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Assistance programs Sebastian County and Fort Smith.

In a crisis, financial emergency financial assistance for bills, rent and mortgage payments in Sebastian County. Locate free food from pantries, government assistance, and help from charities in Fort Smith and the County.,  There are many options available for financial help, as noted below.

Apply for assistance at a charity, church, or government office. They also help the elderly and disabled in the county as well as single mothers. The financial aid is often combined with job training, free stuff as well as debt counseling, and other support even including handicapped and disabled transportation services.

Financial assistance for bills and emergency needs in Sebastian County

The Greenwood, Sebastian County and Fort Smith Arkansas Salvation Army helps low income and the so called “working poor”. The phone number is 783-6145. The local Salvation Army provides help by proactively reaching out to those families and individuals. There may be free food, occasional financial assistance, clothing, shelter and other various life supporting needs for individuals and families in the area. Read more on Salvation Army programs in Arkansas.

The Fort Worth Arkansas location offers other services too. There are vouchers for seasonal needs, including free Christmas toys from Angel Tree or holiday meals. The Salvation Army is also involved in both youth development and spiritual counseling, and can even help parents by coordinating summer camps or school care or giving out free back to school supplies. More on the Salvation Army in Fort Smith.

Arkansas Human Development Corporation may be able to provide financial assistance for basic needs such as rent and utilities. Gasoline may even be offered too, along with other aid. All assistance programs are provided for migrant and seasonal workers only. 1804 South D Street, Fort Smith, Arkansas, 72901, phone number (479) 783-2854

Community Services Clearinghouse can help those in need with rent, food, and cooling/electric bills. Dial (479) 649-4636 for information.




White River Area Agency On Aging, Rosebud Senior Center is located at 5900 Highway 36 West, Rose Bud, AR 72137. Rarely may have money to help older adults and seniors pay their energy bills. Also dial (501) 556-4967

In addition to the community action agency programs mentioned above, C-SCDC provides many other services to the working poor and low income. They are involved in administering federal government resources, such as Rapid Re-Housing, Emergency Solutions Grant, and LIHEAP, among others. These can provide funds to pay for heating bills, rent, or a security deposit on a new home.

Crawford-Sebastian Community Development also offers case management and information on job placement. They work with free food pantries in Sebastian County to feed the hungry from Emergency Food and Shelter, and much more is available. Read more on Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council.

Free Christmas and Thanksgiving programs - Assistance is available for the less fortunate. Kids, teenagers, and single moms can get free Christmas toys, gift cards, or meals. There are also turkey dinners served to the working poor or homeless, meals delivered to the homebound in the Fort Smith, and other resources. Continue with free holiday and Christmas help in Forth Smith region.

Shelter, rent, and housing focused agencies can help tenants as well as the homeless. The organizations operate across all 6 nearby counties. Everything from grants to cash loans can help pay bills or rent for single mothers, the elderly, disabled, or low income families. Continue with Fort Smith Arkansas rental assistance.





Grant money for paying mortgage and preventing foreclosure is available to struggling homeowners.  Residents who are behind on your mortgage or facing a foreclosure, the Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council, Inc. provides grants and Foreclosure Mitigation assistance for homeowners. It is for low to moderate income families too.

The main goal of the Foreclosure Mitigation Assistance Program is to provide cash grants and financial assistance to homeowners who are either behind on their mortgage payments. The aid can also help people who are facing a foreclosure. The funding is limited, and foreclosure mitigation requests will be reviewed by the agency are reviewed on a first-come-first-served basis. People can get help only once.

The cash grants will be paid directly to the bank, mortgage companies, lender or servicers, and the maximum amount paid will be $2,000. Dial (479) 785-2303. Click here to find additional government mortgage programs.

A program known as the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) provides housing grants, deposit help and rental assistance. Some of the services provided include short-term or medium-term funds for offering rental assistance, housing relocation, legal advice, and self-sufficiency. There are also homeowners and tenant stabilization services such as credit counseling, utility bill payment assistance, counseling and case management. Families can learn more by dialing (479) 785-2303.

Sebastian County freedental and medical clinics

Another service offered by the Crawford County Community Action Agency is a dental assistance program. The Community Dental Clinic in Fort Smith serves the needs of those low to middle income residents who can’t afford to pay for dental bills or dental care. Dial (479) 785-2303.

Or residents can contact the local The Community Dental Clinic. Volunteer dentists and other professionals provides high quality, basic dental care to low-income families residing in Crawford County Arkansas. 479-782-6021

Good Samaritan Clinic offers healthcare services to the community, including some on a sliding fee scale. Low income and uninsured can dial (479) 783-0233 for intake.

Rivervalley Primary Care Services can help people across Sebastian County Arkansas. The center provides basic health and/or dental care including family planning, physical examinations, immunizations, nutrition assistance and diagnosis and treatment of common ailments for low income people. Many of the clients of the clinic are also uninsured/underinsured, homeless or other medically underserved populations.

 Most of the medical and dental services are generally provided on an ability-to-pay basis, so the patient’s medical bills will vary based on their income. This center is part of the Federally Qualified Health Centers network, otherwise known as free clinics. The center is at 4900 Kelley Highway, Fort Smith, Arkansas 2904 dial (479) 785-5700.





Sparks Health System has several centers in the region. They may provide various inpatient and outpatient services. Phone (479) 709-7265

Access low-income legal programs

Center for Arkansas Legal Services is an organization of attorneys that work for a non-profit law firm that delivers legal assistance and help to low-income people in civil matters. Attorneys give free legal advice about legal problems and provide counseling, solutions and legal representation to clients who qualify for aid. Dial 800-364-1134.

Help from free food pantries, soup kitchens and distribution centers

Fort Smith based River Valley Regional Food Bank partners with other local pantries, charities, and distribution centers. The non-profit charity organization distributes free food to Sebastian County non-profits including food pantries, soup kitchens, senior and child day care facilities, meals-on-wheels programs, health clinics, shelters and treatment facilities.

Grand Avenue Baptist Church offers services by appointment only. The church can provide emergency food and clothing to Fort Smith area families. Food available for distribution includes canned goods and frozen food, and more. Clothing other items are donated or acquired through local agencies and charities. Location is 3900 Grand Avenue, Fort Smith, Arkansas 72904, dial (479) 709-9035.

Other local non-profits to call for food, meals, and referrals include:

  • Central Christian Church, 400 North Waldron in Fort Smith, AR. Call 479-452-1901. The free food pantry is open Tuesday & Thursday from 2pm to 4pm, but appointments are needed.
  • Quinn Chapel AME Church. Main number is (479) 783-7140.







There are other food assistance programs in Sebastian County. Charities will provide groceries, serve hot meals, or help families apply for SNAP food stamps or even programs such as free diapers or baby formula. Or click here for additional food pantries for free groceries in Sebastian County.


By Jon McNamara

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