York County Pennsylvania assistance programs.

Free food, rent or deposit assistance, medical care, and other support is available in York County. Find the primary government programs, charities, and churches that offer short term financial help. They may not only assist with bills or housing needs, but also address poverty, employment, as well as consumer debt problems among other assistance programs.

Emergency assistance for bills

A couple different local organizations can help people who are facing a crisis, or are experiencing a short term hardship. New Hope Ministries, Inc. provides residents of York Pennsylvania with a variety of assistance programs and crisis assistance services. People who need help can turn to this organization to get access to housing and rent assistance, emergency food, funds and referrals for free medical and dental care, fuel, heating and utility bill assistance, as well as access to programs and services for children and youth.

New Hope also partners with other local charities, businesses and non-profit organizations. This allows them to offer people many additional services through these partnerships. They work with local business owners, pharmacists, physicians, dentists, and with local fuel, utility, and gas companies. New Hope can refer people to these other local York County resources.

But the aid doesn’t stop there. They can also help clients receive financial and budget counseling, help them get out of debt, goal-setting, and provide individuals with emotional support to assist them in achieving long-term stability and success.  Call the agency at 717-432-2087.

The York County Salvation Army, which can be reached at 717-848-2364, also administers several emergency and crisis programs. The Salvation Army will help people meet their basic needs. Some of the services and programs they offer can assist with  heating bills and expenses, utility bills, prescription drugs, rent payments, food assistance, clothing and other needs. The organization also operates an after school as well as summer program for youth and teenagers. Christmas meals and free gifts may be provided in York County as well. Another one of the primary services offered is case management, and this provides clients with services such as credit counseling, employment programs, and more. Click here for more information.





People of all ages can be helped by York County Assistance Office. Some examples of programs offered include Pennsylvania Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low income individuals and families pay their utility and heating bills through energy assistance grants. People need not have an unpaid bill to receive energy assistance. Both regular cash grants, as well as crisis grants, are available to help pay bills. Another option is weatherization, which will install energy conserving upgrades to home. Weatherization is free to qualified individuals. Other resources include food stamps, cash assistance, and homeless prevention/rent help. Call (717) 771-1100 for more information on either program, or read public assistance York County.

Community Progress Council Inc. is an antipoverty organization that runs a multitude of programs. Among them include the following. Call 771-5110.

  • Rent assistance and homeless prevention - Funds to pay rent and/or prevent evictions
  • Emergency food for people in a crisis
  • Energy bill assistance - Get help for paying utility, heating, and water bills
  • Clothing bank
  • Job training and employment programs
  • Social services and child development such as Head Start
  • More information on financial resources from Community Progress Council

Grace United Methodist Church may help with heating, electric, gas, and water bills. They can refer people to food banks. Only residents of Wrightsville Pennsylvania can apply for help.

New Hope Ministries, Dillsburg - Programs offered include food, access to medical and health care, gasoline vouchers and transportation, and access to utility programs. Call (717) 432-3053. Dover Pennsylvania also has a New Hope Ministries ((717) 292-3441))

Southern Community Services, Shrewsbury PA (dial (717) 227-0048) offers energy, housing, and childcare assistance. Food, case management, and other aid is also offered.

St. Matthew Evalengical Lutheran Church - Prescription assistance, food pantry, funds for paying utility and heating bills, water bill assistance, bus passes, and employment programs. York PA Call (717) 845-2721

Department of Welfare - Programs offered include food stamps, information on public health care such as Medicaid, and TANF. The office also has information on Rental Assistance, but social workers from the office will refer people to FIRST, which is known as Free Information & Referral Service Teleline. Reach FIRST by dialing 1-800-673-2529. LIHEAP is also administered at this location. Phone number for energy bill assistance is 1-800-991-0929. Stop by or call the county office, which is located at 130 N. Duke St, York, Pennsylvania 17401. Phone (717) 771-1100, for more information on any of these assistance programs or social services.

The York County Food Pantry Clearing House can be called at (717) 846-8899. This location can assist people of all incomes in finding a free or low cost food pantry close to your current location. They will also review eligibility with applicants. For those people who are looking for a nearby soup kitchen or place to turn to for daily meals, the agency FIRST (see phone number above) will be able to help.




Northeastern Food Pantry may not only have free groceries, food, or meals, but the non-profit offers other programs too. This includes emergency help with prescriptions as well as rent/utility assistance if someone is faced with an eviction or disconnection. 4832 North Sherman Street Ext., Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, 17347, call (717) 266-6785.

Community Progress Council can help those people who are near homeless maintain housing. Assistance is also offered for York County families that are homeless, including rehousing, security deposit assistance, and more. The resource is known as RAP, or the rental assistance program. (717) 771-5110

York County Area Agency on Aging can support people over the age of 55 as well as senior citizens. A number of assistance programs are available for senior citizens, including meals, information on medical assistance, referrals, and general case management. Resources are available for their caretakers too. Location is 100 West Market Street, York, PA, 17401, call (717) 771-9610.

Housing Authority of The City of York oversees federal government programs such as section 8 vouchers and the tenant based rental assistance program. This program can help subsidize someone’s monthly rent. (717) 845-2601

New Hope Ministries runs a USDA-government food program, provides housing, medical and dental clinics, and more. They may have financial assistance for gasoline, utilities, transportation, etc. A formal approval process is in place too. 6 North 2nd St., Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, call (717) 432-3053

Programs that focus on holidays - The highest demand is for free toys, food, and presents at Christmas. Charities across York County use donations from the community and also volunteers to meet this demand. Children, the underemployed, elderly, and others can get help at the holidays, and find details on Christmas assistance in York County.

Housing and rent payments programs -  Residents that have an eviction notice, or that need help in locating and moving into a new home, care receive help with paying security deposits or back rent. Non-profits as well as the county government may issue a grant for housing expenses, coordinate landlord mediation, or even refer tenants to loan programs. They also partner with other York rental assistance agencies.

Pinchot Park Assembly of God Food Pantry only supports northern York County, including Wellsville. May have financial assistance, as funding allows, for emergency needs, housing, and other bills. (717) 432-2869

Rent, water bills, free motel vouchers, and other support is from the Homeless Assistance Program (HAP). A few local non-profits participate in this federally funded grant program. Clients can apply for help for the following.

  • Shelters and bridge housing is for the homeless, and they can learn about employment programs and resources for security deposits.
  • Eviction prevention is available in the form of free legal aid, information on housing for the disabled or single moms, and cash grants.
  • Other resources can also assist families living in poverty and low income tenants. Learn more.





Caring Company/First Presbyterian Church of York -  May provide up to $50 once every 6 months for prescription medications, food once every 30 days and assistance with gas. Other resources may include CAP for natural gas bills, PCAP for electric and Dollar Energy for both. Christmas baskets including food and gifts. A number of conditions are in place. The main office is at 225 East Market Street, York, PA, 17403. Phone (717) 848-8869

York Benevolent Association Heating Fuel Assistance may be able to help people who already applied to LIHEAP heating assistance and who did not receive help in the previous year. Call (717) 845-2494 for details.

York shelters and low income housing can assist families in poverty as well as the homeless. There are also resources dedicated to helping survivors of domestic violence, veterans, and others that may have more unique needs when it comes to a housing crisis. Click more information.

Free and discounted health care services

If you are struggling with the high cost of medical and dental care, or can’t afford to pay for needed health care services, Family First Health provides primary medical and dental care to the uninsured, low income and medically under-served families and individuals in York County. Accepts insurance, medical assistance, and offers fees based on family size and income. If they can’t offer you the help you need, they also partner with other local doctors and hospitals in order provide the full range of services patients may need. They also offer a full range of dental care, including cleanings and more. Family First Health does accept health insurance if you have it, provides medical assistance, and offers fees based on family size and income. So people may qualify for free care. 717-845-8617. The center is at 1230 High Street, Hanover, Pennsylvania 17331.

Katallasso Family Health Center is a community clinic that also partners with churches in the region. They offer general primary healthcare services for children and adults, non-emergency acute care, immunizations and more. (717) 885-5637 or stop by 38 South Belviderere Ave in York.

East Side Health Center offers free or affordable care to the underserved, residents of public housing, and uninsured. Primary and family care is offered along with outreach and other social services. (717) 801-0971

Basic needs and clothing assistance - Non-profits and charities provide free items to the needy. This can include free winter coats, gifts, and Christmas toys for children. Other items may include school supplies, work suits, and household goods. While not as common, some of the York County clothing closets may also have emergency financial assistance available. Click more information.

Debt assistance and foreclosure prevention

Consumer Credit Counseling Service - Provides free advice to consumers on debt, housing, and credit issues. Receive assistance with the following. Call (888) 511-2227.

  • HUD foreclosure counseling, including information on government mortgage programs.
  • Debt management counseling, including learn about settlement and consolidation.
  • Bankruptcy advice, budgeting, and other financial counseling.

Housing Alliance of Yorkalso provide foreclosure counseling. (717) 854-1541





Legal aid

If you need help with a civic legal case, MidPenn Legal Services may be able to provide assistance. Attorneys at this private, public-interest, non-profit law firm are committed to providing free legal advice and will do their best to provide free, equal access to justice and high quality legal services. They help with civil law matters, and the programs focus on low to moderate income persons, the elderly, disabled and survivors of domestic violence. Get legal help for evictions, foreclosures, domestic and family issues, divorce, and other cases. Click here to learn more about free legal programs, or call MidPenn Legal Services at 717-848-3605.

York County Community Action Corporation

This non-profit agency offers several programs and services. Find a listing, as well as contact information, below.

  • Low Income Energy Assistance Program and Energy Crisis Intervention Program - Provides grants and financial assistance for the following types of energy. Heating oil, coal, kerosene, LP gas, electricity, wood, and more. They also run a separate crisis program that provides help to people in a crisis situation, and it offers emergency financial assistance for home heating fuel bills and even heating system repairs. Read more on heating system repair programs.
  • Housing and foreclosure counseling - Counselors can help people deal with credit problems, guide homeowners through the wide variety of foreclosure assistance programs, and provide additional mortgage help. Click here to learn more on Pennsylvania mortgage and foreclosure programs.
  • Medical services - They administer York County Community Health Care, which provides low income and others, including the uninsured, with access to free or discounted medical care, including dental assistance. They also accept various forms of insurance, including private as well as government programs including MaineCare, Medicare, and Medicaid.
  • Housing programs - Get information on low income housing, and access rent programs for the low income and unemployed.

Contact York County Community Action Corporation to learn more about these or other programs. The organization can be reached at (717) 846-4600.

Free or low cost food

Families of all income levels can contact a church, food pantry, or charity organization to get food, groceries, or meals. Many of the typical clients of these centers are facing a short term hardship situation, and a food bank in York County can help people make it through a difficult period. The primary centers to contact are listed below. However click here for a listing of other food assistance organizations.





St. Jacobs Lutheran Church is based in New Salem, PA.

Susquehanna Area Senior Center - Call (717) 244-0340. Most of the programs administered from this location are focused on the elderly, and include Meals on Wheels.

Christ Lutheran Church of Spry. Call this York center at (717) 741-4639.


By Jon McNamara

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