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Assistance programs in Columbia and Richland County South Carolina.

Find charities, churches, and government organizations that low-income families will get financial help or free stuff from in Columbia and Richland County South Carolina. There is grant money to pay utility bills, rent, or housing costs as well as free food, groceries and furniture. Get financial help near you in Richland County SC.

Charities help low-income families, seniors and the disabled. There is also free medical or dental care, clinics for dental work and health services. There are also free items that are often combined with financial aid. This includes items such as Christmas toys, or furniture. Or single moms in Columbia SC may get resources and parents from working poor households can get free back to school supplies or job placement.

Financial help for bills or housing in Richland County

The Cooperative Ministry, which can be reached at 803-799-3853, is a non-profit agency in the area that offers many services to clients. Some of the programs they offer include Emergency Assistance, the C.A.R. Program, and The Free Clothing and Furniture Bank. In addition to these assistance programs mentioned, they also offer several Seasonal Projects, such as a Free School Supply Drive, the Homeless Service Center, and also the Circle of Giving. The location is 3821 W Beltline Blvd, Columbia, SC 29204. Or read more on Cooperative Ministry programs in Richland County.

Columbia SC Low Income Resources are wide ranging. While the overall goal of the agency is to minimize homelessness, provide rent help and other assistance to those in poverty and people who are struggling, there are other resources that can help families with low income. Click here to find additional low income programs.

Receive free dental care, credit counseling, and financial assistance from The Family Service Center of South Carolina. This organizations offers many different resources, including they provide free dental clinic services for adults and children or the uninsured. There is debt relief and consumer credit counseling, adoption placement, as well as free adolescent pregnancy prevention.

Or get information on credit card hardship programs, career development and job training assistance for adults, dislocated workers and teenagers. Phone 803-733-5450.




Another option is Columbia South Carolina based churches. There are several that support the general Midlands area. They deal with people on a case by case basis, and the non-profit agency provides low income and elderly with utility or cooling bill assistance. Or get a free fan or window AC unit in Columbia. One of the parishes may also coordinate free counseling, assistance with domestic violence situations, and run a car donation transportation assistance program.

  • Churches across Richland County provide other support as well as part of the regional organization. There are clothing closets for free Christmas or holiday gifts as well as food pantries. Referrals to financial support and immigration services are available too. More on help from Midlands churches.

Sharing God's Love is based in Irmo. The non-profit agency offers limited emergency assistance to low income and individuals and families in crisis or who are facing a hardship. Find information and get help with free food, clothing, gasoline vouchers, utility bills and prescriptions. The address is 147 Friarsgate Blvd, Irmo, SC 29063. Call (803) 732-3188.

Columbia SC area emergency rent help and shelters - Whether you need help avoiding eviction, or if you are currently homeless, the Richland County region has dozens of organizations (both private and public) that specialize in offering rental and housing assistance. Read more on emergency rent help in Richland County.

  • Immediate apartments, many with no waiting list or a short wait, are available. They can help women facing DV, single moms, the elderly or veterans and others get housing in short order. Look here for shortest waiting list for subsidized housing.

Goodwill Industries of Upper South Carolina can help people find and keep a job. They also sell bargain stuff from a thrift store. The Wheels-to-Work, Goodwill-Bucks, and Gears-for-go-Getters programs provide work and free interview clothing. There is also free local transportation for individuals to help them find and secure the employment they need to meet their family’s needs. The service can also help clients increase their household income levels

  • The organization generally helps thousands of people with their job search and employment goals. There are also a number of freelance websites that good will uses for clients. The individuals who have been placed into jobs and  employment opportunities have had a combined annual wage increase of thousands of dollars  They offer over 10 training programs. Call (864) 458-8168 or (803) 509-8392.





For Columbia SC area families that need an immediate increase in income, they have options too. there are survey sites, marketing opportunities, side gig jobs, and much more. Goodwill can help them locate opportunities as well. Even locate information on starting hobbies for making money.

The Hub Community Learning Center provides help with job training. Clients, including single moms or the formerly homeless, will get free interview skills, computer training, access to a computer lab, and job counseling.

  • This includes college and career planning, clothing, Tutoring, Food, and even SAT/ACT prep for the poor and low income. 1234 St. Andrews Rd, Columbia, South Carolina 29210 Phone (803) 451-2139. They also help people get free computer, internet access and work supplies, and look here for a free laptop from the government.

Carolina Community Action offers utility bill assistance from weatherization and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Employment services are provided from Workforce Investment Act (WIA) welfare to work program and general job training. Free prescription and rent assistance is offered too as well as information on low cost, no wait list apartments in Columbia SC. Call (803) 635-3606.

Free basic needs, furniture, household supplies, clothes and other items can be provided to low income families for free. Charities are involved in collecting surplus items from the public. They then pass out the goods to low income families or those who are facing a crisis.

The supplies, including for school or work, may be given for free or a low cost. There are also free furniture banks in Columbia for bedroom sets, family room furniture, appliances and more. Find more details on free clothing closets, furniture and school supplies in Richland County.

Wateree Community Actions, Inc. of Richland County offers several other resources as well to the poor and low income. Emergency assistance is offered for housing needs, including rent and utilities. Much of the aid is offered as part of the General Emergency Assistance Program (GEAP).

  • In some cases, clients need short term funds. This may be a loan for paying bills (such as car repairs) or job placement services. Wateree can help give advice on these solutions. As an example, find places for loans.
  • Wateree Community Actions also helps address financial stability. Whether it is free counseling on paying down credit card debts or auto loans, saving money, or building a financial future, workshops and classes are offered. All of this is free in Richland County.




  • The Homeless Prevention Program offers rental assistance to qualified people with an eviction notice and landlord/tenant mediation. Re-housing services, which may sometimes be issued as a loan, include hotel and free motel vouchers, funds for paying security deposits, and moving cost assistance. Transitional and short term housing is also part of what WCAI administers in Columbia County.
  • The non-profit processes applications for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This federal program can help pay cooling bills during the summer or heating costs in the winter. It is often offered along with free conservation from weatherization. Both focus on low income families with children, seniors, and the disabled. Another high demand service is Head Start which can promote the school readiness of children under the age of 5. The program can enhance their emotional, educational, and overall social development.

Call the community action agency at (803) 786-4250 or stop by 3220 Two Notch RD, Columbia, SC 29204. Or learn more Wateree Community Actions agency.

Richland County Veterans Affairs helps dependents, veterans, and their survivors file claims for benefits. It also offers advocacy, information on health care and more. The main address is 1701 Main St., Columbia, SC 29202. Call (803) 576-1906., Or look here for money for veterans from the government.

Midlands Catholic Charities covers counties including Richland. They offer everything from free personal hygiene (laundry, soap, etc.) to free clothes for a job or school. Catholic Charities also assist pregnant women or immigrants with food, legal aid, diapers or formula. Or homeless shelters in Columbia or limited financial help is offered too. More on Catholic Charities assistance programs Columbia SC region.

The Columbia and Richland Salvation Army has been serving individuals and low-income families in the Columbia going back to the late 1800s. The Salvation Army administers several programs, including they provide emergency and crisis grants to pay bills, rent, light costs and more.

  • There is free homeless shelter for men and women, social services for those in need of financial assistance, eviction prevention services, or children’s programs. Or get free Christmas and holiday assistance, Thanksgiving meals in Columbia SC and emergency disaster services. Seasonal services also include free school supplies as well as backpacks. The location is 3024 Farrow Rd, Columbia, SC 29203. Phone: (803) 765-0260. Continue with Columbia Salvation Army assistance programs.




Community Assistance Provider focuses on housing issues. This includes emergency and owner-occupied home rehabilitation for those who qualify, low income housing, mortgage and foreclosure assistance through SC Help, and funds for rent. Call (803) 771-0050, or the office is at 2800 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201.

Rent relief and deposit money is offered. Tenants facing eviction, or the currently homeless, can get help. Federal government supported programs are available on occasion in an effort to provide homeless prevention and rehousing. There may be financial help for paying bills ranging from water to rent or moving costs.

  • Applicants need to meet income limits and participate in case management to receive money or counseling. Individuals ranging from single mothers to senior citizens and other vulnerable residents often apply. Funds are often provided first come and served, and do run out. Read Richland County eviction assistance.

Financial help Columbia SC and Richland CountySouth Carolina Lutheran Family Services can help with some basic needs, in particular housing. They are part of one of the nation's leading, faith based non-profit charity organizations. Most of the focus of the agency is on assisting with housing needs, including for the disabled, children, veterans and seniors. Get information on shelters, temporary transitional housing, and homeless prevention. Read more Lutheran Family Services in Mindlands SC.

Columbia Housing Authority can provide information on and help place families and individuals in low cost rental housing. This includes, but is not limited to, section 8 housing vouchers or private rental apartments, including for tenants with past evictions. This program will help pay, or subsidize, a portion of your overall housing costs for those who can’t afford market rates in Richland County. Another resource is the Conventional Home Ownership Program, which can help families buy a home. Call (803) 254-3886

Richland County DSS administers state and federal government benefits. Some of the main ones include cash grants from Family Independence as well as SNAP food stamps. However, there are many other programs available, including for the disabled and working poor in Columbia and nearby cities. There is Medicaid, TANF cash aid, and others. Continue Richland County public assistance.

Columbia area housing shelters and transitional housing can help both the homeless and residents that are facing imminent eviction. Services such as job placement, free meals, and of course temporary housing is provided, and social workers from the charities or the local government will help the client gain long term stability. More on low income housing in Richland County.

  • St. Vincent De Paul is a charity in the middle part of the state, including the Richland County area. They also operate nationally. There is short term housing and emergency vouchers for a hotel or motel too, and look here for St. Vincent de Paul motel vouchers.







Senior Resources provide Meals on Wheels program for senior citizens and disabled individuals in Richland County. There is also Medicare applications, free holiday food boxes, counseling and homecare services. Address: 2817 Millwood Ave, Columbia, SC 29205. Phone: (803) 252-7734

Free lawyers and legal representation

The primary goal of South Carolina Legal Services is to provide civil legal services and free advice to low-income families and seniors. There are free lawyers in Richland County SC for a variety of issues. The attorneys protect the rights and represent the interests of low to middle income South Carolinian citizens. Housing, benefit applications, free wills and more is offered.

It is the vision of the attorneys at South Carolina Legal Services to allow all low income South Carolinians people to have full and fair access to justice and support they need. Address is 2109 Bull St, Columbia, SC 29201. Phone: (888) 346-5592. Click here to find more information on free South Carolina legal programs.

Free food in Columbia and Richland County

An organization that works with local churches, charities, and non-profits in the county is Harvest HOPE Food Bank. Call them at (803) 254-4432.  Both fresh and frozen items are offered by the program, and the organization is a nationally based group. They can direct you to food distribution points in your area, and they have strong partnerships across Columbia. There are many other resources for feeding families, children, and adults too. Even try a local Meals on Wheels program near you.

God's Storehouse - House of healing runs a food pantry, provides clothing, and offers groceries at most once per month. Call (803) 691-1622.

Families have many other places to turn to for free or affordable food. Non-profit pantries, soup kitchens,  and distribution centers also pass out groceries, serve hot meals, offer clothing, and provide other support. More Richland County free food pantries.

Free health care in Columbia

People with no or limited insurance, and low income individuals, can get health care from the Free Medical Clinic Inc. This agency provides quality healthcare and other services for free to residents of the community who cannot pay for their medical or hospital bills and who do not have health insurance. Get eve exams, free medical for people on Medicaid, insulin, and even rides to the doctor. They support almost 20,000 people each and every year. Even get prescription drugs for free.





The regional Free Medical Clinic is a United Way partner agency, and the center provides primary health care, medications and prescription drugs, patient education with the capability to refer for laboratory and diagnostic testing and refer to providers in 24 different specialties. The free agency will also offer advice on how to deal with medical debt collectors and also information on patient advocacy services. The clinic has  millions of dollars of prescription medications for free to patients. Location is 1875 Harden St, Columbia, SC 29204. Call 803-765-1503.

CAN Community Health offers health care and the amount billed is on a sliding fee, and is based on the patients income. They provide basic health care and check ups, including dental care, primary medical care, and much more. Call (803) 849-8430. Find additional programs that offer medical care.

Free health insurance and care is arranged. There are government policies, Medicaid, CHIP plans for kids, and ACA policies. A major focus is on giving insurance to kids in Columbia, and learn more on CHIP insurance near you.

Some of the leading community clinics are noted above, but there are other free dentists, doctors and medical centers. They may offer prescription medications, check ups, child medical care, and much more. Some services may be free of charge. Call one of the centers below, or find more free clinics in Richland County.

Housing counseling and mortgage relief in Richland County SC

Wateree Community Actions, Inc. is the local community action agency that can help people avoid a foreclosure. They have professionals on site who can provide mediation services between a homeowner and their lender, with the ultimate goal of provide some type of mortgage relief. Contact them at (803) 775-4354, or learn about programs such as the SC hardest hit fund.

There are other South Carolina Foreclosure Counseling Programs. They help with mortgages, home buying and more.  They can help people deal with debt, and delinquent mortgages. Or more on South Carolina foreclosure help.


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