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Portage County Ohio assistance programs.

Get financial help from charities, churches, community action agencies, non-profit agencies and government organizations. Find emergency help with rent or grants to pay heating or utility bills, free food or gasoline vouchers, medical care, security deposits and more

Resources help low income families as well as struggling individuals in the Portage County area as well as city of Kent. People in need of help can get financial assistance with bills, free clothing items or prescription drugs, access to mortgage help, job programs and much more. Find where to go, and how to apply, for assistance below.

Social services and emergency financial help for bills in Portage Ohio

Thousands of families turn to the Ravenna based Center of Hope (phone (330) 297-5454) and/or Kent Social Services (phone number (330) 673-6963) each and every year for assistance. Phone 330.677.4124. A sampling of the assistance programs offered includes:

  • Rent help and eviction prevention services - The Housing & Emergency Support Services (HESS) program which is at 330.296.1111 helps people address and resolve immediate needs such as evictions and utility shut-offs and provides money for security deposits.
  • Clothing - Receive free, gently used clothing
  • Food - A couple services that provide food and meals include the Kent Social Services program and the Center of Hope and Christian Cupboard.

Housing & Emergency Support Services is another non-profit agency that tries to ensure that families and individuals have access to the support necessary to maintain critical basic needs and pay emergency bills. Services provided by the agency include short-term case management, advocacy, information and referral to government programs, coordination of services, and financial assistance for debts, bills, rent, and more. Dial 330-673-6963.




Portage County Salvation Army runs several programs that will assist Ravenna and Portage County residents with dealing with heating and utility service shut-offs. They may also have financial assistance for rent, or security as well as utility deposits.

The faith based charity may also have vouchers to pay for prescriptions, offer emergency dental, food, clothing, and disaster assistance, and funds for housing expenses. Another activity of this local agency is known as Shoes On My Feet, which provides shoes and boots for children from low-income families. they also operate holiday programs, including Free Thanksgiving meals, Christmas toys, or food baskets. Read more on Salvation Army programs in Ohio.

One of the primary places and non-profit agencies Community Action Council of Portage County, Inc. The agency can be reached at (330) 297-1456.

  • Utility and heating bill help - Contact them for information on the following energy programs. Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP). The Summer Crisis Cooling Program, or Summer HEAP, for air conditioning and utility bills during the heat. Another option is R-HEAP, which is administered by the Ohio Department of Development, Office of Community Services. The R-HEAP program was designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high cost of home heating bills.
  • Prevention, Retention, and Contingency (PRC) program - This program provides emergency assistance and counseling. Get help with housing expenses, rent, food, and other assistance.
  • Free food or meals are provided to children and students in the county. This is offered during their summer break.
  • Other programs from the agency include Job Training Readiness Apprenticeship Development, information on local charities and non-profits, details on benefits such as SNAP food stamps, and more

For more information on these or other social services from CAC, find more details on Community Action Council of Portage County assistance programs.





Free food banks and soup kitchens can feed families, regardless of their income. The Portage County centers will offer support in an effort to stop hunger. Depending on the pantry, there may be free groceries, Christmas meals, school supplies, and even clothing available. Others have social workers that can help people apply for food stamps or Meals on Wheels for the disabled or elderly in Portage Couty. Each location has their own terms and conditions, and click Portage County food pantries.

The homeless as well as struggling renters can apply for financial help. A few local agencies focus on preventing homelessness in the Portage County Ohio area. Whether it is legal assistance from an attorney, or a grant to help with rent, resources are available. There are also charities that focus on veterans as well as seniors, and security deposit and/or moving help may keep them housed. Click more information on Portage County Ohio rent assistance.

Free health care and prescription medications

A program of Townhall known as Medical Clinic (330-678-3006) which is located in Kent Ohio provides free, easily accessible, high quality and culturally sensitive primary medical services and healthcare to adult residents who live in Portage County who are uninsured and low income. They can also refer people to other local facilities more more extensive health care.

A Medication Access Program (phone 330-297-8770) helps individuals who are struggling with paying for medications explore different prescription programs that are offered by the pharmaceutical companies, and assists these individuals in completing the application to help them lower their out of pocket expenses and/or receive free medications over the long haul.

Free legal assistance programs and advice

Community Legal Aid Services provides low to moderate income, the working poor, unemployed, and elderly with access to free attorneys. They help with civil needs, debts, benefit applications and the like. Receive free legal help for such problems as home foreclosures, illegal terminations, consumer debt problems, divorce, and civil domestic issues. Dial (330) 297-1569 to learn more or receive advice.





Mortgage, free debt, and credit counseling

Consumer Credit Counseling helps Portage Ohio area families deal with mortgage, debt, and foreclosure problems. Programs offered by the agency provide free professional consumer credit counseling that can help people improve their finances. There is help for reducing debts, learn about mortgage assistance programs, and stop a foreclosure. 330- 677-4124

National non-profits also help with debts, auto loan payments, financial literacy and other bills. Low income families in Portage County can often get free advice. More moderate income households may be charged a moderate fee. However a number of solutions are offered. Find a list of free debt reduction services.

Food, clothes, free stuff and non-financial assistance programs

Northeast Portage Food Shelf is an agency that serves people who live in Windham/Garrettsville School Districts with food and other supplies to help them meet basic human needs and provide for their families. Call 330-296-7371.

Holiday programs are available for low income parents with kids. There may also be support for senior citizens in the county. Whether it is a free Christmas toy for a child, or a meal for the entire family, charities may be able to assist. Find how to get free Christmas gifts for kids.

Center of Hope - Tries to provide for the needs of the low to moderate income, and can give them for food and personal care items. The center also provides holiday meals, aid, and programs for families through distribution of both Christmas and Thanksgiving food baskets. In addition, toys and gifts are also collected and provided for children at the center’s Christmas Shop. Dial 330-297-5454, or find additional holiday programs. Ravenna Ohio.

County Clothing Center - Provides gently used clothing to individuals and families in Portage County for free to qualified people. This includes winter jackets, boots, and even school or work uniforms. Dial 330-296-0503





Kent Social Services - Similar to some of the other programs and non-profits on this page, the non-profit agency provides nutritious hot meals, low cost groceries and food pantry assistance, Monday through Friday. The resources help families in all areas of Portage County Ohio meet their basic needs for food and personal care and hygiene items. Phone 330-673-6963. Kent Ohio.


By Jon McNamara














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