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Portage County assistance programs.

Low income families can get help from churches, charities, government agencies, or non-profits that offer financial aid. Find help with rent or loans to pay security deposits, grants to pay electric or utility bills, free groceries from food pantries, and even free medical or dental services in Portage County. Also get transportation help, free mortgage or foreclosure assistance, job training, and other support.

Find organizations and ways to get help for expenses and bills

If you need help with paying your heating bills, contact Energy Services Inc. They administer the energy assistance program for residents of Portage County and 16 other Wisconsin counties. Last year over $1.3 million in funding was dispersed in emergency energy bill assistance in Portage County. The amount of money disbursed is expected to increase this upcoming year. Applications for the energy assistance program are open until May 15, so you can apply up to that date. The money being provided will be a one-time dispersal, which will average about $375 per household.

More good news is that the guidelines for being able to receive assistance was changed for this upcoming year in order to accommodate more moderate income people as well as more of the working poor and those on fixed incomes. Contact Energy services at 715-344-5999 to learn more or apply for aid.

Portage County Community Action Agency

The Portage County Community Action Agency is CAP Services, Inc. They are located at 5499 Highway 10 East, Stevens Point, WI 54482, and the phone number is 715.343.7500. They provide job training and energy saving programs.

Weatherization - Since 1975, over 9,000 owner occupied and rental homes have been weatherized and rehabilitated since 1975 through the CAP agency Weatherization program. In total, the upgrades have saved low and moderate income homeowners and renters more than $2 million a year in energy costs and on their heating bills. Last year almost 300 homes were weatherized, and the pace of improvements is scheduled to increase.





Energy savings are achieved for homeowners by installing attic, crawl space, wall, water heater and hot water pipe insulation; sealing air leaks into the home; and, significant savings are also achieved by installing low-flow shower heads and energy-efficient light bulbs in every home. Based upon the projected energy savings and funding available, freezers, furnaces, and refrigerators may also be replaced.

Job and Employment Training - CAP Services, Inc. Skills Enhancement Program helps the unemployed, as well as working, low-income individuals acquire the training and skills they need to compete for higher paying jobs. The program will assist them with paying for their tuition, books, child care costs, and transportation related to training and new jobs. Since 1991 graduates of the job training program have increased their annual earned income by an average increase of over $10,000, so the program has been very successful.

Financial aid - While limited, this may be available from CAP Services or its partners. The Stevens Point agency may be able to direct clients to emergency grants to help with heating bills (as part of WHEAP), rental expenses, or food pantries. Anyone seeking help needs to be otherwise self-sufficient but facing a one time crisis.

Housing support - The case managers work to prevent, or reverse, homelessness in Portage County. Clients can be referred to shelters or possible security deposit programs, and even more importantly, to case management to address the root cause of their hardship. Wisconsin families can also look into section 8 housing vouchers, which can help them obtain permanent housing.

There are many other resources and programs available. Some of them are privately funded, and others rely on state of federal funds, even include CSBG. Click CAP Services assistance programs.




Stevens Point Saint Vincent de Paul operates a thrift store and food pantry that helps hundreds of families per year. There are groceries, holiday food baskets, and referrals to financial aid too. The faith based charity also provides job placement to some individuals that have referrals. The address is 2124 Rice St in Stevens Point Wisconsin 54482, call 715-344-7395. Or read more.


By Jon McNamara


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