- January 1
- President’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving
What We Do
The Emergency Assistance program uses funds provided by generous private donors, philanthropic organizations, the Catholic community’s St. Anthony’s Bread fund and the Consultation of Religious Communities to help Johnson County individuals and families maintain or obtain basic needs such as:
- Work-related apparel
- Eye exams and glasses
Rules & Requirements
The Emergency Assistance Program cannot help with phone bills, cable bills, insurance bills, taxes, vehicle repairs, or medical bills.
Housing or Utilities
To be eligible for housing or utility assistance, you must have a past due bill and, if there is a threat of disconnection or eviction, you must be able to pay all but the last $100 on the bill.
To be eligible for prescription assistance, you must have applied for the Free Medical Clinic pharmacy program first. If the Free Medical Clinic cannot help you, the Emergency Assistance program can assist once in a 12-month period with up to $25.
For help with personal identification or a copy of a birth certificate, please stop by The Crisis Center during food bank hours and we will have someone meet with you to discuss how to obtain an ID or birth certificate. If you have questions, please call 319-351-0128 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
To be eligible for help purchasing work-related apparel – boots, no-slip shoes, specific uniform items, etc. – you must have a dated letter from your employer stating that the items are required to begin working.
This program is funded by the Iowa City Masonic Lodge No. 4.
Eye exams and glasses
If you are in need of an eye exam and glasses, and you receive Medicaid, contact your provider about receiving an eye exam and frames. If you have a
current glasses prescription, contact Free Medical Clinic and they can help you obtain frames. If these two options do not fit your situation, The Crisis Center has a handful of referrals each month for eye exams and glasses. Please stop by the Food Bank during open hours and ask about assistance with eyeglasses.
How to Apply for Financial Assistance
If you need assistance with a prescription, you must bring a rejection note from the Free Medical Clinic along with the original or a copy of your prescription and its cost at your pharmacy. If you need work-related items, please follow the instructions in the Rules & Requirements section above.
To participate in the housing and utility assistance sign-up, plan to arrive at The Crisis Center Food Bank on Monday morning between 10:45 – 11:00 a.m. There is no advantage to arriving earlier and all participants must wait outside the building, regardless of weather conditions. You can also call (319) 351-0128 on Mondays between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to have your name submitted for the sign-up.
If you are selected, you will need to participate in a private interview, in person, at The Crisis Center. You will be asked to provide basic information about your family and sign a release form giving The Crisis Center permission to gather additional information from others, such as funders, landlords, utility companies and/or other human service agencies. If selected, The Crisis Center can help with the last $100 due, meaning if your overdue bill is more than $100, you will need to make payment arrangements or be able to cover the remaining amount. Crisis Center staff can also help by referring you to other agencies that may provide financial assistance.
What to Bring With You if You Are Selected For Assistance
Help with housing
Please bring the original or a copy of a past due notice/statement and your current lease or lender agreement. If you have contacted other human service agencies for assistance for the same bill, you need to bring paperwork to show this.
Help with a gas, electric or water utility bill
Bring the original or a copy of your past due statement. If you have contacted other human service agencies for assistance for the same bill, you need to bring paperwork to show this.