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Immediate Financial Assistance

Rental Assistance

Food Pantries

Utility Bill Help

Free Stuff

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Public and Government Assistance

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Assistance programs Sarasota County.

Find a listing of charities or churches and government organizations, that help the low income in Sarasota County. The financial assistance available for electric bills, rent or transportation as well as free stuff including food, school supplies or clothes help low-income families and seniors. There is help for a mortgage or housing payment, assistance with utility bills or prescription medications or even senior care. Get financial help near you in Sarasota County FL.

Non-profits also address other financial emergencies. Children and the elderly are always a focus too. There may be free Meals on Wheels for seniors or disabled people or Christmas toys for kids. Or the elderly can get free durable equipment equipment (for rehab or mobility) from medical loan closets or small dollar grants for their bills. Learn how and where to apply below.

Find help for rent, utility bills, and other financial assistance

The Salvation Army Sarasota County as well as Venice or North Port - This non-profit from time to time will be able to provide limited financial assistance. They may have money they can will to people with kids, including single moms, to help them pay rent. In addition, some funding may be available to help pay a mortgage, water or utility bills. Applicants must show the ability to make future payments, as this is not a charity program.

The Salvation Army has multiple branches in Sarasota Florida. The main center is in the city of sarasota and is at (941) 364-5557. The location is in Venice (phone 941-484-6227) as well as North Port Florida (phone (941) 240-5108) and this branch has some of the same rent and housing programs as mentioned above. The Salvation Army centers also offer other support, such as free basic needs (food, clothing), holiday meals, gifts, back to school supply giveaways and housing. Continue with Sarasota County Salvation Army programs.

Catholic Charities may also have limited funding for people who have an eviction notice, or who may be behind on a mortgage payment. The funds are meant to be a short term solution and once again is not a charity program. The elderly, immigrants and seniors on social security or a low-income are the main clients.

A number of other resources may be available for the low income, including transitional housing, free food, and medications. The Catholic Charity organization and their partners do what they can to help those in Sarasota who are struggling, regardless of their religion. The address is 5055 N Tamiami Trail # 100, Sarasota, FL 34234. Phone: (941) 355-4680. More on Catholic Charity assistance programs Sarasota County.

  • Caritas provides financial help up to once per year with utility bills. Qualified applicants can receive assistance with paying utility bills such as electric, cooling, water, and more. In some cases a free window AC unit is passed out the seniors. Location is 1680 Fruitville RdSarasota, FL 34236. Call 941-366-5620..




The local community action agency is the Sarasota County Health & Human Services. This non-profit agency both runs some of its own programs, and can refer low income families to other services. For example, their Community Services Block Grant funding is subbed to The Salvation Army (above), Weatherization services are through the Step Up Suncoast (call (941) 827-2887).

The non-profit also helps with long term stability. Whether it is part time employment for retirees or information on budgeting counseling or job training, help is offered. They also can help people get a free gas voucher or car fixed for work, or to access government benefits including SNAP or Medicaid. The agency recommends that people dial 211 to learn about these and other programs.

Department of Children and Families is the place to contact in order to to apply for government benefits. There are a few offices in the county for the low income, unemployed, and working poor. Some of the resources and public aid offered is below.

  • Medical bill assistance from Medicaid.
  • Cash assistance programs for bills, medical, transition and more. Continue with Florida TCA cash aid.
  • Rental vouchers and subsidies from section 8 vouchers.
  • Medicare can help seniors acquire affordable medication and provide for health care needs.
  • Much more is offered in Sarasota County. Find more information on public aid in Sarasota County.

Trinity Presbyterian Church is located in South Sarasota County. This Outreach Ministry can help those in need. Access resources including food, gas vouchers, or small amounts for utility bill payments twice weekly, and even free pet food. Assistance is also offered for the homeless. Location is 4365 State Rd 776, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Venice, FL 34293, telephone (941) 492-6384. Or find more information on Trinity Church programs.

Jewish Family and Children's Service of Sarasota runs a program known as Building Strong Families. This is aimed at preventing homelessness. Some of what may be offered includes counseling, free legal assistance, financial management, and short term rent/financial aid. There is also  food assistance, with a focus on the elderly or kids. Veterans are a focus too as part of Operation Military Assistance Program.

JFCS has other services as well. One is a free food pantry. Or senior and disabled caregivers can get help, including respite, transportation and information on where to turn to for assistance. The address is 1750 17th St., B-C3, Sarasota, Florida 34237, call 941-366-2224. More on Jewish Family Service assistance programs in Sarasota County.





St. Jude's Catholic Church may have emergency assistance for paying utilities. This can include water, natural gas, or electric bills. Rent help may be an option too, though it is limited. Location is 3930 17th St, Sarasota, FL 34235. Call 941-955-3934.

Area Agency on Aging can help seniors apply for the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program. It is financial aid for home-energy emergencies to qualified, low-income households in Sarasota County with at least one person 60 years of age or older. It can even provide other support such as free fans, repairs of heating/cooling equipment, blankets, and utility disconnection prevention.

  • Seniors will get the home care they need in Sarasota County. There is the PACE program from Medicaid, free rides to a grocery store or doctor, home repairs and durable medical equipment such as hospital beds, CPAP and more. Locate medical equipment loan closets.
  • The Agency on Aging also helps seniors in other ways. There are tips on how to make retirement savings last, information on enrolling into Medicare, and even SSI grants or loan programs for financial needs. The elderly, retirees in Sarasota and their caregivers will get help.

The address is 2830 Winkler Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33916. Call 866-413-5337. Or read more on assistance programs from SW Florida Agency on Aging.

Caregivers will get financial help, respire and help too. Or they can make money as they care for an older person or parent or senior in Sarasota County. The government and state will support them with government grant money, transportation, medicine and other needs. Locate Caregiver Support programs.

A triage/referral service is available from the United Way of Manasota. They can help qualified residents learn about government benefits. This can include food stamps, section 8 housing vouchers, TANF, and health care resources such as Medicaid. Some of the benefits are run by the state of Florida and others by the federal government or non-profits. Telephone number is 941-308-4357.

Low income housing assistance may be available for a short period of time. Some of the options include transitional housing or emergency homeless shelters. Other government programs, such as section 8, may be available but often have a waiting list. Sarasota County families that use these transitional housing programs will also receive case management and support from social workers. Read Sarasota County transitional housing.

Englewood Helping Hand is a social services agency that provides short-term financial assistance to Englewood residents in need of help. Financial resources are offered for people including residents of Placida, the Gulf Cove, Rotonda, and Grove City areas of Englewood. Some of the financial assistance offered includes help with prescription medications, free food, rent, electric and water, or referrals to non-profits. There are details such as how to get a free car or ride to the doctor, employment opportunities and more.

Helping Hand is also a Medicaid ACCESS site and food stamp application center. Englewood Helping Hand is a community supported organization. 700 E Dearborn Street, Englewood, Florida 34295-0791, phone (941) 474-5864





Free Christmas and Thanksgiving help - Sarasota County Florida families living in poverty or those facing a crisis can apply for free holiday assistance programs. There are a few different options.

  • During Christmas, there are free toys, gifts, clothing vouchers, and food boxes.
  • Easter Baskets may contain food and side items.
  • Free Thanksgiving meals and turkeys are provided by local charities.
  • There are other resources too. Find Sarasota County free holiday programs.

Free stuff or basic needs - Clothing as well as furniture banks will provide low income families free items such as school supplies, furniture, appliances, computers and general clothing. Work or school clothes may be offered. A focus of many of these Sarasota County agencies is on supporting children and the elderly.

There are are free furniture banks as well as vouchers for the low-income or single mothers. Some centers may even have information on financial assistance programs or government benefits. Get information on Sarasota free furniture banks, school supplies or clothing closets.

Multiple SVDP churches are located in the county, They include Saint. Peter and Paul, Church of the Incarnation, Epiphany Cathedral and others. Anyone, regardless of religion can get help from the parishes. There may be funds for rent or utility bills. Job or medical transportation can be arranged. Free emergency food boxes are passed out too. There is even a scholarship program for adults. Read more on Society of Saint Vincent Sarasota County.

Sarasota Housing Authority, or SHA, can direct families to low income apartments or public housing. They administer solutions such as section 8. Or residents can get referrals to services such as landlord - tenant mediation, grants for expenses such as security deposits, and more. Clients will be low income families as well as senior citizens in Sarasota County living on a fixed income. Read more on Sarasota Housing authority programs.The Sarasota Social Services will provide extensive amounts of financial help as well as applications to public assistance. The following programs are run under the GOAL name, which can offer assistance to families who are experiencing short term financial challenges.

Resources include water bill service payment assistance, Prescription Assistance Program, as well as Mortgage or Rent payment help. They help seniors get homecare, process applications to TANF cash assistance or Medicaid as well as other benefits. Centers are located in South Sarasota County Florida as well as North Port. Address is 6919 Outreach Way, North Port, Florida 34287, call 941-429-3700 or 941-308-4357. Or find more Florida public assistance.

Help with rent and housing vouchers - Families who are faced with an eviction may be able to receive assistance from a number of churches, charities, and non-profits in Sarasota County Florida. Financial aid may be offered, as well as legal advice, case management, referrals, and assistance in locating affordable housing. More on emergency rent help Sarasota County.







Medical and free health care

A couple options are below. There may be medications, information on diabetes or cancer screenings, diabetes testing/insulin and other free medical or free dental care. Even learn about help for cancer bills.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital also runs a community clinic. People with no health insurance or money may be able to receive medical care on a so called sliding fee scale. There is an on site pharmacy, free physicals, eye exams for kids or the elderly, OB/GYN and more. Call (941) 917-6364

North County Health Center ((941) 373-7844) offers Internal Medicine, Pharmacy and Medications, Urgent Care, and Family Practice. They help the low-income, uninsured and people on Medicaid or Medicare in Sarasota County Medical bills will also be charged to patients on a sliding fee scale. The address is 1949 Northgate Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34234.

Free or income based dental is provided in Sarasota County and across the region. Charities, volunteer dentists, and free clinics help people even if they have no income or insurance. Teeth cleanings, emergency oral surgery as well as free or low-cost dentures or implants are offered by dentists, and locate a Medicaid dentist near you.

Free food pantry, household stuff, and non-financial aid

A number of charities, churches and non-profits have free food boxes or groceries. They help feed everyone from the low-income to unemployed in Sarasota County, migrant workers, veterans and others.

Angels Attic - Provides a Food Pantry, Groceries, Clothing and household furniture to single mothers or anyone of low income in need of stated services. Sarasota. Free canned or shelf stable groceries, Ensure for the elderly, and fresh food too. Location is 1255 Seeds Ave, Sarasota, FL 34237. Phone: (941) 266-5139

Center of Hope - Offers free food to South County families. Venice Florida. Call (941) 412-9044

Trinity Presbyterian Church - Provides packaged food and groceries for those in need. Serves residents and families of Osprey, Laurel, Nokomis, Venice, and South Venice Florida only. Call (941) 492-6384

First Christian Church (phone (941) 922-4434) provides emergency can, food, packaged goods and groceries to individuals and families in need of assistance. Phone (941) 922-4434

New Life Worship Center of Sarasota - Food Pantry for the needy in the community. (941) 922-8444

There are several other pantries, soup kitchens as well as food banks in the region. They can offer groceries and other forms of support in a crisis. Locate more free food pantries in Sarasota County Florida, and learn about the services they offer.

Foreclosure prevention, mortgage relief, and debt reduction in Sarasota

Several agencies can provide both debt reduction and foreclosure counseling services. The low-income will get free advice, including on repairing credit or even filing for bankruptcy.

Credit Counseling Services of Sarasota Florida -This is a non-profit credit counseling / community service that dedicated to providing individuals with professional consumer credit education. This can include free debt reduction programs as well as confidential counseling. There is also help for credit card debt or car loans and foreclosure prevention programs to all segments of the community regardless of ability to pay.

They can help people deal with credit card debts, provide information on mortgage relief and foreclosure assistance programs. Or get help with a refi on care loans and other support and advice. (941) 316-9600. Learn more on Florida foreclosure assistance programs, including a program specific to Sarasota.





ABCs of Avoiding Foreclosure - This is another non-profit community service organization that is strongly dedicated to delivering professional consumer credit education, debt management plans, confidential counseling, and mortgage help programs to all segments of the community and homeowners in the area regardless of their ability to pay. Call (941) 316-9600.

Assistance is offered to stop debt collectors too. Florida, and the federal government, have laws in place to help families. Counselors give free advice and can even sue a collector. Find information on how to get help from illegal debt collection.


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