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Skagit County assistance programs.

Get help with paying rent, energy bills, find food, and medical assistance. Various agencies in Mount Vernon and Burlington offer a wide variety of assistance programs to individuals and families in need.

Food bank, pantries, and groceries

Bread of Life Food Bank (phone 360-873-2504), Neighbors In Need Food Bank (360-424-6311) as well as Alger Food Bank (360-724-5131) provide food and groceries to low income families in the Marblemount, Rockport, and across Skagit County.

Health and medical care

Sea Mar Community Health Centers is one organization that provides health care and access to other social services for low to moderate income people. Programs are also available for the uninsured with special emphasis on the Hispanic community, however all patients can get help. 360-428-8912.

A clinic to contact for help with dental bills and services is SeaMar - Burlington Dental. Call them at 360-755-9151.

Skagit County Community Action Agency

The local community action agency is arguably the first place to turn to for emergency assistance. They offer low income, the working poor, and others with numerous assistance and aid programs. One of the goals of the non-profit is to help people help themselves. For example, contact them to learn more about.

  • Women, Infants & Children (WIC) - This program helps the unemployed, low income, and people on TANF. WIC helps feed new or preganant mothers. Skagit Community Action also deals with healthy lifestyles for new moms. Services are provided in Anacortes and Mount Vernon Washington





  • Emergency and critical needs - One program is the Housing Resource Center. The Skagit County community action agency assists the homeless and people that are in danger of eviction or foreclosure. The site provides information and referrals. One service that may help those that are behind on their rent, or facing homelessness, is Eviction Defense using legal aid.
  • Affordable Housing - The Center can help families seeking a home or apartment where the rent is manageable. This is other way the non-profit can help.
  • Heating and energy bill assistance - Skagit County Community Action Agency runs several different programs to help people with utility bills. Contact them to learn about the following options and resources. The Salvation Army Warm Home Fund which helps with disconnections and pays for deposits. The federal government Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists with electricity, gas, heating, and other bills. Puget Sound Energy HELP Program which helps with electric bills. Other programs include Cascade Natural Gas Winter Help Fund as well as the Washington Energy Assistance Fund (WEAF).
  • Legal aid - The organization also partners with the Skagit Volunteer Lawyer Program, which offers free legal assistance and representation to eligible low-income residents. It assists with rent arrears, consumer debt issues, wills and estates, and other civil legal matters.
  • Crisis intervention fo veterans- Several components are offered. One includes the so called Veterans Assistance and Critical Needs programs, which provide modest financial assistance for gas, clothing, food, housing help, transportation, and emergency lodging.
  • SSVF is another veteran program - Skagit Community Action focuses on housing issues and general guidance. There may be gasoline for vehicles or bas pusses, grants for rent, employment programs, and other support.




  • Seniors and the disabled - The community action agency works to support these groups. Volunteers help them shop, prepare meals, do yard work, offer free minor home repairs, and transportation. The goal is to help the disabled and seniors remain independent.
  • Adult Education and Employment Services - This helps people gain skills and employment. There is tutoring, job coaching, and other assistance from Skagit Community Action.

If you need help, or to learn more, call Skagit County Community Action Agency at (360) 416-7585. Or stop by the main office in Mount Vernon Washington at 330 Pacific Place.

Emergency financial assistance and social services

The Salvation Army operates in Skagit County and Mount Vernon Washington. They are a national non-profit, but they do have centers in the region. A number of programs are offered. While financial aid is limited, there may be some occasional funds for paying rent, energy bills, or medications for families facing a crisis. The aid is offered as a “hand up”, and not a charity type resource. Other assistance distributed can include free food, meals, clothing, and referrals to other churches or charities in the Skagit region. Shelter and homeless prevention are also available. Click more information.

Opportunity Council is another non-profit in the region. Skagit County families with children can enroll into Head start. They also fight hunger from  Basic Food Outreach, may have loans for paying rent or other bills, and provide employment resources. Other financial and emergency support is offered as well. More Skagit County Opportunity Council.

Communication is also important. Last, but not least, for those low income people who can not afford reliable phone service or to pay for their phone bills, services in the region such as Community Voice Mail provides a free, private voicemail number to help people get connected with jobs, medical appointments, and deal with other emergencies. The Council can provide linkage to this service. Click here to learn more on telephone assistance programs.





Skagit County Volunteers of America - The charity serves all of western Washington. Some examples of services administered include emergency rental assistance as a form of eviction prevention. They also distribute food, provide bus vouchers, dental care, and operate Life Skills workshops, among other services. Read Volunteers of America Western Washington

Skagit Volunteer Lawyer Program - This legal aid can also offer help for medical and health care expenses. Counselors will or attorney will help people and patients access health insurance and answer their health care questions. They can help them deal with hospital and medical bills. Learn about medical bill advocates and other options. They can also direct patients to clinics in Mount Vernon and across Skagit County.


By Jon McNamara

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