is a leading social service agency. As resources allow, they may have free food from the Box of Hope, hot meals, clothing, and emergency financial aid for housing or rent. Transitional housing and applications for benefits such as Medicaid, SNAP, or energy bill assistance may also be available on site at the Access Center. Locate assistance programs from Metropolitan Ministries.
Low income and Pinellas County transitional housing programs are available for struggling families. Resources can assist residents on the verge of eviction and the homeless. As part of these programs, the participant can receive a place to stay while they look for employment or save money to pay the rent. Numerous programs are available in St. Petersburg and other area. Find more information short term housing Pinellas County.
Isaiah's Inn may have rental assistance to employed people facing a onetime crisis. There is not any financial aid for single people without children. Credit and budget counseling may also be available along with funds to pay a security deposit. 314 S. Lincoln Avenue, Clearwater, FL 33756, telephone number is (727) 449-2600.
Pinellas County housing authority administers programs for very low income tenants as well as homeowners, or those seeking to buy a property. The HUD approved agency may offer the following.
- Vouchers for rent as part of section 8.
- Assisted Living low income homes and apartments for seniors.
- The Homeownership Resource Center can help buyers, as well as offer foreclosure prevention.
- Other services are offered in well, and the authority also partners with charities such as the United Way and others on a referral system. Read Pinellas County housing authority.
Affordable as well as free rent apartments are for the poor. Some immigrants or seniors that need home, supportive care may use these housing units too. Many are HUD approved. Find more on getting apartments for free.
Crossroads of Tampa and Pinellas - They provide housing and other solutions to veterans and the disabled. Females can receive shelter from ATHENA House, Supportive Services for Veteran Families will provide money in an emergency for rent, and there is also extensive case management, outreach and referrals available to agencies in Pinellas County. Read Crossroads assistance programs.
Christopher Family Residence has a permanent housing program. As resources allow, it can provide a safe living environment for families and individuals in the region. Partner groups, including churches, may offer clients free medical services, referrals and case management. The goal of the housing is to give people time to gain stability. 3638 1st Avenue North, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33713. Telephone (727) 893-1707 or (727) 688-1918.
People that Love Church may have small amounts of funds for paying electric or cooling bills. The applicant needs to have a disconnection notice. Location is 817 5th Avenue North in Saint Petersburg. Call (727) 820-0775.
Many people in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County Florida do not know that most utility companies offer grants, weatherization, and financial assistance. Read more on energy assistance programs.
Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas supports both the elderly as well as disabled. A wide variety of services are offered, including Meals on Wheels, free stuff such as medical equipment or wheelchairs, food and more. They also support caregivers, arrange respite, and help address medical needs. There are even recreational trips planned for the elderly and free home wellness checks. The non-profit is at 9549 Koger Blvd N, St. Petersburg, FL 33702. It supports the entire county, and dial (727) 570-9696. Or more on assistance from Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas.
General assistance is available at Lutheran Services Florida (LSF) offers numerous services and resources including Head Start Child Development Cente or information on low-cost summer camps for kids. Or get applications to Child Care Food Program, as well as P.E.P.P.I.. There are also free Cash grants, Guardianship Program, Youth Shelters and Family Crisis Counseling Programs, Information on mortgage programs. Or explore Housing, Employment, Refugee and Immigration Programs. Call 813-676-9471 or (813) 875-1408.
Receive free health care in Clearwater and Pinellas County
Tens of thousands of people receive free health care from clinics each year. Or they get dental needs met, and the centers focus on the low-income and uninsured. One option in Florida is the Clearwater Free Clinic, which offers medical services for more and more patients who otherwise would not be able to afford to pay for health insurance and medical bills. Call (727) 447-3041
The health care provided is top notch. There is a highly trained team of physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physical therapists, and even office clerks and staff who donate thousands of hours of their personal time to provide the best medical services each and every year. They also partner with local organizations and hospitals, such as Mease Hospitals and Morton Plant who donate goods and services to the free clinic. Find other free health care resources.
To be eligible for aid, the medical care is made available to both uninsured children and adults who live in Pinellas County and Clearwater, and who are not eligible for other government programs. Patients also cannot afford to pay for their own private medical care. There is even free diabetic supplies. The vast majority of the patients and people seeking help from the Clearwater Free Health Care Clinic are hard working people who are struggling with the recent economic woes and who now have with limited incomes or low paying jobs.
They mostly work, yet the low income they make will exclude them from receiving state or federal government assisted programs yet the income they have is not high enough to pay for insurance or private healthcare. As an example, find assistance for diabetics.
Other options and community clinics in the area include
- St. Petersburg Free Clinic (Call (727) 327-0333)
- Clearwater based La Clinica Guadalupana which provides medical care for the low income, homeless, and indigent in the community. They also help immigrants and migrant workers. Phone (727) 461-7730
- Or find a listing of free community clinics in Pinellas County.
Pinellas County Florida non-profits and programs that are also offered to all state residents
Most of the services noted on this page are only for Pinellas County. However locate additional assistance programs that provide help across the state of Florida.
Free and low cost prescription medications are offered by clinics, drug companies, and non-profits both nationally as well as in Florida. Most of the assistance is for the low income as well as uninsured. They also help the elderly too. As an example of where to go for help, locate organizations that give free prescription medications.
Free legal consultations
If you are an individual with limited access to legal services, Bay Area Legal Services may be able to help. The lawyers and volunteers has as its primary objective the goal of providing free legal support as well as consultations with a focus on low-income and elderly residents in both Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.
The attorneys and legal professionals at the non-profit Bay Area Legal Services address civil needs. Clients can get free legal aid, counseling and representation to eligible clients. Some of what they can help with includes family law, including divorce, foreclosures, custody and domestic violence; individual rights, senior advocacy; fair housing; and consumer law and issues. Click here to read more, or call them at 813-232-1343. Or find free lawyers legal aid in Florida.
Pinellas County and St. Petersburg free food bank assistance
RCS is an organization that runs the largest distribution network in Clearwater and Pinellas County Florida area. The agency is the largest distributor of free food and groceries to those in need of help in Pinellas County. In total, the group thousands of individuals monthly at RCS’s warehouse and through dozens of sub-sites located throughout the county. Call 727-584-3528
Health and nutrition classes as well as shopping classes can help Pinellas County families save on their food or groceries. There are also coupons and websites that families can turn to for resources. As one example, locate websites for free coupons.
Other organizations that distribute free food and groceries in the Clearwater and St. Petersburg area include the following: St. Petersburg Free Clinic (dial (727) 821-1200), Grace Christian Center - Souls Harvest Fellowship (dial (727) 323-8278), People That Love Mission (phone number (727) 820-0775), and Park Place Ministries ((727) 526-3674).
USDA, F.E.A.S.T. Inc. of Palm Harbor can provide free food. The non-profit will have bi-monthly distribution of items such as canned juices, vegetables, formula, spaghetti, and applications for SNAP food stamps or the USDA Commodity Program. Proof of hardship and income will be required from applicants in Pinellas County. Dial (727) 789-5275
There are several dozen additional food banks, soup kitchens and distribution centers in the region. Click here for alternate locations on free food pantries in Pinellas County.
Help with debt and credit counseling
If you are struggling with paying your debts and bills, the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Central Florida & The Florida Gulf Coast, Inc. is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to financial wellness in the St. Petersburg and Tampa area. Through a wide variety of programs, including comprehensive professional consumer credit education, reduction and debt management plans they help with unpaid bills.
The non-profit also offer foreclosure and mortgage help, confidential counseling and help for medical bills. The organization provides qualified clients the empowerment, encouragement, and success they need to take charge of their finances and expenses throughout various stages of life. Dial 1-800-251-2227 (CCCS). Or find additional ways to get debt help.
Foreclosure prevention or mortgage relief in Pinellas County
Try the Tampa Bay CDC ((727) 464-8210), Catholic Charities, Housing Counseling (phone (727) 893-1313) and Gulfcoast Legal Services (dial (727) 821-0726). All of the agencies provide homeowners with free HUD approved foreclosure counseling. This includes mortgage delinquency programs, and other forms of housing relief. Call one of these non-profits to learn how you can save your home from a foreclosure filing.
Another agency to try is Clearwater Neighborhood Housing Services Inc. They promote home ownership, economic development, and repairs. (Call 727) 442-4155). They also partner with Florida HUD counseling agencies.
Or if these agencies can’t help you then you still have more options. They can range from additional non-profit counseling agencies up through law firms that offer pro-bono legal aid and advice. Every year homeowners receive loan modifications and are signed up into foreclosure prevention programs. Most of the services offered are provided at no cost to qualified homeowners. Find more Pinellas County foreclosure prevention agencies.
Help finding a job
The Pinellas County Urban League (727.327.2081) runs the Job Placement Assistance Center. The organization is committed to improving the quality of life of residents, and having steady employment is one of the keys to this. Contact them to learn more about employment services.