Updated 11/16/22, 5:00 p.m.
Find out what assistance programs you may qualify for, by using Orange County’s new Centralized Eligibility Questionnaire. It only takes a few minutes.
Orange County Resources and updates
Orange County Commissioners have voted to expand the ERA 2 requirements to those whose rents have gone up by 10% or more. Like ERA 1, ERA 2 is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act. ERA 1 was earmarked for COVID related rental assistance only. With rent going out of control, data shows that people are experiencing 75-80% increase. Read the details here, and please empower people to seek assistance from Orange County.
Holiday Assistance Resources
- Orange County centers for holiday help are at 3899 W Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32808, call 407.295.9311 or try 1330 Semoran Boulevard, Florida 436, Casselberry, FL 32707, call 407.671.4419
- Catholic Charities – Central Florida
1771 N Semoran Blvd, Orlando, FL 32807, Orlando, Florida 32807. Call the organization at 407.658.1818 for information.
- Central Florida Toys For Tots and Orange County. application is required. Apply here. https://orlando-fl.toysfortots.org/
- Orange County Mayor’s Toy Drive
They hand out free Christmas toys to kids from age 0 to 18. Each year thousands of children, teens and others in Orlando and the county get Christmas presents. Dial 211. There may be action figures, Barbie dolls, toy trucks, Legos, sneakers, arts and crafts and so much more – based on donations.
- Nathaniel’s Hope
They only help kids with disabilities. Address is 5210 S. Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32809. Call 407.857.8224
Kids with special needs can get presents, food, attend Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations and more.
Holiday food assistance
Christian Service Center offers the Love Pantry for all low-income residents of Orange County, Florida who need food or hygiene products. Residents receive several bags of groceries that include 23 of the most common food items and 8 basic hygiene items once every thirty days.
West Orange campus Orlando downtown
300 West Franklin Street 808 W. Central Blvd.
Ocoee, FL 34761 Orlando, FL 32805
Phone 407.656.6678 Phone 407.425.2523
Loaves and Fishes offers food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, household items, baby items, and free bags of groceries to low-income residents from Orange County, Florida. Visitors can receive their items from the pantry Monday through Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. once every thirty days. Loaves & Fishes is located at 206 E 8th St, Apopka, FL 32703. Call 407.886.6005
For a printable pdf version of the Holiday Assistance Resources, CLICK HERE.
Health and health care
Orange County Florida Health – Florida Department of Health in Orange County
Orange County – COVID-19 testing and vaccination information
Orlando Health – Orlando Health patients, age 65 or older, are eligible to receive a free Covid-19 vaccine. If you want to receive a vaccine from Orlando Health, please click on the link to get information on scheduling an appointment Orlando Health Vaccine Info.
Center for Disease Control (CDC)– Global updates on COVID-19
Grace Medical – Services include medical, mental, dental, ophthalmology and spiritual care. Their requirement includes Orange County residency, no income in the past 6 months, no medical insurance and others. By appointment only. May need to call on 27th of each month at 8 a.m. to make an appointment, but please check details on Grace Medical website for current information.
Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans – Free resource with activities and guidelines for all ages.
Covering Central Florida- Residents who have lost their health insurance or have experienced a change in income within the last 60 days may be eligible to qualify for a special enrollment period through the federal ACA Marketplace. Licensed health-care navigators from Covering Central Florida are available to provide over the phone, confidential assistance for the ACA Marketplace, as well as Florida KidCare. Additionally, the Primary Care Access Network in Orange County may be able to assist underinsured and uninsured residents with access, quality, and coordination of health care services.
Shepherd’s Hope – Shepherd’s Hope is a faith-based ministry providing free, short-term medical care for uninsured residents of Central Florida using volunteer doctors and nurses. Shepherd’s Hope operates at 5 locations in the Greater Orlando area that are open mainly in the evenings between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM in donated clinic space. A list of centers and their hours of operation can be found on the website.
Cancer Support Community – Financial assistance to individuals affected by cancer who have lost their jobs or need help with food, utilities, and other basic needs. Toll-free CancerSupportHelpline® staffed by licensed professionals open 7 days a week. To request an application for assistance from the fund, please call this toll-free number: 1.888.409.4166.
Free Mammogram Screenings for Uninsured Women – The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Breast Cancer Awareness Coach will travel to various U.S. locations in 2022, to provide free screenings for uninsured women, for early detection of breast cancer through a mobile mammogram unit. They currently do not have a Mobile Screening Event locally, but check website for any updates.
Click on the links below for more information on this screening event:
Second Harvest Food Bank – Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects, stores and distributes donated food to more than 550 feeding partners in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia. Use the Food Locator on the website to find the location of a partner near you.
United Against Poverty – low-cost grocery program – United Against Poverty is a registered non-profit with campuses in 3 locations: Orange, Indian River and S. Lucie counties. They provide a variety of services including food assistance. Qualified families who are living in the 200% below the Federal Poverty Level must fill out an application. Upon qualification, they receive a free Member Card. Once they are given a card, they can select any food or household product they may need for their households.
Aldi Home Delivery-Through Instacart (Online grocery order, delivery to your home)
USDA Food Group Recommendations – US Department of Agriculture website for choosing the right foods based on age, weight, height, sex and activity level.
Healthy Eating – FREE online learning games on healthy eating and nutrition. Good for children and teens.
Medicaid – View current information on Medicaid programs or resources regarding SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid benefits.
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency.To learn more about SNAP (food assistance program) and eligibility, visit: Click here to learn more about SNAP benefits.
WIC (Women, Infants and Children) WIC is a nutrition program for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or who have recently been pregnant, infants & children under age 5.
WIC provides the following at no cost: healthy foods, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, referrals to health care, immunizations, and community services. To learn more about WIC benefits and eligibility requirements, click here.
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) The Florida Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is designed to help needy families achieve self-sufficiency. States receive grants to design and operate programs that accomplish one of the purposes of the TANF program.
The four purposes of the TANF program are to:
- Provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes
- Reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage
- Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies
- Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families
To apply online, please visit Florida’s online application portal. You may speak with a TANF agent Monday – Friday (7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) at 1.866.762.2237 or 850.300.4323.
Senior Resource Alliance – Get information about food, meals and nutrition programs and assistance for seniors.
- Duke Energy Payment Arrangements –set up payment extension or arrangement
- Energy Neighbor Fund: – You can make an impact! A small gift (even a gift of just $1 ) goes directly to an individual or family
- Medically Essential Program: Duke Energy’s Medically Essential Program identifies residential customers who are dependent on continuously electric-powered medical equipment. Participation in the program does not guarantee uninterrupted electric service. The program does not automatically extend electric bill due dates, nor does it provide priority restoration.
Note: All of these pages are available in Spanish.
Duke Energy Customer Care Center can be reached at 800.700.8744.
OUC News/Utility Bill Payment Assistance – OUC is supporting their customers with a variety of solutions. If you need assistance, they have options to extend your payment due date. Additionally, there are community assistance programs with special funds available for people impacted by COVID-19. www.ouc.com/assistance
Heart of Florida – Utility Assistance – The Emergency Utility Assistance Program provides assistance to customers who are experiencing a financial emergency and in need of assistance. This supports customers of Winter Park Electric Utilities, Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), and Lake Apopka Natural Gas District (LANGD).
Xfinity – You may be eligible for a $30 monthly credit toward your Internet service. To learn more visit https://www.xfinity.com/learn/internet-service/ebb
Spectrum – You may be eligible for a $30 monthly credit toward your Internet service. To learn more visit www.spectrum.net/support/internet/affordable-connectivity-program
AT&T – You may be eligible for a $30 monthly credit toward your Internet service. To learn more visit https://www.att.com/help/affordable-connectivity-program/
Free Tablet Rentals – City of Orlando residents can now check out a tablet for FREE for 2 weeks at 4 locations (Engelwood, Rosemont, Dr. James R Smith and John H Jackson Neighborhood Centers). For more details visit orlando.gov/freeconnect.
Valencia Community College Accelerated Skills Training– programs focus on hands-on training for jobs in manufacturing, construction, healthcare, information technology, transportation and logistics. You’ll have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials, train in essential workplace skills and receive job placement support. Programs begin monthly and are located in Orange and Osceola counties. To learn more, click here https://net1.valenciacollege.edu/continuing-education/accelerated-skills-training-programs/
Orange Technical College – Skills-Based Training and classes available.
If you are job searching, then you don’t want to miss this event! Job Fair to feature 75-100 companies offering 1000’s of job openings in various industries from around the Central Florida Region as well as career resources on hand to assist you with your job search! Central Florida has amazing job opportunities, come join us!
Name: Central Florida Job Fair
November 2, 2022 (This event has passed. Please check back for the next CFEC event)
Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: Central Florida Fair Expo Park, 4603 West Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32808
Registration and attendance information for our next job fair: www.CFEC.org/job-fairs. Questions call Christian HELP/CFEC at (407) 834-4022.
Housing & Rental Assistance
Applicants may be eligible for up to 18 months of rent payments or $20,000. Payments are made directly to landlords.
The county has about $13.5 million in the income-based program to hand out to residents in danger of eviction in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for this support was included in the American Recovery Plan Act, a stimulus bill approved by Congress in March 2021. The local program was created to help Orange County residents with financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Summary of County Rental Assistance Programs:
Is your family behind on rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic? There are federally funded Rental Assistance Programs in each country which may be able to assist. To learn more and determine if you qualify, click on the county links below.
NOTE: if you are resident within the Orlando city limits, go to that site and not Orange County for assistance.
Rent Support for residents of Orlando– Rent Support for residents of Orlando – As of January 2022, the City of Orlando has been awarded $6.8 million in COVID-19 Relief Funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide Emergency Rental Assistance for households that have been financially impacted directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participant Helpline 855.227.5304
For more information, click here: orlando.gov/assistance
OURFlorida.com – OUR Florida, or Opportunities for Utilities and Rental Assistance has assisted families in need of aid, regardless of their city of residence, at OURFlorida.com. The program focuses on low-income renters whose household income is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), which varies by county. The program will prioritize renters with income at or below 50% AMI and/or families who have experienced unemployment within the past 90 days. They are currently not accepting applications at this time, but check their website, to see if application process reopens.
Osceola County COVID-19 Programs: Osceola County Resident Resources
Heart of Florida United Way – Provides online database for various services.
Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida – Now that the CDC Moratorium has ended, many renters at risk of immediate eviction. If you’re a renter having trouble paying your rent, utilities, or other housing costs may find information at Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida.
Visit Rental Assistance Application Events to see upcoming event dates for application events. If you want to speak to an attorney one-on-one, register at: https://bit.ly/clsmfERAnav or call 1.800.405.1417.
Mortgage: If you are having trouble making a mortgage payment your first call should be to the company that receives your mortgage payments each month. They may be able to arrange temporary mortgage assistance options, including a mortgage forbearance plan. A forbearance plan doesn’t erase the amount you own, but it temporarily suspends payments until your hardship is over. https://www.fanniemae.com/here-help-homeowners
Pet Food Pantry:
- Who is Eligible? Citizens of Orange, Seminole or Osceola County who are in need of supplemental dog or cat food are eligible to participate in this program at the Pet Alliance Orlando.
- How Do You Get Food? Pet food is available BY APPOINTMENT for individuals in need and can be picked up once monthly for a total of six months. Availability of food is based on donations to the shelter, so specific brands and types of food are not guaranteed. First time visitors will receive a punch card that they must bring with them for each visit (once per month, up to six months). Retuning visitors MUST bring their punch card. Photo ID is required and guests will need to wear a face covering while on Pet Alliance property. Please schedule an appointment at the Sanford shelter located at:
2800 County Home Road
Sanford, FL 32773
Affordable veterinarian services also offered – see website for details and locations.
For a pdf version of the list, updated 10/10/22, 9:00 a.m.-Click Here.
St. Luke’s Missions Ministry is providing this information as it is shared with us. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we are trying to navigate the information from these resources through this current COVID-19 situation. Please exercise caution in using this information and giving out your personal information as you would normally. We appreciate you letting us know if you find updated information or if you have additional information about available resources.
Please send updates or other sources of information to email@example.com. We will update this list as information comes in. Please check back, as needed.
Thank you and be safe!