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Harrison, Cass, Crawford, Fremont, Pottawattamie, Mills, Montgomery, Monona, Page, and Shelby County Iowa assistance programs.

Find help for rent, utility assistance, and emergency financial support

County General Relief Programs: These programs are available in all Iowa counties. Some of the aid offered includes.

  • Free food and vouchers.
  • Gently used and/or new clothing
  • Gasoline vouchers.
  • Rent payment assistance

Harrison (712) 644-2760, Cass ((712) 243-4424), Montgomery County ((712) 623-3848), Page ((712) 542-2983), Shelby (712) 755-2843.

West Central Community Action - Financial assistance and cash grants can be offered to pay rent, utilities and heating bills for low income households, including the LIHEAP program during cold winter months as well as hot summer months.

More specifically some of the programs include:

Emergency Food and Shelter Program - Get help with up to one months worth of rent or mortgage payments.

Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing - The parts that make up this program include Rent Payment Assistance, Utility and Rent Deposit, Case Management, and Referrals.

Head Start - Low income children get access to educational activities including literacy, language, science, social-emotional, and much more. They also receive dental and medical services and care.

Weatherization - A free energy conservation program for families in Iowa.




Women, Infants and Children (WIC) - A government food program for low income families with children.

West Central Community Action is Harlan Iowa based. (712) 755-5135

Pottawattamie County General Relief - The government agency will support residents of the county only. All applicants need to meet all qualifications in place. Among the programs provided will be rental or utility bill assistance. The phone number is (712) 328-5867.

Inter-Faith Response Inc. - Offers prescriptions and eye care, bus tickets, food pantry, rent assistance to prevent eviction and utilities and heating assistance to prevent shut-offs of utility or energy services. Council Bluffs Iowa. (712) 322-0531

State Rental Program - Government funding was used to create a program known as Iowa Rental Help. This combines both short term, emergency assistance with longer term case management and stability resources. The government funding is limited. Click here for Iowa rental help.

Salvation Army has centers in the region, including Cass County. The non-profit will refer clients to basic needs, such as shelter or a free meal for the low income. While it will vary, in some cases there may be grants for needs such as rent or heating bills, however any financial support is very limited. One center is at 716 W 7th St., Atlantic, Iowa, or dial (712) 243-2575.

Heartland Family Service - The regional non-profit supports parts of Iowa, including Pottawattamie County. Based on donations and partnerships, there are various assistance programs administered, such as the GEMS Emergency Medication Service to pay for prescriptions, transitional and permanent housing, and homeless prevention.

Both grant based aid is arranged for paying rent, utility bills, or security deposits. Heartland also provides basic needs, such as groceries from Ministerial Association Food Pantry, Christmas toys or meals, and gently used clothing. Read Heartland Family Services.





Food assistance, pantries and free food banks

The following can provide free food, groceries, and commodities to the needy. Harrison County Food Bank (712) 642-2598, Crossroads Family Pantry ((712) 322-5651), Broadway Christian Church ((712) 323-7741), Community of Christ Thrift Store and Pantry ((712) 328-8122)

Free debt counseling and foreclosure prevention

Consumer Credit Counseling (phone (402) 333-2227) covers all of Western Iowa. Programs offered include budgeting assistance, bankruptcy advice, debt management plans, solutions to foreclosures, and much more. Learn more on mortgage assistance programs.

Get free or low cost medical care and prescriptions

The western Iowa community clinic is Council Bluffs Community Health Center. Just a sampling of the aid offered includes cholesterol screenings, pregnancy testing, low cost medications, dental exams, and general checks ups. Dial (712) 325-1990 for an appointment.

By Jon McNamara

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