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Sangamon County assistance programs.

Find how to get help, and apply for, financial assistance in Sangamon County. Charities, churches, and the government offer grants to help with housing (rent or mortgage payments), free medical or dental care as well as food, job programs, and case management to struggling families.

Organizations that provide resources and help for bills

With the weak economy leading to many more families experiencing economic struggles, more people are asking for help from nonprofit groups, charities, and government agencies in order to keep a roof over their heads and get funds to pay the bills. Two places that people can turn to for help include Catholic Charities and also the Sangamon County Department of Community Resources.

Springfield Catholic Charities - This organization is seeing hundreds of people who have never asked for assistance before. These families and individuals are struggling due to the weak economy, and they are at the point where they have no where else to turn to. Almost 7,000 families received help from the organization in fiscal year 2009, and the demand has been increasing since then.

Catholic Charities provides several different programs, including food, rental assistance, utility and heating bill assistance, emergency medications and various other services to families throughout the entire year. Contact them at (217) 523-9201. More on Catholic Charities Sangamon assistance programs.

Energy bill assistance programs

The Sangamon County Department of Community Resources administers both of these federal government funded programs.

  • Illinois Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) - The LIHEAP program was designed to help both low and middle income households pay for winter energy services and heating bills. Qualified applicants can receive a one-time cash grant / benefit to be used for paying energy and heating bills. Almost 10,000 families received help last year in Sangamon County.




  • Weatherization Assistance - The IHWAP program provides energy conservation resources and services (such as wall and attic insulation, storm windows,  weather stripping, caulking, glazing, etc.) to income eligible clients based on their total household income for the preceding twelve months for all members who live in the household. In addition, furnace tune-ups, retrofits, repairs, and even new heating units are included with dollar limits for all work done. An on site as well as a computerized energy audit is done to determine what items can be accomplished within the limit.

Other programs offered by the Department of Community Resources includes:

  • Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) - This program was created to provide services and resources that assist low-income people. The program will help them gain the skills, knowledge, education, and motivation necessary to achieve self-sufficiency over the long term. However, help is also available for short term challenges. Components of the program include:
    • Rental assistance, short-term prescription medication, emergency dental services, emergency summer fans, utility bill help
    • Scholarships and grants for higher education expenses. Click here to find other scholarship programs.
    • Economic development loans to small businesses
  • Clothing and school supplies - School aged children may be able to get free clothing and other school supplies.
  • Emergency Assistance - This is wide ranging and includes funds for emergency rent, dental needs (such as dentures), prescription drugs and medications, and transportation.





Get help with food, prescriptions, clothing, rent, utility, mortgage and heating bills, travel assistance and more.

Contact Ministries is now assisting almost 1000 families per month, and they have several different programs and resources for people in need. They can provide grants for paying rent, free prescription drugs, mortgage counseling, free clothing and more. They can also refer people to other programs and help people deal with debt collectors.

In addition to these programs that are directly offered by Contact Ministries, the agency can also help process people receiving assistance through City Water, Light and Power’s PROJECT RELIEF program, which helps customers pay electric and water bills.

The agency is located at 1100 East Adams Street in Springfield, Illinois. Or you can call them at (217) 753-3939 to apply or learn more about their assistance programs. Learn more.

The Sangamon County and Springfield Illinois Salvation Army is another local non-profit charity organization. They can be reached at 217-525-2196. Every year thousands of people receive aid. Some of the resources provided include free food, vouchers for clothing, assistance finding a job, and limited financial assistance for bills, such as utility, heating, and rent. Locate more Sangamon Salvation Army programs.

The Salvation Army provides a wide range of services in the county and statewide for that matter. While they do their best to assist the less fortunate and offer them direct financial aid, in some cases loans may be issued for paying the expenses the client has or they offer referrals. Find more Illinois Salvation Army centers.

Several utility programs (water and electric) are available. There is everything from Project RELIEF to charitable grants and payment plans. The goal is to always help the customer keep their lights, water, and even sewer service running. More on Springfield Illinois utility bill assistance.

Capital Township – The center offers a number of resources and assistance programs. Among them include the following. Receive emergency rental help. The location also provides transitional assistance so people can find new, affordable housing. Other services help with paying utilities and clothing and food assistance. Health care services include medical and dental care, eye wear and prescriptions, and physician services. A workfare program can also help people find jobs.

Food assistance is available in an emergency by Capitol Township. It is offered for perishable food orders, and low income can receive help. Limited amount of dental care is provided. The clothing is limited to up to $25, and eyeglasses are only offered if the need was verified by Catholic Charities. For people to get help from many of the programs, they need to be referred by a social service office. The programs are run from an office at 2833 South Grand Ave. East, call 525-1736.





Helping Hands Of Springfield, Inc. is a leading social service agency in Sangamon County. Their mission is to, among other things, provide shelter for homeless adults in Springfield Illinois and help people meet a variety of other needs.

The agency provides support services aimed at helping the working poor, low income and homeless overcome personal problems and achieve a higher level of independence and self-sufficiency. So this can include job training programs, short term financial help, and other support. The address is 200 S. 11th St., call 522-0048, or learn more on Springfield Helping Hands programs.

Fishes & Loaves Outreach Ministries is based at 1319 South 13th. The non-profit distributes financial assistance, food, clothing, counseling, baby items, and household items. Dial 787-2800

Hope Thrift Store sells low cost items such as clothing, furniture, and household supplies. Stop by 1800 Dirksen Parkway, or call 793-8414.

Kumler Church Neighborhood Ministries – May be able to provide prescription medications for low income and uninsured people with long-term, life-threatening medical problems. Main number is 523-2269

Free help is available during the holidays. Charities feed the poor and hungry, or they give free toys, Christmas gifts, and presents to children. Everyone from the Salvation Army to Family Centers offer either assistance and/or referrals. More on Sangamon County free holiday programs.

Abundant Faith Supportive Services administers several services. They include childcare, Transitional housing, Rent/utility assistance, Transportation, Food and clothing, GED classes, Job and computer training, Legal assistance, and other housing services. 2525 Taylor Avenue, phone number 527-1006

Rental and utility assistance may be offered from these charities, government agencies, or non-profits. Funds can help prevent evictions or a disconnection of your power. Or work with a case manager on finding housing in Sangamon County.

  • Capital Township, address is 2833 South Grand Ave. East, dial 525-1736
  • Contact Ministries, address is 1100 E Adams, 753-3939
  • 5th Street Renaissance, 1315 N. 5th, call 544-5040
  • M.E.R.C.Y. provides rent, deposit, and rapid re-housing for homeless families. Call 744-1128
  • Sang Co Community Resources, 2833 S. Grand Ave, 535-3120
  • Springfield Township, 3298 Terminal Ave, phone 525-1464
  • Springfield Urban League offers housing assistance and mediation. Address: 100 N. 11th, phone 789-0832
  • Veteran's Assistance Commission of Sangamon County, 753-6680
  • Woodside Township, 490 North St, 522-3712

There are several other agencies available as well that may offer funds for back rent or a deposit. Low income families can seek help from these non-profits. Locate rent help in Sangamon County.

Senior Services of Central Illinois, Inc. may be able to help residents over the age of 60. They often will have government FEMA funds for paying rent, security deposits, or utility bills for the low income. Address is 701 W. Mason Street in Springfield. Telephone (800) 252-2516.

Clear Lake Township may offer emergency assistance. It is for residents that have demonstrated a verifiable life threatening circumstance or a work related expense. Food, medications, utility bill/rental assistance, transportation and more may be provided to people from the area. 4260 Old Route 36, Springfield, Illinois 62707, (217) 523-4210

Central Counties Health Care can help the under and uninsured. Access high quality, affordable primary dental and health care. Services can include immunizations, chronic disease management, well-child visits, school physicals, pre-natal care, and general dental assistance. Phone for appointments is (217) 788-2300.

Sangamon County Medical Society is made up of doctors working with St. John's Hospital and Memorial Health System to help low income families with medical needs. Screenings, check ups, and referrals to specialists are available, as needed. The center is based in Springfield Illinois. Phone (217) 726-5106







Sangamon and Springfield Illinois area food pantries

A number of centers are located across the county, including in the following regions. Or click here for more food banks in Illinois.

  • Auburn Food Pantry, 126 East Washington Street, Auburn, Illinois 62615, dial 438-6222
  • Catholic Charities, Holy Family Food Pantry, 1023 East Washington, Springfield, IL 62703, call 523-4551
  • First Presbyterian Church, 321 South 7th, Springfield, Illinois 62701, call 528-4311
  • Freedom in Holiness Mission, 1430 Loveland Avenue, Springfield, IL 62703 main number is 522-2527
  • Grace Lutheran Food Pantry, 714 East Capitol Wednesday, Springfield, IL 62701, call 522-9707
  • Kumler Neighborhood Ministries, 600 North 5th, Springfield, IL 62702, call 523-2269 or 2270
  • Lively Stone Temple Wednesday, 1625 South Martin Luther King Drive, phone 789-6803
  • Living Faith Baptist Church Wednesday, 7575 West outer Road, Sherman, Illinois 62684, call 496-2590
  • Loami Area Community Pantry, 106 South Main Street, Loami, Illinois 62661, call 624-9900
  • Manna Storehouse, Abundant Faith Christian Church, 2525 Taylor Avenue, Springfield, IL 62703, phone number 585-4000
  • Riverton Community Pantry, 112 North 6th, Riverton, Illinois 62561, call 629-7717
  • St. Martin Deporres Center, 1725 East South Grand Avenue, Springfield, IL 62703, main number 528-2851
  • Salvation Army, 530 North 6th, Springfield, IL 62702, call 525-2196
  • Triumph Church of God in Christ, 924 North 11th, Springfield, Illinois 62702, call 522-5957

Several other food banks and pantries are focused just on the county. Or very low income families can seek assistance from government programs, such as WIC vouchers or USDA food stamps. Click Sangamon County food pantries.

By Jon McNamara

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