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Rent Assistance

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Boone County Missouri assistance programs.

Get help with paying bills, housing costs, and other needs met in Columbia as well as Boone County. There are several churches that help the poor, charities that provide financial aid or cash grants from government assistance for low income families. Or get free care for senior citizens from non-profits, disability financial benefits, and much more. Whether it is a free bag of groceries, money to pay for rent or energy costs, there are resources available.

There are also charities in the Columbia region that offer free stuff. There are school supplies for kids, vouchers to pay for gasoline, winter clothes, and even free Christmas toys too. More information on these options and financial help is below.

Get help with bills, rent, and other expenses

The Community action agency may be able to help with utility bills. There are two major components in the state and Boone County, and they include the Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) and Energy Assistance (EA). Over the years thousands of families from the region received assistance paying their utilities, prevent a disconnection, or get their service turned back on.

EA is a program that provides a one time payment from November to March, so it is primarily a program to help pay for heating bills. The amount of the grant paid is based upon household income, size, applicant age and if the household has a disability or not. The Energy Crisis Intervention Program offers aid in both the winter or summer.

This program is to help people who have either received a disconnection notice or already have had their service turned off. Applicants to the program can receive up to $600 in the winter season and $300 during the summer season, provided there are funds available, and people can apply for than once.

Rent assistance

The community action agencies in the region may also offers programs that can help people pay for their housing expenses as well as rent. Both short term and long term rent assistance is available. This want to ensure people are not evicted and do not want families to become homeless. Find additional ways to get rent help.




Weatherization assistance program

All families who meet income guidelines are eligible for this program. One primary goal of the weatherization assistance program is to help those individuals and families who can’t afford to pay for their heating or utility bills install energy saving enhancements, and therefore lower their energy bills and save money.

Credit, counseling and debt help.

They also provide these services, including ways to get help with debt. The goal of these additional support services is to ensure people get back on their feet long term, and learn the skills needed to get there.

Resource Distribution is another name for a type of financial support that is administered. Applicants will need to meet with family advocates. But when resources are available, there may be free food, loans for housing costs or paying rent, and security deposits. Other services in Boone County may be section 8 housing vouchers and job placement.

All the items above are just a sampling of the programs that are offered. Contact a local community action agency to apply for any of these, or to learn more about other ways to get assistance. there is a site in Boone County and that also supports the city of Columbia. Or find more details on financial aid from Boone County Missouri Community Action Agency.





Free holiday and Christmas gifts

Hundreds of low-income Boone County families sign up for and receive annually for free toys and meals for the holidays and Christmas through the Voluntary Action Center’s Christmas program. Contact Columbia’s Voluntary Action Center at 573-874-2273 to learn more, apply, or to donate to the program.

There are other free charitable holiday assistance programs too. This is in addition to the service above. Whether it is the Salvation Army passing out free Christmas gifts or serving meals (including turkey dinners), or a church helping the poor, assistance is offered. More on free holiday help in Boone County.

Rent help and eviction prevention in Boone Missouri

The federal government used funds to create a program called Homeless Prevention and Rapid re-Housing Program. Columbia Missouri is using its share of the money to expand its eviction prevention and homeless assistance programs. Three agencies across Boone County and Columbia will often get funds each they. They will generally share in the grant from the Homeless Prevention and Rapid re-Housing Program.

Two of the local agencies, Lutheran Family (573 815-9955) and Children Services will offer assistance or referrals. The money can be used to pay rent, utility bills, security deposits, and even pay for moving costs.

In addition to those options, there are other low income housing programs, including from HUD, in the region. They include income based homes, grants for buying a house, and much more. For details on these, learn about Housing and Urban Development Department programs.

Food and access to a free pantry

Central Missouri Food Bank & Pantry supplies free food to over 140 local charities, pantries, children's programs, soup kitchens, non-profits, shelters and senior programs in over 30 central and northeastern Missouri counties through its regional disaster and hunger relief network and partner agencies. 474-1020

Food Bank For Central and Northeast Missouri works with local charities, charities, and pantries. Clients will need to work with those facilities. It may have surplus government commodities, canned foods, baby formula and even fresh fruits and vegetables. (573) 474-1020

Saint Andrews United Methodist Church can also have free meals and canned goods for the needy, homeless, and low income in Boone County. (816) 921-1548

Southside First Baptist Church also operate a free food pantry for those who need help. Donations are always needed and some items could even be delivered to senior citizens and the elderly in the region Dial (816) 924-2489 for intake.





Find more food pantries as well as soup kitchens in Boone County. Several other non-profits as well as churches work to feed the working poor or families facing a crisis, including at Christmas and Thanksgiving. They can also direct residents to long term support around food stamps. Continue Boone County and Columbia free food pantries.

Division of Human Services and Social Services helps the poor, new or single moms, and others. They focus on several areas including the HELP program for paying utility bills, Dental Care and Paint Relief, Prescription Eye glasses, and other health care consultations. Referrals are also offer for public aid such as Medicaid, SNAP, Healthy Babies programs, the Medication Assistance Program and more. Continue with Boone County Division of Human Services.

Free clothes as well as household supplies are widely available. There are many places that offer items to qualified low income families, the working poor, elderly, and less fortunate. Whether it is free uniform for work or school supplies, items for the home or apartment, furniture or something else, help is offered. More on Boone County free school supplies and clothing closets.

Dental and medical services

One clinic, Family Health Center offers health and medical care, limited mental health and dental assistance programs and services to people regardless of their ability to pay for their dental and medical services. Dial 214-2314. Or find other Missouri free dental clinics.

Family Health Center Of Boone County is a clinic that falls under the Federally Qualified Health Center program. The address is 1001 West Worley, Columbia, MO 65203. Call (573) 214-2314 for intake. Assistance available includes free or low cost primary medical care. Mental health services may be offered too. Sign up for annual physical examinations and follow up care as needed. Other resources include referrals for eye care, chronic illness management, medication assistance, family planning and prenatal care.

Columbia Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services runs the government and public health care for the region. This also includes Medicaid and Medicare. They can help low income families get the care they need, or assist with with applying for free health insurance services. Call (573) 874-7355.

Life Network of Central Missouri – The non-profit will offer free, professional, confidential pregnancy medical services. Other programs may have maternity and baby items, medical & community referrals.

  • 802 North Providence Road, Suite 2, Columbia, Missouri 65203, call (573) 874-3561
  • My Life Clinic, 802 North Providence Road, Suite 2, Columbia, MO 65203, telephone (573) 874-3561

Financial assistance

The Columbia and Boone County Salvation Army provides free food, shelter, groceries, discounted and/or free clothing, transitional housing, and extensive case management services. There is help for people facing an eviction and homeless families and individuals who are in a crisis through combined approaches. Some limited financial assistance for bills, rent, and other expenses may be offered.

The center also serves free community lunches to those in need as well. Or shop at the Family Store or get free back to school supplies, holiday meals, or Christmas gifts and presents. Call 442-3229. Read Columbia Salvation Army programs.




Saint Vincent de Paul has multiple churches in Boone County. Most of their emergency financial aid is for housing including utility bills or rent. But other types of needs may be addressed on a case by case basis, such as food, medical, referrals, clothes and other goods. More on SVDP assistance programs Columbia and Boone County.

Catholic Charities KCSJ - Services For Young Families is for pregnant women and families with very young children or newborns. If you are found to be qualified then you may be able to receive financial assistance with needs including rent, housing, utilities, heating bills, and parenting information. Other needs can be met when funding is available. Address is 20 W. 9th St., Suite 600, Kansas City, Missouri 64105. Dial (816) 221-4377.

Homeless Prevention is available in the county. They is help for tenants, homeowners, as well as the homeless. Special focus is also on veterans, women fleeing domestic violence, as well as the disabled. Everything from grants to legal and and mediation can be offered. Continue with homeless prevention in Boone County Missouri.


By Jon McNamara

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