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Assistance programs Rock County and Janesville.

Find the main churches, charities, or government agencies that offer emergency financial help to low income families. Learn where to apply for rent or security deposit grants, funds that help paying utility or heating bills, free groceries from local food pantries, clothes, and more in Janessville and Appleton.

There are also clinics in Rock County for free medical care along with housing/mortgage programs, job placement services, and debt programs. A number of agencies in the Janesville and county work to help families in need.

Financial assistance for bills, food, housing and more in Rock County

Receive assistance and counseling from Collaborative Organizations Responding to Dislocation (CORD). This is an organization that is doing whatever it can to help people in need. The group has worked many different groups and charities, including the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board to create a “job annex” which is located at the UAW Local 95 Hall. The group thinks that unemployed workers, including former auto workers, might be more comfortable there looking for assistance rather than at the Rock County Job Center. Phone (608) 741-3400.

The annex hosts a variety of programs, including “Java and Jobs,” which is a session where workers can network and look for employment, and also discuss their concerns with job center specialists. Or they can just vent. The point of the Rock County program is to help people in the region find new or better jobs to increase their income.

In addition, they have created a CORD newsletter, which lets people know about assistance programs, opportunities and other benefits, and they have even worked directly with the United Auto Workers to identify and aid dislocated unemployed workers.

They continue to expand their offerings. For example, CORD also is to expand debt counseling and hopes to turn its attention to helping with medical bills as well. It knows it’s only seeing the beginning of the need for aid, and they will continue to expand the and focus on assistance programs that they can offer.




The Community Action of Rock County provides individuals with a variety of assistance, including rent, utilities, and more. The main office is at 200 W. Milwaukee St in Janesville.

Some of the programs offered include help with paying rent. They have hundreds of thousands of dollars in government stimulus funds to distribute. They offer a zero percent interest car loan program so people who need a car for work can buy one. The weatherization program will install free energy saving improvements in people’s homes. They have an extensive food aid program and free pantry. They also have job training and also programs to help people find jobs.

Additional food may be provided by TEFAP, or the federal funded emergency food and assistance program. Children from low income families as well as senior citizens in Rock County can get help with nutritional needs from this service.

Housing solutions are available from community action as part of Transitional Living and other resources. Eligible families from the region may qualify for shelter, rapid rehousing including funds for a security deposit, case management, and loans for rental expenses. A major goal is to eliminate homelessness in the region, and they also partner with other agencies on this.

These are just a few of the programs offered by this Community Action organization. Another major focus is on offering government grants from WHEAP for paying winter heating bills. They have extensive programs to help thousands of people. Dial the Janesville agency at (608) 755-2246.





A free referral service can guide Rock County residents to a number of programs. There is everything from government grants to USDA food, child care vouchers, transitional housing, loan programs, and much more. This is part of the United Way Infoline program. The goal is to both help low income families get the help they need, and also help stabilize them through debt counseling, budgeting, and much more. Continue with Rock County Infoline.

Edgerton Community Outreach (608-884-9593) - Contact them to access the Client Services Program, which is a service that provides a wide variety of resources and financial assistance to low income families in the Edgerton School District of Rock County. The non-profit may provide support in the areas including rental assistance, utility help, emergency shelter, back to school supplies, and medical or transportation assistance. In addition, an on site Food Pantry Program assists low income and working poor with nonperishable groceries and free perishable food vouchers. More information on ECHO assistance programs in Rock County.

Janesville Salvation Army (phone 608-757-8300) runs the Family Social Services Assistance Program, which was created to assist individuals and families in Rock County Wisconsin. The agency runs a Food Pantry, offers Rent Help, or a free Daily Community Meal. There is also Emergency Homeless Shelter, and the charity can provide Clothing. Other services include Transportation, Housing and Rent Assistance, Case Management, Coats for Kids, and Aid for Utility Disconnections. Get more help with electric bills.

Several basic needs are also met by the Janesville Salvation Army corps. The charity may provide children with free Christmas gifts from Angel Tree or Meals on Wheels to seniors or Christmas gifts or school supplies. Volunteers and staff help the unemployed and working poor. Get more information on Salvation Army Rock County.

Senior Services of Rock County - This organization provides assistance and advocacy for senior citizens and elderly with public and private benefits, and federal government programs. The Benefit Specialists bring county, state, and federal dollars and benefits to our community. Specialists from the center are trained and monitored by The Elder Law Center, Madison. Major benefits include Medicare, Medigap, Homestead Tax Credits, SSI, Social Security, Medical Assistance, and Food Stamps. Phone 757-5940.

Everyone Cooperating To Help Others (ECHO) is a non-profit that assists people in the Janesville region. It can help people facing an emergency meet temporary housing, transportation, food, clothing, health care, and other emergency needs for low-income families. Also get advice and information on utilizing other existing services and government programs in the community.

  • The Food Pantry provides commodities, free food, bread, diapers, baby food, community meals and other items.
  • Housing, including emergency rent assistance, shelter, and lodging.
  • Clothing vouchers include good used work and school clothing.
  • Personal items such as cleaning supplies, furniture and appliances.
  • Transportation assistance, gasoline and bus vouchers.
  • A pet pantry may even have food for dogs or cats for people in a crisis.
  • Seasonal aid, such as Thanksgiving baskets, free school supplies, Easter brunch program, Christmas Day dinner, and Christmas toy program.

Call or stop by ECHO at 65 S. High St., Janesville, Wisconsin 53545, call (608) 754-5333, or learn more on ECHO community action assistance programs.





Rock County Human Services runs the various government and public assistance programs. They include food stamps and medical assistance (Medicaid) programs. Other services include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which offers cash payment to meet their basic needs. 1900 Center Avenue, Janesville, Wisconsin 53546, call 608-741-3400.

Rock County Energy Services - Provides financial assistance with paying winter heating and utility bills for low income individuals and also weatherization services. Phone 608-363-9200

Beloit Salvation Army – Assistance and informational services are provided for free. They include emergency assistance for food and clothing. A free public breakfast/lunch is offered for people, including seniors. Case Management Programs can assist with partial rent security deposits, or utility bills.

Transportation assistance is offered from a limited program depending on funding. Seasonal programs include Christmas Baskets and Toys and a Summer Food Program. Or students can get free school supplies or uniforms. Address is 628 Broad St., Beloit, WI 53511, call (608) 365-6572. Click here for more information on Salvation Army assistance in Rock County..

Caritas, Inc. coordinates and provides basic subsistence services for the greater Beloit region. A primary service is providing help with paying the first month’s rent or eviction prevention for households that are impending homeless, currently homeless or until grant funds are depleted. 1175 Madison Rd., Beloit, Wisconsin 53511, phone (608) 362-4403

Rock County children can be provided free Christmas presents or gift cards. Programs such as Adopt a Family or fund raisers are held by non-profits. There is support for low income families in the community, and find a listing of places to turn to for free Christmas gifts.

Rock County Catholic Charities - Several churches and other groups work with the regional Catholic Charities organization to provide services to the working poor and low income. Several resources are offered for senior citizens, including food and meals. While more limited, some emergency financial assistance may be offered for rental or utility expenses. Another focus is on homeless prevention and other assistance includes case management, Christmas assistance, clothing, and basic needs. More details on Madison Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Janesville Community Development administers low-income rental assistance from section 8 vouchers. Housing assistance is available for disabled persons, elderly and families of one or more. (608) 755-3065

Rock County Council On Aging helps senior citizens and older adults. Call and sign up for home-delivered meal program, Benefit Specialist Program, specialized transit van service, volunteer driver RIDES program, and nutrition services. 3328 Highway 51 N., Janesville, WI 53545, telephone (608) 757-5472. More on Wisconsin Agency on Aging.

Rock County short term housing can help the homeless and individuals facing eviction. Social workers will provide case management services, information on job training and financial aid, meals, and help in locating a new home. The goals are to prevent evictions and re-house homeless individuals. Learn more on transitional housing South Central WI.







Edgerton Community Outreach & Food Pantry can be reached at (608) 884-9593. Helps low income families in the greater Edgerton School District area, including, medical assistance, emergency shelter, rent and transportation assistance. The thrift store and Food Pantry Program assists families in need with perishable food vouchers as well as non-perishable food.

Employment and education programs

AWARE is a non-profit community organizing program that is located in the Evansville Wisconsin area, but serves all of Rock County. One program that really stands out is The Skills Enhancement Program, which allows working poor and poverty level wage earners to move towards self-sufficiency and long term success by securing education and job and career training in demand occupations. The skills program provides needed support and resources including individualized career mapping and financial assistance related to tuition, job skills, books, fees, career counseling, childcare and transportation. 608-882-9900.

Programs to reduce debts and provide housing counseling

Family Services of Southern Wisconsin offers the so called Consumer Credit Counseling Service Program. This service provides individual face to face, in-person financial counseling. Specifically it includes debt management planning; advice on mortgage assistance programs, community workshops and presentations.

Family Services also offers foreclosure prevention counseling, check-wise program; bankruptcy counseling and advice; and other financial aid for individuals and families experiencing moderate to severe economic hardship or problems. 608-752-5813. Learn more on Wisconsin mortgage and foreclosure programs.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service Of Beloit can help creditors and debtors work out a repayment plan. Family and individual budgeting skills and financial planning are offered. Credit counselors can also help stop calls from creditors and work with creditors to low interest on your credit cards and other accounts. (608) 365-1244

Consumer Credit Counseling Service Of Janesville provides personal financial counseling, credit repair, debt management plans, and more to people experiencing moderate to severe economic hardship. (608) 365-1244. Read more on debt assistance.

Free medical and dental care in Rock County

HealthNet of Janesville Inc. is a clinic that operates a free health and dental clinic. The facility provides both high quality health care and dental health care to low income and uninsured residents of Rock County and the surrounding community. The Dental Clinic works with volunteer dentists and hygienists from the Rock County Dental Society, and together they provide treatment plans, fillings, x-rays, exposed wisdom teeth extractions, cleanings, fluoride and sealant treatments, extractions, root canals and front teeth transitional partials.

On the other hand, the Primary Medical provides general primary medical care including: complete physical exams; lab and x-rays; treatment for acute and chronic health conditions; specialty consults; mental health treatment;  vision care; and pediatrics primary medical care. Click here for other free health care programs, or call 608-756-4638 to make an appointment or to learn more.

The Beloit Area Community Health Center (BACHC) offers high quality and accessible health care for all Rock County residents. Services include programs for youth, quality confidential health care, pregnancy testing, well child exams, primary health care, treatment for chronic illness, and even mental health counseling. Referrals and discounts may be provided too. Get pharmacy discounts through the Grand Avenue Pharmacy, dental and social service referrals, and help with applications for HealthyStart, BadgerCare, and Medicaid. A patient will be billed based on your annual total household income and family size.

The Beloit Clinic also offers free or affordable medical care to the residents of the region. You can even choose a personal physician from among the primary care specialties. Programs provide laboratory, medical imaging, general surgery, and more. 1905 Huebbe Parkway, Beloit, WI 53511, dial (608) 364-2200





Free groceries, meals, and food assistance resources

Faith Builders Operation Care (food pantry) – Qualified people who interview with a church member can get food at most once per month. 2170 Murphy Woods Rd., Beloit, WI 53511, dial (608) 365-9131, Ext. 10

Midwest Christian Center offers free community meals and a food pantry. (608) 755-1750

Milton Food Pantry – May even deliver food to the seniors and homebound. (608) 868-1166

New Zion Baptist Church - Includes a clothing program, food pantry and a meal site for Golden Dinners. 1905 S. Mound Ave., Beloit, Wisconsin 53511, phone (608) 362-7703

Beloit’s Meals On Wheels delivers hot, nutritious meals during the noon hour, and maybe a dinner too. Meals and food are delivered to the handicapped, elderly, the sick, and homebound in the Beloit area. (608) 362-3683

Rock County Second Harvest food bank - This center partners with the Beloit Masonic Center as well as the local Salvation Army. Hundreds of residents receive free food, groceries and meals. A Mobile pantry is available too. More on Beloit Second Harvest Food.

Evansville Ecumenical Care Closet offers food, holiday meals, and clothing. (608) 882-4532

Janesville Meals On Wheels provides the elderly or disabled affordable meals in their homes. The program operates every day, and meals are made  fresh by the Mercy Hospital-Janesville dietary staff. (608) 756-6784 or call (608) 362-3683 in Beloit Wisconsin.


By Jon McNamara














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