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St. Lawrence County assistance programs.

Many resources are offered to low income and struggling families. Find places that offer emergency boxes of free food, grants to pay rent or heating bills, clothes, free stuff, and more. The churches, charities, and non-profits listed below assist low income families or the elderly. They help St. Lawrence county families facing foreclosure or evictions, help families keep their heat and power on, and so much more.

Find how to get assistance paying rent

Families and individuals who live in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis County, so called northern New York country residents, have a new way for how to get help from social services offices and nonprofit organizations. These groups are working together to combat what they call an increasingly apparent problem, and that is being an increasing number of people facing eviction and homelessness.

A new program known as Helping Eradicate All Roads to Homelessness, or the HEARTH program, will provide assistance. St. Lawrence County Social Services was provided hundreds of thousands of dollars from the federal government stimulus plan to be used to prevent evictions, homelessness, and even help people who may currently be homeless.

The HEARTH will provide many forms of assistance, including help with rent, heating and money for energy bill assistance, funds for security deposits, emergency free hotel and motel vouchers, money for moving costs, landlord-tenant dispute resolution, free legal help and also assistance to find affordable housing for households who are at or below 50 percent of median income in St. Lawrence. Find additional low income programs.

Struggling families are becoming an increasingly large problem in St. Lawrence County, and there are more families and individuals looking for temporary housing solutions and rent help than before.

The HEARTH program is intended to provide financial assistance in order to help people avoid homelessness. As people apply for aid, they will be assessed and it will be determined if over the long term they can afford to stay where they are and pay rent over the years. If the applicant can get back on their feet over the long term, and they just need short-term assistance, we'll help them with their rent. If there is no good plan for sustainability and for them to be successful over the long term, they will explore other options.




Contact St. Lawrence County Social Services ((315) 287-0285) for more information.

Find financial help for emergencies, and funds to pay bills, rent, and other aid

St. Lawrence County Community Development Inc. - This non-profit can assist families and individuals through a wide variety of assistance programs, resources, and counseling. Basic needs and financial help is offered too. Some of the programs this non-profit runs includes the low income Section 8 Housing Voucher program, but other services are available too.

The agency also runs Head Start, which can provide food, health care, and education for children. Other services offered include the government weatherization program and applications to heating bill as well as rent help. Call the Development agency, which is located in Canton New York, at 315-386-1102.

Salvation Army has two different locations in St. Lawrence County New York. One is in Massena, and the other is in Ogdensburg. Between the two locations, they can provide people with free food, clothing, rent assistance, funds for paying heating and utility bills, clothing, holiday gifts and meals, and even job training. You can dial the Massena branch at 315-769-5154. The Ogdensburg location can be called at 315-393-3351. Get financial help from St. Lawrence and Jefferson County Salvation Army.

St. Lawrence County Community Development Program, Inc. - This is the local community action agency. Get help from the following programs.

  • Utility Bill and Rental Payment Assistance - Low income individuals can get access to financial assistance and grants that can be used to prevent utility shutoff and eviction, and the assistance is available through funding provided by the federal government funded Emergency Food and Shelter Program. Also, get information on housing resources, including HUD approved foreclosure counseling agencies and other housing support.
  • Energy Services - The CAPC agency provides home weatherization services and other energy conservation measures to households meeting financial eligibility. Services offered by weatherization could include floor and home insulation, furnace repair or replacement and more to assist homeowners and renters to conserve energy and reduce energy bills.
  • Food Stamps - Counselors can help with the following. Prescreening, Application Assistance, Re-certification Assistance and Barrier Advocacy with local departments of social services.  Staff from the community action agency can explain procedures, help with documentation gathering and help with completing the application.
  • Free Income tax counseling and filing - Get your taxes reviewed and filed, for free, by IRS trained volunteers.
  • Food banks - The agency can partner with local pantries and banks to provide free food, groceries, and other non-financial aid to the low income in the community.





St. Lawrence County Community Development Program, Inc. also runs the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program. It helps be offering personalized case management services and assistance to families. Receive help in applying for New York state, county and community programs for supportive services .Learn more on assistance from Community Development Program.

The Weatherization Program is another option to help people make their home more energy efficient. It can pay for window and door replacement, furnace clean and tune up and also insulation.

The community development Transportation Department can help physically and mentally disadvantaged persons get to day treatment centers, work, and job training.

Call the Canton NY Community Development agency at (315) 386-1102.

St. Lawrence County Office for the Aging provides programs for people age 60 and older, including the homebound and elderly. They offer Senior Community Service Employment Program; In-Home Services For the Elderly;  Family Caregiver Support;; Medical Transportation; Free Legal Services; Health Insurance Information Counseling and other Assistance Programs. 8 Court Street, Canton, New York 13617 – 1169.

Department of Social Services offer temporary assistance, including some financial, to eligible families and working poor. Examples include employment programs and other supportive services such as day care for your child so that clients can find and maintain a job. The government will also administer programs for medical bills, health care, and nutritional needs, including Medicaid.  Or apply for heating assistance from LIHEAP. (315) 379-2111

Holiday and Christmas assistance in the North County helps children as well as seniors or the disabled. Charities and churches give free Christmas toys, serve meals (including at Thanksgiving), and spread holiday cheer. More on free holiday help in St. Lawrence County.

St. Lawrence Catholic Charities offers the working poor, seniors, and low income a number of services. Most of the support is non-financial, which includes counseling and referrals. However the agency and their churches may offer some money as a last resort, such as funds for rent or utility bills or medications. The organization also runs a number of programs for new mothers and those who are currently pregnant. They have several centers in central and northern New York. Find more on Catholic Charities assistance programs in Ogdensburg.

Non-profit and government programs for paying rent or security deposits may be available for families facing homelessness. There are charities and government centers in both Canton and Ogdensburg that, when funding allows, can offer one time assistance for rental expenses. Or families can get help in locating a new, low income home. Find rental assistance in St. Lawrence County.





Food banks, soup kitchens and free pantries

St. Lawrence County Food Pantries will offer free groceries, food boxes, and more to the community.

  • Canton centers are at Church & Community Program (315) 386-3534 and also the Canton Neighborhood Center (315) 386-3541.
  • Colton Neighborhood Center (315) 262-3175
  • DeKalb Junction is served by Hermon DeKalb Junction Food Pantry, 347-1557.
  • Fort Jackson - Hopkinton Food Pantry, call 328-4168
  • Gouverneur - Grace Food Pantry, dial (315) 287-2777 or call St. James Outreach at (315) 287-0114
  • Hammond Neighborhood Center - (315) 324-5219
  • Hannawa Falls - Helping Hands of Potsdam – call (315) 268-0633
  • Madrid is served by New Beginnings Center (315) 322-5631 as well as centers at Christian Fellowship Center — Alms of Love Pantry, (315) 262-0222.
  • Massena residents can call the Salvation Army (315) 769-5154, the Massena Neighborhood Center (315) 764-0050 or St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry at (315) 769-1200.
  • Norfolk - Louisville Emergency Food, (315) 769-5436
  • Ogdensburg, Neighborhood Center (315) 393-5561 or call Salvation Army at (315) 393-3351
  • Parishville - Neighborhood Center, telephone (315) 265-6180
  • Pierrepont - Neighborhood Center, dial (315) 386-8311
  • Potsdam residents can call St. Mary's Church Food Pantry at (315) 265-9680 or the Potsdam Neighborhood Center (315) 265-3920.
  • Raymondville - Norfolk–Raymondville Food Pantry 384-4492
  • Richville, Baptist Church Food Pantry dial (315) 347-2400 for intake
  • Russell, Grass River Food Pantry can be reached at (315) 562-3450
  • Star Lake Food Pantry - (315) 848-3562
  • Waddington - Neighborhood Center, call (315) 388-5934

By Jon McNamara


















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