Various charitable organisations have programs to help low-income families pay for basic necessities such as food, heat, electricity and housing. In addition to charities, state, local and federal governments also have assistance programs to help families in need. Some organisations provide long-term help while others provide only emergency assistance.
Community Action Agencies
Funding for Community Action Agencies or CAAs, comes largely from the federal government's Community Service Block Grants. CAAs help low-income families pay by offering short-term financial assistance with utility payments, rent or housing payments, medical bills, clothing and job training. Some CAAs also provide small, interest free loans for families to make necessary home improvements and repairs. To meet the immediate needs of low-income families in local communities, CAAs partner with various local charities and organisations.
It is not a requirement to practice the religion of a faith-based charity to receive financial assistance from them. Common faith-based charities include the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and St. Vincent DePaul's. These charities help low-income families by providing food through their food banks and clothing through donations received by members of the community. Some of these charities also provide emergency assistance for paying rent and utilities.
Department of Health and Human Services
Departments of health and human services are government organisations that exist in every state to offer assistance to low-income families. Local departments of human services provide both financial assistance to pay for things like housing, food, medical and day care costs. Many departments of human services also help pay utility bills. Low-income families also can receive assistance if they are in need of medical care through their local department of health and human services.