Skip to Main Content

Help in an Emergency

Buncombe County Social Work Services oversees the distribution of Emergency Assistance funds as they become available to our community. These funds are for families in short-term financial crisis due to unusual circumstances.

Guidelines for Emergency Assistance

  • Can pay deposits
    • must be currently homeless to qualify for rental deposit
    • must be currently living in the home without power in order to qualify for electric deposit
  • Can pay occupancy costs
  • Can pay past due bills for:
    • rent
    • electricity (must have final notice)
    • gas for cooking or heating water
    • water-past due balances
  • Income eligibility is based on net income.
  • Maximum payment is $300 once a year, within a 30-day time period.
    • Example: Applicant applies and receives assistance of $180.00 on Jan. 2nd, client has until Feb. 2nd to use the remaining $120.00.
  • Must have a related child in household under age 18
  • Must be a Buncombe County resident with income at or below 110% Federal poverty level.
  • If two able-bodied adults live in the home one must be working.

Program Pays For:

  • Rent
  • Electric Bills
  • Deposits
  • Fuel Oil
  • Kerosene
  • Natural Gas
  • Propane
  • Water
  • Wood
  • Coal
  • Moving in costs

Program Does Not Pay For:

  • Rx (Prescription Medications)

Appointment Procedure

  • Call Eblen Charities for more information - (828) 255-3066

What to bring with you

  • Income Verification
  • Shut-off / Eviction Notice

How are services paid for?

Services are paid by Federal, State and County funds.

Other Emergency Assistance Services include:

  • Low Income Energy Assistance Program
    A one-time cash payment to help eligible families pay their heating bills. Applications for this program are normally taken in October and November and the one-time cash payment is received in February.
  • Emergency Assistance for Families with Dependent Children
    Temporary financial assistance for families in financial crisis due to unusual circumstances.
  • The Crisis Intervention Program
    Assists low-income persons with fuel purchases when a heating-related crisis situation occurs.
  • TANF
    TANF is a block grant program to help move recipients into work and turn welfare into a program of temporary assistance.
  • General Assistance