Direct financial assistance for needs such as rent, mortgage, utility assistance, health care or prescription medication is often limited even in better financial times. Such programs also usually have very specific and limiting eligibility criteria.
LINC/2-1-1 works to keep updated on current availability of such resources and eligibility requirements. Please call 2-1-1 for current information on direct financial assistance.
Contact area houses of worship to see if they have a Benevolent Fund that can assist. Be aware that some congregations are only able to assist their own members.
Ask family and friends if they can help with a financial gift or loan, either once or on an ongoing basis. Consult with a credit counselor about your options; see the resources listed under "Credit Counseling/Money Management" or call 2-1-1 for referrals.
Other possible options include:
- Memphis Light, Gas and Water
Provides some utility bill payment assistance/billing plans.
Call 901-544-MLGW (6549) Mon - Fri 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
- Memphis/Shelby County Emergency Housing Partnership - Short-term Rental Assistance and Housing Case Management
Short-term Rental Assistance and Housing Case Management: Provides short-term rental assistance (up to three months), housing case management, and supportive services for up to one year for families with children who are homeless or imminently homeless. Must be 1) residents of Shelby County for at least 30 days 2) employed or able to contribute some funds to rent 3) have been in shelter or transitional housing lass than 90 days previously 4) adult(s) must show custodial relationship with child(ren) and 5) must agree to service plan with housing case manager.
Call 901-260-HOME (4663) 24/7 for more information and to begin the screening process.
- Modest Needs
Modest Needs is a national non-profit organization that accepts online applications for modest one-time financial assistance. Modest Needs has four grant programs for individuals:
1) Back-to-Work Grants - for people who are unemployed but have a full-time job offer and need to pay for an expense that will permit them to return to work
2) Bridge Grants - for people who are currently unemployed (for no more than 90 days) through no fault of their own due to the recent economic crisis and need help paying for a relatively small, emergency expense
3) Independent Living Grants - to pay for specific types of expense for people who are permanently unable to work because of disability or retirement
4) Self-Sufficiency Grants - for people who are employed full-time but need assistance paying for a relatively small, emergency expense
For more details:
- SEEDCO - EarnBenefits
Provides information and assistance to low-wage working people in applying for various government and private benefits programs.
Can apply directly through EarnBenefiits counselors at the four local agencies listed online, or can see information about various programs at
SEEDCO Mid-South Office
22 North Front Street # 800
Call 901-255-2955 or 800-411-2291 Mon - Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm for more information.
- TN Dept of Human Services – Families First/TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families)
Provides temporary (up to 60 months) monthly cash benefits to low-income families with children.
1) North Branch Office - Family Assistance
3230 Jackson Ave.
Memphis, TN 38122
Call 901-320-7200 Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.
2) Welles Branch Office - Family Assistance
3360 South Third Street
Memphis, TN 38109
Call 901-344-5040 Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.
To find your local DHS office
Or call the TN Dept of Human Services toll-free Family Assistance Center number for information and assistance:
866-311-4287 Mon – Fri 7:00 am – 5:30 pm