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
Starting September 7, 2021, people will be able to call in any time during business hours and schedule an appointment. The basic needs staff will determine when to set their appointment based on when their bill is due. The Basic Needs Program can help with money towards past due rent, water or energy bills.
Must live in Johnson County, Iowa and need help paying a housing, water, or energy 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.
Please call 319-351-0128 Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 4:30pm. If you do not have a phone, please visit our office at 1121 South Gilbert Court.
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 statements you need help paying and your current lease or lender agreement. For utility assistance, bring the statement. If you have contacted other human service agencies for assistance for the same bill, please bring paperwork to show this.
Looking for information about the City of Iowa City CDBG Emergency Housing Assistance program? Click here to view the flyer.
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.