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Assistance programs Sedgwick County and Wichita.

Low income families as well as struggling residents of Wichita and the county can get help. Charities, the government, and churches provide financial assistance for rent arrears, heating or utility bills, mortgages and other support. Find how to get free food, clothing, and other financial aid from the agencies below.

In addition, the Sedgwick County charities try to offer non-financial support. This ranges from free back to school supplies to case management, legal aid, debt help, or Christmas gifts for kids. Other advice and social services can be provided too, including referrals to government financial assistance or even free coupons or discount programs in the Wichita region as well as county.

Financial resources or free basic needs from Laid-Off Workers Center

Wichita has a Laid-Off Workers Center. In most years, thousands of people have made appointments  to receive assistance. The United Way of the Plains is the organization that is works on the program and they partner with other groups in Sedgwick County. The center offers limited emergency financial assistance for individuals and families who have lost their jobs.

The Laid-Off Workers Center will offer counseling, provide financial assistance, and offer social services. The center may have emergency free food, housing assistance including rent help and shelter; debt management and budget counseling; or payment arrangements for paying utility bills. Also get help applying for both federal and state government assistance programs, job search assistance or training; and also continuing education information. Find additional debt help and rent aid.

In order to be qualified for financial help, applicants will need to prove that they have emergency needs and in addition they need to show that they have insufficient personal resources to adequately provide shelter, food, and/or clothing. In addition, applicants to this program need to show that they have been laid off from a job in Butler, Sedgwick, or Sumner counties or that they lived in those counties at the time of the layoff. Other criteria are in place as well. Dial (316) 267-1321 for referrals. Both short and long term resources are offered. The Help and services the center provides includes:




  •  Emergency financial assistance for paying mortgage, utility bills, or rent. Checks that are provided for aid will be written directly to the landlord, lender, or utility company.
  • Debt management and budget counseling.
  • Help applying for federal and state government programs.
  • Arrangements and payments for utility bill payment plans.
  • Job training as well as job search assistance.

Funds for utility or heating bills, rent, and limited financial help in Sedgwick County

Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing grants provide housing assistance. Some of the assistance offered will include rental subsidies, funds to pay for utility deposits and security deposits. There is also other financial aid for income-eligible individuals and families.

In addition, this federal government resource, The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, will pay rent, security deposits, and the utility and heating bills for up to 18 months for those who qualify for support. It is also part of ESG funds. The program, which is also being funded through the city of Wichita, is part of the federal government HUD funds that go to the county and local charities each year.

Contact the United Way of the Plains at Phone: (316) 267-1321 to learn more or apply for rent help. The United Way partners with other groups in the county and region.

Center of Hope, which is based in Wichita Kansas and can be reached at 316-267-0222, may be able to assists needy families and individuals in the area by paying them with help for rent and utility bills, thus enabling them to remain in their own homes or apartments.

The non-profit also has referrals and information on other programs in the Sedgwick County region. This is one of the leading social service agencies in the city. If they can’t meet your needs, the center may know who can. More details on programs from Center of Hope.





United Way Help Center - This center can provide information and referrals to free food and/or case management to low income and those who need help. Many churches are involved in the area, and they may also offer limited financial assistance for bills and rent and medications. The agency also provides services specific to the needs of Hispanics including advocacy and referrals to resources, including Kansas and federal government programs.

One focus is on case management and employment assistance. So clients of a church may be provided counseling or a free gasoline voucher for a job interview. They also offer homeless prevention in Wichita, and so churches that are part of churches may have grants to pay back rent, overdue utility bills, or a security deposit. Free Christmas assistance, meals from a pantry, and senior programs are offered too. Find more on Wichita and Sedgwick church programs.

Sedgwick County Salvation Army - The internal based organization may be able to provide qualified people with basic needs assistance. This is for low income, unemployed and poverty level families and individuals on an emergency basis. Basic needs that may be met and provided for include food (food pantry and voucher), free clothing/work related items, utilities and heating expenses, prescriptions/medical needs, transportation (city bus and Greyhound), school supplies or baby items (free diapers and baby formula).

In addition, other aid may be offered that the family or individual has that cannot be met by other area non-profit agencies or government programs. Phone (316) 263-2769. Click here for details on help from Salvation Army in Sedgwick County.

Salvation Army - Wichita runs Emergency Assistance Centers/Downtown Social Services from several locations across the region. They can be found below, as well as information on resources and emergency assistance that is offered. The centers provide for basic needs and emergency assistance to poverty level and low income families and individuals.

All aid is to help address a crisis situation. Basic needs or financial support that may be either paid for or provided are free food, and surplus government commodities are distributed. Other resources can help with utilities, prescriptions/medical needs, baby items (formula and diapers), burial plots or any other need that the family has that cannot be met by other programs or non-profit agencies.

Special Thanksgiving and Christmas meals may be served by the Salvation Army to anyone who needs help in the Sedgwick County community. They also run the Star of Hope and Angel Tree Christmas assistance programs. Read more general information on getting Christmas help for free from charities.

  • 350 N Market, Wichita, KS 67202, (316) 263-2769
  • 1910 S. Everett, Wichita, Kansas 67213, main number (316) 943-9893
  • 1739 S Elpyco, Wichita, Kansas 67218, call (316) 685-8699
  • These Salvation Army centers serve residents of zipcodes of 67201, 67202, 67203, 67204, 67208, 67211, 67214, 67219 Park City, 67220 Bel Aire, 67226, 67228, 67017 Benton, 67067 Kechi.





Brotherhood Community Ministries may be able to offer up to $50 to help with rent or utilities. This can include light, water, and electric bills. There may also be some other services available as well. 8 E. 13th, Wichita, Kansas 67214, call (316) 263-5360, or more on Brotherhood Presbyterian CHR.

Economic & Employment Services be able to provide help in a crisis. Dial (316) 337-7000. A program known may be able to give cash funds to those very low income families or people in poverty who are experiencing a situational financial emergency. The funds are intended for a one time use only. The objective is to provide emergency financial assistance to provide food from SNAP, offer utility help, and other aid in Wichita. Typical bills and expenses paid: Heating, Utilities and Rent.

Two churches are part of the Society of Saint Vincent DePaul, or SVDP in Sedgwick County. There is the Blessed Sacrament as well as the St Catherine of Siena Catholic Church. Both provide financial help, free personal items, assistance to the homeless, hot meals and more. They are poverty fighting charities that help people regardless of their race, religion, or beliefs. Referrals are also offered by the volunteer based charity organization. More on Society of Saint Vincent assistance programs in Wichita area.

Employment services also address long term income and career needs. Staff from the non-profit will help the Sedgwick County client in many ways. They can help them gain new skills, look for jobs, prepare for an interview or job fair, and assist the client in many other ways. The process is both charitable and government supported, and read more on job placement from one stop career centers.

Temporary homeless prevention services support tenants and residents that meet low income guidelines. Using federal money as well as donations from the United Way, there is financial help for expenses and case management arranged.

  • Small dollar amounts may assist with rental, water, heating or utility bill arrears.
  • Case management is focused on the vulnerable including single parents, seniors, and the disabled.
  • Applicants can get referrals to section 8 vouchers or other benefits, and read more Sedgwick County homeless prevention programs.

Center of Hope Homeless Prevention Assistance Program – This organization may be able to assist needy families in Sedgwick Kansas by helping them with paying rent/utility bills. The objective is to help enable them to remain in their own homes and avoid an eviction or disconnection. 400 N. Emporia, Wichita, Kansas 67202-2514, call (316) 267-0222

Project Deserve is run by the Sedgwick County Center of Hope and Westar Energy. The organization may be able to provide financial assistance for energy related needs such as heating and utility bills. They will only pay for Westar Energy bills though. More general rent & utility assistance may be provided too if someone has an unexpected financial emergency within the last 90 days. It really needs to be some type of life-threatening medical condition or maybe a natural disaster. Dial (316) 267-0222 for more information as well as applications.

Housing assistance in Sedgewick County Kansas includes emergency shelters, transitional housing, and maybe funds for paying deposits or first months rent. Those that are facing eviction or are currently homeless may receive help from the housing and other services. More on Sedgewick County transitional housing.





Find help for paying rent - Sedgwick County families can look into financial programs that can help prevent evictions. Emergency cash can pay rent, security deposits, and other expenses. Some charities and non-profits can also offer transitional housing, shelter, and assistance in finding new, affordable low income housing. Get more details on emergency Sedgwick County rent assistance.

Resources for paying water bills are available at the Center of Hope as part of a program known as H2O Care. It is available as a last resort and can help qualified low income families in the Wichita area. Money is raised from the community and paid out to the elderly, families with young children, and the less fortunate in the county. More on water bill assistance in Wichita.

Sedgwick County free holiday programs can help meet seasonal needs. Low income parents, or households in poverty, can get free toys or winter attire for their children at Christmas. The elderly, homebound, and disabled may have a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal delivered, and holiday food boxes or gifts are also available from Adopt a Family services. Read more Wichita and Sedgwick County free holiday assistance.

Wichita Urban League offers everything from eviction prevention for tenants to free foreclosure counseling. They also offer Workforce Development, a job resource center, and can refer potential homebuyers to low interest loans or mortgages. They operate as a fully certified Housing and Urban Development Department agency in the region too, and more on Kansas Urban League programs.

Sedgwick County resource guide provides referrals to other financial aid, charities, and free services in the region. They have support for emergency expenses and help for seniors. Funding can include items such as heating bill help (referenced above under Project Deserve), funds for rent or other housing expenses such as security deposit fees, and free meals for the elderly and seniors in the region. A focus is on preventing homelessness and feeding the hungry.

The guide also has much more. Find out about food pantries, free clothing programs, children and youth services, free drug rehabilitation and more. There is also medical care in Sedgwick County, housing resources, and much more. They are a leading charity in the Wichita area. Learn more on the Sedgwick County resource guide.

Harvest America supports the Wichita area. While a number of resources are available, most of them focus on housing issues. So renters, current and first time home buyers can get help from this HUD agency.

  • Current homeowners can receive free foreclosure assistance and counseling if they are struggling with their home loan.
  • The site processes applications for rent help from TBRA.
  • Counselors from Harvest America can advise families looking to buy a home in Kansas.
  • Other support is available too. More on Harvest America.





Free basic needs in Sedgwick County - This means that low to moderate income families can get help from non-monetary programs. There are clothing closets, free furniture banks and thrift stores that may offer support, such as the following.

  • Free Christmas toys, presents, and meals for children and seniors.
  • Back to work supplies, including backpacks or notebooks.
  • Clothing for work or referrals to employers in Wichita.
  • Other goods may be offered too, such as hygiene, furniture, or diapers. Find free clothes, furniture and clothing closets in Sedgwick County.

Housing counseling and foreclosure prevention assistance

Urban League of Kansas, which in partnership with the United Way, runs a service known as Help-In Housing. This is a fully staffed, comprehensive housing counseling service that provides a full range of housing and foreclosure counseling. As a HUD-approved counseling agency, its primary goal is to offer pre-purchase, post-purchase, pre-rental, mortgage default, first time homebuyer, foreclosure prevention, and financial literacy help.

There is also reverse mortgage, landlord/tenant mediation, rent advice, and fair housing counseling for customers in need. Click here for additional mortgage assistance programs, such as Hope for Homeowners, or dial (316) 262-2463.

Legal assistance programs

Kansas Legal Services - Wichita offers pro-bono, free legal representation and advice to persons with limited financial resources and low income who reside in Kansas and Wichita. All areas of law reviewed for help, including foreclosure, consumer debt, government programs, and more. At a minimum, low cost legal advice is usually available after an application is completed. Also, in Topeka, Garden City, and Manhattan areas we have job training programs. Dial (316) 265-9681, or find more on Kansas free legal advice.

Low cost/free health care for low income and working poor

Brookside Satellite of Hunter Health Clinic is a private non-profit Community Health Center and Urban Indian Health Program that is involved in providing medical, dental, mental health to low income and poor. (316) 652-0152.

Good Samaritan Clinic - Low income Sedgwick County families can turn to this community clinic. (316) 688-5020

Mother Mary Anne Clinic - Provides health care. Patients are charged medical and hospital bills on a sliding fee scale. The center is an immediate health care clinic. Call (316) 689-5121, or click here for more free health care information.







GraceMed Health Clinic is an affordable health care center. The organization accepts Medicaid as a form of payment for bills, KanCare, Medicare, and commercial insurance plans. Homeless residents of Sedwick County can get free care. Other low cost services include pediatric and wellness and prevention as well as dental. Address is 1122 N. Topeka, Wichita, KS 67214, or dial (316) 866-2000.

Community clinics, Medicaid, counselors and even patient advocates are all available in the county to address health care needs. Families that have a low income, or that lack health insurance, can get the support they need. Whether dental or medical, assistance is offered. Find more details on free community clinics in Kansas.

Free food in Sedgwick County and Wichita

A sampling of some food banks and distribution center are listed below. However there are dozens of other churches, charities, and food banks located across Sedwick County Kansas. There are several other centers in the area, and find more information of food pantries, including phone numbers and addresses. Locate more Sedwick County free food pantries and programs, and call them for details.

Bethany United Methodist Church runs an emergency food pantry for low income and other qualified residents. Call (316) 264-4240

Community Food Ministry - Provides emergency food needs for singles or families, and people can take advantage of the services up to 12 times per year. Dial (316) 267-4201

Wichita Dream Center - Dial (316) 550-6777. The non-profit can offer a box of food, groceries and choice of clothing articles for the entire family. Food is only offered 2nd Saturday from 9 - 11 am. All clothing, groceries, and food assistance is limited, however no proof of income is required by the non-profit. Address is 13303 W Maple, Wichita, Kansas 67235.

By Jon McNamara

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