San Diego County assistance programs.
In an emergency, low income or struggling families in San Diego may be given financial help. There are programs that provide free food, prescription medications, health care, or clothing. Grants are offered to help pay rent, electric or utility bills, car repairs or gasoline, and more. There are also assistance programs for immigrants and Spanish speakers, and anyone can attend a debt reduction or job training workshop too.
Resources and programs that will provide help with bills and expenses
The Community Action Partnership (CAP) is the designated community action agency that serves the San Diego region. The organization administers the Community Services Block Grant and provides grants and assistance to struggling families. While they do not provide direct rental or utilities assistance, they can provide information on local non-profits that may distribute CSBG funding.
Family Self-sufficiency Services is one component of the agency, and it helps low income families with their short term needs and also ensures they are self sufficient over the long term. Some of what they offer includes :
- Provide referrals to local agencies that may offer assistance with emergency needs, including utility bills and rent assistance.
- Serves low-income families and individuals CalWORKs and other public assistance recipients.
- Provide financial education and debt counseling. Read more credit card help.
- Provide help to people with obtaining the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC.
- Job and employment assistance, including training.
- General Relief can provide loans for basic needs, such as medical bills, rent, and housing expenses.
- Assist people with obtaining low or no-cost health insurance, and also free health care.
Call (800) 227-0997 to get referrals and more information. Or for more information on emergency services, referrals or government grants that may be available, continue with community assistance programs in San Diego County.
Emergency help with bills and find other resources from the United Way
The United Way has increased funding to a variety of local programs. San Diego, California is experiencing an overwhelming need to provide residents basic services, such as rent help, shelter, food, and more. The United Way of San Diego County has increased funding on a one-time basis to local groups to address this increased demand. Nine charity organizations and agencies, including the Salvation Army, Alliance for African Assistance, Crisis House, Community Resource Center ((760) 753-1156), HomeStart, Interfaith Community Services, Veterans Village (619.497.0142), and South Bay Community Services have received a total of $550,000 in aid to distribute to those who need help.
The money will help both health and human service organizations increase their capacity and add resources to serve those families and individuals who are at risk for first-time homelessness, who need food, and other help according to the United Way.
There is a tremendous need for assistance in San Diego County. And the middle class is feeling it. Local charities and agencies have seen a 75% increase in first-time assistance requests for all aid coming from individuals and families. The food bank has had an 80% increase. Requests for debt help and assistance have increased by 50%.
The United Way partnering with local charities and agencies in San Diego County will be doing their best to meet this overwhelming need.
Crisis assistance programs for expenses, bills, rent, housing costs, and more
San Diego Catholic Charities ((619) 231-2828) provides low income and other qualified individuals with access to crisis and critical services for adults, children, and families, including counseling, emergency help for bills and other costs, pregnancy, parenting and adoption services, immigrant and refugee services, rent assistance, senior services, information on government programs, homeless and emergency services. Learn more.
Indian Human Resource Center, Inc. (Phone: (619) 281-5964) provides job and employment assistance, job training, housing and case management social services to American Indians who are in a crisis situations due to emergency situations or unemployment.
Another option is Interfaith Community Services. This agency provides a complete continuum of help for bills and expenses, care and other resources and services in north San Diego County, from Oceanside to Escondido. Among other services they offer food, shelter, rent, housing and mortgage help. Other non-financial support from ICS will involve crisis intervention, advocacy and referrals, clinical case management, employment assessment, training and job placement, as well as psychological counseling and more. (760) 489-6380, or find more details on programs from Interfaith Community Services.
Low income individuals and others who need help can also contact MAAC Project ((619) 426-3595). This non-profit agency provides needy individuals with access to social services, senior services, job training/placement, consumer education, child development/education, energy bill assistance, substance abuse programs, residential recovery, rent and housing help, emergency food and vouchers, housing and community development programs.
North County Community Services is another private non profit social services agency that has provided vitally needed help. They partner and operate the North County Food Bank as well as seven child development centers across Northern San Diego County, North County Community Services is committed to providing help and aid when families need it the most. (760) 471-5483.
Also contact Ramona Food & Clothes Closet. They only support the rural communities of Warner Springs, Ramona, Julian, and also Ranchita. Programs available, depending on funding, may include emergency clothing, groceries and food assistance, medical appliances, limited information on California and federal government assistance programs and referrals. In addition, the charity also provides food, clothes and toys at Christmas time. Phone number (760) 789-4458.
Community Catalysts of California helps veterans. Support is for the very low income and/or homeless in San Diego County. Get information and help in applying for VA public benefits, rental and security deposit assistance programs, and other non-profit programs. 5605 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92115, telephone (800) 974-9909.
Heavens Windows is involved in offering the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, or EFSP. It is an annual, federally funded grant program that offers limited emergency rent payment assistance to residents facing a one-time crisis and that are facing eviction. Loans may also be issued expenses such as utility bills or security deposits. Applicants need to be able to show they will be self-sufficiency in the immediate future and can pay the rent on their own. Spring Valley, California based. Dial (619) 303-7806.
Rock Cancer C.A.R.E. of San Diego County is for cancer patients and families. Services may be transportation to doctor appointments and treatment, house cleaning, information on prescription assistance and medical bill payment programs, counseling, free meal delivery, and much more. (888) 251-0620
San Diego Salvation Army provides a multitude of programs to assist to needy families, the unemployed, low income, seniors, youth and children. Get help with rent, mortgage payments, rent assistance, housing assistance, food, shelter, clothing, counseling, disaster services, and other aid in San Diego California. A number of centers offer the Family Services program, which is the main resource used to distributed aid. Call (619) 231-6000, or get more details on Salvation Army San Diego programs.
Brother Benno Foundation helps people that live in Oceanside. The applicant needs to be a family with children ages 17 years and younger; be 60 years or older, or be disabled. They offer rent assistance if the applicant has an eviction notice. Dial 760-439-1244, or find additional rent assistance options. More help with rent.
The following non-profits or charities provide energy bill assistance in the San Diego area. Brawley CA Campesinos Unidos Inc. ((760) 344-4500), Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee ((619) 409-1697). These places offer the home energy bill assistance program.
St Vincent De Paul Society For The Diocese Of San Diego - Offers various low income programs and advice to those who are struggling. A focus of this non-profit charity is on housing and medical care. They operate health and dental clinics in the region. Housing and homeless prevention programs can assist a wide number of San Diego California families and individuals, including veterans, people facing eviction, and those who are currently homeless and who need to find a new home or apartment to live in. Click here.
North Country Lifeline Inc., which is based in Vista, runs the homeless prevention and rapid rehousing program. It offers assistance for individuals and families with rental and utility assistance. (760) 726-4900.
San Diego Housing Commission (phone (619) 231-9400)) provides rental assistance, section 8 housing resources, home buyers assistance, public housing, and state rental housing.
Several other cities and towns in southern California offer section 8 housing vouchers. Some examples are below. However call your local social service office as well for information. Participants will need to still pay 30% of monthly income toward rent. Most centers will have a waiting list in place.
- City of Oceanside, 321 North Nevada Street, call (760) 435-3360
- 2965 Roosevelt Street, Suite B, Carlsbad, CA, 92008, call (760) 434-2810
- Housing and Community Development, County of San Diego, 3989 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA, 92123, telephone number is (858) 694-4890
- Calexico Housing Authority, 1006 East Fifth Street, Calexico, California, 92231, call (760) 357-3013
- 2965 Roosevelt Street, Suite B, Carlsbad, CA, 92008, call (760) 434-2810
- 140 East Twelfth Street, Suite B, National City, California, 91950, call (619) 336-4254
Info Line of San Diego is a resource that the homeless and people facing eviction can get referrals from. Callers may learn about free food, emergency money for rent, or energy bills. There are a few numbers to try, including (619) 230-0997 in Greater San Diego, North County residents call (760) 943-0997, or inland, dial (760) 740-0997. Learn more on Info Line services in San Diego.
Del Mar Community Connections, 1050 Camino Del Mar, (phone (858) 792-7565) offers rent and energy help.
Community Resource Center of Encinitas ((760) 753-8300) and the City of Oceanside ((760) 435-3380) both offer a federal grant program in which money can be used to pay for homeless prevention issues, such as utilities, electric bills, disconnections, and monthly rent payments.
Jewish Family Service of San Diego - Some resources are available regardless of faith. Assistance programs include a free food pantry, support for veterans and seniors in San Diego, Ways to Work Car Loans, and referrals. They may also have home delivered meals or free pet food for the homebound and elderly. The non-profit is also involved in running shelter and transitional housing programs. Learn more.
Crisis House focuses on self-sufficiency. However there may be some occasional financial aid offered for families that are out of options. While numerous services are administered, some include motel vouchers, shelter, and transitional housing. They work with the Career Center and other social service agencies in San Diego, such as food pantries. Any funds issued for rent, paying electric bills or a security deposit are targeted at homeless prevention. Or get help in applying for SSDI disability benefits, CalWorks, or food stamps. More on San Diego Crisis House emergency programs.
Cash Assistance and San Diego Social Services - The county has two primary organizations that can provide emergency financial assistance. They include the Health and Human Services Agency as well as Family Resource Centers. They provide a number of resources, including free food, health care, electric bill help, and other aid. Read more San Diego public assistance.
HIV patients can call NAMI San Diego at (619) 584-3113 or Townspeople at (619) 295-8802 to get rent and energy bill assistance, as well as information on free health care and medications in San Diego California.
Veterans Community Services (VCS) of San Diego County has several offices in the region. The organization provides supportive services and assistance for housing search to very low-income and/or homeless Veteran families. Clients can apply for temporary financial assistance and grants for expenses such as security deposits, rent, and energy bills. All aid is to help people fund permanent housing. Also get help in accessing VA and other government/public benefits.
- 3914 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite A243, San Diego, CA 92123, (800) 974-9909
- 1405 Sixth Avenue, San Diego, California, 92101, call (800) 974-9909
- 935 West San Marcos Boulevard, Suite 103, San Marcos, CA, 92078, dial (800) 974-9909
Uptown Faith Community Service Center – Families who are at risk for homelessness, low-income individuals and families, and the current homeless can get assistance. Services include clothing, emergency food, hygiene supplies, and access to a computer. 4101 30th Street, Suite B, San Diego, California, 92104, phone (619) 281-8411, or find more information on UPTOWN programs.
Clothing, household goods, basic needs - Those items, and more, are offered by clothing closets, churches, and charities across San Diego California. Some locations also offer such items as free school supplies, diapers or Christmas assistance. While items may be provided for free, the general public can often buy high quality yet low cost goods from thrift stores and other non-profits. Find a listing of center. More.
Just In Time for Foster Youth offers Basic Needs/ Emergency Assistance. The non-profit provides qualified San Diego residents with immediate financial support in an emergency. Programs can assist with care repair, rent money, bus passes, gas cards, interview clothing, and grocery gift cards and vouchers youth ages 18 to 26. (760) 505-6647
Legal aid for utility disconnections, evictions, and government benefits - There are firms that provide free advice, including Legal Aid Society of San Diego, to low income families, the disabled, and seniors. A focus is on addressing housing needs, so ensuring utilities are not disconnected or stopping evictions. They can also help people apply for SSI, food stamps / CalFresh, and deal with other consumer issues. More on Legal Aid Society of San Diego programs.
Fallbrook California - This region is supported by its own local St. Vincent De Paul organization. The charity runs a thrift store, distributes clothing and furniture, and may have limited financial assistance to deal with an emergency. Or if they can’t help you, they may still have referrals. Continue.
San Diego Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society administers financial assistance as grants and/or interest-free loans to help with emergency needs. For example, get assistance with emergency transportation, funeral expenses, medical/dental bills, childcare expenses, basic living expenses (food, rent, utilities), and essential vehicle repairs. Counselors also offer budget, dent and financial management information. School of Infantry, Building 520512, Camp Pendleton, California, 92055, call (760) 725-7497.
Nice Guys Assistance Program - Provides financial aid to people in need of temporary assistance. The exact type of assistance varies and may include utility payments, include auto repair, tuition, wheelchair repairs, and new or gently used clothing.
San Diego Homeless Services is a non-profit that coordinates solutions. Assistance is offered from an Outreach team, and there is everything from shelter to transitional housing available. Basic needs around personal hygiene and free food are distributed, as well as information on financial and and emergency money for bills and rental costs. Read more information.
Low income Christmas assistance is available. Many donations and volunteers are available and support children and seniors in San Diego. Free holiday gifts, food, and other items are available across the county and southern California. Find San Diego Christmas and holiday assistance.
City of Vista Mobilehome Rental Assistance is for mobile home owners. It can help them pay their housing costs, including rent and mortgage equivalent. The park owner needs to participate in the VMRA program. (760) 639-6191
Churches and faith based groups - Families can turn to a local church for help in San Diego County. The assistance is generally focused on a specific zip code, and the resources vary. In general, they offer financial help for paying rent or bills as a last resort. But some ongoing programs may be available, such as advice for immigrants seeking citizenship, emergency shelter, and hot meals among them. More on help from San Diego churches.
San Diego County Lutheran Services administers programs for seniors, the disabled, and the working poor. Qualified families can receive everything from food to shelter and emergency rental assistance. Resources offered are comprehensive and address the root causes of the situation. Call for information on clothing, transitional housing, free meals, and eviction prevention. Learn more.
Low income housing - Families facing imminent eviction or those that are homeless can get assistance from transitional housing programs or shelters. Resources and non-profits across San Diego are committed to helping the needy and less fortunate. Special focus for satisfying housing needs tends to be on families with children, women, veterans, and senior citizens. Read transitional housing programs in San Diego.
Campesinos Unidos Inc, El Centro can help pay utility and electric bills. The non-profit provides non-emergency financial assistance with paying utility bills to working poor, low-income individuals and families. The agency processes applications from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). An emergency component can support San Diego families who have received a shut off notice as well. Stop by 3959 Ruffin Road, Suite G, San Diego, California, 92123 (call (800) 371-1380) or a second location at 1005 C Street, Brawley, CA, 92227, (760) 344-4500.
HUD Rapid Rehousing and Eviction Prevention Services are available from a few agencies in San Diego County. ESG grants offer a continuum of care to stop homelessness. The program may provide the following.
One time funding for utility bills, even including water arrears may be offered along with rent help. Non-profits may offer legal support, or help a family find a new, affordable apartment to live in. The grants may also pay for other costs, and more San Diego eviction assistance and rehousing.
Home Start focuses on housing and long term support, with a focus on single parents. They offer assistance from the Financial Opportunity Center, may have one time funds from the federal emergency food and shelter grant program, a Maternity Shelter, applications for Cal Fresh or SSI disability and other solutions. More on Home Start services.
Subsidies and financial aid for paying water bills - Most of these programs are funded using donations from the public. In general, in order to get help with a water bills, the applicant must follow the same income guidelines that are in place for CARE. Both non-profits and the utility provider may offer this, and locate more details on San Diego water bill assistance programs.
San Diego County Credit Union can provide residents who join the union with low interest rate loans. Some people use them for everyday expenses, such as rent, for car repairs, or maybe a medical expense. The interest rate will be much lower than a bank or say payday lender. Continue with San Diego County Credit Union loans.
Non-profit and free rent help - Several San Diego California area charities, churches, and government programs offer information on rental assistance programs and may offer cash to help pay rent expenses. Continue.
San Diego newborn assistance - Families in poverty and the working poor can get help with a new baby. Everything is given for free to income qualified households. Clients can be provide diapers, wipes, and pampers. Or if they need furniture or financial aid during this transition, then referrals may be given to those parents as well. Read San Diego County diapers and baby supplies.
San Diego agencies and programs that cover the entire state
Get information on other assistance programs that can help both San Diego residents, and that also assist families and individuals throughout the state.
Job and employment programs
If you need help finding a job, programs to increase your income, or other aid contact the Chicano Federation of San Diego County, Inc. Among the services offered include case management, crisis intervention, career development, youth and senior programs and job development for unemployed and low-income individuals. In addition, the non-profit agency provides childcare services and leadership training program. Develops/manages affordable housing apartments for those facing eviction. (619) 285-5600.
If you need help finding a job or increasing your income, also contact SER/Jobs for Progress. Phone: (760) 754-6500. The agency offers job counseling, referral, and placement for youth and adults. An on site learning center also provides computer applications training. First time home buyers program is also administered.
Medical care and dental services
Medical care for children is provided by Children's Dental Health Association of San Diego as well as the Children's Hospital and Health Center (Rady Children's Hospital - San Diego). The Dental association provides children with a full range of affordable, high quality and accessible dental health services to San Diego's under served children. (619) 370-5625. The Hospital and Health Center is the county only medical center devoted exclusively to providing medical and health care to children and provides a full array of medical services and assistance for the children of San Diego County. (858) 576-1700.
Family Health Centers of San Diego County, Inc., contact (619) 515-2300, helps medically under served persons by offering health care on a sliding scale basis. The clinic provides comprehensive primary healthcare, including dental, medical, optometry, medications, mental health, health education and training, and other ancillary services.
Another option for health care is Imperial Beach Health Center. This facility offers primary medical and health care services for low income individuals and those persons without health insurance. Fees for the health care are based on income and family size. (619) 429-3733.
La Maestra Community Health Centers offers medical and health care services to residents who live in City Heights including parental, general primary care, pediatric, IC program, etc. (619) 584-1612
Get access to medical and psycho social health care from the San Diego Family Care facility. Their services are available to low-income, multi-ethnic families on a sliding fee basis. Call (858) 279-0925 to learn more or make an appointment, or click here for additional health care programs.
Patients of the South Bay area can contact San Ysidro Health Center. The center offers comprehensive health care to residents. A variety of payment options are allowed for medical bills, including flexible fees for low-income, medically indigent people and patients. (619) 428-4463.
A number of other government certified clinics and health care centers are located in the region. Find additional San Diego clinics.
Free legal advice
If you can’t afford an attorney, contact Legal Aid Society of San Diego. Attorneys from this non-profit law firm provides eligible individuals with high quality legal services to indigent residents of the City and County of San Diego. The goal of the law firm is to insure they receive the basic needs for survival and legal representation. Get legal advice for consumer debt issues, foreclosures, utility disconnections, and other aid. (877) 534-2524
Other options include the University of San Diego Legal Clinic. Dial (619) 260-7470. The facility provides pro-bono legal services to low-income residents of San Diego County. San Diego Volunteer Legal Program (619) 235-5656 is another resource. They agencies focus on civil law issues, such as foreclosures, debt issues, employment concerns, and more. They do not handle criminal cases. Click here for other California legal programs.
San Diego senior programs
Contact ElderHelp of San Diego at (619) 284-9281. This non-profit charity organization provides assistance programs to help seniors as well as the frail elderly remain at home, including shared housing, grocery shopping, care management, home updates and repairs, forms assistance, legal services and advice, and Project CARE.
Another resource is Senior Community Centers of San Diego. This non-profit offers services for seniors including , homeless, social service programs, home delivered meals, rent and housing aid, hot breakfast & lunch at three centers, shopping, health care assistance, information for paying medical and hospital bills, transportation, activities and advocacy. (619) 235-6538
Get help with rent
If you are struggling with making your monthly rent payments, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program is a project that was created between the city of Vista California and North County Lifeline, which is a local Vista nonprofit service organization.
The rental assistance program has a goal of helping families and individuals who are struggling with paying their bills and housing expenses. Residents who qualify for aid can receive up to two months' of rent expense paid by the city and government agencies.
Vista city officials have said that since the rental-assistance program started in March 2007, dozens of families have been, and continue to be helped. The city averages about $1,300 per household who qualified for the program. In addition, they have also spent almost $50,00 fund a separate program that helps pay for utility and security deposits.
All of these various programs are funded by various government agencies and redevelopment revenue, state and federal grants, and Community Development Block Grant money.
North County Lifeline is in charge of reviewing and screening applicants to ensure they meet the criteria to qualify for the rental assistance program. Candidates must live in the city of Vista, and they need to be residents who have maintained the same home and address for more than six months and they also must also meet household income guidelines. In order to qualify for aid, an individual needs to have an annual income less than $34,680, a household of two must make less than $39,660 and a household of four must make less than $49,560 in total household income.
In addition if you do go ahead and apply, applicants also need to agree to participate in a case management program, which includes financial literacy training and counseling, and the applicant needs to commit to get their finances back in the black and become self sufficient.
If you need more information on Vista's Emergency Rental Assistance Program or would like to apply, contact them at North County Lifeline, 200 Michigan Ave., Vista California, or dial 760-726-4900.
Homeless Prevention Services are offered by St. Vincent de Paul Village in partnership with other local non-profit San Diego agencies, including Interfaith Community Services and Veteran's Village of San Diego. A limited number of qualified families may receive housing assessments, rent help, homeless prevention services, and case management. Learn about options for getting help with security deposits, first months rent, and short term transitional housing. Call 619.233.8500
San Diego mortgage and foreclosure assistance
Contact the HOME Clinic, which is a community service program of the Housing Opportunities Collaborative (HOC). The agency employs HUD approved housing counseling agencies, community and nonprofit organizations, offers information on government programs, and access to city jurisdictions that support all aspects of homeownership and housing rights and responsibilities. Counselors can help you avoid a foreclosure, and get back on track with your monthly mortgage payments. HOC provides educational training, foreclosure prevention, mortgage assistance programs, and community resources to assist families at risk of housing displacement. Dial 619-283-2200, or click here for other California mortgage programs.
The Foreclosure Prevention Center offers a wide range of foreclosure prevention and counseling services to San Diego families to help them avoid foreclosure and sustain their homeownership. Dial (619) 282-6647.
Get information and find the location of HUD approved foreclosure counseling and other non-profit organizations in San Diego California. Many offer free or inexpensive solutions to a borrowers personal housing situation. More on San Diego foreclosure programs.
Workshop and seminars - Any homeowner who is delinquent on their mortgage or facing a foreclosure can attend a free foreclosure prevention clinic in San Diego. Sessions are organized by non-profit HUD approved counseling agencies, the local county library network, and other organizations that are based in the county. Homeowners can get free advice and help in dealing with a current or potential foreclosure filing. Click here.
Debt and credit counseling
Consumer Credit Counseling has multiple offices around the county. Counselors provide financial counseling, access to debt repayment programs, housing and foreclosure assistance programs, financial literacy programs, and credit report and repair counseling. Assists clients in establishing an repayment program with creditors as needed. Dial 866-889-9347.
The county is served by several other non-profit credit and housing counseling agencies. Some are local organizations, and others are part of a nationwide network. Find more San Diego credit counseling locations.
Food, emergency aid, and household items
Neighborhood House Association (619) 263-7761) - Provides qualified individuals with emergency food (a household may receive food once in a 6-month period). Formula/baby food and diapers are also sometimes available.
San Diego Food Bank - They run the government Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP). This program can help children, seniors, and families that are faced with a crisis.
There are dozens of other non-profit food pantries across San Diego that families and individuals can turn to for assistance. Find phone numbers, addresses, or read more San Diego food pantries.
San Diego Head Start programs
Low income children as well as their parents may be able to turn to the government funded, but locally run, Head Start and Early Head Start programs. It offers education assistance, medical care, food, and a host of other social services for children up to five years old. More on San Diego Head Start as well as phone numbers to call for help.