Looking for churches that offer assistance to low-income families? These churches can provide help with rent, utility bills, free food, vouchers for motel rooms, clothes, and other items.

Some churches near you may also operate homeless shelters, serve free hot meals or provide help during Christmas, such as free toys or food baskets. You can find out how to get help from a church near you, including Christian, Mormon, Baptist, and other faiths.


Faith-based groups help the low-income, homeless, those with no money, and others in need. Many church groups provide social services to help feed the working poor or stop homelessness.

Parishes offer financial help for bills, rent, groceries, or free items to assist those in need. There may also be money available from the church for car repairs, a bus ticket, or free motel or hotel vouchers.

The exact form of emergency help from churches near you will vary based on the location and available resources. Faith-based organizations tend to help the most vulnerable, including senior citizens, the disabled, the homeless, or single moms or dads, regardless of their religion, ethnicity, or age. There is help available from LDS, Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, and Christian churches, among others.

Get financial help from churches near you

Thousands of local churches provide assistance when they have the funding. They not only support working poor families in the parish, but also try to help strangers or transient people too. Anyone seeking a free meal, emergency homeless shelter or other support can drop in for help. Churches may offer their own assistance and they partner with other local groups too, including free Christmas assistance programs from charities.


A number of social services are administered, depending on the parish. Local churches are one of the leading charities to turn to for short-term financial help. While their funding to help people pay for housing, electric bills, or say a hotel room or car repair is usually very limited, the bottom line is they can usually provide some form of help. They will rarely, if ever, turn anyone away who is truly struggling.

One of the leading organizations is Catholic Charities. The local churches and other social service agencies that are part of this charity will assist qualified individuals regardless of their religion, faith, age, immigration status or culture.

Some locations will offer emergency financial assistance and others provide basic needs, such as free clothing, funds to help with paying rent, short-term shelter, free furniture or food. The churches also help immigrants or refugees, including undocumented ones. Click Catholic Charity assistance.

The national St. Vincent De Paul partnership of churches and its volunteers may also be able to offer emergency assistance. There are numerous faith-based groups that work with this charity. They help struggling families, including seniors and the disabled, with paying many types of bills. There are also free or low-cost items from a SVDP thrift store. Read more on Saint Vincent de Paul financial assistance programs.

The nation’s largest Christian church group is the Salvation Army. This Christian, faith-based organization supports people of all religions, genders, and backgrounds. The social services offered are extensive. They range from free emergency food or hardship funds to pay rent or light bills to free Christmas gifts. There is also faith-based substance abuse treatment services as well as supportive housing for the elderly.

There are thousands of local Salvation Army centers that are part of this network of churches. Based on location, there may also be vouchers for prescription medications, free medical care from clinics, overnight shelter for the homeless and more. Applicants to the church include immigrants, senior citizens, single mothers, or the disabled among others. Find help from the Salvation Army.

Churches near you and ministries operate in partnership with Love INC, also known as Love in the Name of Christ. The organization provides social services to the working poor. The Clearinghouse at a local Love affiliate can refer low-income families to emergency financial aid programs. There are also emergency shelters, free groceries, rental assistance, and more. Ministries from the church also provide basic needs such as free diapers, furniture, or seasonal Christmas celebrations. More on Love INC assistance programs.

Meals, soup kitchens, free food, and non-financial help are often provided by churches. This is part of hunger prevention in local communities for low-income families. The support, including groceries, is often available at a food pantry that a local church may operate. Low-income families, seniors, and the homeless can all benefit. More on food banks.

Many churches offer assistance with housing needs such as providing funds to pay rent and help prevent evictions. This is in addition to other resources available in your area. You can click on the link provided to access a list of agencies that offer emergency rent assistance programs in your town or city. 

Churches also offer free transportation programs to help those in need, such as single parents or those who require a vehicle for work. These programs may provide free vehicles, or connect individuals with a volunteer mechanic who can fix their car. You can look for free or used cars available in your area by following the link provided.

If you are facing a crisis and have no money, your local church may be able to help you with gas or car repairs. Local mechanics may volunteer their time to fix your automobile, and therefore the labor may be free. You can get more details on car repairs and gasoline from churches.

The United Methodist Church offers social services to fight poverty and provide short-term relief to families. Assistance may include hunger prevention programs such as free boxes of groceries or meals. UMC also provides basic needs such as school supplies, Christmas gifts, or free winter jackets for children.

The church also helps families that are close to eviction as well as the homeless. Housing services include free money to pay rent, overnight shelter or grants to help pay energy or electric bills. All of the assistance is provided for free to the working poor. You can find other help from the network of United Methodist Churches.


Churches try to keep people in their homes to prevent homelessness. They may have a few dollars to help with housing needs, whether it is rent or maybe a heating or utility bill for senior citizens. Find other ways to get electric bill help.

A church can help you if you have zero money, such as a homeless person or someone facing a financial hardship (unextended loss of job, illness, etc.). They can help you find resources for the crisis and support you as you get back on track. A church can help you with bills, rental or housing costs, food, and clothes. Find assistance when you have zero money.

Free resources and referrals to housing or hardship money from a church

Churches and leaders of benevolent ministries are eager to provide care to those who are less fortunate, homeless, or without money. This can include free food, personal hygiene items, clothing, and more.

Parishes also try to help tackle the root causes of poverty by providing housing or grants to meet the most pressing needs. Some churches even help people pay off debt.

Local churches are also great places to turn to for referrals to organizations that offer assistance with bills or housing. They can direct you to charities, community action agencies, state and local government programs, and more.

Volunteers or staff may know about local food drives or be aware of charities that have money available to help pay rent or energy bills. In general, a church in your community is a great place to learn about other local programs for those who are poor or struggling.

Your local parish often partners with local non-profits and charities. A church may even have a center on-site that allows clients to use a computer for free to search for a job or apply for benefits. Click here for government and other assistance programs.

Christians can also enroll in low-cost health or dental insurance plans. Many churches partner with ministries to offer this form of financial assistance to families, regardless of their income or age.

These policies are part of a sharing concept, which means that all member premiums go towards paying for excessive medical bills or covering prescription medications. A church can provide information or help you apply for low-cost Christian health insurance.

Faith-based charities, including Christian churches and LDS organizations, provide counseling services, including for health needs. Churches also help people struggling with substance abuse challenges.

There are free rehabilitation centers for alcohol or drug addiction, or other types of addiction. Some rehabilitation programs are free, while others may have a low cost or be subsidized. Read more about free substance abuse programs.

Local church assistance programs near you

There are numerous churches and faith-based groups of various religions across the United States that offer assistance programs to those in need. These programs include emergency help and resources for immigrants, senior citizens, the unemployed, the homeless, and others who may be struggling.

Churches provide everything from emergency shelters or hotel vouchers to temporary rental or utility bill assistance, as well as free food, meals, and clothing for basic needs.

To find a church near you or obtain referrals and more information, you can search for a parish or faith-based group by state, county, or town using the search box at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, some of the more populated cities and counties in the US that offer these assistance programs are listed below.

  • Alameda County and Oakland
  • Allegheny County
  • Atlanta area
  • Austin and Travis County
  • Birmingham
  • Broward County
  • Buffalo and Erie County
  • Chester County
  • Chicago
  • Cleveland
  • Colorado Springs
  • Columbus Ohio
  • Dallas
  • Detroit and Wayne County
  • Fairfax County
  • Greenville County SC
  • Hillsborough County
  • Houston and Harris County
  • Indianapolis and Marion County
  • Kern County and Bakersfield
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Memphis
  • Miami-Dade
  • Milwaukee
  • Minneapolis and St. Paul
  • Nassau County New York
  • New York City
  • Orlando and Orange County
  • Palm Beach County
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Raleigh and Wake County
  • Riverside County
  • Sacramento County
  • San Antonio and Bexar County
  • San Bernardino County
  • San Diego County
  • Seattle and King County
  • St. Louis City and County
  • Suffolk County New York
  • Tarrant County
  • Westchester County

Applying for emergency assistance from churches

Churches may not always have the necessary funds to assist everyone in need. The availability of funds may vary by state, but it’s common for parishes of diverse faiths such as Jewish, Mormon – LDS, Christian, among others, to do their best to meet the demand.

When applying for financial assistance from a church, it’s essential to remember that they usually focus on solving a crisis and, therefore, prefer one-time events. Before issuing funds, a church may ask for proof to confirm the need. Additionally, they tend to give priority to senior citizens, the ill, and vulnerable groups.

Churches often provide short-term, temporary emergency assistance to individuals and families who qualify. This assistance is meant to offer a “hand up” rather than a “hand out” by helping with one-time expenses such as rent, food, or a motel room during times of crisis.

However, churches do not intend for families to become dependent on this assistance. Therefore, priority is given to applicants who are experiencing a one-time hardship and have little or no money to pay for their expenses.

To apply for this type of assistance, candidates must provide documentation showing they are experiencing a financial crisis or true emergency condition.

This may include a copy of their lease to verify the amount of rent that is due, a pay stub, an unpaid utility bill, or a driver’s license to confirm their address. It’s important for anyone seeking help from a church to come prepared with documentation.