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Plainfield Action Services emergency financial assistance programs.

Financial assistance and basic needs can be met by the Plainfield Action Services. This agency is the local community action organization and they offer social services and other support. The non-profit is part of the City of Plainfield’s Department of Administration and Finance, Health and Social Services Division of Community Relations.

Some of what may be offered includes emergency financial aid for expenses such as rental costs or energy bills as well as low income housing. There is also some medical assistance provided too in Union County, including prescription medications. They also offer education and basic needs such as free school supplies. If PAS can’t meet your needs, then inquire into referrals.

Housing programs includes funds for a number of needs. Low income families can receive eviction prevention in the form of emergency rent or utility bill assistance. The currently homeless can get information on low income apartments or housing units, as well as referrals to loan programs to pay the first months rent or a security deposit.

For those facing homeless in Union County, free legal aid may be offered to deal with tenant/landlord concerns. They can tell individuals what their rights are when it comes to an eviction in the city of Plainfield or the state of New Jersey.

Utility bill help from the Plainfield Action Services (PAS) can assist with paying winter heating or even summer cooling bills. The community action agency may offer grants, limited amounts of money and other support. Staff and case managers are available to assist with the completion of applications for programs such as LIHEAP or weatherization. The agency will even try to work out some type of payment arrangements or plans with your utility company if needed.

Some health care needs can be met from discounted prescriptions. Assistance is for low income and/or uninsured families in the county. The non-profit can help them with filling a doctor prescription. They can coordinate access to so called medical items, and these may be offered by Plainfield Action Services when funds or donations are available.




The program is for the under and uninsured, applicants that meet low income guidelines, and that have proof of income and other documentation. Other information, such as social security card, ID, and household members is needed.

Food and nutrition is available. They have information on local pantries and applications to SNAP food stamps. Another option is the Plainfield Action Services Garden Club, which provides free seeds during the summer growing or garden season. This will allow families to grow their own fruits and vegetables and otherwise become self-sufficient.

Staff from the community action agency can help with general consumer complaints. This can be issues such as housing discrimination, illegal evictions, debt collection, predatory lending and much more. State of New Jersey certified Consumer Affairs staff advise clients to help them gain stability.

Summer Youth employment is available as a service from the Mayor’s Task Force. It is for students and teenagers under the age of 21. The city will try to place them at positions at local non-profits, churches, or charity groups. This can give them experience and maybe a small income as well.




Basic needs and seasonal programs from Plainfield Action Services include Back to School Supplies and free Christmas or Holiday programs. Many of these services rely on donations and volunteers from the community and the greater Union County area.

  • During the summer and early fall, backpacks, notebooks, and clothing may be offered for students going to school.
  • Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas meals and gifts may be offered from PAS. Priority is for children from low income families, seniors, and very low income singles.
  • Other programs are run in partnership with charities such as the Salvation Army.

Employment programs are offered from the Job Bank. Local Union County employment opportunities are posted at the main Plainfield Action Services center. In some cases, staff can direct residents to government training as well.

For more information, PAS is headquartered at 510 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, New Jersey 07060. Telephone number is (908) 753-3519.



By Jon McNamara

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