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Assistance programs Ventura County.

Find how to apply for financial help, and get applications, for everything from utility bills to rent assistance, free food, and housing needs in Ventura County. Both charitable and government agencies as well as churches assist low income families, seniors, the disabled, and others with paying their bills. The organizations also offer job placement, stability, information on free government automobile or car programs and other social services.

The government assistance can also include grants for paying bills or housing costs, or there is cash aid as well as free healthcare. Charities in Ventura may also offer free school supplies, clothes, gasoline vouchers, furniture or even Christmas gifts too. A wide range of financial resources, credit and job counseling services are all listed below.

Rent help, free food, utility bill help and other financial assistance

The federal government provides Ventura County with hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds each year. The grants can offer residents emergency food, shelter, rent, and other free assistance. The funds are provided as a result of some of the federal grant programs which are alloted annually. If you live in Ventura County, you can receive cash grants and aid from qualified agencies, such as community action agencies as well as the United Way.

The agencies and charities providing the financial aid to qualified members of the county have criteria, as well as there are conditions for those receiving help. To qualify for the grants, the applicants need to be in a financial hardship (not of their doing) and also have the ability to be self-sufficient. There may be grants for housing needs, transportation for work, car programs, employment and more. Even find information on free government car programs.

In addition, applicants will often need to attend case management or budgeting workshops in Ventura County. Clients can get help such as  rental assistance, help with paying security deposits, and also eviction prevention. Or the applicant needs to want emergency food and also shelter or housing. Contact the United Way or the Community Action Agency of Ventura County. Call ((805) 436-4000).

Hundreds of families are going to Care & Share which is a local organization that provides assistance to people in need. Resources are limited and Care and Share programs “come and go”. The greatest demand is food and other commodities, or rental assistance. The agency is stretched for funds, but they are doing the best they can to provide some rent help or food to as many people as possible. Click here for details on Care and Share emergency assistance.




Another place to turn to is the Samaritan Center ((805) 579-9166), which is a so called a drop-in center for low income families and the homeless. Dozens of people stop by every day looking for food or free clothing or emergency financial help. Other programs offered include the following.

  • They provide a hot breakfast, laundry services, and showers. Migrant farm workers and others, such as immigrants (documented or not) can get free food, meals, and hygiene items.
  • They agency has job listings posted daily. Clients can use their computer and phone to job search or create resumes.
  • There is a food pantry open most days that help hunger people or families, and clients can get a sack lunch to go. They also put together a dinner schedule in collaboration with churches to provide a dinner every night for the low income and homeless.
  • Get help in finding low income rentals or housing. Or work with an advisor to complete applications for Many Mansions and Transitional housing. The center will also help clients with homeless court to prevent an eviction and applying for ACE medical coverage.

Other social services are also coordinated by the Center, or available from referrals. The charity can direct families to government grants, CalFresh food stamps, and other financial aid. Find details on Samaritan Center assistance programs.

FOOD Share, Inc. partners with local Ventura charities and non-profits to distribute food to those who need help, and are in a crisis situation. Call the agency at 805-983-7100.

Dozens of free food banks and pantries operate across Ventura County. Almost anyone who needs help can call on one of these centers. Many also have feeding sites (or soup kitchens) for hot meals, including free holiday services. Find a listing of Ventura County free food pantries.

If you are struggling with your housing costs, Ventura County Together is an option which is a collaborative partnership that is made up of multiple Ventura County nonprofit agencies. The agency is also supported by federal and state government agencies, recently provided a substantial grant to the Conejo Valley Homeless Prevention and Emergency Assistance Fund. This is a combined service that is part of Catholic Charities, The Ventura County Homeless and Housing Coalition/Turning Point (805-652-2151), Conejo Valley Affordable Housing Workgroup at the local Authority ((805) 480-9991), Lutheran Social Services and Many Mansions.





The fund’s administrator, Many Mansions, will distribute emergency cash grants and rental assistance upon request to both Lutheran Social Services or Catholic Charities in an effort to prevent homelessness among the limited-income individuals who are served by these non-profit organizations.

Contact either Catholic Charities ((805) 643-4694) or Lutheran Social Services ((805) 497-6207) to apply for help or learn more about your options.

Rental or deposit assistance from non-profits and charities -  Qualified low income families have other options available to them as well. A focus is on families with children, seniors, and the disabled. Find an extensive listing of additional Ventura rent assistance programs.

Catholic Charities of Ventura - This is an organization that helps people of all faiths. Call them at (805) 643-4694. Some of the services and resources they offer include Legal Assistance, Job Training, Rent Assistance and Homeless Prevention, Medical Counseling and Referrals, and many more.

Three of the primary resources they administer are emergency assistance, immigration services, and senior aid. These programs provide Ventura County California families with a range of help, including food, groceries, rent and energy bill assistance. At the same time a client receives emergency support, they will be able to receive case management and other support, such as information on public aid. Continue with Catholic Charities Ventura County.

Another leading social services agency is Lutheran Social Services of Ventura County. The phone number is 805-497-6207. Financial assistance and cash grants may be available to pay for expenses and bills, and emergency programs include: Utility Bill Assistance, Food Assistance, Gasoline Vouchers, Rental Assistance, Comprehensive Emergency Assistance, Eviction Prevention, Home Repair, and Clothing Assistance.

Ventura County Lutheran Social Services also provides other forms of help in the county. Programs are for low income residents, the poor, seniors, and disabled. In addition to the financial aid mentioned above, a wide range of other needs can be met, including transitional housing, credit counseling and job training. Case managers partner with clients throughout the process. Read Lutheran programs in Southern California.

The Salvation Army also supports the area, and run a host of social service programs. The Family Services Program provides help to the unemployed, elderly, and low-income families as well as individuals. The services and resources offered include rent assistance, emergency food support, lodging, free and discounted clothing or furniture.

The charity also has a number of Food & Nutrition Programs, transportation, and holiday assistance. During the fall lower income Ventura County families may be given free Christmas toys for their kids or back to school supplies (during the summer - fall). In addition, extensive case management and referrals are offered. Phone 805-483-9235, or click here for further information on Salvation Army assistance programs in Ventura County.







The organization also tries to help people with health care issues. They can refer people to clinics, and provide information on health programs. Low income and uninsured may be able to receive dental assistance, access to California prescription medication programs, and general primary and emergency care from volunteer doctors and nurses.

Small dollar loans are available from a number of sources in Ventura County, including community banks and credit unions. The interest rate is lower than a payday lender, so the funds can be used as a source for paying bills in some situations. Read more on short term loans.

Dignity Health - St. John's Regional Medical Center offers interest free loans for a limited number of housing and energy needs. They can be used to pay for gas bills, rental costs, and electricity expenses. 535 Cooper Road, Colonia, Oxnard, CA, 93030, dial 805-988-2619.

Special Works Community Assistance offers basic needs such as household supplies and free clothing. Limited funds may be available for rental assistance or paying utility bills. Other support or referrals is available as part of their welfare help resources. 21 Richmond Avenue, Oxnard, California, 93030, call 888-552-7872 for information.

Rain Transitional Living Center - Coordinates short term housing and related support services. This includes employment information, job training, case management, food, and referrals to security deposit or first months rent when ready to move in Ventura County. Dial (805) 816-3057 or 866-904-9362

County Executive Office, Community Development Division (phone (805) 385-8585) runs the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). There are various forms of assistance from it. The main one is ESG grants, which can provide up to 18 months of rent assistance for people facing an eviction. Other support is help in paying for deposits, storage fees, moving expenses and more. Continue with Ventura County eviction prevention and rehousing.

Project Understanding, which serves Ventura, Santa Paula, and Fillmore California, will provide rent assistance when funding is available. They also run a free food program. Read more on food assistance, including WIC, or dial (805) 652-1326. Click here for details on the WIC program.

St. John’s Health Ministries (Oxnard California based, phone (805) 988-2651) offers some or all of the following. Baby formula and diapers, emergency rent help, and grants for paying utility bills. Much of the support is free, even including formula for newborn babies.

Colonia - Christ the King – This organization provides interest free loans to Ventura County residents who need help with paying water, utility, water or minimal rental assistance. 535 Cooper Road, Oxnard, CA  93030. Call (805) 483-3499 or (805) 988-2651

City of Thousand Oaks provides credits on water as well as sewer bills. This is for low income customers that are currently enrolled in the CARE program. The financial aid for these costs is recurring, so it lasts multiple months. More on water bill assistance in Thousand Oaks.

JFLA - Jewish Free Loan Association of Southern California and Ventura runs a program that offers no interest loans to qualified borrowers. While conditions are in place, the money can be used to pay for emergency auto repairs, rent, and more. The loans issued to Ventura families will come with conditions, including co-signers, but the funds can help with different types of bills, housing costs, home repairs, and much more. Click here more details on no interest loans in Los Angeles area.





County Of Ventura, Human Service Agency may have some assistance for residents who are facing imminent eviction or who are homeless. Case management services may be offered. Some homeless prevention assistance funds for aying rent or other housing costs may be available from referrals or other government programs.

Several other resources are available from this government affiliated agency. Clients can apply for public benefits such as Cal Food Stamps or loans from General Assistance. Ventura HSA also operates shelters and transitional housing units in the region. Other resources include Job and Career Centers, grants as part of CalWorks, eviction prevention, emergency rental funds and other forms of aid. 1400 Vanguard Drive, Oxnard, California, 93033. Dial 805-385-8585, or read County of Ventura Human Services Agency.

Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society offers services for retired and active duty Navy and Marine Corps personnel. A number of resources may be administered including grants, dental care, emergency help for rent and energy bills, medical expenses and funeral costs. Some transportation assistance may be offered too, including car repairs. 2600 Dodson Street, Suite 1, Port Hueneme, CA, 93043, dial 805-982-4409.

Shared housing costs can be obtained from a program known as HomeShare. Several non-profit organizations and housing authorities in Ventura County can place individuals together in an effort to share expenses such as rent, mortgage, and utilities. There is an extensive application and screening process in place and one of the parties may even be allowed just to perform chores in lieu of paying rent. Read HomeShare in Ventura County.

Ventura Society of Saint Vincent DePaul is an organization of volunteers and churches that can help the working poor and low income. Some of what is provided includes homeless prevention/rent help or shelter. The society also provides education and employment services, including support in finding a job in southern California. Other resources include food and assistance programs that focus on the needs of senior citizens. Read more Ventura County St. Vincent.

Center for Employment Training (CET) – Farm workers only may get limited funds for paying electric, water, and gas bills. 761 South "C" Street, Oxnard, California 93030, call (805) 487-9821

SVDP Society Main Office – The non-profit can provide emergency government welfare help (household items and clothes) and food voucher assistance. As funding allows, funds may also help provide for rental assistance and utility bill assistance. 1258 Saviers rd., Oxnard, California 93033, dial (805) 487-1558

Free gifts and food may be passed out by Ventura County charities and government offices during the holidays. Donations are collected from the public during the year, and during Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, the charities pass out the toys and food baskets to needy families. More on free holiday programs in Ventura County.

Help of Ojai, Inc. – Serves low income, unemployed, and struggling people in Ojai Valley. The non-profit offers help paying for immediate basic needs, including utility and gas bills from Home energy assistance program. Other assistance programs include vouchers for goods at thrift stores, bus tokens, case management, and information and referrals.

A program called Healthy Families will help people apply for low cost health, vision, and dental insurance for qualified applicants. Services are available for the homeless too. 108 Fox Street, Ojai, California, 93023. Dial (805) 646-5122





Free household goods and clothing in Ventura - Non-profits and distribution centers provide qualified community members with work and free school clothing or supplies as well as other forms of aid. Some centers may have baby items, furniture, or household supplies. Continue with free clothes and school supplies in Ventura County.

Assistance and grants from Community Action Agency of Ventura County

This is a local non-profit agency that provides low income and other struggling residents with housing, food assistance, employment and career services, family, legal aid, cash grants and youth programs. Examples of their programs are below. Call the Community Action Agency of Ventura County at (805) 436-4000.

  • Rent and lease assistance is a program will help prevent low to moderate income families that may be facing eviction from becoming homeless. The agency helps people by assisting with a one month cash grant rent payment or by assisting homeless families with move-in costs for a new housing unit. Call for additional rent programs.
  • Free legal aid - The community action agency also provides free/no cost and low cost legal services and representation for residents of Ventura County. Lawyers and legal professionals will work with clients in the areas of Family Law, Restraining Orders, Housing, Evictions, and Landlord-Tenant Disputes, Foreclosures, Guardianships, Conservatorships, Civil Matters, Wills, and general legal information and free advice.
  • Weatherization and low-income home energy assistance - They run the local weatherization and LIHEAP programs on behalf of the state and federal government.
  • Income enhancing - Employment resources are arranged. The Community Action Partnership wants families to better their financial future. Methods used include job placement, side gigs, and even passive income wealth building jobs.

Several other social services, loan programs, and referrals are available from the Community Action Partnership of Ventura County, or CAVC. Click more information on community action partnership of Ventura County.

Conejo Valley Homeless Prevention & Emergency Assistance Fund

This program offers emergency rental assistance and cash grants to Ventura County and Conejo Valley residents with limited incomes. In addition, the fund provides money to people who were previously homeless and who have secured an apartment but need help with a security deposit or utilities deposit.

The emergency assistance fund is administered by affordable housing provider Many Mansions, so contact them at ( (805) 496-4948  to apply for rent help or to learn more. The agency distributes the funds on request to Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services, which people can also apply at.

One of the main goals is to provide emergency rental assistance because it costs less to keep people housed in their current apartment or home than have them go homeless. At the same time, the emergency rental assistance provides those who have found an apartment and are employed a boost to overcome related expenses of a new place, so the money will help keep them in their new home.

Ventura County programs and non-profits that include all of California

These programs, which are offered across California, can also help Ventura County residents. The resources below include national charities as well as government resources.

There are also national assistance programs as well that can help residents. A number of groups offer low income assistance programs which include a number of services. The assistance ranges from cash grants to job placement, cars and more. In addition, many parents are single and living in poverty, and this is when single mom assistance programs may help.







Free health care clinics

Simi Valley Free Clinic, which can be reached at (805) 522-3733, provides free health care and medications to those in need. People can receive free health care, dental services (including cleanings), and medications. Find other ways to get help with dental bills.

They will even provide free counseling and legal advice to patients. Some of which includes advocating on the patients behalf to ensure they get top notch service, and they they are not overpaying for medical bills. Read more on medical bill advocates.

The number of patients being assisted at the clinic now stands at about 1,000 per month. The clinic is now open more hours throughout the week. Additional doctors, nurses, and dentists who have signed on to help for free. In addition, vaccinations, legal advice, and counseling services are also offered for free to patients.

Other community clinics in Ventura County include:

  • Clinicas Oxnard and Ventura Office (phone (805) 483-3600) offers the following. Specialists, vision care, general check ups, pregnancy testing, diabetes assistance, and many other health care services.
  • Ojai Valley Community Health Center / Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc.   Offers various medical options, vision and dental care, medical aid, and much more. (805) 640-8293
  • Conejo Free Clinic, located in Thousand Oaks. Phone (805) 497-3575
  • Find a more extensive listing of Ventura free community clinics.

Non-profit debt and credit counseling

The cost of living is so high in Ventura County, too many people go into debt. They often need assistance with credit card, medical bills, or auto loans. There are resources out there, including free ones. One big one is the assistance programs for hospital debts.

Sure Path Consumer Credit Counseling Service - Various credit, debt, and housing programs are offered. They can provide free counseling to help solve both debt and credit problems, ranging from auto loan payment concerns to credit card assistance.

In addition, they are also a HUD certified, and offer free or low cost foreclosure and housing counseling; pre purchase, reverse mortgage, mortgage delinquency, foreclosure counseling and lender negotiations. Bankruptcy advice is also offered.  Camarillo CA. Call (805) 383-7700

By Jon McNamara

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