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Assistance programs Topeka and Shawnee County.

There are many ways to get financial help in the Topeka region. Everything from grants to help with rent from charities to free food from pantries, gasoline vouchers, deposit money, energy bill help, car repairs, and more is available. Find the leading non-profits as well as government organizations (including DCF in Topeka) to apply at below.

There are also seasonal programs in Shawnee County for struggling families. These include free Christmas toys and winter clothing. There are also school supplies, additional electric bill help during the summer, and more. Even if an organization can’t offer financial assistance or free stuff, referrals, job programs, and other support is often arranged. Even free legal aid or foreclosure counseling is offered.

Community Action financial assistance services

Community Action, Inc., which is located in Topeka but serves the entire Shawnee county area, administers several energy bill programs, as well as the federal government funded weatherization program. Contact them at (785) 235-9564 to learn how to apply for the LIHEAP program or other financial assistance. They can refer you to the correct agency.

  • Another resource they provide is access to Weatherization services. This program provides energy savings for your home. These are some of the services they provide as part of the weatherization program: adding insulation to your walls and/or attic, repairing or replacing your furnace or heating system, minor structural roof repair, testing, cleaning, and tuning your furnace, and sealing cracks around doors or windows.
  • Shawnee County free tax preparation - This service is provided at Community Action in cooperation with the AARP Tax Aide program during the income tax season. Also, guidance and support is provided throughout the year to respond to questions regarding tax credits and tax returns. Click here to learn more about free filing of income tax assistance.
  • The Emergency Repair Program (ERP) is a service that provides financial assistance and cash grants to income eligible homeowners to help them make emergency repairs to their homes that are necessary to ensure the occupant's continued safety. A side benefit is that the improvements will help lower the homes energy bills, but this is not the primary objective.




  • Eviction and homeless prevention - Community Action also manages this program as well as Kansas Housing. Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing will provide cash grants to people to prevent homelessness or an eviction as funding allows. The main goal is to promote self-sufficiency, keep people in their homes, and build stability. If someone has already been evicted then assistance is available to help transition currently homeless persons into permanent housing by providing assistance with rent, security and utility deposits or storage costs. Continue with homeless prevention and rapid rehousing in Shawnee County.
  • In addition, cash assistance and other aid may be available when the disconnection of utilities will result in eviction and homelessness of an individual or family. There are other programs out there too. Find additional ways to get rent help.
  • General financial aid, budgeting, and money management is arranged.  The Shawnee County Community Action Agency is about living with a budget, saving money, and living within means. Find more details on resources for saving money.

Stop by the Community Action, Inc. at 1000 SE Hancock Street in Topeka Kansas, or feel free to call them at (785) 235-9561 to learn more about these or other assistance programs. Several other programs are offered by the agency as well. Read more on Topeka Community Action Agency.

Emergency financial assistance programs in Shawnee County

Doorstep, Inc., which is based in Topeka Kansas, runs programs that provide emergency aid. Their primary goal is to provide resources and services to the poor, unemployed and needy and people in Shawnee County that are experiencing a crisis in their lives who need a little help. Services offered include free food, gently used or new clothing, prescription medications, rent assistance, utilities and heating bills, dental (limited) and transportation (in city only) assistance. There programs can only be used certain number of times. Phone (785) 357-5341.





If you are facing an eviction, lost your home to foreclosure, or need money to pay a rent arreage or other bills, Catholic Charities of Topeka and Northeast Kansas may be able to help those on the verge of homelessness or eviction. While funding and resources are limited, they may be able to help with paying rent, housing costs, or other basic needs. Applicants will need to meet income and other conditions.

In addition, the organization may be able to help with other needs, such as funds for utility or heating bills, security deposits, food, transitional housing assistance and more. They focus on stabilizing families and providing self-sufficiency to low income families and individuals across northeast Kansas. The address is 234 South Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas 66603, call 785.233.6300. Or find more details on Topeka Catholic Charities emergency assistance programs.

Let's Help, Inc. (phone (785) 234-6208) has limited funding, but they may be able to provide emergency financial assistance and cash grants, food programs, education and employment counseling. Services include: Clothing bank; Daily lunch and meals during the week; Food baskets;  Limited financial assistance for paying expenses such as rent and mortgage payments, utilities or medical and health care, prescription medications to qualified applicants. Find additional mortgage assistance programs.

Salvation Army - Topeka ((785) 233-9648) and Shawnee County offers several services. Emergency assistance for paying housing expenses, rent and utilities is available for those who qualify for financial aid. A food pantry in on site. Last, but not least, a Day Care Center is open to children 2 weeks through 12 years of age.

The organization provides social services to all of Shawnee County and the eastern part of the state. They also operate transitional housing and give students from back to school supplies, Christmas toys, and other seasonal items. If a social worker can’t meet your needs they may have referrals for you. Click here Salvation Army Eastern Kansas and Topeka.

There are transportation assistance programs, including free or low cost cars, loans, financing, and other public transit. Whether lacking transportation for work, or needing a loaner car or truck as one is under repair, help is offered. Even find Ways to Work auto loan financing assistance.

Financial assistance for water bills is available from the RoundUp program. Non-profits, including those listed above, process applications and funding for this program. The funding for it comes from donations from the general public, including residential and business customers, in Topeka and other regions. Cash assistance can be provided to qualified low income customers. Learn more on water bill assistance in Topeka.

Kansas and Shawnee Urban League may have referrals on housing and employment needs. While financial aid is very limited, the non-profit can direct qualified low income families and seniors to job training, local non-profits that have government grants for back rent, and foreclosure help. Case managers can help residents find a new home or apartments, they run the Kansas Quick Careers program, and offer other support. Read more on Kansas Urban League.





Antioch Family Life Center provides emergency and long term assistance. The non-profit offers several main programs for struggling families, including the disabled, single parents and elderly in Shawnee. A strict application process is in place.

  • A pantry is in Topeka that may have free food, Thanksgiving meals, baby formula, and home delivery.
  • Grants from the Center may help with expenses ranging from utilities to medical equipment, security deposits, or natural gas bills.
  • Basic needs including clothing or vouchers for gasoline in Topeka.
  • For more details on these and other programs, read Antioch Family Life Center programs.

Open Arms Outreach is a charity that battles hunger and homelessness. They can offer a box of groceries or snack to a student during the summer. Staff also help families in poverty apply for SNAP food stamps or cash aid from TANF, as well as other benefits. Address is 1812 SW Van Buren in Topeka. Call (785) 232-3463.

Household supplies, clothing, furniture and free supplies may be handed out. The options range from clothing banks to thrift store vouchers as well as non-profits. Shawnee County families, in particular the working poor, children, and seniors can get free winter clothes, books, free back to school supplies, and other items. More on free clothes, furniture and school supplies in Shawnee County.

Shawnee County free holiday programs help the less fortunate. Clients range from the working poor to unemployed and elderly. For those that apply on time, and if donations are available, there may be free Christmas gifts, toys, holiday food baskets, and other goods for families. Read Topeka free holiday assistance programs.

Dental and free medical care

Hillcrest Clinic - Health Agency, Shawnee Co - This is a community clinic that offers low cost or free health care, including acute and chronic medical care, physical exams, preventive health care, Kan be Healthy screenings, social services. Additional services offered by the clinic include family planning, pregnancy testing, teen clinic. Call (785) 354-4011 for more information or to learn more.

Marian Clinic Medical, which is located in Topeka, helps the uninsured and poor. The goal of the community clinic is to improve the health of individuals, families and communities in the county. Services provided by the clinic include health and medical care including referrals as needed for specialist consultations and treatment, health education, women's health program, primary care services on-site, and prescription medications and medical equipment as available. Call (785) 233-8081

Shawnee County Health Agency-Community Health Center, which can be reached at (785) 368-2000, is another option.

Affordable care for the general population, and free medical assistance for the homeless, is provided by GraceMed Health Clinic of Shawnee County. The center is at 122 N Topeka St in Wichita. The location offers dental care and cleanings, pediatric and wellness check ups. and other health care. Most patients need to pay, but the affordable medical care can be paid by private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or KanCare. Call (316) 866-2000, or read free health care and insurance.







A number of other dental and medical clinics also operate in the Topeka area. There are also clinics throughout the state. Children, adults, the disabled and elderly can get assistance. This may be immunizations, prescription drugs, cancer screenings, sport or work physicals and much more. Find more details on free Kansas community clinics.

Fee food and potentially household items

Oakland Church of the Nazarene is an agency that offer clothes and food to those in need of help in Topeka area. (785) 232-0142

Joyful Harvest runs a food pantry and offers transportation access and assistance. Call (785) 354-8154.

Let There Be Light. Several resources are offered including a food pantry and household items are provided, such as sheets, blankets, dishes, pots & pans, lamps, etc. Call (785) 267-4983.

There are many other Shawnee County non-profits, soup kitchens and charity food banks are focused on feeding the low income and hungry. They provide both free, emergency boxes of groceries or serve hot meals. Other services range from SNAP food stamp applications to baby formula to single moms, Meals on Wheels, and more. Continue food pantries in Shawnee County.

Debt reduction and mortgage counseling

Housing & Credit Counseling, Inc. offers various debt and housing assistance programs. They offer a wide variety and comprehensive range of financial and debt services including: Debt Management Programs, credit building and repair, information/education on Bankruptcy, and clients can get their household credit reports. There is also free foreclosure counseling, tips on credit card use, budgeting, mortgage help, rent as well as mortgage delinquency advice as well as reverse mortgages. Call (785) 234-0217.

By Jon McNamara

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