Individual Funding Help

Financial Help for Individuals in Toledo and Northwest Ohio

Financial Help for Individuals in Toledo and Northwest Ohio

Updated 09/14

General Federal and State Aid
Foreclosure Help
Home Purchase
Home Fixups and Repair
Heating and Energy
Medical and Home Care Assistance
Burial Assistance
Disability Assistance
Clothing Assistance
Ex Offender Resources
Veterans' Assistance
Elementary and Secondary School Financial Assistance
Financial Help for Recareering
Nature and the Environment
Utilities
Other Financial Assistance
Published sources
Artists
Business Assistance
Agriculture Assistance
Pet and Animal Care

Below is a list of possible sources of funding for individuals in the northwest Ohio area. While it is not exhaustive, it deals with some of the most frequently asked questions about aid to individuals. Foundations under most circumstances do not give grants to individuals, and while there are billions in various government programs, most are not given directly to individuals, but to nonprofits and local and state governments. In both the public and private sectors, giving to individuals tends to be very local, and so directories with a national range have limited value.

There is a of information for people in northwest Ohio who need emergency help. United Way of Greater Toledo has made their 211 database available online. It covers such services as emergency food and shelter, legal aid, aid for the elderly, employment, health and mental health services and more.

You can check the Community Information Project file under the subject heading “scholarships” to find local organizations that give scholarships. Also, you can find scholarships available through the Toledo Community Foundation at their website. You can also check the links at the Teen site of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.

General Federal and State Aid

A quick way to check for government benefits, grants, pensions, Social Security, Medicaid, etc., is to visit the website: Firstgov Benefits . Links are provided at this site for federal web pages on each of these topics. In order to find out what benefits you may be entitled to is to visit the federal government benefits web page. You click on the general government program in which you are interested, and answer a few questions. The web page then gives you a list of benefits for which you may be eligible, and links that can give you more information. If you want to check into state programs, see the links to states. Click on a state, and follow the interactive screens.

For those who believe that they may be owed money by the government (for federally insured mortgages, pensions from failed companies, savings bonds, settlements from class action suits by federal employees, etc.) this federal site will give you links to various federal program. It has links to sites that can be searched for all several benefits.

The Lucas County Auditor's Officer Office has a website for unclaimed funds. If you do not have a computer, call 419-223-4406 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for help.

There is now a program to give individuals the savings available through the state of Ohio's linked savings plan. SaveNOW . When participating banks agree to offer an interest bonus of at least .25% on a new savings account, the Treasury offers an additional 3% interest bonus. The bonus interest is made possible when the Treasury places a deposit at the bank and the interest earned on the investment is passed on to the saver as a 3% interest rate bonus at the end of one year. Financial counseling is one of the conditions for consumers who participate. See their website for more information.

For people who are searching for unclaimed funds in the state of Ohio, the state runs a name-searchable site.

The Ohio Treasurer's Office now has a website where you can find the nearest location for the Ohio Benefit Bank. Put in your address, and you can find the nearest location where trained counselors can input your financial information and discover which federal and state programs you are elibigle to receive. You also have the option of going to their self-serve page, which will allow Ohio residents to check on possible benefits, apply for them, and file FAFSA applications and free online income taxes.

Ohio's Jobs and Family Services Department has a Prevention, Retention, and Contingency program designed to help with one-time expenses that make stand in the way of a low-income family's financial advancement or survival (like car repair, GED expenses, etc.), and is designed for families with minor children. It is administered by the JFS office in each county. For more information, contact the JFS in your county, and see this website by Ohio Legal Services.

Foreclosure Help

The state of Ohio has a one-stop website for foreclosure assistance, Save the Dream, complete with links to local resources, information on avoiding "foreclosure help" and "credit repair" scams, and more. NOTICE: Save the Dream is no longer accepting applications for assistance.

The state of Michigan has come up with programs and products to help people in danger of foreclosure. To find out more, see the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

The state of Ohio has come up with a new program to help homeowners threatened with foreclosure. It has set up a hotline to link homeowners with lawyers who can provide legal representation, and possibly negotiate with lenders of their behalf. To get assistance, call 1-888-404-4674 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

For people in danger of foreclosure on their property, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation has a toll-free, 24/7 number to call with advice and help. It is: 888-995-HOPE (4673).

A local office of ESOP (Empowering and Strenghtening Ohio's People)in the Toledo area has opened up in Toledo. Homeowners seeking free foreclosure assistance or more information on how to save their homes should contact ESOP to set up an appointment with a Foreclosure Prevention Advocate at: ESOP Luke Rowe, Foreclosure Prevention Advocate, 500 Madison Ave. Suite 300 Toledo, OH 43604 Phone: 419-464-9885

Restoring the Dream is a predatory lending remediation program designed to help homeowners who are experiencing problems with abusive loan provisions. The Fair Housing Center, Northwest Ohio Development Agency (NODA), and Fannie Mae® have created a partnership to help consumers keep their homes. The program is designed to provide alternative financing to borrowers who may have become victims of abusive mortgage lending practices. The partnership will be able to provide a variety of important services, including : analyzing mortgage loans to determine if there are indications of predatory and/or illegal lending practices, working with current mortgage holders to negotiate loan balances or eliminate fees and excessive charges, providing loan refinances with participating lenders and NODA. Participating lenders provide the first mortgage. NODA provides the second mortgage as needed. First mortgages are purchased by Fannie Mae®. For more information, contact the Toledo Fair Housing Center at: 419-243-6163 or see their website.

Home Buying

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency offers a Grants for Grads program. First time homebuyers who have graduated from a college or university in the last 18 months, and graduates of an Ohio high school, and who meet the income limits are eligible. You can qualify for a grant of up to 2.5% of your home's purchase price, which will not have to be paid back if you live in Ohio for the next 5 years. For more information, see the website or call 888-362-6432.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency has mortgage programs for first time homebuyers (those who have not owned a residence in three years) and those wishing to buy a home in a depressed area. If you are buying a home in a target area, you do not need to be a first-time homebuyer. The rate includes 2 1/2% downpayment assistance. Income and home price restrictions apply. Availability of funds may vary.

For people interested in buying a house on sale through the Lucas County Sheriff's sale, see this website for listing and details.

The City of Toledo offers a downpayment assistance program for first-time homebuyers (those who have not owned a primary residence in the last 3 years). See the city's Department of Neighborhood website for more information, or call 419-259-1400.

The state of Ohio is once again offering mortgage credit certificates for first time home buyers, honorably discharged veterans, or those who buy in a target area who meet income and home price limits. This allows you to claim a percentage of your mortgage interest as a credit, rather than a deduction, while you are paying the mortgage: 20% for homes in non-target areas, 25% in homes in target areas, and 30% for for Real Estate Owned (REO) properties (30% of the purchase of a single family property from HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, USDA-RD, or a financial institution that acquired the property through foreclosure. For more details, call the Ohio Housing Finance Agency at 888-362-6432.

The Lucas County Land Bank acquires distressed, abandoned and nuisance properties in Lucas County, Ohio, and prepares them for rehabilitation by neighborhood groups, private developers, and homeowners. Projects include programs where people can buy adjacant nuisance properties for $100, groups can buy property for community gardens, individuals can buy residences, and other projects.

For people purchasing homes in Wood, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Seneca counties, downpayment assistance is available through WSOS Community Action Commission. Get more information on their programs at their website.

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For people living in the target area of the Northwest Ohio Development Agency, below-market loans and even grants may be available for home purchases and repair. Contact NODA at 243-3734, ext. 110 for more information. For people living in Lucas County, there is a program in which you can start an Individual Development Account (IDA). This allows you to start saving money for home improvements, college education, home purchases, and micro-enterprise start-ups and expansions. For every dollar you save up to $1750, NODA will match it with $2. There are income restrictions – participants must be within 200% of poverty level for their household.

Ohio offers a first-time home ownership program for firefighters, police officers, veterans, healthcare workers, paramedics, EMTs, teachers, and active military. It is the Hero's Program. Rates are one quarter percent lower than they are for Ohio's other first time home buyer program. For more information, see the website or call 1-888-362-6432.

For those interested in buying or rehabilitating a home in a rural area, the United States Agricultural Department Rural Housing Service has programs to help. These include loan guarantees and direct loans. They are subject to income limits. For more information, see the USDA website.

For Michigan low-income home buyers, there is help available through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, which includes downpayment assistance, mortgage credit certificates and low-interest loans. For more information, see their webpage.

For low and middle-income homebuyers in the city of Toledo, NeighborWorks offers loans for purchasing or rehabilitation loans, emergency loans for health and safety issues, and other non-financial aids such as homeowner training. They can be contacted at: 419-691-2900.

The Good Neighbors Next Door program at HUD was created to encourage police officer, firefighter, EMS and teacher home ownership in targeted areas. See Hud's website for more information.

For those wanting to buy a home, or any other property, real or personal, for sale by a federal agency, this one-stop shop links to agencies and federal auction announcements.

Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity also makes it possible for low-income people to use sweat equity and no-interest mortgages to obtain decent homes. You can contact the Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity at 471-1333 for more information.

The Department of Jobs and Family Services has a housing program for Lucas County residents outside of Toledo and Oregon. It assists homebuyers with down-payment and closing costs, housing rehabilitation, rental assistance to remain in a home or apartment. Income limits apply. For more information, see the website or call Waldon Wilson, Housing Foreclosure Specialist at Jobs and Family Services at 419-213-6340 or e-mail at: wilsow02@odjfs.state.oh.us

For tenants of Section 8 housing through the LMHA, there is a Section 8 Homeownership Option. Qualified tenants may be allowed to use their Section 8 voucher subsidy towards a mortgage on a home, rather than renting. You must be consistently employed for a year (or disabled or elderly), be in full compliance with your lease and other section 8 programs, and meet income requirements. For more information, call the developer of LMHA programs at (419)254-3482 or see the LMHA website.

The LMHA also oversees a Neighborhood Stabilization Program through the City of Toledo and Lucas County. Rehabilitated homes are available in the Highland Heights, Library Village, and Secor Gardens neighborhoods and in Sylvania and Springfield Township. Downpayment assistance is available. To be eligible for this program, your household cannot make more than 120% of the area median income ($74,150 for a family of four). The LMHA is also building new homes for sale in the area of Chase Elementary School and in the Brank Whitlock/Albertus Brown Homes neighborhood. For more information, see their website or call (419) 259-9549.

Home Fixup and Repair

The Toledo Department of Neighborhoods, along with the city's community development corporations, and NeighborWorks, has the following goals: 1) to rehabilitate 1-4 unit structures occupied by low or middle income occupants 2) to repair the exteriors of homes with low or middle income owners, or in "targeted areas" 3)provide emergency repairs for senior citizens and/or low-income homeowners. The city is offering forgiveable 10 year loans for these projects to qualified owners, DEPENDING ON THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS. Property owners must match the loan dollar for dollar, up to $12,000. The loan can be forgiven IF: the owners continue to own over 10 years, they continue to rent to low-moderate income families and the property is kept in habitable shape. Preferance is given to properties in targted NSP or Rehav Collaboration neighborhoods. To find out more, contact the Department of Neighborhoods at 419-245-1400 or the community development corporation that covers your neighborhood, or the NeighborWorks at 419-691-2900.

Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity also offers home repairs for lower-income homeowners in Lucas County who meet certain income and debt criteria and who participate in the repairs as well as they are able. For more information, call them at 419.382.1964 .

For homeowners in the city of Toledo, help is available for emergency home improvements (with a 6% interest rate) and some first and second mortgages. Emphasis is on the Old West End, the Historic South Side and East Toledo. For more information, call NeighborWorks at 691-2900 or 349-8559 or see their website.

The city of Toledo has a program for owner-occupied home rehabilitation. It is for code problems, like roofs, faulty furnaces, foundations, etc., not for remodeling. You must meet the income guidelines of 80% of the median area income. It is a deferred payment loan, not a grant. For more information, please call the Department of Neighborhoods at 419-245-1400.

For people in Lucas County (outside Toledo and Oregon), there is a 0% deferred loan program for housing rehabilitation (up to $25,000 for rehabilitation, or up to $8,000 for emergency repairs. Owner-occupied single-family dwellings, condominiums and manufactured homes qualify. You must make less than 80% of the area median income for the rehabilitation program, and less than 50% of the area median income for the emergency repair program. For more information, call Walden Wilson at 419-213-8060.

For aged (62 years or older) or disabled low-income people who need emergency repairs on their homes, the EOPA Emergency Housing Rehabilitation Program may help. They offer financial assistance for structural, plumbing, and other repairs on homes. Contact them for an application at 419-242-7304.

The Northwest Ohio Area Office on Aging has a program for seniors in their service area (Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Sandusky, Williams and Wood counties) to receive minor repairs and home modifications. While there is funding for the program, due to large demand for the service and the limited funding for the service in Lucas County, there is a waiting list about a year and a half long. Priority is given to those on the waiting list with urgent health / safety repair needs. Please call NWOAOA at(800)472-7277

Here are more agencies that help with home repairs:
East Toledo Senior Center
Home repairs for low-income seniors in Lucas County.
419-691-2254.

Lucas County Department of Job and Family Services
213-8816
Small grants for emergency repairs for homeowners with minor children.

Warm Choice
691-2900
Inspection, tune up and repairs for furnaces and space heaters and insulation.

Home inspection, tune-up and repair of equipment, if necessary, insulation, and energy management plans.
691-2900

Low or moderate-income families with children 6 or younger, or pregnant women, who live in houses built before 1978, may be living in structures that are eligible for free windows, siding or paint in an effort to lessen children’s contact with lead. Eligible recipients may include homeowners, landlords, and tenants in the city of Toledo. For more information, call the Department of Economic and Community Development at 419-245-1400.

For people living in the target area of the Northwest Ohio Development Agency, below-market loans and even grants may be available for home purchases and repair. Contact NODA at 243-3734, ext. 110 for more information. For people living in Lucas County, there is a program in which you can start an Individual Development Account (IDA). This allows you to start saving money for home improvements, college education, home purchases, and micro-enterprise start-ups and expansions. For every dollar you save up to $1750, NODA will match it with $2. There are income restrictions – participants must be within 200% of poverty level for their household.

Some community development corporations have programs to help homeowners and home buyers in their neighborhoods. For a full list of city CDCs, see the Neighborhoods website. They are also participants in Toledo’s Neighborhood Department downpayment assistance program. However, they only work within homes within the CDC boundaries. Programs may vary due to the availability of funds. Some development corporations may also offer to rent homes to low to moderate-income people for 15 years, with an option to purchase after that period. However, their rent does not buy equity in the house.

The city of Toledo's Public Utilities Department is offering grants of up to $2,000 for basements that flood during heavy wet weather or a fast snow melt. The grant is to install devices that protect against water backing up through the basement floor drain or other plumbing fixtures. The grant covers most or all of the cost for such work, and is not a loan; it is not repaid in any way. This is NOT meant to address leaky walls or foundations, only water and sewer backups. For more information see the website or call (419) 245-1338.

Heat and Energy

The state of Ohio has a webpage on heating assistance programs across the state, including HEAP, assistance to seniors, and disconnect orders.

Contact the utility when you are first aware that you will be having trouble paying your bills. This is important, because you may be able to make payment arrangements that will make your bills small enough to handle. Toledo Edison: Monday-Friday: 7:30-7:00 800-447-3333; Columbia Gas Monday-Friday, 7:00-7:00 800-344-4077; Department of Public Utilities Monday-Friday 9-4 419-245-1800.

PIPP (Percentage of Income Payment Plan). Eligibility: 150% or less of federal poverty guidelines. Utility in customer’s name. It’s an extended payment program that requires gas and electric companies to accept payments based on the percentage of the monthly household income for those customers who are at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. If they qualify, the customer can pay 10% of the household’s current gross monthly income to the utility that provides the primary source of heat, and 5% of the current gross monthly income to the company that provides the secondary source of heat. If the customer is at or below 50% of the poverty level, the customer will pay 3 percent instead of 5 percent to the secondary source of heat. If they only have one source of heat, they pay 15% or 13% to that one heat provider. HOWEVER, the customer is still responsible for paying the arrearages (the difference between the current usage and the required PIPP payment). Customers who become ineligible for PIPP based on a change in their household size or income level will be placed on an arrearage crediting program. Arrearage crediting will assist the customer to pay back the arrearages that were incurred while participating on PIPP. In Lucas County, people can sign up through EOPA. For more information, call EOPA at (866) 504-7392.

For those who have exhausted all other sources of assistance for their gas heating bills in northwest Ohio, Columbia Gas has started a new fund, the Columbia Fuel Fund. You have to be within 200% of the poverty level to qualify. For more information, call the Customer Contact Center at 1-800-344-4077.

HEAP--Provides a one-time payment for utility assistance during the winter. In Lucas County, contact EOPA at (866) 504-7392. In Wood, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Seneca Counties, call WSOS at (800) 775-9767. Go to the Department of Development website for an application.

Emergency HEAP-Provides disconnection assistance payment up to $175 during the winter months. In Lucas County, contact EOPA at (866) 504-7392. In Wood, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Seneca Counties, call WSOS at (800) 775-9767.

HeatShare Program—Sponsored by Columbia Gas of Ohio and administered by the Salvation Army to help qualifying households pay natural gas bills. For more information, call the Salvation Army at (419) 241-3549.

Home Weatherization Assistance Program: Provides education and funding to help low-income households lower their energy use. Services include insulation, air leakage reduction, heating system repairs or replacements, and health and safety testing and inspections. Funded by the Ohio Office of Energy Efficiency, it is administered in Lucas County by NeighborWorks Toledo. Call them at (419) 691-2900 or get more details at their website.

Winter Reconnect Order--The order allows customers who are disconnected or being threatened with disconnection the opportunity to pay a maximum of $175 to restore or maintain their utility service. If the power is already shut off, there can be a maximum reconnect fee of $36 (any extra costs may be added onto a later bill). There is no income requirement, and individuals who have committed acts of fraud in payments to utilities are ineligible. May only be used once between mid-October and mid-April. The customer or EOPA must contact the utility to enroll the customer in a payment plan. Call the utility in question, and get more information atthe website.

One-sixth payment plan- Customer is responsible for paying their current bill plus one-sixth of their arrearages for six months. Customer should contact utility company to enroll on this plan. One-third payment plans- Customer is responsible for paying one-third of their total account balance to maintain utility service from November through April 15. Customer should contact utility company to enroll on this plan.

Medical certificates. If a doctor’s office can verify that someone living in the home has a medical condition that cannot tolerate a power shutoff, it must be shown to the utility. May be used to prevent disconnection or restore service within 21 days of the disconnection. If issued, it will prohibit disconnection for 30 days. Can be used a total of three times during the year. Call the utility in question.

Lucas County Veterans Commission--They provide emergency financial assistance for honorably discharged Lucas County Veterans. This is limited both in number of times that it can be used, and in the amount of money available. For more information, please call 419-213-6090. Salvation Army may have funds for emergency utility reconnection. Will meet with clients by appointment only. Their appointment hotline is 419-241-2294.

Columbia Gas, supplier of gas to over 1,000 counties in Ohio, has a program to help some customers who are behind on their gas bills. It's designed for people who may not be eligible for other types of help. If you make between 175% and 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. The funds can be applied for, and will be distributed by, local Community Action Agencies. You can find the one that covers your area at this website. Contact them, or Columbia Gas at 1-800-344-4077 to see if you qualify.

Several new tax credits are available for homeowners who make improvements in the energy efficiency of their homes. The Energy Star website has a full listing of them, how to qualify, and forms needed to claim the credits.

For a list of incentives given by each state, see the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

Medical and Home Care Assistance

A website explaining the new national healthcare law, its text, and your options by state and personal circumstances (employment, chronic health problem, etc)has been rolled out. Check it for more options on obtaining health care.

The Foundation for Health Coverage Education has state-by-state matrices to help people find a public program that can provide health insurance in their area. Go to their resources page and input your zip code to enter their interactive site that can spell out your health insurance options.

Many drug companies have programs to aid people who need prescription medications and who are not covered by government programs or private insurance. Qualifications vary by company. For a complete list, see this website or call the toll-free number 1-888-4PPA-NOW. (or 1-888-477-2669) A listing for psychotropic drugs for the mentally ill is available at the NAMI website. Another source of information about prescription help from pharmaceutical companies is RX assist. Free registration required.

Pfizer has a program for the newly unemployed who have lost their jobs since January 1, 2009. It provides free drug coverage for Pfizer products for 12 months or until they get coverage from another policy, whichever comes first. While there is no limit on previous income, applicants must prove their financial need. For more information, call 1-866-766-3700 or see their information website.

The Golden Buckeye Cards are open to all those over 60 or permanently disabled and over 18 in the state of Ohio. Accepted by over 90% of the state’s pharmacies, it cuts 13% off the cost of brand-name drugs, and 20% off the price of generics to eligible users. It also provides bigger discounts to seniors with less than $30,000 a year income as individuals, or $40,000 a year as a couple. For more information, see the Golden Buckeye website.

The state program, Ohio’s Best Rx, now provides drug discount cards for all Ohioans with additional discounts who are over 60, or whose income is less than 300% of the poverty level. Applications are available at participating pharmacies, hospitals, and health centers. Application forms can be requested by calling 1-866-923-7879 or downloaded from the website. Prices and rebates vary.

The Northwest Ohio Pharmacy Drug Network offers residents of its member political entities (Toledo, Northwood, Genoa, Walbridge, Rossford, Wauseon, Oregon, Bowling Green, Haskins, Sandusky and all of Lucas County) the chance to get discounted prescriptions. For more information, call toll-free at: 1-800-329-1469 or see its website. This now includes hearing aids.

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) offers a patients’ assistance program to provide financial assistance to uninsured or underinsured people in obtaining medications.

Help is available for low income people who need dental care (up to 200% of poverty level). Dental Options of Ohio is a group of dentists statewide that offers discount-priced dental care. See the site of the Ohio Dental Association or call: 1-888-765-6789. Also, Dental Care of Northwest Ohio (241-6215) at 2138 Madison, provides dental care for Medicaid recipients and low-income children and adults. The Dental Hygiene Clinic of Owens Tech also provides some low-cost dental services (oral assessments, X-rays, dental cleanings, pit and fissure sealants, inspection and cleaning of dentures, and fluoride treatments). The clinic operates from September till May. For more information, call: (567) 661-7294 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7294. The clinic is open various mornings, afternoons, and one evening.

Subsidies exist to help low-income seniors who need financial assistance for in-home health care in the state of Ohio. Potential clients must meet Medicaid income requirements (or be eligible based on the extent of their medical and in-home care needs), be frail enough to warrant nursing home care, and be allowed by their physician to stay at home with proper care. For more precise qualifications and other information, see their website and contact the Area Office on Aging for Northwest Ohio at 382-0624.

People with severe, debilitating diseases may be eligible to have a patient advocate help them negotiate bills with medical providers and advise them of available sources of financial help. Contact the Patient Advocate Foundation at 1-800-532-5274.

CareNet is a pilot program that has been started to help low-income Lucas County residents obtain health insurance. To be eligible, you must be a resident of Lucas County for at least six months, have no other health insurance and be ineligible for Medicare, Medicaid, and other government insurance programs, and make no more than twice the household income for federal poverty guidelines. For individuals, this means no more than $21,660, or $44,100 for a household of four. Enrollment forms are available at: MCO, 3355 Glendale, Mercy Health Partners at 2200 Jefferson, Neighborhood Health Association at the Cordelia Martin Health Center, 905 Nebraska, River East Community Health Center at 117 Main, or the South Side Community Health Center, 732 South Avenue. Applications are also available at: ProMedica Health System at 2150 W. Central, and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department Clinics at: 635 N. Erie or 330 Oak Terrace Boulevard. For more information, call 419-842-0800, 419-471-5899, or 419-255-7883, extension 237, or see their website.

Free eyeglasses, as well as professional eye exams, are available to people with no vision insurance and income up to 200% of the poverty level, through the Northwest Ohio Chapter of Prevent Blindness Ohio. Y ou must not have used their services in the last 12 months. For more information, contact Prevent Blindness Ohio at 419-327-2020.

Another site with information on financial help for eye exams and treatment is the National Eye Institute's Financial Aid for Eyecare site. This lists aid provided by national organizations, Medicaid and SCHIP (aid for uninsured children).

A website has listings of over 300 patient assistance programs designed to help consumers find lower cost drugs. You can put your age and drug information into a search engine to find particular programs for which you may be eligible, or look at the discount programs offered by drug companies for seniors. You may also get information by calling 1-877-rx-4-ohio (1-877-794-6446).

Eli Lilly has their own program, also for medicare beneficiaries with less than $18,000 individual income, or $24,000 household income and no other insurance, that provides drugs for a flat fee of $12. To register or get more information, call 800-545-6962.

More health care assistance is available through local and state sources. There is a list of public health services available through the Toledo/Lucas County Health Department. Programs are also available through the state of Ohio.

For people in need of mental health services in Lucas County, who also have financial needs, the Lucas County Board of Mental Health offers some services. Call the Lucas County Enrollment Center at 419-213-4618. For a list of local agencies that aid the mentally ill and their services, seeLucas County's website.

For children in Michigan with special medical needs, there is a Trust Fund for Children with Special Needs. Children’s Special Health Care Services covers over 2,000 diagnosed conditions. They must be Michigan residents.

Free health insurance for low and moderate income kids in Ohio is available through Healthy Start-Healthy Families. It covers regular check-ups, annual physicals, immunizations, dental care, vision care, prescriptions, etc. Families can apply through the mail. The form can be obtained by calling the Consumer Hotline at 1-800-324-8680 or TDD for the hearing impaired at 1-800-292-3572, from 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. on weekdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends. Income limitations apply. For more information, call the hotline or see their website. For information on children’s health coverage in other states, see Insure Kids Now or call their hotline at 1-877-543-7669.

The American Academy of Ophthamology has created several programs to help low-income Americans receive free or low-cost eye care and examinations. These include eye exams for low-income seniors, persons with diabetes, young children, and people at risk for glaucoma. For more information, call 1-800-222-EYES (senior program), 1-800-391-EYES (glaucoma program), 1-800-272-EYES (diabetes program), and 1-877-887-6327 (children’s eye care), or see their website.

Mission Cataract USA, coordinated by the Volunteer Eye Surgeons' Association, is a program providing free cataract surgery to people of all ages who have no other means to pay. Surgeries are scheduled annually on one day, usually in May.

VISION USA, coordinated by the American Optometric Association (AOA), provides free eye care to uninsured, low-income workers and their families. Screening for the program takes place only during January of each year, with exams provided later in the year. Telephone: 1-800-766-4466.

Sight for Students, a Vision Service Plan (VSP) program in partnership with The Entertainment Industry Foundation, provides eye exams and glasses to children 18 years and younger whose families cannot afford vision care. The phone number is: 1-888-290-4964.

New Eyes for the Needy provides vouchers for the purchase of new prescription eyeglasses. Mailing address: 549 Millburn Avenue, P.O. Box 332, Short Hills, NJ 07078-0332. Telephone: (973) 376-4903.

InfantSEE is a program to provide sight and eye health screenings for babies between the ages of 6 and 12 months regardless of income or insurance status. To find a cooperating doctor near you, see the InfantSEE locator.

The Starkey Foundation makes hearing aids available for those who have no other financial resources and cannot afford them. For more information, contact the Hear Now program at: 1-866-354-3254 or write: Hear Now Program, 6700 Washington Avenue S. Eden Prairie MN 55344.

The Corporate Angel Network assists cancer patients in financial need in getting airplane transportation to and from treatment sites by finding and arranging for flights on empty seats on corporate gets. Financial need required. For more information, call toll-free (866) 328-1313.

Burial Assistance

In the City of Toledo, the Department of Parks and Forestry Cemetary office is in charge of the burial of indigents. For the full burial procedure, check their website or call them at 419-936-3081, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Other information on burial assistance is at this link.

Disability Assistance

For disabled low and moderate income homeowners in Lucas County and six nearby counties(Defiance, William, Henry, Fulton, Wood, and Ottawa), the Ability Center (885-5733) has a grant program to improve accessibility within their homes. For more information, check the Ability Center’s website.

Directions Credit Union has a program called the Ability Loan, which offers longer term and lower-interest loans for its disabled members and their families to obtain ramps and adaptive equipment like computers and scooters. You can become a member if you live, work, attend school, or volunteer in Lucas County, if you open a savings account of at least $25. For more information and an application, call the Directions at (419) 841-9838 or see their website.

For an overall good source of information on disability resources and organizations in the state of Ohio, see the Disability Resources Center link. It has links to all agencies that help the disabled, including state, national, and local resources, and resources for specific disabilities and conditions. PLEASE NOTE THAT THEY MAY NOT GIVE GRANTS, but may give information on difference sources of help.

Federal benefits for the disabled are found at DisabilityInfo page, including information for the parents of disabled children, food stamps, and work incentive programs. You can choose to search for state or federal benefits or both.

The Social Security Administration has instituted the “Ticket to Work” program for SSI and SSDI recipients. This is a voucher that allows them to get cash benefits while they work, choose an agency to give them job training, education and rehabilitation, and helps with extra work expenses related to one’s disability. You don’t need to physically have the ticket in order to get these benefits, and if you have the ticket, you are not required to use it. For more information, call Maximus, the company hired to manage the program, at , 1-866-968-7842 (1-866-YOURTICKET) or 1-866-833-2967 TTY (1-866-TDD 2 WORK). See their website for more information.

The Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission also offers aid to disabled people who would like to rejoin the workforce. They will work with disabled people to identify job goals and provide financial support towards reaching those goals, whether as an employee or as a self-employed businessperson. This may include money for schooling, adaptive equipment, or business supplies. To find out about services available through the ORSC, call them at: 419-866-5811.

The Lucas County Board of Developmental Disability offers resources for developmentally disabled people to create an independent, wage-earning career. Developmentally disabled people may call LCBDD at 419-381-8320 or 254-4070 to consult with a counselor and begin a planning process to choose good career goals, and find out how to achieve them. Once this is done, the client may receive financial assistance in reaching these goals, whether it is training or resources to begin an independent business. The planning process and goal setting are prerequisites to getting financial help.

The OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence) has a database of services and support for people with the spectrum of autism disorders. It's an interactive website that explores services for people from toddlers through adulthood.

The Itaalk Foundation, which helps young people on the autism spectrum obtain interactive technology, has a listing of grants for disabled children and their families.

United Way of Northwest Ohio's Family Information Network has a listing of resources and financial help for disabled children, with both local and national sources of aid. The United Way's Family Information Network has another listing of grant sources for disabled children as well. The Lucas County Bobard of Developmental Disability has a list for finding funds that includes a guide for parents, lists of financial help for the disabled, and financial sources especially for children with autism spectrum disorders.

For young people in Ohio, the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps offers diagnostic services for all young those under 21 or adults with cystic fibrosis or with certain medical conditions and handicaps, and treatment for those within 185% of the poverty level. See their website or call their district offices in Toledo at: 419-245-2840, on the 13th floor of the Government Center.

There are water and sewer discounts for people 65+ and the totally disabled in the city of Toledo. People who have the Lucas County Homestead Exemption are also eligible for a 25% reduction in the water rate for the first 2,000 cubic feet of consumption. The sewer discount is 25% reduction for the first 2,000 cubic feet of consumption, and the storm sewer discount is 20% of the storm water rate. It must be a consumer receiving service from a single meter and a single housing unit used solely for residential purposes who receives bills as the head of household, and must be 65 or older OR totally disabled at any age. For more information and an appalication see the Toledo Department of Public Utilities site.

There is also a homestead exemption program to help the aged (65 and over) and totally disabled with their Lucas County property taxes. For more information, see the Lucas County Auditor's website or call (419) 213-4406.

The Ohio Department of the Treasury, in partnership with Fifth Third Bank, is offering Access for Individual Loans. Disabled Ohio residents whose independence and quality of life would be improved by the purchase of assistive technology are eligible, as well as the parent, custodian or guardian of such people. These lower-interest loans can be used for the purchase of assistive equipment, including but not limited to, hearing aids, text telephones, computer talking software, Braille printers, optical scanners, manual or motorized wheelchairs and home and van and home modifications. (NOTE: DUE TO A RESTRUCTURING OF THE PROGRAM IS ON TEMPORARY HOLD).

However, the program for redistributed computers for disabled people is ongoing. A fee of $60 is required. For more information, see their web page or call 866-801-7306 (toll free) or 614-688-3222.

The Association of Blind Citizens also provides financial aid in purchasing adaptive equipment and software for the legally blind--up to 50% reimbursement for equipment ranging from $200 to $6000. Income restrictions apply.

The Barr Foundation provides financial assistance for amputees in need of prothesis and other equipment who are unable to pay for it. See their website for more information, or call (561) 391-7601.

Clothing and Appliance/Furniture Assistance

Dress Right at 3613 Monroe Street (419-473-1167) gives free men's job interview clothing. Referral from church or social service agency need.

Cherry Street Mission LifeBridge Center, 3342 Monroe gives free clothing, infants to adults. Call 211 (or 800-650-4357) to set up a 20 minute shopping appointment.

The Friendly Center, 1324 N. Superior in Toledo sells clothes for $2 a bag or 20 cents an item to residents in the 43604/43608/43611 zip codes Thursdays from 9-11:30 a.m. Their phone is 419 243-1289.

Trinity Faith Tabernacle Neighborhood Outreach, 1312 N. Huron Street at particular hours. Call 419-246-9747 for current hours.

The Bridge/Monroe Street Neighborhood Center 3613 Monroe, has men, women, and children's clothes. free from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Call 419-473-1167.

Mission Mall/Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission, 2123 Ashland Avenue, is open for free furniture/appliances/household goods on Saturdays from noon-2 p.m. Limited to five items. Call 419-242-6642.

ReStore, a low-cost furniture, appliance and home building supply store run by the Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1310 Conant Street in Maumee. Call 419.382.1658 for more information.

Menards Stores: Ask for the used appliances information. 419.696.3390 Oregon, Ohio Location 419.729.6213 Alexis Road Location 419. 867.6172 Spring Meadows Location Re-sells used appliances from $9.00-$69.00. You have two weeks to return product if product does not work. Hours: M - F 6:30am-10:00pm; Sat. 6:30am-9:00; Sun. 8:00am- 8:00pm

Ex Offender Resources

Catholic Charities, 1933 Spielbusch, 419-244-6711, helps ex-offenders released in the last 90 days to get birth certificates, Ohio birth certificates only. First come, first served starting the first of each month.

Second Chance Tuesday at the Source (expungement clinic), 1-2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. Call 419 213-5627.

EOPA (Economic Opportunity Planning Association)--housing, employment readiness, resume-building for ex-offenders. 505 Hamilton, 419-242-7304.

Veterans' Assistance

Ohio gives cash bonuses to veterans of the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars. For online applications, see the state web site, or call 1-877-644-6838 for a paper application. There is also a website with eligibility requirements. The deadline for application For service in Iraq is December 31, 2014.

Two good resources exist for veterans’ benefits are the veterans’ benefits website, and What Every Veteran Should Know (R355.115 Wha), available at main and most branches. The website includes forms and contacts.

The Military Injury Relief Fund is a one-time grant available to Ohio veterans wounded in the Afghan or Iraqi conflicts of $500. For more information, call 1-888-296-7541.

For a full rundown of veteran's benefits offered in Ohio, see a list on the Ohio section of military.com. Another good site is the Ohio Veteran Services website.

Lucas County has a Veterans Service Commission that offers emergency help for county veterans in need. For contact information, see their website.

Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio is part of a national organization dedicated to making it financially possible for veterans of World War II to see the memorials of that war in Washington, D.C.

Elder Assistance

To find out about assistance programs for the elderly, check the following sources: Benefits Checkup, an interactive website sponsored by the National Council on Aging, in which information about the elder can be input, with a list of possible aid programs and contacts given out, and the Area Office on Aging in Northwest Ohio and the reference book, Resource Guide for Older Adults and Their Families (R362.6 Res), Toledo-Lucas County's Public Library Main library and several branches.

There are water and sewer discounts for people 65+ and the totally disabled in the city of Toledo. People who have the Lucas County Homestead Exemption are also eligible for a 25% reduction in the water rate for the first 2,000 cubic feet of consumption. The sewer discount is 25% reduction for the first 2,000 cubic feet of consumption, and the storm sewer discount is 20% of the storm water rate. It must be a consumer receiving service from a single meter and a single housing unit used solely for residential purposes who receives bills as the head of household, and must be 65 or older OR totally disabled at any age. For more information and an appalication see the Toledo Department of Public Utilities site.

Elementary and Secondary School Financial Assistance

Besides scholarships that might be available from the schools themselves, check the information at the National Association for Independent Schools. It provides some financing options for parents, but be forewarned—many agencies listed on the Adobe Acrobat directory are swamped with applicants and not taking any more for the foreseeable future.

Another list of funding for pre-college students is at the Michigan State University website. Be sure to check the About.com site on private school scholarships.

The Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund, Inc. makes scholarships to low-income K-8 grade children in Lucas, Fulton, or Wood counties to attend non-public schools as funds become available. If they are not, parents can apply to be put on a waiting list. When the funds do become available, a lottery is held for the eligible recipients. Maximum scholarship is $1,000, and families must make a minimum contribution of $500 per year. Currently, 71 area schools qualify as recipient schools. Income requirements apply. For more information, call 419-244-6711, extension 219.

For a limited number of children who attend underperforming public schools in Ohio, there are scholarships that would help them attend a nonpublic, noncharter school in their area. EdChoice Scholarships provides the scholarships to children who are attending public schools that have been listed as being in academic emergency or academic watch for two of the past three years. Students that are homeschooled or currently in private schools are not eligible. Students must first be accepted into an approved private school in their area, then apply for the scholarship. See the the Department of Education webpage for links to lists of public schools whose students are eligible, and a link to lists of private schools.

For K-12 Michigan children, there is the Education Freedom Fund, a nonprofit that creates scholarships for children in the state eligible for the federal free or reduced lunch program. They may be used at any legally operated school where tuition is charged. For more information, call them at (616) 459-2222

Financial Help for Re-careering

Several sources exist for finding trade and professional schools that are eligible for WIA (Workforce Investment Act) money and other state and federal aid to re-train for a new profession. To find eligible training providers approved by the state Jobs and Family Services Department, go to their website to search by name of provider (school), or search by the name of the program in up to five counties. For a listing of state-approved proprietary schools (private trade schools), the state has a site that is searchable by name of school, program keyword or county of operation. Michigan proprietary schools can be searched here . Schools, correspondence schools, flight and vocational schools, apprenticeship and training programs, and even overseas schools eligible for VA funding are searchable here.

Nature and the Environment

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources offers financial help for landowners to preserve wetlands. For more information, see this webpage.

Utilities

Programs exist for low-income people in Ohio who need financial help in keeping their telephone service. Federal programs include Lifeline and Link-Up, and in Ohio Service Connection Assistance is available. For more detailed information on qualifications and benefits, see the Ohio Consumer’s Council site. Sprint and Alltel/Western Reserve Telephone also offer a plan to reduce local rates for those receiving some form of public assistance. For more information on these programs, call 1-800-407-5411.

For a list of phone service providers, check here. For the list for each state, check this site.

Safelink Wireless is a government-supported program that provides a free cell phone and airtime (about an hour)to people who otherwise wouldn't have them. Enter your zip code to see if it's available in your area, as well as eligibility in your state. You have to apply in print (the website gives you an application that you have to print and fill out), and send documentation that shows you are qualified, or fax them to the number shown. Mailed applications can take up to 2-3 weeks. For more information, call Safelink at 1-800-977-3768 from 8 a.m. till 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, or Sunday from 8 a.m. till 7 p.m., eastern time.

Assurance Wireless also offers free cell phones and minutes for low-income users. Please call 1-888-898-4888.

Other Financial Assistance

The state of Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has resources to help low-income people who work or attend school obtain day care for their children. The level of aid is dependent on income, and copayments may be required. For more information, including income limits and an application form, see their website.

Non-parents, like grandparents and others, who are raising their relative’s children may be eligible for financial assistance. The state Department of Jobs and Family Services provides financial aid for kinship care providers through Ohio Works First (OWF). There are payments to help in the support of children, regardless of the income of their caregivers, (child only cases), which you may receive until the child is 18, as well as benefits for low-income caregivers, for which you have to supply financial information about yourself. For more information, see their website. To apply for any of these benefits, contact the Lucas County Department of Jobs and Family Services at: 419-213-3001.

There is a homestead tax reduction available for Lucas County homeowners who are 65 years or older OR disabled (at any age), who own a home. To get more information, call the Lucas County Auditor’s office at 213-4340 or check the website .

Victims of violent crime in the state of Ohio can find information on the crime victims compensation program.

Modest Needs is a nonprofit created to help people who have a small, unexpected financial need. They offer very small grants. You must register with the website (for free) to request help.

Published sources

The grantsmanship collection of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library has a book, Foundation Grants to Individuals, which lists grants available from foundations by broad subject area. The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library also provides access to the online version in the Business Technology Department.

Artists

Artists might want to check out the website for the Ohio Arts Council . Of particular interest is a searchable database of grant and work opportunities for artists. There are also some announcements, proposals, scholarships, and grants at the Art Deadlines List.

Here are some other websites for artists: Michigan State University Grants for Individuals. This site was created by MSU, but has nationwide listings, although it leans somewhat towards Michigan. Look under the headings “art,” “film,” “photography,” “writing,” and “music.” NYFA Source lists job opportunities, casting calls, emergency help for artists, residencies, etc.

Business Assistance

The Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) now has an office in Toledo. They are currently providing microloans for small businesses in northwest Ohio. For more information, contact Pam Rogers at 419-419-246-9698.

A good place to start looking for federal or state funding help is the SBA site. It will walk you through various grant or loan possibilities.

The Small Business Administration has a website that outlines all loan programs available through them.

A good one-stop-shop for exploring all the state’s business incentive plans is the Ohio Development Services Agency. There is a section for loans and bonds in the Development Services Agency website.

While outright grants for businesses and business start-ups are rare, some forms of low-cost loans are available from different sources. The Ohio Housing Development Assistance Program (HDAP) provides financing for eligible housing projects to expand, preserve, and/or improve the supply of decent, safe, affordable housing for very low-to-moderate income persons and households in the state of Ohio. Funds may be awarded in the form of a loan or a grant, and applicants can be private for-profit housing developers, 501(c) (3) or 501 (c ) (4) organizations or local housing authorities with proposals to create affordable for-sale homes, provide new affordable rental housing opportunities, or preserve affordable at-risk housing. For more information, see their website. The guidelines for the program are on the Ohio Housing Finance Agency website.

For business persons in Ohio who need to borrow, but don't have sufficient collateral, the Ohio Development Services Agency has a Collateral Enhancement Program. It's for small and new businesses, and can provide collateral for up to 30% of a business loan. For more information, call(800) 848-1300.

The Toledo Department of Economic Development has different programs for businesses, including a grant to improve a business’s façade, a development loan program, the downtown tax credit program, and more. For more information, see the city's Department of Development and click on "grants," or "loans," "tax incentives," etc.

Many communities within Lucas County have incentive programs that offer loans to business that are starting or expanding in their cities. For more information about these, call the Lucas County Improvement Corporation at (419) 213-4510. They have information on programs in cities such as Oregon, Sylvania, Whitehouse, Holland, Waterville and Maumee.

The nonprofit group Assets Toledo, which offers training programs for new entrepreneurs, also offers a chance at microloans of between $500 and $5000 for graduates of its training program. For more information, call Assets Toledo at 419-381-2721, or see their website.

Some legitimate grant opportunities exist for research and development grants for small high tech businesses (SBIRS and STTR). The webpage above describes both programs.

The city of Toledo provides loans to rehabilitate rental housing projects for low-income people (those making less than 60% of median income). This covers property containing 1-4 rental units. The loans can be made to sole proprietors, partnerships, and for-profit and not-for-profit investor-owners. For more information call the Toledo Department of Neighborhoods at 245-1400.

The Ohio Third Frontier Project provides funding for the development of capital formation, new high-tech product development, and the development of technology to help established industries become more efficient. Many requests for proposals have private firms as partners or even as the target of the grant. For more information, see the Third Frontier website.

A good source of information on financial help in northwest Ohio is the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority at 419/243-8251. They run some programs for businesses in the region.

Locally, the Regional Growth Partnership has some incentives for regional businesses. For more information, call them at: 252-2700 or toll-free at 1-800-815-6477.

The Ohio Department of the Treasury oversees the Small Business Link Deposit Program, GROW NOW. It is designed to make lower-interest loans available to small businesses that maintain offices and operating facilities exclusively in Ohio. For more information on this program, see the Treasurer's website or call 614-466-6546.

Low and moderate income residents of Wood, Sandusky, Ottawa, Seneca, and Huron counties may be eligible for microbusiness loans from the WSOS Community Action Commission. Prime-rate loans of up to $10,000 are available for terms of up to three years to borrowers. For more information, call 800-775-9767 or check their website. There is also a larger loan program available.

Agriculture Assistance

For sources of loans and grants for farmers, especially those new to the business (less than 10 years), see the funding page for the Beginning Farmers website. Another is the grant site for the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture lists resources available to farmers. One such program is the Ohio Agricultural Security Area Program. This is a new farmland preservation tool that farmers, county commissioners, and township trustees can use to protect at least 500 acres of contiguous farmland in their community for a 10-year period. In return for participating, farmers who own land within an ASA may be eligible for a tax exemption on investments of $25,000 or more in a building, structure, improvement or fixture that is used exclusively for agricultural purposes. The landowner requests for an exemption from the county commissioner and the township trustees for the benefits. For more info, please the Ohio Agriculture Department website.

The Ohio Department of Job & Family Services has an information resource page for migrant agricultural workers (in English & Spanish) at their webpage or call the Ohio Migrant Hotline at: 1-800-282-3525.

The Ohio Department of the Treasury also has a linked deposit loan program for agricultural and horticultural businesses that offers the opportunity to get lower cost loans. To be eligible, at least 51% of the farmland of the company must be located in Ohio, and must be headquartered in Ohio. For more information, see their website or call 1-800-228-1102.

Ohio loggers committed to using Best Management Practices for forest management projects can receive low-interest financing through a linked deposit program to purchase equipment that will help them protect and improve the health of private woodlands. Interest rates through the program vary, but are typically 3-4 % less than standard loan rates for the equipment. For more information, see the Department of Natural Resources website or call the Division of Forestry at 1-877-24788733.

Pets and Animal Care

In northwest Ohio, Humane Ohio runs a pet food bank. Contact them at 419-266-5607 for more information. They also run a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. They also offer free spaying and neutering for free-roaming cats in the 43609 and 43605 zip codes.

The ASPCA has a list of agencies that provide low-cost spaying and neutering. The Humane Society of the United States also has a list of agencies that may be able to help with pet care if you are in financial difficulty. They also have a website of organizations may be able to help with veterinary care. Remember that these are subject to restrictions and their own ability to get funding. For organizations that may provide assistance with feral cats in your area, here are lists of organizations from Alley Cat Allies and the Humane Society of the United States..

If you are homeless and own a pet, there are shelters that will allow the homeless to keep their pets,, as well as places that provide food to the pets of homeless people.

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