Assistance making ends meet

We fill in the gaps and are there to help with emergencies

Overview

Marin county has the greatest inequities based on race in California. Almost one third of people live paycheck-to-paycheck and more than half of those are people of color. In addition, with the 48% increase in the cost of living in Marin County over a four-year period, many in our community find they need help with emergencies. With 24% of those in Marin paying more than 50% of their income on rent, basic living expenses—housing, healthcare, food, and transportation—have become unaffordable and financial strain has become a reality for many. 

Community Action Marin’s job is to fill in the gaps and is there for help with emergencies. At Community Action Marin, our team of Success Coaches helps you to realize success on your own terms, ensuring that you can safely access and understand eligibility requirements for community and government programs and services. Our team of staff and skilled volunteers brings special expertise in connecting people to affordable housing, public benefits, rental assistance, utility payments, legal advice, and more.  

Living our values guides all that we do. With trust as our foundation, we pursue healing-centered engagement to bring about transformational change. We also recognize the importance of doing the work in our own house to create meaningful steps toward equity and well-being in order to do the hard work to accomplish our goals of racial and economic justice in our Marin community. Take a look at how we build a thriving workplace and the tools we use to do the work of racial and economic justice. Download both tools in English or our roadmap in Spanish by clicking the buttons below.

Impact

The Numbers

$1.62M

The amount provided in energy and water utility assistance to 1600 households in 2023

$72K

The amount provided in direct cash assistance to approximately 112 families for emergency assistance, help with car repairs, or motel stays

Programs

Our programs were designed to support people in meeting these most basic needs and provide help with emergencies so they can become stable and lift themselves out of poverty. The agency’s Whole Family Approach works to ensure that needs are met and outcomes at the individual, agency, and community levels are achieved to strengthen well-being.

The old man and his son are walking in the park. A man hugs his elderly father. They are happy and smiling

Utility Assistance

Community Action Marin is the local administrator of the federally-funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program helps eligible families get assistance with utility payments and wood and propane home energy costs.

 

View Details

Rental Assistance

We assist people with shorter term rent or rental deposits. Those eligible for Medi-CAL can also now receive one-time assistance with Housing Deposits and Housing Navigation.

View Details

Emergency Family Needs

A one-time emergency like a medical or energy bill can sometimes tip families who are already struggling, into crisis.  We are committed to providing a safety net that can assist people with not just housing related costs but in limited cases, emergency car repairs, durable medical equipment or other essential needs.

View Details

Food Security

Hunger and poor access to healthy food are realities for people of low income in Marin, despite the county’s general affluence. Over the past year, food insecurity among the individuals and families we serve intensified and grew with 1 in 5 families (and 1 in 3 seniors) in Marin struggling to put food on table. 

View Details

Frequently Asked Questions

Safety Net Services is designed to help low-income Marin families, seniors, and people with disabilities with emergency financial needs that are not covered by other assistance programs. 

Assistance may vary based on the service being provided. Once you click on the Access Services button and complete our intake form, one of our Success Coaches will get back to you in 5-7 days and will be able to provide you with additional information.

Eligibility for each of our programs varies therefore we do suggest either looking at those safety net programs you are interested in, sending us an email with questions, or calling our office at 415.526.7500 with specific questions so we can help with emergencies.

Our services are there to help you with all of our needs. We suggest completing our intake form by clicking on Access Services. A Success Coach will follow up with you in 5-7 days and you can discuss your needs, as well as the needs of a parent or child at that time. We want you and your family to get all the help you need. 

Community Action Marin is the local administrator of the federally-funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP helps those living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a one-time payment. Visit our Utility Assistance page to view 2024 program qualifications and learn about the application process.

The application period runs until August 15, 2024, or until funds run out. You may also apply directly through the California Online LIHEAP Application. People living in West Marin can also apply at the West Marin Community Resource Center by calling 415.663.8361.

If you fall behind in your bill, but can make minimal payments, you may be able to work out a payment plan with PG&E to avoid having your utilities shut off.  You may also be eligible for assistance through PG&E’s REACH Program (Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help).

Community Action Marin provides access to programs to assist people with rent or rental deposits. You’ll find all of the information you need here. Unfortunately, there are currently no local organizations that help with car insurance or medical bills.

Or need help with emergencies? Email Laurel Hill, Safety Net Services Director at lhill@camarin.org or call 415.526.7512.

Pathway to Thriving

“Accelerating Pathways to Thrive” is a year-long program designed to help those 18+ to overcome barriers as they find their pathway to secure housing and employment. The program focuses on an individual’s strengths and supports them through employment, as well as financial and wellness coaching, and is funded by the California Workforce Development Board.  

Meet our Team!

The Safety Net Services team offers community a first-line of response to meeting emergency needs in a crisis and provides a source of hope to many across Marin County. Whether that’s for energy or rent assistance, mortgage payment help, cash for car repairs or medicine, emergency food, or getting people housed, the team helps individuals and families daily.

Learn About Our Safety Net Team

Get our Resource Guide

Every year, Community Action Marin publishes a comprehensive list of local resources for Marin residents. Compiled with a special focus on programs serving those with low incomes, this guide plays a vital role in connecting people with services. This helps them thrive and knits a closer safety net of support among the various agencies serving Marin County.  

THANK YOU for assisting me with my rent help approval. I am feeling such a sense of relief. I love how everyone comes together to get things done, especially when it’s something urgent like retaining housing.  Thank you for going above and beyond at Community Action Marin!

Sue
Rental Assistance Recipient