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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, case management, a mortgage or security deposits and more. There will also be free food from charity pantries, medical care, grants for heating bills, transportation programs and other support. The main charities, churches, and non-profits to contact for emergency help are below.

Find free health care and medical assistance

There is a health care program that will aid local residents, and it is called the Thurston County Project Access. It provided families and individuals 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.

Not everyone is able to get help. To be eligible for the Project Access program, families and patients must be 18-to-64 years of age, they can’t have health insurance or they are underinsured, and they also must have a limited income.  Dial 360.493.4550, or get more on the Project Access health care program.

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.

Community Action Council of Thurston Counties

This is the local non-profit that may offer residents that largest number of options and assistance programs.

  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) - This program 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) - This was created from the Obama stimulus program. 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 and stabilization services. Other resources offered can include help with such activities as debt and credit counseling, mediation, security or utility deposits, utility and energy bill payments, 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 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.
  • Food Distribution - This free food 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) 491-7729. Case managers can provide more information on the services above, or referrals to other programs. More info on Thurston County community action agency programs.





DSHS - Community Service Office - Thurston

This government agency may provide emergency assistance, including access to TANF/WorkFirst. 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; or 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.

Emergency Outreach Program

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. Financial assistance up to the last $125.00 for rent. Prescription assistance may also be provided. Call the Emergency Outreach Program at (360) 923 - 0929.

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. 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 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. 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.

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.). 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. 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 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. 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. Call (360) 458 - 7000.

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. 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 (877) 877 - 1995

Consumer Credit Counseling Service

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 (800) 244 - 1183.

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..







Adventist Community Service Center

Provides a clothing bank and some emergency food. 1029 Puget Street Northeast  Olympia, WA 98506, phone (360) 943-1518.

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.

Thurston County food bank

Provides free food and groceries to residents of Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Littlerock Washington. Aid is for people with special circumstances, there is a special time to use the food bank. 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.

Financial assistance programs and social services

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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 601 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA, 98501. Dial (360) 753 – 8340.


By Jon McNamara

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