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Assistance Programs by County

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Assistance programs in Sonoma County.

There are several different charities, churches or government programs that people can turn towards for funds and grants. Financial assistance available includes free emergency food, family services, utilities and rent assistance, as well as education services. This includes tutoring and mentoring in elementary schools or free school supplies. Or, low income families can get free energy saving home improvements from weatherization, money for mortgage housing expenses, Christmas gifts and health care.

Find who to contact for support, whether a church, charity, or government agency (Sonoma County Human Services) and learn how to get financial aid. There are multiple agencies that help with housing issues, food/hunger, employment and general self-sufficiency.

Financial help from Community Action in Sonoma County

The Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County, which has several offices around the county but is headquartered at 1300 N. Dutton Avenue in Santa Rosa, CA (phone number (707) 544-6911) is one organization that can help. They offer the services indicated here.

  • Dental Assistance - Two programs include Give Kids a Smile and Save our Smiles. Both of these are free dental care programs that are offered from time to time throughout the year.
  • Housing Program - This includes several different components, including Homeless prevention, Grants for emergency rent and security deposit payments, emergency women’s shelter, and general housing assistance, and Caring Communities which is an 18 month extensive case management and counseling program. The agency can also refer you to other rent assistance programs. More on finding help with rent.
  • Head Smart - They administer the federal government Head Start program for Sonoma County residents. The Head Start program serves the child development and educational needs of preschool children (birth through age five) and their to moderate low-income families.

General assistance for bills and free stuff in Sonoma County

The Salvation Army of Sonoma County/Santa Rosa California Corps administers several assistance programs. The phone number is 707-542-0981. The services offered




  • Emergency Assistance - This will provide people in need of help with emergency cash grants and financial assistance that can be used to pay for a wide variety of bills and expenses, including electric bills, rent, and even money to make a partial mortgage payment.
  • Rent help and access to emergency shelters - This is for people who may have been evicted or lost their homes. Funds and cash grants can also be provided (as funding is available) if you are facing an eviction.
  • Food and Nutrition Programs - If you or your family is experiencing a food crisis, you may be able to receive emergency food aid from the Salvation Army.
  • Seasonal Services (School and holiday) - This includes free holiday gifts for your kids, and meals for your family. For example, they can provide your children with free presents around the holiday times. Or they also give out free back to school supplies, backpacks, and items for students.
  • Family Counseling Services - Get referrals to other federal and state of California government programs, casework services, counseling, and more. Click here to find more information on low income assistance programs.
  • Housing/Residence Services - Temporary shelter, transitional housing, and assistance finding a more permanent home if you have been evicted or lost your home to foreclosure.

All of the above are offered by the Sonoma Salvation Army. There are multiple locations. Call 707-542-0981, or read more on Salvation Army assistance programs Sonoma County.

Also try contacting the Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County. They are located in Santa Rosa California, and phone number is (707) 544-6911. They offer the following, among other programs.

  • Rent assistance - The HCA Fund is run by the agency, and it is a one-time financial assistance program that was created/designed to prevent homelessness and evictions. The program serves residents of Sonoma County via a network of charities and agencies who coordinate referral. The fund can assist with paying rents or security deposits.
  • Health Care - Various programs to help people stay health. Both dental and medical. Programs such as Give Kids a Smile, Health Communities / Free Health Care, and much more.
  • Debt reduction - Can help with paying past due bills. Even learn about government debt help programs.
  • LHEAP and weatherization - The agency can direct you to how to apply for utility bill help.
  • Head Start Programs





Numerous other programs are administered by the Sonoma community action agency. Much of the financial aid goes to low income families with children, senior citizens, and the disabled, however others can apply and get help as well. Click more information Sonoma County Community Action.

Contact Friends in Sonoma Helping to apply for programs that may be able to help you pay your utility bills and rent expense. The non-profit runs several assistance programs for low income and other people who need help. They offer emergency assistance for rent and utilities, including funds for paying electric, gas, water, and heating bills.

FISH can also offer referrals to grant programs, most of which are federally sponsored. Other support may be household goods from the clothes room, or loans for living expenses such as rent. Call them at (707) 996-0111, or find more details on resources from Friends in Sonoma Helping.

Senior citizens and elders can contact the Council on Aging Services for Seniors. They can provide Rent Payment and Security Deposit Assistance for Older Adults in the community. Other resources include recreational activities, assistance with Medicare applications as well as Meals on Wheels. Phone (707) 525-0143.

Santa Rosa Face To Face has limited funding for eligible clients. There may be assistance for a one-time rent deposit, help for utility bills, applications for government grants to pay back rent, and other financial aid for low income families with children, disabled and senior citizens. Address is 873 Second Street, and dial 707-544-1581.

La Luz Center, which is located on Greger Street in Sonoma, offers financial aid. The charity can provide everything from food to electric bill help and funds for housing or rent. Call 707-938-5131 for information, or a referral.

West County Community Services (Guerneville CA (707) 869-0654) helps with a one-time rent deposit and back rent for low income families with children, disabled and senior citizens.

North County Community Services (707) 433-6161 - The agency offers rental assistance and funds for security deposit payments through HCA funds and the Season of Sharing Information and referral on Homelessness Issues. They also have money to pay utility bills, such as electric, water, and gas bills. Healdsburg CA

The Sonoma Catholic Charity organization administers the housing programs administered below. In addition, the charity offers low income families a number of other resources as well. Eviction prevention assistance may be available, including rent help. For residents who are now homeless, shelters and case management services can be provided in an effort to find a new home or apartment. Food is offered across the county for seniors, children, and others who are needy. Other assistance is offered for the disabled. More Sonoma Catholic Charity assistance programs.





Petaluma People Services - The agency runs assistance programs designed to prevent homelessness by assisting low-income households with back rent, deposit or critical. They also have funds for paying utility bills, medications, and other expenses. Call (707) 765-8488.

California Human Development - Sonoma County Community Services - The government agency offers direct services and grants for low income eligible persons including farm workers. Other assistance includes temporary employment assistance, referral for community, and specialized information. The financial aid can help with paying electric, water or gas bills, and funds may also be offered for rental expenses. 405 Grove Street. Healdsburg, CA, 95446. Phone (707-433-6652), or find more information on California Human Development program.

Disability Services & Legal Center, based in Santa Rosa, can help with locating affordable housing in Sonoma County. The agency may have funds for rental or security deposits or back rent depending on qualifications of the applicant. The case managers from DSLC's and their housing team is also involved in advocating for the poor and/or disabled. They work to solve homeless and offer other support. Phone - 707-528-2745.

Car loan payment programs are always in demand in Sonoma County. When an auto loan becomes unaffordable, or the consumer goes upside down on it or if a financial emergency occurs, credit counseling agencies can assist. They give advice, tips, and maybe payment plans. Even find ways to get out of a car loan that is upside down.

Catholic Worker - Offers utility bill, rental, and maybe water assistance. Additional aid may be provided for rent deposits through Season of Sharing Funds. 600 Morgan Street Suite A, Santa Rosa, California, 95401. Dial 707-575-8342.

The YWCA of Sonoma County also runs the Season of Sharing program. It provides one time grants or financial assistance for survivors of domestic abuse who are threatened with becoming homeless. They may also get help with paying for security deposits (in a crisis), specific emergency family needs or first months rent. 707-565-5661.

Face To Face is a non-profit that can assist eligible clients in obtaining emergency financial assistance including funds for paying rent, food and utility bill assistance. The address is 873 Second Street, Santa Rosa, California, 95404. Call the center at 707-544-1581.

Department of Human Services in Sonoma County helps the very low income, poor, and immigrants. Whether it is a welfare type benefit (such as cash aid from CalWorks or food stamps) or elder care (including for seniors and the sick), DHS assists. They also help with employment, assist foster children, enroll people into free medical or dental insurance and more. Address is 3600 Westwind Boulevard, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. Call (707) 565-5800.

Eviction prevention and rent help is available from non-profit organizations as well as government offices. Tenants with a pay or quit notice, or that are facing eviction due to unpaid rent or energy bills, can receive financial help or advice. Or funds may be issued for security deposits on a new home. Find more information on rental assistance in Sonoma County.

Sonoma County free holiday programs - Find information on charities, government agencies such as fire stations, and churches that offer assistance during the holidays. There may be free gifts at Christmas, home delivered meals, toy drives, Adopt a Family, gift cards, and other programs. Find Sonoma County free holiday assistance.







Society of Saint Vincent in Santa Rosa can help families across Sonoma County. There are local churches or parishes that are part of this charity. The resources are focused on basic needs and case management.

Some of what is provided is a low cost thrift store, which has gently used goods, clothes, and more for sale. A soup kitchen and food pantry can also help feed the needy in Santa Rosa. For those that need financial aid, the volunteers can link applicants to everything from government grants for utility bills, CalFresh food stamps, housing, and more. Dial (707) 584-1579, or continue reading emergency help from SVDP Sonoma County.

Free medical and health care clinics

Families and individuals who do not have health insurance, or have limited plans, or who just may be struggling with paying for medical and hospital bills, can contact the following health care clinics for advice as well as possible care. Some may offer services for free, or at a reduced rate that may be based on the patients ability to pay. Immigrants, the uninsured, and people on Medicaid can get help too.

Sonoma Valley Community Health Center ((707) 939-6070), Jewish Community Free Clinic of Sonoma County (phone (707) 585-7780), Saints Jane and Mary Medical Clinic ((707) 591-9667). There are several other health care centers in the region as well. Find more Sonoma County free community clinics.

Additional options include West County Health Centers of Guerneville (phone (707) 869-2849), Alliance Medical Center ((707) 431-8234), Petaluma Health Center (707) 559-7500, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers ((707) 546-6479). Most of these clinics offer free health care or low cost, including family practice, check ups, primary medical care, obstetrics, pediatric and geriatric to low income and people with no or limited health insurance. Find other ways to get help with medical bills.

Foreclosure prevention and counseling in Sonoma

Catholic Charities has counselors and programs that provide foreclosure counseling. The agency can only serve a limited number of clients. Foreclosure prevention; mediation, advocacy on behalf of clients with lenders; workshops are all offered. Santa Rosa California. (707) 575-0215. Also, click here for other ways to get help with mortgage.

Food banks and free feeding sites

The non-profits will often have free groceries, meals, and special holiday or Christmas assistance. Many of the locations in Sonoma County can help address other basic needs as well, such as provide clothing or personal goods. Call a pantry for information and other details on programs such as CalFresh.

A few agencies are listed below, but there are dozens of other pantries. Each offers some form of assistance to the less fortunate. Find more free food pantries in Sonoma County.

Redwood Empire Food Bank - Cloverdale based center. Phone 707-523-7900

Santa Rosa Alliance Church works with other charities, pantries, and non-profits.

Neighbors Organized Against Hunger. Call the Rohnert Park food pantry program at 707-548-6624.





Debt reduction and mortgage help

Santa Rosa Consumer Credit Counseling (phone (707) 527-9221) provides homeowners and consumers with resources. There are free money management workshops, debt counseling, foreclosure prevention, credit report review, as well as general mortgage assistance and housing education.

The non-profit administers a debt repayment program to help consumers consolidate their bills, lower mortgage payments, and negotiate with creditors and mortgage servicers. The goal is to help Sonoma County residents to lower monthly payments and, in some cases, reduce or eliminate interest. They can also help negotiate loan modifications.

Low income families can get other help as well. Credit counselors as well as private companies can assist with debt consolidation or settlement on auto loans as well as credit cards or medical. There are resources offered by major lenders such as Wells Fargo, Chase, or B of A as well. Learn more about how to settle debt.


By Jon McNamara

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