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Assistance programs Thurston County and Olympia.

Struggling and low income families in Thurston County can get financial help. Find how to get assistance paying for rent, utility bills, a mortgage or security deposits and more. There will also be free food from charity pantries, medical care, grants for paying heating bills, transportation programs and other support. The main charities, churches, and non-profits to contact for emergency help with bills in Olympia or Lacey WA and the county are below.

Funds are combined with case management and long term support. Low-income families in Thurston County can also get free credit repair services, information on job training, or work clothes for adults or gas cards for a job. Financial assistance is offered as well as free items in the Olympia Washington area.

Community Action Council programs of Thurston Counties

This is the local non-profit that may offer residents that largest number of options and financial assistance programs. There will be everything from hardship grants to help with bills to career counseling, employment services and more.

  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) - This is a federal government funded assistance program that provides grants and financial assistance to help low-income families and individuals pay utility and heating bills during the winter. Money is also available to pay summer cooling bills.
  • Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) - It helps people pay rent in order to prevent an eviction from their home or apartment. Money can also be used to pay security and utility deposits. The funds will provide for a variety of financial assistance, including: short-term or medium-term rental assistance and housing relocation as well as stabilization services.
    Other resources offered by the Thurston County community action can include help with such activities as free debt and credit counseling, mediation, security or utility deposits, as well as utility and energy bill payments. Or get free grant money for moving cost assistance, and case management services.
     
  • Free weatherization - This program will install free energy saving improvements and enhancements to someone’s home or apartment. The goal is to help people reduce and save on their energy bills.
  • Rental, housing and mortgage assistance - Limited funding may be available to eligible households in select locations. Funds are limited and restricted to help households avoid homelessness or a foreclosure of their home. The community action agency also has information on other local housing and rent assistance programs for low-income people. Read more on housing for the low-income with no or short waiting lists.

 

 

 

  • Food Distribution - This free program was created in partnership with local food banks and soup kitchens, to combat hunger. Government food, including USDA Surplus Commodities provide a variety of staples, including tuna, canned vegetables, dry goods, fruits, and peanut butter which are distributed to participating soup kitchens and food banks throughout Olympia and Thurston County.
     
  • Housing Repair and Rehabilitation - The HRRP home repair program addresses some of the minor home repair needs of low-income individuals and families in the community.

Call the Community Action Council of Thurston County at (360) 438-1100. Case managers can provide more information on the services above, or referrals to other programs. The address is 3020 Willamette Dr NE, Lacey, WA 98516. More info on Thurston County community action agency programs.

Financial assistance programs in Thurston County and social services

DSHS - Community Service Office - Thurston - This government agency will offer provide emergency assistance, including access to TANF/WorkFirst cash aid. This state of Washington Benefit can help the disabled, people in poverty, unemployed and others.

Applicants and clients may apply for supplemental financial assistance when faced with an emergency caused by circumstances out of their control, such as a job loss or medical emergency Funding may be approved for rent help and eviction notices; electric, gas, water/sewer, heating fuel or telephone utility shut-off notices. The cash aid can also pay for security or utility deposit move-in costs for homeless individuals and families.

Includes Additional Requirements for Emergent needs (AREN). AREN payments may be made up to a maximum of $750 in a consecutive 12-month period. Call the DSHS - Community Service Office - Thurston at (877) 501 - 2233.

Evergreen Christian Community - Programs administered are available by walk in only. The center is open on Thursdays from 8:30 to 11, and 12:30 to 3. Resources available include a food bank, clothing closet, and emergency rent or utility bill assistance.

Limited cash grants and financial assistance with rent and utility bills may be offered, as funds are available. Applicants with eviction notices only can receive aid. Funds are limited - in general get help up to the last $125.00 for rent. Prescription assistance may also be provided.  The address 1000 Black Lake Blvd SW, Olympia, Washington 98502, call 360.352.3410.

 

 

 

 

If Evergreen can’t provide what is needed, other charities offer accessories or clothing items. They combine direct assistance with gift cards, vouchers, and other free stuff or supplies. Resources are available in Thurston and other counties, and find clothes for low income families.

Housing Authority of Thurston County - This government agency provides very limited funds to help prevent Thurston County families with children from becoming evicted or homeless. There are also section 8 homes and no wait list, emergency units. Call Housing Authority of Thurston County at (360) 753 - 8292, or click here for more details on what housing authorities can offer qualified individuals. As there are many government housing authority programs. The address is 1206 12th Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501.

Rochester Organization Of Families (ROOF) - This is an agency based in Thurston County Washington, and they offer on-site community resources (Utilities assistance, rent help, gas vouchers, etc.). There will often be free bus passes or gasoline help for work or job training. Rental/mortgage assistance may be available as well as funding allows. Call in advance to check on funding and to schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor. Call the Rochester Organization Of Families (ROOF) at (360) 273 - 6375.

Saint Vincent DePaul Society - Olympia - If you have received an eviction notice, you may be able to get assistance with paying rent up to approximately $75 as funds are available. In addition, assistance with paying for utilities, including gas, electric, and water up to approximately $75 for those with disconnection notices or have have lost their service. SVDP also has free clothes, winter jackets for kids, and a low-cost thrift store with bargains.

 Funds are allocated at the beginning of the week and distributed on a first come, first served basis to qualified individuals. Dial (360) 352 - 7554, or read more on Saint Vincent de Paul in Thurston County.

Salvation Army - Thurston County

This faith based, non-profit organization provides limited rental assistance as well as funds for electric bills to residents in Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater Washington who have an eviction notice. Utility assistance is also offered for people who have shut off notices.

Other resources available include senior housing and meals on Wheels. Many families in Olympia Washington also receive free Christmas meals, gifts and other assistance from the center. The Salvation Army also giveaways free school supplies to students, provides a homeless shelter and other support. Phone (360) 352 - 8596, or learn more on Salvation Army assistance Thurston County.

Yelm Community Services - If you live in the rural section of the community, this group provides rent or utility assistance for rural Thurston County Washington residents. They are located in Yelm. The charity is at 624 Crystal Springs Rd NW, Yelm, WA 98597. Dial (360) 458-7000. There are also free groceries and personal stuff.

Adventist Community Service Center - Provides a clothing bank and some emergency food. The non-profit is at 1029 Puget Street Northeast  Olympia, WA 98506, phone (360) 943-1518. Get baby formula or diapers. There may be sneakers for kids, some school supplies or backpacks, and Christmas or birthday toys too - including for single moms.

Matthew House - This is based in Monroe Washington and can be reached at (360) 794 - 8720. The charity provides food and clothing to families and individuals of inmates in emergency situations. The address is 16207 177th Ave SE, Monroe, WA 98272.

 

 

 

 

Thurston County food bank - Provides free food and groceries to residents of Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Littlerock Washington. All the nutritional aid is for people with special circumstances, there is a special time to use the food bank as well as soup kitchen. Pre-screening is required before applying for help. (360) 352 - 8597. There are also several other food banks and pantries in Olympia and across the region. Locate more food pantries in Thurston County.

Catholic Charities is a leading organization to call for help. Among other assistance programs available include housing services, which is shelter, transition housing, and maybe emergency rental assistance. Lower income families may benefit from child care resources as well. Senior citizens and the elderly in Thurston County may receive free food including Meals on Wheels.

The Catholic Charity churches also assist immigrants and refugees in the region. However a major focus is on addressing housing issues, food, and other basic living needs. Find more details on Catholic Charities assistance in Thurston County.

City Gate Ministries - This non-profit agency may be able to provide limited financial assistance for paying expenses such as rent, utilities, heating bills, and possible gas vouchers. A main goal is on helping the homeless in Thurston County, but they can also support others facing poverty. Whether single or married, support is available. Call for an intake appointment. City Gate is based in Olympia Washington and can be reached at (360) 705 - 0291, or read more City Gates Ministries.

The Army Community Service - Joint Base Lewis-McChord may only have programs for veterans and military families. It provides assistance with emergency financial needs including utilities, rent, no-pay due, health care, vehicle repairs and other necessities. There is also information on free health insurance and housing programs for veterans. The non-profit may offer no-interest loans or cash grants. (253) 967 – 9852.

Family Support Center is a regional non-profit for struggling, unemployed, and low income Olympia residents. Some services are also available across the County. A major focus is on offering referrals or help to clients in applying for government benefits, such as low income apartments, disability, or heating bill assistance. Homeless prevention is also a focus.

Other services from the center will be on satisfying basic needs such as clothing, food, or work attire. Case managers will partner with income qualified residents to help them overcome the crisis. More on Family Support Center resources.

Non-profit rent help -  While funds are limited, several charities and other organizations help the less fortunate and people facing a crisis. Priority will usually be for seniors, families with children, and the disabled in Thurston County. As resources allow, there may be grants issued for back rent, energy bills, or maybe paying a security deposit. In some cases, a loan may be used as funding is so limited. Find more Thurston County rent assistance agencies.

Veterans Assistance Fund is also offered in Thurston County. It offers eligible veterans and their immediate family members assistance with past due mortgage payments and rent. Other financial aid may be provided for power and water bills, garbage, food, bus passes and burial expenses. Location is 412 Lilly Rd NE, Olympia, WA, 98506. Call (360) 867 – 2625.

City of Olympia and City Services offers the disabled, senior citizens, and other qualified low income families with a discount on their utilities. These services and savings are only for customers who qualify. While program terms can vary, rates will generally be set at 50% of the standard utility rate for Solid Waste, Water, Sewer and Stormwater costs. Address is 601 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA, 98501. Dial (360) 753 – 8340 or (360) 753-8380.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find free health care and medical assistance

There is a health care program that will support local residents, and it is called the Olympia Health Care Clinic. The non-profit pprovides low-income as well as families and individuals that have no insurance with discounted and free health care. They do also provide diagnostic testing and also medical treatment for patients with urgent medical conditions and acute needs. Or get free basic dental screenings, exams, and teeth extractions if needed.

Not everyone is able to get help. To be eligible for the clinic program, families and patients must be low income as well as adults or children in years of age. To get free care, they can’t have health insurance or they are underinsured, and they also must have a limited income. Or get more on the WA hospital bill programs . The address is 225 State Ave NE, Olympia, WA 98501. Dial (360) 890-4074.

Free debt help, credit repair and financial literacy in Thurston County

ClearPoint Financial Solutions - This agency offers debt reduction services and foreclosure counseling. This agency provides confidential, free sessions to help homeowners facing foreclosure to understand their options. Counselors will also help people deal with credit card and medical debts. There is also information on auto loan payment plans, how to file for bankruptcy and other support. Learn more on hospital and medical debt reduction. As there are many resources offered that can help with hospital bills.

Counselors assist with multiple issues including short sales, loan modifications, repayment plans, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, mediation, forbearance and bankruptcy. May assess client's eligibility for federal government foreclosure assistance. Call ClearPoint Financial Solutions at 800.750.2227.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service - Apprisen - This center provides housing counseling on pre-purchase, delinquencies, rental issues and reverse mortgages. This program is sponsored by HUD certified Housing Counseling Agency. Debt reduction, including medical, hospital, and credit card, are also offered. Click here for additional Washington state foreclosure programs. Call ((360) 956-7305.

Anyone in debt, whether credit card, medical, car loans, or something else can also get assistance as well from a number of resources. The goal is to make the payments for the Thurston County family more manageable. One of the best solutions will be a loan to consolidate debts.

 

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By Jon McNamara

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