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Assistance programs San Francisco County and city.

Find financial assistance with housing (mortgage, rent, security deposits, and utility bills) along with other free stuff or social services in San Francisco. Churches, the government Human Service office, and charities (among other groups) help low income families. They also provide free food, clothes, transportation assistance, credit or job counseling and additional support. Assistance is available for immigrants, in languages including Chinese and Japanese, and programs help the working poor.

Charities in the city as well as county also give out free stuff, ranging from job placement services to school supplies, computers, or even Christmas gifts to children during the holidays. There is also details on transitional housing programs for residents with a low income, SNAP Cal Fresh food stamps, and work from home jobs in San Francisco County. More details are below.

Emergency financial assistance programs, grants, and free items in San Francisco County

The federal government offers grant based rent and housing in the county. The government will in most years provide charities as well as non-profits in San Francisco California funds to help those in need pay for rent and other housing costs. Money can come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), United Way, FEMA and others. The money is provided  to help pay the rent or even utility or water bills for those on the verge of eviction. In addition to the funds being used to pay rent, the money is also meant to be used to help get homeless off the streets quickly and into an employment opportunity. There are also transitional housing programs for the low income.

The financial aid is mostly for short to mid term relief. San Francisco residents who apply to the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing assistance program shouldn’t expect long term free rent though. The housing program is designed to provide short- and medium-term financial assistance, anywhere from 3-18 months, and other financial aid such as help with utility and security deposits. There may also be grants for utility bill deposits, hotel and motel costs, and moving assistance.

Applicants to the housing assistance program can receive up to three months of rental assistance or 18 months of partial housing assistance by applying to this federally funded program. but funds are limited.




The funds will be managed by local charities, including the Salvation Army and United Way. One of the big benefits is that by keeping families and individuals off the streets, and helping many of these families get through hard times, will goes a long way towards helping an economic recovery occur. Dial (415) 777-2677 to apply.

The Salvation Army San Francisco and Golden State Division - There are several other locations that can offer assistance, including electric bill help, food, housing, and case management. The Salvation Army and their emergency assistance as well as Family Services departments in San Francisco are committed to helping the low income. Other programs include free meals, Christmas toys or holiday assistance, vouchers for medications and gasoline, and more. Students from low income households may also be give free school supplies, backpacks, shoes and other goods. Locations include.

This agency provides social services, including rent help, funds for energy bills, food, and other resources. It also offers disaster relief and youth services to the public, and refers people to other local charities and on-profits. (415) 553-3568.

  • 1450 Powell Street, (415) 781-7360
  • 1156 Valencia Street, phone number (415) 648-0260
  • 242 Turk Street, (415) 345-3414
  • 360 - 4th Street, (415) 777-2677
  • 832 Folsom Street, (415) 553-3568
  • Read more Salvation Army San Francisco assistance programs.

San Francisco eviction prevention programs are wide ranging. They also try to help the low income, gig workers, and others who struggle with housing to find an affordable place to live.

  • Eviction Defense Collaborative  - If you are facing eviction, this organization may be able to help. It provides free assistance with filing answers, motions and stay-of-evictions to elderly and low to moderate income tenants facing eviction. In addition, they may also be able to provide cash grant payments of past due rent thorough loans and grants. (415) 947-0797
  • Lutheran Care for the Aging, which can be reached at (415) 441-7777, provides information about programs, resources and services for seniors. The agency can also offer limited emergency financial assistance for paying rent and other housing needs and temporary rental subsidies for qualified seniors and elderly.
  • Tenderloin Housing Clinic - This nonprofit provides landlord-tenant information, a modified payment program for rent, eviction prevention, job search services, counseling and case management and SRO housing. (415) 771-2427
  • The local government estimates that each year there are thousands of families in San Francisco who are on the verge of being evicted and losing their homes, or who may already be homeless each year. The city offers a housing assistance program to assist some of those families with staying off the street, but there is a limit to that help. The program is currently designed to offer short-term assistance.
    Those families who apply and are accepted into the program are helped with everything from computer training, credit repair, help finding a job, and even counseling. More long term help may soon be available. Contact City Hall ((415) 554-6171) for more information or to apply, or click here for additional rent programs.





A large number of San Francisco area non-profits and charities administer their own rent and housing assistance programs for the low income and homeless. Hundreds are helped daily. Get details on other San Francisco rent assistance programs.

Call Primrose Center  - This agency can provides cash grants and financial assistance for both utility and rental expenses. Also access emergency food assistance and information and referral services for both federal and California government programs. Phone number (650) 342-2255

St. Anthony Foundation - This agency can be reached at (415) 241-2655. It connects low income, homeless, undocumented, low income and working poor families and individuals to local programs, resources and services that can stabilize and improve the quality of their lives, and help people access financial assistance programs for paying bills.

San Francisco Department of Human Services - The leading government organization. Runs a number of state and federal cash and public assistance programs, including cash aid from CalWorks, Aging Services, MediCal and CalFresh among others. In addition, administers some local resources too including supportive housing or child care. The organization can help people faced with an emergency situation. Address is 170 Otis St, San Francisco, CA 94103. Dial (415) 557-5100. More details on San Francisco public assistance.

Glide Memorial United Methodist Church Glide Foundation - Offers numerous services and programs. It offers funds for paying rent and preventing evictions, utility bill help, free meals program, a free health clinic,  a jobs and computer training program, and much more. (415) 674-6000.

Lutheran Social Services of San Francisco and Northern California is involved in offering self-sufficiency to tenants, the homeless, and people struggling with paying their rent. The organization also partners with a program known as Direct Access to Housing (DAH) in order to refer clients to affordable low income and/or transitional housing units in the San Francisco County area. Read assistance programs from Lutheran Services.

Locate Rapid Rehousing and eviction help - Another service is available across the county. Families that live in otherwise affordable housing, but they are facing a short term crisis, can be candidates for money for rental or utility costs. Another service, rehousing, will help families locate and move into a new affordable home. Find eviction prevention and rehousing in San Francisco County.

Catholic Charities - The agency offers short and medium term rental subsidies, funds for paying back rent, credit repair, outreach and engagement, case management, utility bill payments, housing search and placement services, security and utility deposits, and moving cost reimbursement to families. (415) 972-1355.

The non-profit Catholic Charity organization operates several offices around the greater San Francisco area. In addition to provide rent and/or housing assistance, they will also try to address the cause of the homelessness or eviction. So job finding programs, training, and advice and support is provided. More on help from San Francisco County Catholic Charities.

Human Services Agency - A government funded organization. They offer some of their own cash assistance to pay rent and housing expenses. The non-profit is also a great place to call for referrals to a wide range of eviction prevention, rental assistance programs and emergency aid. Read more housing assistance in San Francisco.





Economic Opportunity Council Of San Francisco – The non-profit offers and coordinates supportive services, housing, employment, nutrition and health, job finding programs, education, and other areas necessary to alleviate and eliminate poverty. May administer financial assistance programs from the federal government or state of California too, such as Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

The community action agency also works to offer emergency financial assistance for paying rent, utility bills, medical bills. Or there is free stuff, food and other support from the agencies below. Or apply for even an occasional mortgage payment program.

The agency will refer those facing eviction or the currently homeless to housing and rental assistance. What may be available in San Francisco includes emergency funds to pay rental expenses. Or the homeless can explore transitional housing and security deposit assistance, which may sometimes be available as a loan.

Other services from the council include Commodity foods, low cost child care, and referrals to the SFHomeless program. The community action agency is based at San Francisco, California, 1426 Fillmore Street, Suite 301. Phone (415) 749-5600. Continue with San Francisco Economic Opportunity Council.

La Raza Community Resource Center, Inc. provides information, referrals, and support. Some basic needs such as food or clothing may be available. Receive linkage to non-profits in San Francisco, help in applying for government benefits or employment, and register for classes such as English as a Second Language (ESL). A focus is on Latinos, Spanish speakers, and Hispanics. Address is 474 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California, 94103. Phone 415-863-0764. Or more on La Raza Community Resource Center assistance programs.

There is assistance in San Francisco County for new parents as well as pregnant women. The government help by offering WIC vouchers for formula, and charities and diaper bank groups also provide supplies to low income families, many of whom are on CalWorks, Many resources are available, and find free diapers in San Francisco.

Compass Family Services is an intake agency for the Family Shelter System. The transitional housing and shelters offer a place to stay and self-sufficiency. The location also offers interest free loans for security deposits, move-in costs, delinquent rent, debt payment and paying other outstanding bills. Additional emergency assistance is for free food, bus tokens, and toiletries. Information and referral to other community resources is available too. Address is 995 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, 415-442-5130.

Swords To Plowshares - Financial assistance for mortgage or rent from the Season of Sharing (SOS) fund. Grants and funds are for one time needs that can't be met by other government or non-profits. The focus is on veterans in South San Francisco, and the non-profit also clothing from Dress for Success, Chinook Permanent Supportive Family Housing, and government grants for the disabled and struggling military members. Dial 415-252-4788, or more on Swords to Plowshares programs.

Francis Of Assisi Community coordinates federal government subsidized (HUD) housing and apartments. The units are for seniors and/or physically disabled adults that reside in San Francisco County. Lunches, meals, and other basic needs can be satisfied. 145 Guerrero Street, San Francisco, California, 94103, dial 415-621-4092 for information.

Hamilton Family Center administers Homelessness Prevention Services. As resources allow, the agency may have both rent payment assistance and security deposit assistance to families facing eviction or that are currently homeless. Eviction prevention, rental subsidies, and move in programs are all available.

The center, partnering with a resource known as First Avenues, also operates shelters and transitional housing units in the county. Some qualified applicants moving from a transitional home may qualify for government grants to pay a portion of first months rent or a security deposit. 415-614-9060. More on housing programs from Hamilton Family Center.

AIDS Housing Alliance Of San Francisco refers clients to affordable housing, offers application assistance, and some financial aid for paying rent or deposits. A plan with goals is created and offers tenant's rights counseling, offers hotel vouchers for homeless clients and employment assistance. All services are for HIV and AIDs patients that meet income levels. Call  415-552-3242.







City Team provides housing, food, and educational support. The faith based charity also can help people in recovery. The goal of the non-profit is to end the cycle of homelessness and poverty, and they focus on single parents, the homeless, and vulnerable in the city and county. Contact the San Francisco charity for information on low income housing, free food, and other support. Click here on City Team services.

Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco supports disabled and mentally ill. The Season of Sharing (SOS) fund may have funds for paying rent, energy bills, or other emergency expenses. All grants are only to resolve a crisis. The office is on 649 Mission Street.

Homeless Services Center administers resources for families behind on their rent, those facing eviction, and the currently homeless. Examples of assistance programs administered include emergency shelter, transitional housing, bus passes, meals, and more. Some of the financial aid can be for paying utility bills in an emergency, rent payments, security deposits, and other expenses. The non-profit tries to prevent homelessness in the San Francisco County community and works toward that goal. The main number is 831-458-6020, or read Homeless Services Center programs.

Emergency bills and basic needs - Dozens of churches, charities, and non-profits in San Francisco can help people address their basic needs. So clothing closets may offer free clothing, school supplies, or household goods. If they have extra funds, some centers may provide qualified families who have no other options limited amounts of cash assistance. Find free clothes in Northern California.

Bay Area Legal - The non-profit firm focuses on offering free advice in a few core areas. They include the firm can help people apply for government benefits, such as SSI disability. There is also free eviction prevention legal assistance, advice for seniors and youth, and other resources offered by attorneys in San Francisco. Learn about services from Bay Area Legal.

Free school supplies, clothes, and uniforms are available in the city and county. Students can get everything from backpacks to Chromebooks, Laptops, personal hygiene supplies, new clothes and more. Parents may also be given gift cards to buy other school items for their kids to ensure they are well prepared. More on free school supplies in San Francisco.

St. Vincent de Paul - Services are provided to help the low income and people faced with poverty gain long term self-sufficiency. Some short term emergency assistance may also be provided to families in San Francisco. Most of the support provided is non-financial, and includes items like free clothing, food boxes, and back to school items. Some housing and shelter may be available. Other aid focuses on meeting the needs of seniors, and the Vincentian conferences can provide information on other financial assistance in the region. Find details on San Francisco Saint Vincent de Paul assistance programs.

Larkin Street Youth Services – Young adults can apply for short and medium term rental subsidies, back rent, case management, outreach and engagement, housing search and placement services, moving costs, security and utility deposits, and utility bill payments. 1150 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California 94109. Phone (415) 673-0911.

Free holiday programs from charities - Whether the resident is a senior or a young child, if they are from a struggling household then Christmas toys or meals may be provided by volunteers along with other assistance. Free gifts, presents, Adopt a Family services, turkeys at Thanksgiving, and other help may be coordinated. Find more on free holiday assistance in San Francisco County.

SHANTI – This not for profit provides comprehensive services to individuals living with breast cancer or HIV/AIDS or to enhance their quality of life and health. 730 Polk Street, San Francisco, California 94109 (415) 674-4700.

Water bill assistance and savings - Low income customers can receive discounts, free water conservation measures, and cash assistance to pay their water bills in a crisis. The goal is to prevent the shut off of service. Learn more on available water assistance programs in San Francisco.





Help find a job and career resources

San Francisco Career Links One Stop Center - If you are looking for a job or want to improve your career and income, this agency offers a wide variety of free services. San Francisco residents can get help with job search, employment resources, and career development programs. They also work with technology companies and corporations in the region.

Services for jobseekers and employers including resume review, vocational assessment, job listings, job skills matching, training options. There are also free resume workshops, interview preparation and labor market information. (415) 401-4800.

Free legal assistance and services

Legal Services of Northern California - If you have a civic legal case, this non-profit firm provides free legal services, advice, representation and referrals to low income individuals and families in the San Francisco area. (800) 222-1753

Debt assistance and elimination agencies

In addition to providing mortgage help, Consumer Credit Counseling Services of San Francisco, which can be reached at (800) 777-7526, can also help people reduce or eliminate credit card, medical, and other debts. Learn about debt management plans, consolidation, budgeting, and other programs. Click here to learn more about credit card help programs.

Free emergency food in San Francisco

United Council of Human Services - Offers low income and the unemployed emergency food bag, general clothing and hosts a weekly food pantry. They also run a shelter clearing house, a drop in center. (415) 643-1700.

Temple United Methodist Church - Partners with local San Francisco food banks to offer aid. (415) 586-1444

San Francisco Food Bank - Maybe the first places to call as they are a central clearinghouse for donated food that redistributes using donations through partnerships with churches, nonprofit agencies, local charities and eligible congregations. All of those groups then in effect host a variety of food distribution programs to low income. Phone (415) 282-1900.

Providence Foundation of San Francisco ((415) 206-0263) - This non-profit provides a variety of services and assistance programs for seniors, low income, children, youth, and homeless people throughout the city. Access hot meals, shelter, after school tutoring, senior housing and more.

Find information on other San Francisco County free food pantries. There are a couple dozen other primary distribution centers, free soup kitchen meal sites and food banks that operate across San Francisco.

Foreclosure prevention and mortgage help

Consumer Credit Counseling Services of San Francisco - This is a HUD approved counseling agency. Work with a specialist to explore your alternatives to filing a foreclosure. Find about about mortgage assistance and various foreclosure prevention programs. (800) 777-7526. More information on mortgage help.

SurePath Financial Solutions (805 383-7700) can also help San Francisco homeowners either prevent a foreclosure, or stop one that is in progress. Learn about mortgage delinquency programs.





San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (phone (415) 822-1022) - This government organization offers foreclosure and housing counseling, credit enhancement, foreclosure intervention, as well as free information on mortgage programs. There is also free debt reduction programs as well as financial education to help low and moderate income individuals and families achieve financial security through homeownership. They also try to both prevent foreclosure from occurring, and stop those in progress.

Medical bill help, prescriptions, and free health care

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (phone (888) 477-2669) will help connect uninsured families and individuals in the San Francisco area with patient assistance programs which may be able to provide these individuals with free or low-cost prescription medications. Learn more about Partnership for Prescription Assistance.

The city of San Francisco and surrounding regions are served by a number of community clinics. The centers offer the low income, unemployed, disadvantaged, uninsured and others with a number of free programs. Or if a patient doesn’t qualify for those charity care programs, their medical bill can be greatly reduced by these clinics. The locations are committed to helping anyone in need, and will rarely turn anyone away. Read more free clinics in San Francisco, and get their phone numbers and addresses.

By Jon McNamara

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