The Basic Needs Program uses funds provided by generous private donors, the Consultation of Religious Communities, the St. Anthony’s Bread fund, and other philanthropic organizations to help Johnson County individuals and families with basic needs such as:
Housing and Utility Assistance Information
The Basic Needs Program can help with $100 towards past due rent, water or energy bills. We are able to assist about 20 households each week.
Must be living in Johnson County, Iowa and have a past-due housing, water, or energy bill. If there is a threat of disconnection or eviction, you must be able to pay all but the last $100 on the bill. You can receive financial assistance for housing and utilities up to two (2) times per year. Once you have received assistance, you must wait sixty (60) days to apply again. Unfortunately, the Basic Needs Program cannot help with phone bills, cable bills, insurance bills, taxes, vehicle repairs, or medical bills.
To enter our sign up, call 319-351-0128 on Monday morning between 9 and 11 am. If you do not have a phone, please be outside at the Food Bank/Basic Needs Program Front Door at exactly 11 am. If the Food Bank/Basic Needs program is closed on a Monday, the sign up will be held the next day that we are open.
Selected applicants are announced at 12 p.m. that day and will be notified via phone call, text, or in-person at the Food Bank.
Applicants must participate in a scheduled in-person interview to provide basic information about your household and sign a release form. For housing assistance, bring the past due notice/statement and your current lease or lender agreement. For utility assistance, bring the past due statement. If you have contacted other human service agencies for assistance for the same bill, please bring paperwork to show this.
COVID-19 Emergency Housing Assistance
If you are unable to pay your full rent, mortgage or utilities due to COVID-19 loss of income, you may be eligible to receive emergency housing assistance. CommUnity is partnering with The City of Iowa City Government to provide assistance to Iowa City residents.
First, apply for the state’s assistance program at https://bit.ly/3gSpQ5C.
If you don’t qualify for state assistance, you can contact CommUnity at 319-519-6183 and ask to apply for Iowa City’s CDBG funds for eviction and foreclosure prevention or fill out an assessment at this link.
New Employment Work Items
The Basic Needs Program can help if you have an offer of employment contingent on providing your own boots, non-slip shoes, specific uniform items, etc., and are unable to purchase the items yourself. Come to the Food Bank during regular operating hours and bring 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 Exam and Glasses Assistance
If you receive Medicaid: Contact your provider about receiving an eye exam and frames.
If you have a current glasses prescription: Contact Free Medical Clinic for eyeglasses assistance.
If these two options do not fit your situation: The Basic Needs Program has a handful of referrals each month for eye exams and glasses. Please stop by the Food Bank during regular operating hours and ask about assistance with eyeglasses.
Prescription Medication Assistance
First, apply for the Free Medical Clinic pharmacy program. If the Free Medical Clinic cannot help you, the Basic Needs Program can assist once in a 12-month period with up to $25. Bring a rejection note from the Free Medical Clinic along with your prescription and its cost at your pharmacy to the Food Bank during regular operating hours.