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Assistance programs St. Louis County Minnesota and Duluth.

Low income families and those in an emergency can find churches, charities, or government agencies that offer financial assistance. Find help with rent or security deposits, grants to pay electric or utility bills, free groceries from pantries, and even medical or dental care in St. Louis County. There are also sources of free insulin as well as other resources in Duluth.

Learn where to apply for help with those bills as well as how to get transportation, job training, and other support in the Duluth region. There are a number of free items as well, ranging from school supplies to clothes (including winter items), Christmas gifts, and other goods.

Financial help paying bills, rent, and other expenses in St. Louis County

Salvation Army of Duluth - This non-profit offers numerous assistance programs, including:

  • Emergency financial assistance - This program is available to residents of the county including Duluth, Hermantown, Proctor, and townships adjacent to Duluth Minnesota. Assistance is provided for paying utilities, rent, heating bills, transportation expenses, clothes or uniforms. There may also be free vouchers for auto repairs, motel rooms, and other emergency needs.
  • Food - People who meet certain criteria may be able to receive free food and meals. Free Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter meals are also in Washington County.
  • Rent help and stabilization services- Assists Salvation Army clients who are facing an eviction, who may be at risk of becoming homeless or are already homeless in locating and maintaining permanent housing and and/or a new apartment. Individuals are then assisted in securing and stabilizing income, finding a new job or employment, getting health or medical care, food and transportation. Locate additional rent programs.
  • Homeless program - Various housing programs are available for people who are homeless, or on the verge of it. There is transitional housing as well as free, emergency overnight homeless shelters in Duluth area.
  • Salvation Army material goods - Based on donations, there may be free back to school supplies along with Christmas gifts or toys from Angel Tree or Adopt a Family.




Call Salvation Army at 218-722-7934. The Salvation Army has additional locations in the region. They include those below.

  • 107 W Howard St, Hibbing, Minnesota, 55746, telephone (218) 263-5096
  • 507 S 12th Ave, Virginia, MN, 55792, dial (218) 741-1889
  • 215 S 27th Ave W, Duluth, Minnesota, 55806, main number (218) 722-7934
  • For more information on the main center, read Salvation Army Duluth assistance programs.

Churches United in Ministry, or CHUM, is a partnership of churches that provide the entry for Emergency Shelter and housing services for families and individuals, Housing Advocacy services, Rent Assistance, Income Evaluation and Employment Services, Health Care, a Nurse Clinic and Street Case Management. 218-720-6521

Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency, Inc. serves St. Louis County Minnesota individuals. Get help with the following.

  • Energy and heating bill assistance - The agency provides financial grants and cash assistance to be used towards energy costs and utility bills for residential heating bills. Additional funds are available for crisis situations and energy-related repairs to heating systems.
  • Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Program - This housing program helps homeowners in the area examine their options when facing a foreclosure situation, and it tries to find a solution. The agency offers financial counseling, access to community resources, information on federal government programs, help working with your mortgage company, information on bank foreclosure programs (such as BOA mortgage help - click here), information about the foreclosure process, and financial assistance for paying a loan.





  • Weatherization - Receive free updates to your home that can help you save hundreds of dollars per year on heating and utility bills.
  • Home repairs - The disabled and elderly can receive loans from programs such as the Fix-Up-Fund or weatherization (for energy conservation) in order to improve their home.
  • Emergency rent assistance - Very low income St. Louis County residents can receive one time help for a partial rent payment. Other solutions from AEOA include transitional housing, landlord / tenant mediations, and funds for security deposits for the currently homeless.
  • Food programs - Receive referrals to pantries in Minnesota and the homebound, such as elderly or disabled, can receive free home delivered meals. Or get information or applications on benefits such as food stamps.

Call Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency, Inc. at (218) 749-2912. Click more information on Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency assistance programs.

Community Action Duluth provides several programs and services to help individuals and families. The resources will help clients increase their education, income, savings or assets levels and overall financial wellbeing. Staff can also help with overall developing connections to the community. Assistance programs from the agency include the following.

  • Enrollment into health insurance or SNAP food stamps.
  • Education services in St. Louis County includes GED and college educational support, matched saving programs for college and test prep and tutoring.
  • Financial advice includes coaching, pre-purchase housing counseling, financial and home-buyer education, and access to a pre-paid debit cards as well as a credit building program,
  • Duluth Community Action also gives coaching and workshops on saving money. This can help households, children, and others get back on track. Learn more about how to save money each month.
  • Community Action also helps with transportation including a car purchase and a bike program.
  • Other services in Duluth Minnesota are a free tax preparation program, employment coaching, business start-up/expansion and access to savings accounts along with transitional employment and a seasonal farmer’s market.

The phone number is (218) 726-1665 and location is 2424 W 5th Street, Suite 102, Duluth, MN 55806.





Bois Forte Band of Chippewa operates out of the Government and Community Services Center. A number of services are offered. They include financial help with utility disconnections or necessary fuel deliveries, including payment of energy and heating bills, from the Energy Assistance Program (EAP). Some assistance can offer replacement or repair of homeowners' malfunctioning heating systems. Other programs include dental services and dental hygiene.

The non-profit provides tribal housing services and additional housing programs for low-income rental and homeownership. The federal government Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides income qualified people with free heating system evaluation and repair, insulation, and other enhancements as a cost-effective way of reducing energy bills. 5344 Lake Shore Dr., Nett Lake, Minnesota, 55772, dial (218) 757 - 3261

City of Superior Wisconsin One Roof Community Housing - The non-profit has CDBG grant money that allow low income families to get help with the emergency repairs to their homes. Funds can be used for furnaces, window repair, lead remediation, and other updates that improve the health and safety of homeowners. The address is 12 E 4th Street, Duluth, MN 55805, dial 218-727-5372.

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, or MACV of Duluth, can be reached at (218)722-8763. Emergency financial assistance may be paid out in the form of utilities, including electric, water, natural gas, or fuel oil. Other funds paid out include rent, security deposits, or mortgage payments. Requests for additional direct and emergency assistance may be considered.

Society of Saint Vincent has operations in Duluth, the county, and across the bay in Wisconsin. The main resource is a low cost thrift or second hand store. In addition to that, there is transportation, volunteer or job training, use of computers, and limited financial aid. They do not discriminate based on faith, age, or religion. More on Society of Saint Vincent in Duluth region.

St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services Department is the main government agency. It offers public benefits and other support, much of it in coordination with Minnesota Department of Human Services. Assistance programs include Medical Assistance from Medicaid. There are also free Child Care Subsidies, Refugee Cash Assistance, Government Services Center, Food Stamps from SNAP.

Low income families in the county can also apply for cash aid from General Assistance Medical Care, and more. 320 West 2nd Street, Duluth, Minnesota 55802. Call (218)726-2000 for information on other state and federal government programs.

Energy and utility bill company assistance programs are offered in the state and St. Louis County. There tends to be more financial aid, as well as payment plans and grants, during the cold winter months. Customer service at a utility company can assist or applying for LIHEAP and more. Continue with utility bill assistance in Minnesota.







Foreclosure prevention and counseling in Duluth area

Lutheran Social Services - This agency partners with Neighborhood Housing Services to provide homeowners in St. Louis County and Duluth Minnesota with foreclosure prevention. This can help homeowners get mortgage help. There is also free related counseling. Dial 218-529-2260

Debt programs, including credit card and medical debts

In addition to the foreclosure and mortgage assistance referenced above, Lutheran Social Services is also a consumer credit counseling agency. Work with a counselor to reduce or eliminate credit card debts, as well as medical bills. 218-529-2260

Free legal aid and assistance

Low income individuals, elderly, and disabled can contact the law offices of Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota (LASNEM). This non-profit law firm provide free legal advice and representation to low income people who live in St. Louis County, Duluth and Northeastern Minnesota. They can help with consumer debt issues, foreclosure, family matters, and civic legal issues. Learn more on Minnesota free legal programs. 218-726-4800

Free health care in St. Louis County

Lake Superior Community Health Center can direct people to medical programs, and to ways to get low cost or free medical care The organization is committed to improving access, particularly financial access, to primary health care through the provision of clinical care, screening, health education, assisted referrals and advocacy.  218-722-1497

Cook Area Health Services, Inc. dba Scenic Rivers Health Services – The center administers community based primary health care and medical services in underserved communities, help the uninsured, and offer other medical care for vulnerable populations. Scenic Rivers Health Services, 20 Fifth ST SE, Cook, MN, 55723, call (218) 361-3160. Dental care can also be facilitated, and dial (218) 666-5958

Duluth Family Medicine Clinic can offer free or low cost medical and dental care to the low income, uninsured, and less fortunate. Some of the specific programs include Pediatrics, Immunizations, Allergy management, Laboratory & X-Ray, Chronic disease management, Women's Health and more. Same Day Appointments and Home Visits may be arranged in St. Louis County as well. 330 North 8th Avenue East, Duluth, Minnesota 55805, dial (218)723-1112.

Food banks and free assistance programs

Duluth and St. Louis County are served by various churches, food pantries, and charity organizations. Children, seniors, and low income or needy families can pick up a food box or meal. Some items like clothing or Christmas meals or gifts may be provided too.





Some of the places to call include Hibbing AEOA Office at (218) 263-8487. Clothing and food can be picked up at Chisholm Clothes Closet and Food Shelf. Dial (218) 254-7308 for an appointment. Yet another non-profit is the Duluth Family Resource Center, (218) 729-5509.

Many other food pantries, free grocery programs and soup kitchens operate in St. Louis County Minnesota. Read more on the programs available from free food pantries in St. Louis County


By Jon McNamara

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