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Washington County Rhode Island assistance programs.

Low income and struggling families can apply for emergency financial help. Find below how to get assistance with rent, utility or heating bills, food, medical and other costs in Washington County RI. Churches, charities as well as government assistance programs can help the disadvantaged in their time of need.

There is both financial aid for bills (including rent, mortgages, deposits, housing and more) as well as charities that give out free stuff. This is based on donations but may be school supplies or clothes, food, furniture or even Christmas toys and so much more free stuff. Get help with paying various bills and other expenses in Wakefield and Washington County Rhode Island. Find  where to apply to for emergency or long term assistance, including public aid or government assistance, and who to call.

Help for rent, utility and heating bills, free food, and other aid

Saint Mary's - Saint James' Community Food Pantry - A wide variety of assistance programs and resources are offered to people who need help. Among the options available include Rent Payment Assistance, Food Pantries, Diapers, Clothing, Holiday Donations and Meals, A Soup Kitchen, and Information and Referral on Rhode Island and federal government programs. Charlestown. Call (401) 364-9413

South County Community Action helps the working poor, low income, and others in need in Washington County. The number and types of programs and resources offered are extensive, and include some of the following.

  • Rent and mortgage help - Renters and homeowners can get help with rental expenses, mortgage assistance and security deposit assistance for foreclosure and eviction prevention. In addition, get assistance with resolving tenant/landlord disputes. Learn more on Rhode Island mortgage programs.
  • Free food and food bank - The agency can offer canned goods, peanut butter, pasta, breads, grain, juice, rice and flour and other groceries and foodstuffs.
  • Heating bill assistance - Low income and other qualified individuals can get assistance with paying heating and utility bills during the cold Rhode Island winter months. Aid is provided to families and individuals to help them reduce home-heating costs and bills, including gas, electric, wood, propane, oil, kerosene and emergency shut off and disconnection assistance.




  • Heating System Repair - Get repairs to your furnace or heating system.
  • Furniture and Clothing banks and distribution.

Some of the other programs offered include Free Tax Preparation Assistance, Government  Help for Paying Utility Bills, Head Start, Home Rehabilitation and Repair Services, as well as applications to Government Benefits Assistance among others. Staff from the Washington County agency can also help the disabled apply for SSI disability benefits or other resources.

Call the Wakefield based South County Community Action at (401) 789-3016

Non-profit Jewish Services – The agency can offer referrals and maybe some direct financial aid. Case managers can offer information on financial assistance, including eviction prevention, heating bills, and grants for paying rent. Home care may be coordinated for the disabled and elderly. They also help low income families and those in poverty apply for public assistance or social services. Learn more on public assistance near you.

Other programs in Washington County include a food pantry, Lifeline RI medical alert, home delivered meals, and more. Jewish Services helps people regardless of their faith or religion. Click here for information on Jewish Family Services of Rhode Island.

Free Christmas tree toys, meals and gifts at Christmas or Thanksgiving may be offered across Washington County. Children from low income households may benefit. The homebound in the area may also register to have a volunteer drop by as well to bring them a meal or free Christmas gift or toys as well as some form of holiday joy. These also run at Easter and Thanksgiving. More on free holiday help in Washington County.

A number of housing assistance programs are offered in Washington County Rhode island. They include eviction prevention, government grants to pay rent or security deposits, free motel vouchers, transitional housing and more. While housing programs are out there, funds for paying rent or even loans can be hard to get. More on rental assistance Washington County Rhode Island.





Salvation Army in Washington County as well as North Kingstown offers information on short term as well as long term assistance programs. The charity, which operates as a church, can pass out free food boxes or seasonal items, such as free back to school supplies or Christmas gifts or meals. There is also shelter, vouchers, and ministry services

The non-profit Salvation Army in the region also offers referrals to financial help, including loans, such as for paying heating costs, rent or housing expenses. and other bills. Or learn about summer camps for kids, free heating oil, homeless shelters as well as other programs. More on Washington County Salvation Army.

Community action agencies in Washington County Rhode Island

There are two other options and places to turn to for help, advice, as well as financial assistance. While the following two agencies do not necessarily focus on Washington County, they do have some programs that cover the entire state. Call Comprehensive Community Action Program at (401) 467-9610 or the WestBay Community Action, Inc. at (401) 732-4666.

Non-profit Crossroads - This is another agency that may be able to assist. A wide range of assistance programs and services are available. They range from self sufficiency type resources (such as free credit counseling, job placement, and education) to emergency housing. The agency can support Washington County families and individuals that are homeless or facing eviction. Shelter, transitional housing, and other resources are available to low income qualified residents.

If Crossroads can't help you, then they may have referrals. The organization can be a place to turn to for details on government benefits and public aid as well. Read CrossRoads Rhode Island.

In addition, both of the Washington County community action agencies are involved in administering grants, loans, job programs, or public aid. One of the main ones includes LIHEAP, or the low income energy bill assistance program in Rhodie Island. But there are others, such as section 8, WIA job programs, credit counseling, and more. Call Westbay or Comprehensive for more details.


By Jon McNamara


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