Help making ends meet

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 themselves in an emergency situation. 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 be there for unexpected financial emergencies. Our Safety Net programs help Marin families, seniors, and people with disabilities with emergency financial needs that are not covered by other assistance programs. 

Impact

The Numbers

1/3

Number of people living paycheck-to-paycheck

800

Number of families we help to keep the lights and heat on

1500

Number of seniors that run out of money for food each month

Programs

Our programs were designed to support people in meeting these most basic needs 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.

Utility Assistance

Emergencies can happen to anyone, any time. Community Action Marin provides access to the appropriate programs. We provide help with energy needs and water bill assistance so you can be at home, and have the lights on, and the water running. 

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Housing 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.

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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.

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Mental Health Community Action Marin

Homeless Outreach

Through our Community Alternative Response Engagement (CARE) homeless outreach teams, we offer vital support and assistance to unhoused people throughout Marin County.  We are often the first point of contact for people experiencing homelessness. 

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Tax Assistance Community Action Marin

Tax Help

Maximizing a tax refund can put vital money back in peoples’ pockets.  We offer free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax preparation services where caring, trained volunteers guide Marin residents through matters such as reporting on public benefits and claiming the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), so they can claim tax benefits for which they’re eligible and understand their choices for the next year. 

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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. 

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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.

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. 

Water bill assistance will start in May or June. You may qualify for this new assistance program  if your gross monthly household income is less than: 

  • $2,431.09 for a family of 1
  • $3,179.11 for a family of 2 
  • $3,927.14 for a family of 3 
  • $4,675.17 for a family of 4 
  • $5,423.19 for a family of 5 
  • $6,171.22 for a family of 6
  • $6,311.48 for a family of 7
  • $6,451.73 for a family of 8 

We do provide PG&E assistance currently. You’ll find additional details in the Utility Assistance section here.

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.

Email Laurel Hill, Safety Net Services Director at [email protected] or call 415.526.7512.

Embark on a Pathway to Thriving

“Accelerating Pathways to Thrive for Marin Women” is a year-long program designed to help women age 18+, who are homeless, 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.