We’ve found new grants and even free Chromebooks this week! I’m really excited about what we found while scouring the headlines nationwide for new low income assistance programs and updates.
There are a lot of headlines that can affect low income Americans nationwide this week.
New Grant for Grocery Workers
Grocery workers nationwide can apply for the Grocery Workers Appreciation Fund Grant from the United Way! This grant provides up to $250 in cash cards to grocery store workers who are going through a hard time.
Applications open every month on the first of the month and remain open until the funding for that month is claimed. If you apply and are not selected, you can apply again on the first of the next month.
ALL INside Initiative
The Biden Administration announced a new initiative called ALL INside on Thursday. This is part of their plan to curb homelessness across the country. During the first phase, the US Interagency Council on Homelessness will be working to get unsheltered people into homes in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, the Phoenix Metro area and the state of California.
It is not entirely clear how this is going to work or how fast these changes will be made, but at least it’s a step in a good direction.
New IRS Tax Filing Tool
Next year, the way you file taxes could be completely different! Although the IRS has historically had private companies manage the Free File program, the recent TurboTax settlement has shown that this isn’t a reliable plan. In fact, I recently read that only about 4% of people who are eligible for the current Free File tool actually use it.
Thus, the IRS is planning to build their own free filing system instead of letting other companies handle it. The new pilot program is expected to be available to some taxpayers during the 2024 filing season. It is not yet clear who will be able to participate in that pilot, but I’ll keep you posted.
Help with Hunger
Propel, the company that owns the Providers app, conducted a study of SNAP users in April and found that half of the people they surveyed have been skipping meals since the emergency allotments ended. This is heartbreaking!
If you find yourself in this situation, please call 211 right away to find a food pantry or free hot meal in your area.
Don’t forget to also check out our recent video on how to get free food from your local market. It’s not just Double Up. We’ve actually found seven ways to get free food from your local market, including special programs for seniors, mothers, veterans, children, and more. It’s awesome.
Help with Hearing Aids
Don’t forget to call the Hearing Aid Hotline at 888-258-5305 to reach our sponsors at CareConnect USA.
This line can help people who are struggling with the high costs of hearing aids. Their experts are familiar with different programs that can reduce the cost and even help you find payment assistance.
Local Low Income News
Often, the most helpful programs we find are run locally. Since they aren’t relevant to everyone, we’ve divided that news up by state so that you can quickly and easily find the programs that can help you.
In Alabama, over $26 million dollars have been awarded to help low income families with their cooling bills this summer. You can receive up to $500 through this program.
You’ll need to schedule an appointment with your local Community Action Council to apply. Those appointments will start June 15, so schedule yours right away!
In Arizona, Central Arizona Shelter Services is renovating a building in Phoenix to house 170 low income seniors. The apartments will be available for those who are at least 55 years old. They expect to have 40 rooms ready by this summer and the rest will be available next spring.
Many of the new residents will come from “The Zone,” a homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix.
In California, the Sacramento City Council just approved a pilot program that will give low income homeowners up to $15,000 for needed repairs! This program is called the Justice for Neighbors Emergency Home Repair Pilot Program. In order to be eligible, you must have a owner-occupied or single-family home, and you must have an income that is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income.
Also in California, the Dugoni School of Dentistry recently hosted an annual health fair for low income seniors in San Francisco. The event serves seniors who are at least 55 years old. You can get dental care, hearing exams, glucose and blood pressure testing, diabetes screenings, free refreshments and more at this event. This event happens every May, so be sure to mark your calendars so that you can check with the school in time to attend next year’s event.
In Colorado, Denver has lifted some barriers to the Prosperity Denver Fund. The rules previously required DPS students to live in Denver for 36 months before they could be eligible, but the new rules expand the residency requirement and raise the maximum age to 30 years old. Those funds can now be used to help pay for certifications, apprenticeships, and college tuition as well.
Also in Denver, an event called Winning Wednesday happens every other Wednesday at Life Line Colorado. This program connects low income people and those who are homeless with many different services, including free food, massages, clothes, haircuts, toiletries, acupuncture services and more.
In Connecticut, a new program is providing bonds to newborns who are born into low income families. The Baby Bonds Program will help about 15,000 children every year.
When those children turn 18, they will be able to redeem those bonds. CT Insider estimates that those bonds will be valued between $11,000 and $30,000 dollars in 18-30 years, depending on interest rates and when the children withdraw that savings. Those funds can be used to buy a home or start a business in Connecticut. The funds can also be used to pay for higher education, job training, or save for retirement.
In order to be eligible, families must be covered by HUSKY (which is the state’s Medicaid program) and participate in a financial literacy course. Babies must be born on or after July 1, 2023, to qualify.
In Delaware, the Almost Home program is providing a rent-to-own option for low income families in New Castle County. Through this program, rent is around $850 per month for a two- or three-bedroom unit for the first year or two. After that, the renter is expected to buy the home at an affordable rate.
Because the program is intended to help people on the path to homeownership, they want to make sure that only people who are interested in buying the home are selected. Please do not apply if you do not intend to buy the home at the end of the rental period.
In Florida, Community Aging and Retirement services in Pasco County is closing some of their senior services.
CARES was just a few weeks away from getting a new six-year contract to provide assistance to low income seniors who need help with meals, house cleaning, transportation and more… but they abruptly backed out due to a conflict with the Area Agency on Aging.
It is not clear if that contract will be awarded to a different agency or how the Area Agency on Aging will proceed with delivering services to that area.
In Georgia, the Public Service Commission has agreed to add an additional $1.50 rebate on utility bills for low income seniors. This is an addition to the $2 discount they approved recently.
If you are a low income senior in Georgia and you receive service from a regulated utility, you can ask to be enrolled in a low income plan to get a $33.50 rebate on your monthly bill.
In Maryland, low income Charles County residents can receive a free Chromebook! There is a limit of one device per household or address.
In order to be eligible, you must prove that you live in Charles County, and you must show that you are already enrolled in another means-tested federal program like SNAP or Medicaid. If you are not already participating in one of those programs, you may be eligible if your income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
This program will only last until October 2023, so you’ll need to check the distribution schedule for the Connected Devices Program to find out when those Chromebooks are being distributed in your zip code.
In Massachusetts, a nonprofit in Quincy is planning to build a low income apartment complex on Winter Street. The complex will include 34 studio apartments for extremely low income residents.
The plan is to rent the apartments for about $600 per month to those who make only 20-30% of the Area Median Income. The apartments would be small, only about 300 square feet, but will include their own bathroom and a small kitchenette.
In Mississippi, the state has made huge progress in helping low income parents access child care.
For nearly 20 years, single parents have had to seek child support from the other parent before they could be eligible for financial assistance with child care. Parents had to complete two different applications with two different divisions of government and the process was very confusing, so a lot of parents just couldn’t get help.
As of last Monday, that rule has ended and parents can now receive child care assistance without seeking child support through the state.
In Missouri, the Central Missouri Community Action Agency recently hosted a bingo night to support their Womens and Infant Relief fund. This fund can help with virtual baby showers, disposable diapers, baby wipes, car seats, and more.
In Nebraska, the Larimore Building in Omaha is going to be renovated into a new apartment complex for low income seniors! The plan is to develop 45 apartments for seniors who are at least 62 years old and meet income requirements. There will be three two-bedroom units and the rest will be one-bedroom units. Construction is expected to begin this summer and the apartments should be available in about 18 months!
Also in Nebraska, I found a cool program in Lincoln. The local high school there has been building affordable housing for almost 30 years. Every year, teacher Bob Freese helps his students build a home from the ground up. At the end of the year, the house is sold at a very affordable rate to a low income family in need. The homes are distributed by the Lincoln Housing Authority, so you should contact them for more information.
In New Hampshire, the deadline to apply for property tax deductions is June 30th. You may be eligible if you are a low income homeowner.
In order to be eligible, a single homeowners must make no more than $37,000 per year and two-person households must make no more than $47,000 per year. The home value must be below $220,000 and you must have resided in the property as of April 1, 2022.
You can apply online at the revenue.nh.gov website.
In North Carolina, a new low-cost primary health care provider has opened in Marshall. Located next to Pisgah Legal Services, WNC Health Collaborative has a focus on providing services to underinsured and uninsured residents. The provider hopes to give away 10% of her billable hours to those in need.
Also in North Carolina, a new program from WATERWay NC in Wilmington is helping people fix leaking or broken pipes. They are also considering helping people replace old appliances as well. In order to be eligible, you must be a New Hanover County resident with a low income.
In Ohio, a nonprofit called People Working Cooperatively is preparing for their annual Repair Affair event on June 10th. During this event, they help low income seniors, veterans and people with disabilities with home repairs and maintenance tasks. Some common fixes include installing handrails, repairing walkways, decks or steps, painting, landscaping, repairing drywall and more.
This service is available throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. You’ll need to visit pwcHomeRepairs.org for details.
In Oklahoma, a new program in Tulsa is helping minority and low income high school students pursue legal careers. This program begins in August, and will welcome students in 9th to 12 grades. Students who participate will earn a legal assistance certification and have the chance to pursue college scholarships.
If you know an interested student, please contact the Neal Center for Justice for details.
In Pennsylvania, a new pilot program in Allegheny County has been providing free and discounted bus passes to low income people who receive SNAP food benefits. There are six months left for this pilot program, so be sure you apply and take advantage of it while it lasts!
Also in Pennsylvania, the Attorney General recently announced a settlement with Snap Finance LLC and its affiliates. The company was sued for preying on low income residents and using deceptive collection practices. Over $7 million will be distributed as restitution payments to people who were affected. If you have already paid off your Snap account, you could receive a check. If you still owe a balance, you may have your balance reduced instead.
In South Carolina, the state is now giving out $50 in free food vouchers through the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program this year. This is an increase from last year! To qualify, you must be a South Carolina resident, at least 60 years old, and meet income limits.
You can contact the South Carolina Department of Social Services to claim yours.
In Tennessee, we found a list of double up food programs in your area! Here’s the list.
In Vermont, we’ve found three programs that can help you get more food. These include Crop Cash, You First, and Farm to Family. We’ve got the details on all three of these programs.
In Virginia, Fresh Match can help you get more food when you shop with EBT. We’ve assembled a list of Fresh Match providers for you.
In Washington, the Humane Society of Southwest Washington is offering low-cost spay and neutering services. These services are free for pets of homeless people. They also have a free pet food program for those who are experiencing financial hardship and a Safe Haven pet boarding program for families who have been displaced or experiencing acute financial hardship.
Also in Washington, the Lewis County Public Utility District has set aside $200,000 to help low income seniors shift to a sliding scale for their rate payments. These funds will support seniors who are at least 62 years old and whose incomes are at or below 225% of the Federal Poverty Level. If you qualify, you could receive $15-$29 per month off your bill! ‘
In Washington DC, the new Solar for All program can reduce the electric bills for low income residents by up to 50%!
In this week’s low income news update, we discussed new grant opportunities, a free Chromebook giveaway in Maryland, free food programs and other low income assistance options. The financial assistance discussed in this article was all aggregated from articles published by trustworthy news sources this week. If you need financial assistance in the United States, be sure to check out these programs!
Monday 22nd of May 2023
How do I apply for a Chromebook
Tuesday 23rd of May 2023
Hi. If the info above isn't helpful, it may be worth calling 211 to see if they know of anything you may be eligible for.