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Emergency assistance in South Carolina.

The South Carolina government supports several emergency assistance programs for qualified low income residents. Families can apply for help for the following basic needs. Get assistance for emergencies including rent, utilities, food, shelter, weatherization, and energy bills. More information about the services offered, and who to contact, can be found below.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has provided South Carolina community action agencies access to the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). This financial assistance program provides the low income, unemployed and other struggling individuals with a wide variety of funding. Families and individuals can get assistance for emergencies such as housing, rent and eviction prevention. Other resources can help with educational needs, health care, employment, food, and nutrition. You need to apply at your local community action agency, which operate in all counties across South Carolina.

For residents who are struggling with paying their utility bills, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be able to help. This is another federal government funded resource, and the LIHEAP program provides home energy bill assistance. First priority is given to families with children, seniors, disabled, and those faced with an emergency situation. The overall goal is to help eligible low-income households and the working poor in South Carolina meet their home cooling, utility, and heating needs and bills.

A number of bills and expenses can be paid for by the General Emergency Assistance Program (GEAP). This government funded program can help families across South Carolina pay their bills and debts, including utility bills, medical bills, clothing, provides free food, housing, and more. This emergency assistance program was also established and runs with the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).

Your local South Carolina community action agency also will administer various so called Local Initiative Projects. These resources resolve around anti-poverty measures that deal with one or more of the following. Receive emergency and crisis assistance with income management, employment, education, youth leadership, credit counseling, energy, health, emergency rent and housing, nutrition and other areas that address poverty

The goal of these initiatives is to help low-income persons attain both social and economic self-sufficiency over the mid to long term, while making it through a short term crisis. Each community action agency will determine exactly what services are offered to each clients, and they do this from an assessment of the families financial condition.





Save a significant amount of money on your energy and utility bills from the free Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). This is another federal government funded program that provides energy conservation and home weatherization programs to improve the energy efficiency of individuals homes.

The primary recipients of the program will be families with children, people with disabilities, senior citizens, and children. Weatherization can both help people save money on utilities bills and also improve their overall quality of life. The US Department of Energy provides resources and funds to the government of South Carolina to run this emergency program.

Non-profits across South Carolina also administer the Emergency Shelter Grant Program (ESGP). A number of non-profits, such as your community action agency, local traditional housing facilities and shelters, as well as other agencies offer emergency rental assistance to those at-risk of becoming homeless or people facing an eviction. In addition, people who are currently homeless can get assistance, including money for security deposits and first months rent.

Applying for emergency help in SC

Community action agencies across South Carolina provide emergency assistance from these programs and others. If you are faced with a crisis, and need help paying utilities, rent, food, and other bills in an emergency, call Department of Social Services at (803) 898-7601 or dial your local community action agency to see if they can help.

By Jon McNamara

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