Most forms of assistance for housing, medical bills, or other personal expenses such as debt relief will come from charitable organizations or government assistance programs, rather than grants from foundations. Foundation grants are generally awarded to nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Those that give grants to individuals typically do so to help pay for education or to support artistic or research projects.
The Foundation Center does not give grants, refer you to specific funders, or approach them on your behalf.
There is a very small number of grants available to help individuals with personal expenses, but it takes time to research and apply for them. If you need funds urgently, more immediate resources for funding may be available in your area, including government agencies, local organizations, and gifts or loans from generous individuals. You might also contact your elected officials to ask about government-sponsored or other programs for which you may be eligible.
Also, we recommend that you explore the resources available at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) web site for homebuyers, which includes links to local home buying programs administered by state and local governments and nonprofit agencies. Many of these organizations provide assistance with down payments and closing costs for low-income families or individuals and other groups. HUD also provides a searchable listing of approved housing counseling agencies.
If you do wish to research grants for individuals, all Foundation Center locations and our Funding Information Network partner libraries provide free access to Foundation Grants to Individuals Online (or its print equivalent), our searchable database of grantmakers that fund individual grantseekers. Try the following searches:
Type of Support = Emergency funds
Field of Interest =(Basic and emergency aid OR Low-income and poor people) AND (if applicable) disabled OR elderly OR children OR veteran
See our related Knowledge Base articles:
- Where can I find funding for personal expenses?
- How can we raise money for a single individual or family in need?
- Where can I find information about grants to individuals with disabilities?
- Where can I find help with medical bills?
The following websites offer additional information or assistance.
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