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Tulare County assistance programs.

Low income families, as well as struggling households, can get everything fro mortgage or rent assistance to free food, medical care, and other support. There are churches, charities, and government benefit programs in Tulare County, each focused on helping residents pay their bills. Whether it is for transportation, gasoline, housing, medical, or some other expense, short and long term financial assistance is offered.

Rent assistance and prevent evictions

Each and every year federal government funds are provided to Tulare and Kings County. The program is known as the "Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program". It will distribute short- and medium-term rental assistance to prevent evictions, stave off homelessness or to also help those who are currently homeless  find new housing quickly.

The money will go to the following groups and organizations.

  • Community Services Employment Training, phone ((559) 757-1601)
  • Salvation Army, phone ((559) 733-2784)
  • Kings Community Action Organization
  • Center for Independent Living, phone ((559) 622-9276)
  • Kings United Way
  • Central California Family Crisis Center
  • Kings County Human Services Agency
  • Visalia Rescue Mission

One of the primary goals is to prevent homelessness, as it is far easier to prevent it than to deal with it after the fact or after someone has been evicted.

The federal government funds are meant to offer short to medium term housing relief, and are not intended to provide long-term housing solutions and offer no mortgage assistance to those facing foreclosure. What is covered by the program includes:




  • Shorter term rental assistance (up to three months).
  • Medium-term rental assistance (up to 18 months).
  • Money for first month rent and security deposits.
  • Utility deposits and payments for energy bills.
  • Moving-cost assistance.
  • Hotel and motel vouchers.

The payments that are made as a result of the program will not be made directly to households but to third parties such as the families utility companies or landlords, government officials have reported.

Utility bill assistance and weatherization

The local community action agency, Community Services and Employment Training (C-SET), provides both utility bill assistance programs and weatherization services. They are located in Visalia California, but have several locations. The main phone number is (559) 732-4194. The energy bill assistance program offered by CSET’s  helps pay utility bills for low to moderate income families who live in Tulare County. The aid is limited in that it is offered but once per year low to moderate income families who live in Tulare County. They can have either their Southern California Edison or their Southern California Gas bill paid through CSET’s Utility Assistance Program. Find additional ways to get help with energy bills.

In addition to financial assistance and the cash grants indicated above, we also provide applicants with Energy Conservation Information and Weatherization Programs. The federally funded Weatherization program is provided for free to low and middle income families who either rent or own an apartment, home or mobile home in Tulare County.





The goal of this weatherization program is to help low and moderate income households lower their energy and heating costs by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. If you apply and are qualified for aid, eligible residents will receive free cost effective measures such as: water heater blankets, weather stripping of exterior doors, lighting retrofits, water restrictors and low-flow shower heads, switch and outlet gaskets, carbon monoxide detectors, gas appliance repair or replacement, glass window repair or replacement, and other minor home repairs. Or find more details on Community Services and Employment Training assistance programs.

Foreclosure and mortgage counseling

Millions of people are struggling with their mortgage. If you are one of those homeowners who is in danger of losing their home to a foreclosure filing, CSET may be able to help you. They have mortgage counselors who can help you understand your options and provide you with information that may help save your home from a foreclosure filing. Find additional resources to stop a foreclosure.

You need to dial the foreclosure hotline number (559-741-4646) and leave your name and contact information. One of their mortgage counselors will return your call as soon as possible. Services offered and the counseling provided are free.

Self Help Enterprises can work with your bank or lender to try to help you obtain a loan modification. The housing agency is based in Visalia. Phone (559) 651-1000.

Food aid and pantries

FoodLink of Tulare County, which is based in Visalia, provides help to needy individuals. FoodLink, which is a food bank and distribution center that was established in 1978, distributes food and groceries to low moderate income families in Tulare County through 80 food pantries, charities, soup kitchens, summer food sites, and shelters located throughout the region. (559) 651-3663.

Community Food Pantry, based in Earlimart, can provide emergency food. (661) 849-2960

Goshen Church of God (phone (559) 651-1030) also has a free food bank on site.

LOVE, Inc. may be able to provide Clothing, Food Pantries, Counseling, and Small Kitchen Appliances. Call (559) 688-8870.

Foodlink for Visalia / Tulare County - Brings fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, meats, groceries, and other food to low income families. Advice and support is also offered to ensure families are healthy. Call (559) 651-3663.





The above locations focus on providing food and meals. If you need additional options, find more food banks  in Tulare County.

Food, clothing, energy bill, housing and rent assistance

Contact Open Gate Ministries at (559) 591-1241. This charity organization provides people in need with food, shelter, financial assistance for paying rent, clothing, direct assistance and cash grants, and training to homeless, people facing the lose of their home, the hungry, and unemployed who are in need of aid.

The Salvation Army - Porterville organization assists local families and individuals who are in need of help for paying utility bills, that need emergency housing and rent assistance, prescription medications, and they can even provide gasoline vouchers. Phone 559-793-0213.

Several other Salvation Army Centers operate in Visalia and Tulare County. While financial assistance may be offered as indicated below, other programs can provide seasonal assistance, free food, and more. For example, Christmas meals and gifts may be offered for children and low income families. A food pantry is available, and homebound seniors may receive home delivered meals. Case workers will do their best to help the needy, low income, and unemployed. Click here.

Bethel Spanish Assembly of God - Farmersville - Emergency Services may be able to provide rent help, free food, and utility bill assistance for residents located in Farmersville. (559) 747-3708

Lindsay-Strathmore Coordinating Council - Residents of this area can gain access to resources including rent assistance, food, motel vouchers, and utility bill assistance.(559) 562-4434

Tulare Emergency Aid - The non-profit agency and program provides energy and utility assistance and help for rent and housing expenses when funds are available. In addition, free Food Distribution is also available, as well as clothes when funding and other resources are available. Tulare California. Call (559) 686-3693

Goshen Family Resource Center, of Visalia California, offers food, gasoline, and other financial aid. Call (559) 735-8173.

Community Services and Employment Training (C-SET) is a non-profit community action agency. They help the working poor, low income, homeless, senior citizens, and others who need aid. Various resources and services are offered.

  • Employment Connection Centers - Get help finding a job from centers that assist local job seekers. These employment centers offer counseling, job training, job leads, resume reviews, online classes and workshops to help you find a job, increase your income or improve job skills.
  • Mortgage Counseling Option and Foreclosure Prevention - Services are offered free of charge, and the assistance covers foreclosure FAQ, government mortgage programs, foreclosure timelines, options that are available to prevent foreclosures, and free counseling.
  • Utility and gas bill assistance - By utilizing state of California funds, the CSET community action agency can assist low-income, Tulare County residents, by paying a portion of their gas or electric bill up to once per year. Also learn about utility disconnection laws.







Other programs offered include Homeless Prevention & Rapid Rehousing, Senior Home Repair, Income tax preparation, and Weatherization. Call the Visalia based Community Services and Employment Training (C-SET) at (559) 732-4194.

Free clothes and household goods may be provided by non-profit and charity clothing closets. Low income families and also the general public have access to regional thrift stores and clothing banks. Several locations operate in both Visalia California and across the county. Continue.

The Salvation Army - Tulare Corps provides services and resources to families and individuals that are experiencing a crisis situation or short term hardship. Assistance includes rental assistance, electric and utility assistance (excluding water), and motel vouchers. 314 East San Joaquin Avenue, Tulare, California 93274-55, call (559) 687-2520

Tulare County housing solutions - There are three main resources. They include foreclosure and homeless prevention as well as rapid rehousing services. What may be offered is the following.

  • Housing placement services, including for immigrants, domestic violence survivors, and the homeless.
  • HUD grants and Continuum of Care services.
  • Social services may provide free motel vouchers.
  • More limited will be emergency money for rent, water, or utility bills. More on Tulare County homeless prevention program.

Churches from Love Inc. - The faith based group offers a combination of referrals and basic needs in Tulare County. Services range from free food to goods from a thrift store. They may also have school supplies or Christmas meals and gifts for low income families. More on Love Inc. in Tulare County.

Salvation Army – Visalia – Similar to above, apply for help with paying rent, electric bills, and maybe shelter too, like hotel or motel vouchers. It is an emergency/crisis only program. 1501 W Main Street, Visalia, California 93291, (559)-733-2784

Holiday focused charities - At the major holidays, such as Christmas, children can be given free gifts as well as toys. Seniors are also a focus of the agencies, and they can be delivered a meal. Find a number of other Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other programs. Read more.





Emergency help for rent - The low income, senior citizens, and disabled may be able to receive grants and funds to pay their rent if they are faced with an eviction. Programs focus on families with children, seniors, and the less fortunate in Tulare County. Money may also be offered for security deposits or other housing programs. More on Tulare rent assistance.


By Jon McNamara

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