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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 gross income.
  • Program allows for up to two applications per fiscal year with the total yearly assistance not exceeding $450.
  • Must have a related child in household under age 18
  • Must be a Buncombe County resident with income at or below 200% 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)

How to Apply

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 vendor payment to help eligible families pay their heating bills. Applications for this program are taken from December through March. Only households containing an elderly person age 60 and above or a disabled person receiving services through the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) are eligible to potentially receive benefits from December 1st through December 31st.
  • 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 their past due heating bill or with fuel 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

Locate & Contact

Public Assistance / Economic Services


Phillip Hardin
CSS Program Administrator
P: (828) 250-5592

Call Center
P: (828) 250-5500
F: (828) 250-6235

Economic Services / Public Assistance
40 Coxe Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

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Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Mailing Address

Health & Human Services
PO Box 7408
Asheville, NC 28802

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