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Strafford County assistance programs.

Help with bills from your town

Each town in New Hampshire must provide assistance. Get help with such expenses as rent, heating and utility bills, medications, and more. This is per NH Senate Bill One. Call your local town, such as Dover, at (603) 516-6500.

Strafford County Community Action Agency

This is one of the leading non-profits in the area, and they are determined to meet the basic needs of the low to moderate income residents and other disadvantaged individuals and families in the community. They offer various services and forms of assistance to meet that goal.

Rent and housing assistance - This is a program that provides emergency rental assistance when no other funding sources are available to the tenant. In addition, they can help with deposits. The service known as the Strafford County Community Action Rental Security Deposit Program has a goal of providing a guarantee fund for security deposits for those in need of affordable housing in Strafford County. Counselors can also mediate between tenant and landlords.

Homeless assistance and eviction prevention - A major goal is to help prevent homelessness in the county, including Dover. In addition to the resources above, Strafford CAP may be able to issue loans, using state funds, to help with rent in an emergency.

Utility assistance - This is offered in various components. Utility bill and heating expense assistance is offered, including the Neighbor Helping Neighbor, which is for electric & natural gas customers who are over income to receive fuel assistance. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program/Fuel Assistance program is also available, and this can provide payments for gas bills, electric, oil, heating oil, or wood vendors. The New Hampshire Electric Assistance Program is also administered by this agency.

Food pantry available - Free food is offered in an emergency.




Holiday assistance - Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets and meals are offered during the holiday season.

Call the Dover New Hampshire based Strafford County Community Action Committee, Inc. at (603) 516-8140. Or for more details on their services, click here.

Emergency assistance programs

Multiple sites are operated by the Salvation Army. Strafford County families, the homeless, and working poor can get help from the church based group. There may be support such as a free meal from the soup kitchen, help available at Thanksgiving or Christmas, and maybe even financial aid. That is a so called undesignated service, and funds many be issued for everything from energy bills to housing or rent.

The Rochester New Hampshire based center can also help with counseling. The ministry will direct the less fortunate to services for breaking the cycle of poverty. Continue with Strafford County Salvation Army assistance programs.

Rochester SHARE Fund is only for residents of the city and town. The office is at 150 Wakefield Street at the Rochester Community Center. Dial (603) 335-0011. Many different services are available, including the following. Grants may be issued for paying a security deposit, mortgage payment or rent. They also help with utility bills, such as water or electric. Read more on energy bill help.

The SHARE Funds also assists with medical and health care needs. If a Rochester low income family needs emergency medical care or prescriptions, or if they are in debt and need free counseling, the staff will assist. There is even low interest loans for certain bills, propane or heating oil available. Call (603) 335-0011 to apply.







Rochester City Office runs the welfare programs for families living in poverty. There may also be government help for the disabled or seniors too. Everything from SNAP food stamps to cash aid, free medical or dental, and other services are available. Case managers may also give vouchers for many other critical needs. The address is 31 Wakefield Street, Rochester, NH 03867. Dial (603) 332-3505.

Food assistance programs

St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church is based in Dover. Dial (603) 742-4837. St. Thomas Episcopal runs a soup Kitchen and food pantry. (603) 742-3155. Bethany United Methodist Church, which is located in East Rochester, also offers a food pantry and a thrift store. Dial (603) 332-3618

There are over a dozen other free food pantries in the county. Residents can also contact their local town office to seek help. Whether it is a free box of food, public aid, hot meal, or other support, assistance is available. Find Strafford County food pantries.

Credit counseling

Stop by or call a local Dover NH office of Consumer Credit Counseling Services. Phone (800) 327-6778. They offer debt management plans, advice on bankruptcies, and foreclosure assistance programs to homeowners in Strafford County. Learn more on how to get help with credit cards.

Help with medical bills and health care

Avis Goodwin Community Health Center provides a variety of different health care services and dental care to those of all ages. Even people with low incomes, or limited or no health insurance, may be able to qualify for low cost or free health care. Dial (603) 749-2346.

By Jon McNamara

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