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Assistance programs in Washington County Maryland

How to get help with bills and expenses

The local community action agency, Washington County Community Action Council, Inc., is a non-profit organization that has several resources and services for low and moderate income families and individuals across the region. They have weatherization programs, energy assistance, grants and other financial assistance. Read more below on what they offer, as well as the community action agencies contact information.

  • Energy and utility bill assistance - There are several options available from the state of Maryland and the Washington County Community Action Council.
    • Utility Relief Fund - This is for Hagerstown Maryland city residences. You do not need to be unemployed to ask for help for this fund. Any resident who lives in the city and who needs help, for whatever reason, can apply. Maybe the applicant had an unexpected car bill, unexpected medical or hospital bill, or some other type of emergency. They may be able to receive help from the Utility Relief Fund.
    • Maryland Energy Assistance Program - This will provide a yearly cash grant during the winter heating season for eligible households. Funds and grants will be paid directly to the household’s heating vendor or utility company, whether gas, electric or oil. The program helps families ease the burden of energy costs and expenses during the winter. The Maryland Energy Assistance Program can pay for about 25 percent of a household’s heating bill.
    • Electric Universal Services Program - This is another option, and it will assist eligible households with their electric costs through a monthly credit on their monthly electric bill statement from their utility company .The state-run Electric Universal Service Program can pay for approximately 25 percent of a household’s electric bill
    • Additional options - The good news is there are numerous programs from the state, federal government, and other agencies that help with energy bills. Find other ways to get help with energy bills. Continue.




  • The Maryland Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) - Yet another resource for low and moderate income households. It provides free energy saving improvements and upgrades for an eligible household. The participating household must be certified eligible by the program criteria, and they be also already be receiving Energy Assistance. The WAP program will conduct an energy audit of the applicants home to determine the areas of the house best suited for improvements and energy saving enhancements. The improvements to the home will air seal the dwelling thereby reducing heating and cooling costs and expenses for the family.
  • Crisis Intervention - For those with an unexpected emergency, assistance is available. You will need to make an appointment to meet with a Community Resource Specialist to apply or learn more. After the meeting, the counselor can provide applications for grants, referrals to agencies, emergency food, financial assistance, and even information on government programs. There may also be some loans available for certain bills or rental expenses. Or learn about other services, including how to get legal advice from the foreclosure pro bono program.
  • Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program - This program was created to help qualified home owners, by offering them grants and or low interest loans, that will assist them with making needed health and safety related repairs to their homes, residences, or apartments. Qualifying homeowners must be income eligible for the program and they also need to live outside Hagerstown city limits. Several funding sources, including federal government, state, and private,  are available and the various monies from these agencies can be combined to meet the home owner’s funding requirements. Funds for housing rehab are available in the form of free cash grants, low interest loans, deferred loans and government funding.

Stop by 101 Summit Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21740, to learn more or apply. Or you can call them at (301) 797-4161 to apply for assistance. Read more on the Community Action Council of Washington County Maryland.

Hagerstown Maryland Utility Relief Fund

This is a utility and heating bill assistance program specifically targeted at Hagerstown Maryland residents. The Washington County Community Action Council administers this program as well. When applying you will need to provide financial documentation that proves you have a need.

Some of the information that you will need to provide includes a copy of your current utility bills, mortgage statement or tax bill, proof of income, and some other documents. Currently the program will provide a grant of up to $350, but it can be increased to up to $500 if the person shows a tremendous need or they are facing a crisis.





Additional resources in Washington County

Hagerstown Salvation Army - The church offers several programs in Washington County. They feed the hungry, provide shelter, housing, referrals, and much more. All of this is done throughout the Washington County Maryland community.

In addition to one time, emergency financial aid the charity offers support for children. The main programs include Christmas help, Thanksgiving or Easter baskets, and school supplies. Other support may be arranged too. More on Washington County Salvation Army assistance programs.

Soup kitchens, clothing banks, and food pantries are available in the region. They help the poor as well as individuals facing a crisis, such as unexpected unemployment. They provide everything from free food boxes to baby formula, children and adult diapers, and Christmas toys.

Using donations and volunteers, the free food banks are effective at feeding the community. Even if immediate help is not offered, inquires can be made to SNAP food stamps or WIC vouchers. Or other charities may also help struggling households. More on food banks in Washington County Maryland.

By Jon McNamara

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