Washington County 
Economic Support 

Community Services




Bridge to Benefits

Covering All Families is now Bridge to Benefits! To see if you or someone else may be eligible for public work support programs,
click START to use the Eligibility Screening Tool. We will ask you a few simple questions but we will NOT ask you for information that identifies you. It's easy, confidential and free! What is Bridge to Benefits? Bridge to Benefits is a multi-state project by Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota to improve the well-being of low-income families and individuals by linking them to public work support programs and tax credits. A core component of the project is an online screening tool designed to help families and individuals understand if they are eligible for seven public work support programs and two income tax credits. Work support programs and tax credits were implemented by federal and state governments to help low-income workers meet basic needs. Yet, in Minnesota, thousands of eligible families are not participating in these programs or claiming the tax credits that could provide increased economic stability for their families .Please help us tell others about this website by downloading a Bridge to Benefits brochure.



FamilyMeans is a place where families, children, couples, and individuals can come to identify their options and use their skills during a challenging time in their life. FamilyMeans services include family counseling & mental health services, Consumer Credit Counseling Service, caregiver support services, family/youth enrichment programs, and an employee assistance program. FamilyMeans is a nonprofit organization that receives grants, donations and United Way support to ensure that we can serve people of all income levels. FamilyMeans has grown tremendously since it originally opened its doors to the public in 1963. Then known to the community as Family Service of the St. Croix Area, the agency served 61 families in its first year. More than forty years later, FamilyMeans touches the lives of more than 20,000 people per year. Completed through a community capital campaign in 2003, and located on Northwestern Avenue South in Stillwater, our main office site is an accessible and welcoming facility that houses services and support for all of the agency's locations. Main Office 1875 Northwestern Avenue S. Stillwater, Minnesota 55082 Telephone: (651) 439-4840 Fax: (651) 439-4894 email


MN Housing Finance Agency


Foreclosure Prevention Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Program (FPAP)The Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Program assists Minnesotans facing foreclosure due to a temporary financial crisis by providing case management services and, if applicable, mortgage payment, or other financial assistance ona one time basis. The program is delivered through community-based nonprofit organizations statewide. Don't Borrow Trouble. The DON'T BORROW TROUBLE Minnesota Campaign is a public education initiative aimed at stopping predatory lending practices in the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area. The Campaign seeks to educate families and individuals about how to avoid predatory lending scams and about available community resources. The DON'T BORROW TROUBLE help line has been established at 612-312-2020 to offer families a safe place to call before they sign anything that puts their home at risk. Contact: For more specific Foreclosure Prevention information, call the Home Ownership Center at 651-659-9336 or 888-HOC-MINN. Or visit their website to find an organization offering foreclosure prevention assistance near you.


For general information about the Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Program, call the Minnesota Housing Consumer Information Line at 651-296-8215 or 1-800-710-8871. You may also contact HOME Line at (612) 728-5767 or (866) 866-3546. HOME Line provides free legal, organizing, education and advocacy services so that tenants throughout Minnesota can solve their own rental housing problems. Energy Assistance Program (EAP)

1. What is the Energy Assistance Program (EAP)?

The Energy Assistance Program helps people with lower incomes to pay their heating/energy bills during the fall, winter and spring months. EAP agencies around the state take applications for the program and decide how much help each household can get to pay their heating bills. The Energy Assistance Program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

2. Who can get help from the Energy Assistance Program? EAP is available to many households with lower incomes, including homeowners and renters. Renters can get help if they pay for their heat separate from their rent, or if their heat is included in their rent, but they pay for electricity separately. Your household’s income has to be below the limits to get help.

3. How do I find out who my Energy Assistance Program agency is? There is an Energy Assistance Program agency that serves every county in Minnesota. Usually, it is your local Community Action Agency. Sometimes it is your county human services office. To find the EAP agency for your county, click here. Washington and Ramsey Counties 651-645-6470 Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties / St. Paul

4. How does the Energy Assistance Program work? When you get accepted for EAP, you will get a letter that says how much EAP money you will get to help with your energy costs. This is called your grant. For most people, your grant will be divided by 4 to cover part of your energy costs for 4 months. For 4 months in a row, your EAP agency will pay part of your bill directly to the gas or electric utility company that provides you heat. If you want, you can have your EAP agency send 1/3 of your EAP money to your electric company and send the rest to your heating company. If you get your fuel delivered (such as propane or oil), your grant will not be divided into 4 parts—it will be paid all at once (a lump sum). No matter how much help you get from EAP, you still have to pay the rest of your energy bill every month.

5. How much will the Energy Assistance Program pay? It depends on how many people live in your household, their income, the type of fuel you use, and how much fuel you use. Those families with the lowest incomes and the highest cost for energy will get the most help paying their bills. You will get between $100 to $1200 of help. Most families get between $300-$400 (once a year).

6. How do I get an application for Energy Assistance? The application is called the “Minnesota Energy Programs Application." It is available in English, Hmong, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese, Braille and large print. You can pick one up from your EAP agency or have it mailed to you. If you got help from the EAP last year, you will probably get an application mailed to you automatically. You can also get an application on this website by clicking here. However, applications are NOT accepted from June 1 to September 30. In addition, a new application is issued each year and it is not available until September of that year.



MinnesotaCare is a health insurance program for Minnesotans with lower incomes who cannot get affordable insurance through their job or somewhere else. Children, families, pregnant women, and adults without children can all get MinnesotaCare. It is not a free program. People who get Minnesota Care pay a reduced-cost premium every month. The amount you pay depends on the number of people in your family, the number of people who are getting health insurance (coverage) and your income. You have to live in Minnesota and have a Social Security Number to get MinnesotaCare. You also have to have income and assets below the limits. Click here to learn more about Minnesota Care. Multilingual lines available 24 hours a day. For Russian services call: 651-698-9167


United Way 2-1-1 / Twin Cities Beehive

Free Tax Preparation Click here for a list of free tax preparation sites or call United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 (651-291-0211 for cell phone users). We created the Beehive to be the place to go for information and resources around the things that matter in our lives: money, health, jobs, school and family. And, we'd like you to have a little fun while you're here so, we're throwing in some games and quizzes to keep it interesting. We can make the Beehive (and keep adding new things all the time) because of our supporters, who include AOL Time Warner, Cisco Systems and many, many others. Click here for the full list of our supporters. Who makes the Beehive? The Beehive is the pride and joy of the One Economy Corporation. OneEconomy is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. The Beehive is just part of what One Economy does. We also work with owners and developers of affordable housing across the country. We help them connect people to computers and the Internet. The way we see it, when people have access to the Internet and can connect to good resources like the Beehive, they have the power to change their lives. Click here to visit our corporate website and learn more about One Economy Corporation


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Unemployment 101 Reference Materials How Do I Get Ready for the Test?

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Twin Cities Free Market

The Free Market is a listing service for residents who want to give or get free reusable goods for the home, garage and garden. It is part of an effort to reduce the amount of reusable goods being thrown in the trash.






About Us: More than 35 years of ensuring everyone has a place at the table. Emergency Foodshelf Network began in 1976 as a coalition of twelve food shelves in Hennepin County. Officially incorporated as Emergency Foodshelf Network in 1986, we have grown into a full service food bank with over 200 hunger relief partners statewide, providing free food, access to bulk food purchasing, and formalized food drive programs. Throughout our 35-year history, we have worked with food shelves, meal providers and other organizations to provide access to free quality food and bulk food at or below wholesale prices. As it became clear emergency food distribution could not be the only response to hunger, we worked with our community partners to develop supplemental hunger relief and nutrition programs such as Fare For All and Mobile Foodshelf. We also offer food shelves free delivery, and outreach and advocacy opportunities. Unlike some food banks, we do not charge membership or handling fees to our network of hunger relief programs. The Mission EFN is an innovative food bank dedicated to serving the hunger needs of our changing communities. Innovative EFN focuses on innovative partnerships and programs to effectively fill gaps in service of hunger relief.


Programs include:

Agency Support: EFN provided more than $9 million in food and support to hunger relief partners in 2012.Baskets of Hope:

A free holiday meal program that distributes a turkey and all the grocery items to create a traditional holiday meal for a family of eight.

Bulk Food Purchasing: Partner agencies order weekly at below retail costs from more than 60 items of nutritious foods in bulk.

Culturally Specific Initiatives > Distributions free culturally appropriate food to West African, East African, Southeast Asian, and Latino communities in the Twin Cities.


  • Fare for All: Buys fresh fruits, vegetables, and frozen meats in bulk to save customers up to 40% off grocery store prices.

  • Harvest for the Hungry: Connects Minnesota and Wisconsin Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms and food shelves, providing locally grown, fresh produce to agency partners.

  • Kid Pack: Small packages of nutritionally balanced food that school-aged kids can take home over the weekend.Lost Harvest: Excess produce from the southwestern United States growing regions is rescued and shipped to Minnesota.

  • Mobile Foodshelf: Delivers a three to four day supply of free food directly to clients who have transportation and/or health challenges.

  • Nutritional Outreach: EFN emphasizes nutrition throughout our family of programs. We offer classes, education material and food safety education to our partners and their clients.


Fare for All Program


Big savings every month on fresh, high quality, nutritious groceries – that’s what Fare For All, EFN’s largest supplemental food program, is all about! As food prices continue to rise, more Minnesotans are experiencing significant difficulties affording basic expenses each month.

Fare For All is open to anyone who wants to save money on their groceries. Participants (Fare For All is great for seniors, working families, individuals who are both employed and unemployed, or individuals on fixed incomes) have the opportunity to save 40-50% off their monthly food budgets and access fresh fruits and veggies, frozen meats of all kinds, and a variety of non-perishable staple items.

EFN makes this program possible by utilizing its bulk-purchasing power to buy high quality food at prices up to 50% below retail and pass the savings directly on to participants. The more participants that sign up each month, the bigger the savings EFN is able to achieve on their behalf! Participating in Fare For All is simple. Participants register and prepay for their food packages either at a local distribution site or through the Fare For All main office. Packages are distributed once a month, generally the third Saturday of the month, at distribution sites in communities across the state.

Purchase A Package Fare For All offers a variety of packages each month. There’s sure to be a package that meets your needs! Participants can order as many packages in whichever combination they wish. Please see below for pictures and descriptions of each package. Ordering a package is simple! Participants can order either through a local distribution site on a distribution day, or by calling the Fare For All office at any time during the month (763-450-3880 or 1-800-582-4291).

Participants don’t have to fill out an application to receive these fantastic benefits. Fare For All accepts cash/money orders, personal checks, credit or debit cards, and food support cards (EBT cards).

Please call the Fare For All office for current prices and for information about monthly specials. Picking up the food packages is simple, too! After the Fare For All office receives your payment, simply go to your local distribution site on the scheduled Friday or Saturday and pick up your package. Because some of the food is frozen itis important that you pick up your package at the specified times. If you fail to pick up your food, it will be distributed to others. No refunds or credit can be given.

Regular Pack $17 – The Regular Pack contains 2-3 fresh fruits, 4-5 fresh vegetables and 4-5 frozen meat items.

Meat Only Pack $12 – The Meat Only pack includes a variety of 4-5 meat items such as beef, chicken, fish, and pork. Light Pack $12 – The Light Pack features 1-2 non-pork meat items and an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Vegetarian Pack $10 – The Vegetarian pack contains a generous amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, often accompanied by a dry food item such as rice, beans, pasta or peanut butter.

Family Pack $20 – The Family pack contains only non-perishable staple items such as vegetable oil, flour, sugar, canned fruits and vegetables, rice, pasta, and boxed dinners.

Monthly Special Prices vary – Each month Fare For All offers a monthly special– this package is unique to each month. For example, in November the special is a Holiday Package brimming with all of the fixings for a holiday meal (turkey, potatoes, pie, vegetables, and more!) Over the summer, the Monthly Special is often a Grill Pack filled with fantastic products for grilling out with (hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken thighs, etc.!)




SNAP can help. For many Minnesotans out of work, this is a stressful time. With many bills to pay, it can be difficult to afford healthy and nutritious meals on a regular basis. We know that your unemployment is only temporary, which is why many unemployed Minnesotans have signed up for SNAP. SNAP is a program that provides temporary assistance to unemployed adults to purchase healthy and nutritious food at the grocery store, allowing you to stretch your budget while you look for a new job. A single-person earning less than $1,580 per month may qualify for SNAP. SNAP provides eligible Minnesotans with an EBT card that can be used to buy groceries in most Minnesota food stores. The average monthly benefit for a single adult is $118 per month, and will vary depending on your income and the number of people living in your household. Once your application is approved, you will receive your EBT card within 30 days. A simple process exists for eligible Minnesotans to enroll in SNAP. If you’re unemployed, don’t wait any longer. Our friendly and helpful representatives at the Minnesota Food Helpline are available talk with you to see if you qualify for SNAP. Call now at 1-888-711-1151. - See more at:


MN FOOD HELPLINE - Hunger help is on call Call 1-888-711-1151

The Minnesota Food HelpLine makes it very simple. With one call, we assess your situation and provide solutions to your family’s food needs. If you or your family are having difficulty making ends meet, please call 1-888-711-1151.

HelpLine Hours: Monday – Friday – 8:30 am to 4:30 pm “I received the application days after calling the HelpLine. I turned it in, met with a caseworker and was approved the very next day. The people I spoke to at the HelpLine were beautiful and they even called back to check on my situation and remind me to turn my SNAP application in!” – Maggie, unemployed in St. Paul -

See more at:



Local Food Shelves, Emergency Meals in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Meals on Wheels, Energy Assistance, Food Support, Fare for All


Hunger Solutions


Hunger Solutions Minnesota 555 Park Street, Suite 420 Saint Paul, MN 55103Phone: 651-486-9860 / Fax: 651-486-9866

Mission - Dedicated to ending hunger.


Do I qualify for Food Stamps or other benefits? Find out here.

Lots of programs exist to help families. Many times people do not know they qualify for these programs, or do not know how to apply. This website can help.

Open Arms of MN


Phone: 612-872-1152 Fax: 612-872-0866 1414 East Franklin Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55404

Office Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm

Open Arms of Minnesota offers a unique model of care for people in our community who are sick, need nutritious food, and have no where else to turn for assistance. We are the only nonprofit organization in the state that prepares and delivers free meals specifically tailored to meet the nutrition needs of individuals living with serious and life-threatening diseases. The majority of our clients receive a weekly delivery of frozen meals with enough food for approximately five days, including lunches, dinners, breakfast items, and snacks. Volunteers deliver meals between 11am and 1pm, Monday to Friday. With the help of Client Services staff, each client is able to choose a delivery day so their food will arrive on the same day each week. For clients without freezer or storage space, or who may have special needs, we can provide daily deliveries. Open Arms currently offers several entrée options which have been tailored to meet the various needs of our clients' illnesses. Most special dietary needs can be accommodated, and meals may also be requested for the dependent children or affected caregivers of our clients


VEAP - Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People

Our Mission - Together we create pathways to stronger, more hopeful communities through access to healthy food, housing stability, and supportive services.

Food and Basic Needs and Social Services.  

Good in the Hood

Good in the 'Hood is an organization dedicated to intentional acts of kindness that can simply make a difference in in one life, one family, one community at a time. Thanksgiving Outreach, Adopt-A-Family , Toys for Tots, Books in the ‘Hood Resources Abuse Victims, Assisted Housing, Battered Women, Alcohol + Chemical Dependency, Drop-In-Meals, Food Shelves, Free Meals, Job Training & Placement, Overnight Shelters

Shawn Morrison, Director Good in the 'Hood 2101 Chicago Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55404 Office phone: 952-412-3732 Email:

The new RTTC blog is now up and running. Visit to get updates on topics including housing issues for low-income people other timely topics. We welcome your feedback. Feel free to post comments.


Habitat for Humanity  

What is Habitat for Humanity International? Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need. Habitat has built more than 250,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1 million people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. HFHI was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife, Linda. How does it work? Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.

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