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Assistance programs in Ulster County.

Find help with housing cost (including rent, mortgages, or security deposits) as well as grants to pay utility bills, free food, and more in Ulster County. In an emergency, there are churches that help the poor, grants and financial help from charities, and even government cash assistance programs. In addition to free money or loans, enroll into free job training, foreclosure prevention programs, or access medical care.

It is not only the poor who are facing hardships. More and more middle and upper class households are having difficulty paying their bills, making their housing payments, and more are facing potential homelessness in Ulster County. The good news is that there are several resources and agencies that people who need help can turn to for assistance.

Get help with rent, mortgages, utility bills, and other expenses

In addition to the federal government and New York State programs, there is another option from Hudson River Counseling that focuses just on serving residents of Ulster County. It will provide assistance to those who need it. The organization, run by the counseling group, is part of the overall Hudson Valley Foreclosure Prevention Services. This is a collaborative effort involving RUPCO, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, and Hudson River Housing.

The agency will provide individual foreclosure prevention counseling as well as loss mitigation services to homeowners who are behind on their mortgage or who are facing a foreclosure. A homeowner will be assigned a foreclosure counselor to work with.

The fact is that that recent callers to the program are in the higher income brackets and more expensive homes than those in the first wave of counseling. Many experts attribute this to job loss and loss of income that is now hitting people who were well off in the past. Contact them at (845) 454-5176. Or find additional New York state government mortgage programs.

Family of Woodstock and RUPCO have a second housing program for those who need help paying rent. They are running the Homeless Prevention Rapid Re-housing Program, and it will assist those who at imminent risk of being evicted and/or becoming homeless. The rent program can provide money for back rent payments, utility bills, security deposits, and more. The agency is located in Kingston. Call them at 845-331-2140.




Housing and rent programs are run by other charities. Kingston area families that are behind, or even those individuals that are homeless, can apply for security deposit and/or rental assistance for their needs. Some government grants may be used to help, or some agencies will provide money in the form of a loan. Find more agencies that offer rent help in Ulster County and Kingston New York.

Reduce energy bills with weatherization as part of community action. The Ulster County Community Action Committee, Inc. , also located in Kingston ((845) 338-8750) runs this federal funded program. It is free to qualified applicants. Weatherization assistance providers can help eligible homeowners and renters with energy saving measures that will help them to improve energy efficiency and reduce their heating and utility bills. For example, they can provide insulation, cleaning, testing, repairs, or replacement of heating systems, replace windows, and more.

Financial assistance programs in Ulster County

Catholic Charities of Ulster County, which is based in Kingston NY (845-340-9170) runs programs including Financial Aid/Voucher Services and they give free food or clothing. Also get help with paying rent, utility bills, and other financial aid.

In addition to the services indicated above, Ulster County Community Action Committee, Inc. (phone number is (845) 338-8750)) provides direct cash and financial assistance to help cover rent expenses and mortgage payments in emergency situations. Help is also provided for paying utility bills. Their number for any type of mortgage or foreclosure prevention is above. The non-profit is not the only option though. Get additional mortgage help from banks, lenders, and other agencies. Learn more on mortgage assistance programs.

Yet another option is the Ulster County Department of Social Services. Dial 845-334-5000. Two of the main resources offered include financial assistance to qualifying low to moderate income families, teen parents and foster parents who need help meeting their child care expenses and costs. In addition, this subsidy is also available to all working Ulster County residents who meet income eligibility guidelines.

Also get help with health care including Medical financial assistance. Medicaid transportation assistance is also provided to the eledely or disabled in Ulster County. Or apply to DSS for fee-for-service Medicaid, Managed Care Medicaid insurance and coverage.





Pathstone of Ulster County is another option. Call them to get information on programs that serve the one-time emergency and financial needs of migrant as well as seasonal farm workers and other rural disadvantaged people. The non-profit supports those in Kingston and Ulster County who may not be eligible for other emergency services. Specifically, the programs offered include food and nutritional items, emergency shelter, first month rental and security deposit assistance.

There may also be some grant money for rent in arrears payment assistance or a mortgage. Or qualified families can access funds for paying utilities in arrears (one-time only assistance). Call (845) 343-0771.

Kingston and Ulster Salvation Army - While the focus is on case management and self-sufficiency, some short term assistance may be provided in the meantime. For example, clients can work with a case manager to find a job and apply for public assistance.

As funding allows, the family may be able to receive additional help from the Ulster County organization. This can include free food, funds for paying rent or utilities (to prevent homelessness), clothing, and more. Other resources will help senior citizens with their basic needs, including Meals on Wheels.

The Salvation Army also operates a number of seasonal assistance programs. There may be free Christmas toys from Adopt a Family or Thanksgiving turkey meals. Or students from all grades and ages can get free haircuts, school supplies, clothes and more. A wide variety of emergency financial aid and basic needs are offered. Read more on Salvation Army Ulster County resources.

Free legal assistance

Legal Services of Hudson Valley offers the following free legal assistance programs to qualified individuals.

  • Foreclosure Prevention Assistance: This program helps advocate for individuals and homeowners with mortgage foreclosure advice, and the program provides guidance through the legal process and representation if needed.
  • Eviction assistance - Help prevent an eviction.
  • Landlord/Tenant Dispute Resolution: Speak to an attorney to get aid for individuals struggling with their landlord for reasons ranging from eviction, safety, living conditions, utility disconnections, recurring problems, etc. Dial 845-331-9373, or click here for more information on NY law firms for advice.

Sliding scale cost health care

New Paltz based Hudson River Health Care provides health and medical services on a sliding fee scale. Call 845-255-1760.

Institute for Family Health (845-647-4500) is a nonprofit community health care clinic that is involved in providing a broad range of primary care including family practice, infectious diseases, gastroenterology,  obstetrics/gynecology, or podiatry. Or get help with pulmonology and general care. Also find how to get help with medical debt in New York.





Free groceries as well as food pantry programs

Blue Mountain Reformed Church (845) 246-4008) runs a food pantry, and help is available by appointment.

Atonement Lutheran Church runs a food in Ulster County pantry. Emergency food supply for those in need of help. Dial 845-246-8322.

People Place (phone 845-338-4030) is a non-profit agency that provides low income individuals, the unemployed, and working poor and families with food, clothes, emergency assistance for transportation and to purchase prescription drugs, Thanksgiving meal, Christmas gifts, and holiday toys.

Charity and government food programs - There are dozens of other organizations that can be contacted. Not only may they provide free groceries or food, but they also often have clothing, Christmas meals or toys, and applications to food stamps and other programs. Find food pantries in Ulster County.


By Jon McNamara


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