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Santa Fe County assistance programs.

Learn about non-profit organizations, community action agencies, churches and charities to turn to for help in Santa Fe New Mexico. Get rent help, employment services, free food and access to financial assistance for paying energy bills. There is support for Spanish speakers, immigrants (documented or not) as well as low income families in Santa Fe region.

There is also seasonal help in the region, ranging from free back to school supply events to Christmas toys or gifts and additional summer cooling bill help or free air conditioners for the elderly. Some of the options in the community range from churches to charities or even free medical or dental care from community clinics, all of which help struggling families. Housing assistance, including for homeowners, is also offered in Santa Fe County.

Emergency financial aid for bills in Santa Fe

HELP New Mexico administers the emergency Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) which includes a number of assistance programs. This is a resource that provides emergency aid and financial assistance. Eligible participants can get money to pay utility bills, rent, or security deposits. It also provides work readiness training along with supportive services with the goal of helping families and individuals each a higher level of self-sufficiency over the long term.

The CSBG program funds and services from HELP are also utilized to assist individual/families who need emergency support with other expenses. Case managers from the community action agency work with families facing poverty on their basic needs. HELP assistance programs.

Help finding a job and career development services are available to the unemployed and those seeking new skills. The following programs are offered by HELP New Mexico, the local community action agency. Call them at (505) 265-3717.




  • On the Job Training Program - The agency works with local employers in order to find those employers who will provide on the job training and development to enhance peoples skills and career development. The program focuses on those companies that offer competitive wages to participants and other qualified individuals. The HELP NM agency reimburses the employer up to 50% of the training cost for a period of up to 12 weeks. Hundreds of people can benefit from this program.
  • Classroom Training (CRT) - Another service offered by HELP-New Mexico is GED preparation and CRT. The programs are provided to improve the employment status of participants in the program.
  • National Farm Workers Job Program (NFJP)- This resource is targeted toward eligible seasonal or migrant farm workers and their dependents who may be 18 years of age and older.
  • Resume review and networking are other programs offered to help people find a job.

While the New Mexico Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is run by the state government, HELP NM can help people with the application progress. There is the standard program which helps low income Santa Fe families, and also the Crisis LIHEAP option.

This component of the program can help you faster if you have received a disconnected utility service; if you are almost out of heating fuel or your air conditioning unit is broken, or if you have received a  disconnect notice from your utility company. Dial 800) 283-4465 to learn more or apply for assistance, or read more details on government low income energy bill help in New Mexico.





Another option to turn to is the Salvation Army of Santa Fe. Phone number (505) 988-8054. This non-profit organization has a multitude of programs. Some of them are focused on seniors and the elderly, while others are open to low income and unemployed people. If you apply and are found eligible for help, you may be able to receive financial assistance for paying rent, energy bills, and medications. Also receive information on free food pantries, clothing programs, school supplies for kids and holidays meals or gifts.

The San Fe Salvation Army can also help people meet their basic needs of food, housing, and more. Various assistance programs, referrals, and more is offered. Emergency cash grants may be provided for housing costs and shelter, utilities, medications, and other needs. Some working poor clients can apply for Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing, which is also offered. Seasonal programs such as Christmas assistance, gifts, and meals are available in Santa Fe County as well. Call (505) 988-8054, or find more details on Santa Fe Salvation Army assistance programs.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is offered in Santa Fe New Mexico. The government funded LIHEAP programs assists eligible lower income persons and families with paying their cooling and heating costs. Applications can be filed at your local Human Services Department. Telephone (800) 231-8081.

Santa Fe County St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) provides several resources. One is the low cost thrift store. The charity also help immigrants and Spanish speakers. Or get free bus passes, money for paying rent or electric bills or free food. Regardless of race, language, immigration status, religion, or age, free resources or financial support is offered. assistance programs. Continue with emergency help from Society of SVDP in Santa Fe.

Referrals are given from the Santa Fe Crisis Line. Residents can be referred to everything from food to job training programs, housing, and clinics. There may also be information on emergency financial aid (for rent, housing or utility/water bills) as well as referrals to long term benefits, including TANF welfare or SSI disability. Click here for Santa Fe crisis line referrals.

Santa Fe County emergency funds for rent can be provided by churches, homeless centers, and the county. Resources are very limited, but people facing eviction can apply for a grant or loan. Other assistance can include security or rental deposit help, legal aid, and more. Continue with Santa Fe rental assistance.

LifeLink can help displaced and homeless individuals and families who are access emergency assistance and self-sufficiency. It offers housing and other supportive programs, including behavioral health treatment as well as advanced addiction and related services/counseling. (505) 438-0010.

Shelters and low income housing or apartments are located across Santa Fe County and nearby towns. There are transitional units focused on seniors, single parents as well as veterans, and the Salvation Army also runs emergency shelters. The guests can receive meals, information on security deposit programs when ready to move, job training, and other support. Find Santa Fe County transitional housing.





Catholic Charities provides legal aid to immigrants and their families. This service can help them with acclimating to New Mexico and offers referrals to other programs during the transition. They also arrange other services for immigrants, including naturalization classes, ESL workshops, financial or credit programs and more. The goal is to help acclimate newcomers. Or learn more on ways immigrants can build credit.

The address is 1234 San Felipe Ave, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505, or dial 505-424-9789.

Free medical care (and basic dental) is also offered in the community. There are free community clinics as well as mobile centers. They may offered low income Santa Fe County residents, the uninsured, as well as immigrants some or all of the following.

  • Tooth cleanings, root canals, extractions for adults and children.
  • Free or low cost prescription drugs as well as free OTC medications. This may be part of a treatment plan. Or find other sources of free prescription drugs.
  • Basic health exams, vaccinations, physicals, lab testing, and checkups from doctors or dentists.

Other care is arranged. There are locations throughout the city, county, and state. Find free community clinics in New Mexico.

Housing focused assistance

Receive referrals to a number of local Homeless Prevention Programs as well as other forms of assistance. The goal is to prevent homelessness through offering emergency rental assistance, cash grants, counseling, and other programs. The housing service was designed to assist renters who have fallen behind on their rent due to a job loss, an illness or other unforeseen circumstances.

There are other housing resources in the community, including shelters and legal aid. Local Agencies in Santa Fe also administer the federal government funded Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). This was created as a result of the stimulus program, and it has several components. They include short and medium term rent help, money to pay for unpaid utility bills, funds for security deposits, loans, and counseling. Call 505-245-1735 for referrals.

Food pantries

The Food Depot – This is the leading non-profit to contact for free food, groceries, perishable items and related support. Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas meals and baskets are offered too. They work with the New Mexico Association of Food Banks to gather a large volume of fresh, nutritious produce for the needy, and they are also a Feeding America organization.







The Santa Fe Food Depot supplies the items it gathers to emergency food pantries in the county. They also work directly with senior programs, churches, adult and child day care programs, multi-service social service programs, domestic violence and homeless shelters, soup kitchens and more, so people need to call those locations. 1222 Siler Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507, call 505-471-1633

Kitchen Angels – Only provides meals to people referred to it by hospitals and charities. 1222 Siler Rd., Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507, call 505-471-7780

Light at Mission Viejo will offer up to two bags of free food. 505-982-2080

Christ Lutheran Church is a center at 1701 Arroyo Chamiso Road. Phone 505-983-9461

SFPS Adelante Program runs a soup kitchen, and will also serve families with children ages 3-21 living in homeless situations. Fresh groceries, clothing, books, and more may be distributed. 610 Alta Vista, Santa Fe, NM 87505, call 505-467-2571.

Additional charity food banks operate in the county. In addition, families living in poverty or even seniors have programs available to them, such as SNAP food stamps or surplus USDA commodities. Locate more Santa Fe County free food pantries.

By Jon McNamara

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