Community Resources

Free Referrals for Various Needs

211: Free referrals to community resources 24/7/365. TEXT your ZIP code to 898-211, CALL 211 or CHAT or SEARCH ONLINE.

MyFloridaMyFamily: An online search-by-ZIP Code platform in partnership with Aunt Bertha, listing various family resources. 

Family Network on Disabilities of Manasota (FND):  A non-profit organization that assists families of children with disabilities and special needs. Their network is made up of an alliance of parents, professionals and community members. List of resources

Temporary Shelter

Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness: The lead agency and recipient of the State of Florida Unified Grant for the Manatee and Sarasota region.  

The Salvation Army: Services include free evening meal program, emergency overnight shelters, case management and social service programs. Also offers Christmas assistance programs (e.g. Angel Tree, Adopt-A-Family). They also offer faith-based and character-building programs for adults and youth.

Turning Points: Provides temporary housing, along with rental and utility assistance and assistance trying to find more affordable housing options.

 Utility Assistance

Turning Points: Provides rental and utility assistance and assistance trying to find more affordable housing options.

Step-Up Suncoast: Program provides utility assistance to households in need.

St. Vincent de Paul: Program provides utility assistance to households in need. Pay electric and water companies in Manatee County to keep the service going and sometimes to restore the service. They are able to assist neighbors by paying utility bills that are past due on Final Notice or have been shut off.

Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly

Program provides assistance to households with at least one person aged 60 or over with payment of electric final notices, deposits and past due notices. Eligibility is based on household size and gross income.  Call Neighborhood Services' Aging Services team at (941) 749-3030.

Veterans Temporary Housing 

JFCS of the Suncoast: Supports veterans and their families who reside on the Suncoast who are confronting life’s challenges. They offer case management, financial and employment assistance to low-income veterans and their families who are homeless or who are about to become homeless to enable them to obtain or maintain stable, permanent housing.

Food Assistance

Click here for a list of food distribution events, along with local pantry locations and hours of operation. 

Gas & Transportation Assistance

St. Vincent de PaulGas vouchers are given to the clients so they may transport their children to school, themselves to work and/or job interviews, and medical appointments.

Medical Assistance

We Care Manatee: Provides free, quality medical care and referral services to low-income, uninsured adult residents of Manatee County, Florida. Partnerships with community hospitals and alliances with other medical facilities enable us to give our patients the quality care they need, from local providers they trust.

Mental Health

Suicide Support Group: If you have a loved one who has attempted suicide or lost a loved one by suicide, you are not alone. Join the Suicide Support Group. Meets First and Third Wednesdays of every month, from 6:30 to 8 PM, at 2911 Fruitville Road, Sarasota 34237. Sponsored by Centerstone and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). To register, call Taylor Walker, Program Coordinator, at 941-444-3428 or email [email protected]

Substance Abuse

Drug-Free Manatee: Manatee County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (Drug Free Manatee) was founded in 2001. We develop community partnerships that implement comprehensive, evidence-based environmental strategies to prevent and reduce substance abuse while promoting health and wellness throughout the county, especially among youth.

Tow to Go: Since 1998, Tow to Go has safely removed more than 25,000 impaired drivers from roads across the Southeast and the Midwest. AAA through it’s Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation and Budweiser provide this program to prevent impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel and risking the lives of other motorists.

Smoking Cessation

Tobacco-Free Florida: Call 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (1-877-822-6669) to speak with a trained Quit Coach or find a smoking-cessation program

Gulfcoast South AHEC (Area Health Education Center):  Offers two course types: single session (meeting once—Tools to Quit class) and multi session (meeting once a week for several weeks—Quit Smoking Now class). Find courses in your area, or call a cessation specialist at 866-534-7909.

Domestic Violence

Hope Family Services24/hour confidential help line, chat and text: 941-755-6805. To be connected directly to an advocate, text "survivor" to 69922 to be directly connected to one of their advocates 24/7.


Children's Services

Whole Child Manatee: A community-wide effort to get our children off to the best start in life by ensuring they have everything they need to thrive. Provides referrals for families for a wide-range of services. 

Car Seat Safety: Classes and individual appointments to teach you how to install and use your car seat correctly. You will also learn when to transition your child to another seat and how to keep your child safe as he or she grows. More information

County-Funded Children's Programs


To Inform Families First (TIFF): An emergency contact information program. By registering, you can help law enforcement reach your loved ones quickly in an emergency. All you need is a Drivers License or ID Card. Register Now

Respite Shelters: A respite shelter is a "cool-down" place in a safe environment, a potential option for parents/guardians to consider for their children in lieu of a family-violence arrest. More Info

Senior Citizens 

Elder Help Line: For anyone seeking information or services relating to Manatee County senior citizens. Available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  There is a voicemail system in place for after hours and holidays in which a person can leave a message and their call will be returned the next business day. Call (941) 742-5818. In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1 or the Department of Children and Families Abuse Registry at (800) 962-2873.

SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders): Free program offered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and local Area Agency on Aging. Specially trained volunteers who can assist with Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance questions by providing one-on-one counseling and information. More information

Social-Distancing Apps: A third-party guide to some apps and technologies well suited for senior citizens to connect with loved ones and healthcare professionals and essential goods and services. 


Bay Pines VA Healthcare System Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) program

The MLP program is a health and legal alliance between the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, Stetson University Veterans Law Institute, and Bay Area Legal Services. The program is designed specifically for Veterans enrolled for care with the Bay Pines VAHCS (some exceptions may apply) who are in need of legal representation/consultation for non-criminal offenses, who may not otherwise be able to afford legal representation. Services are provided by MLP attorneys at no cost. The MLP Program office is headquartered in building 100, room 1E-241 at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center. Legal services are provided on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (closed for one-hour lunch). Walk-ins are seen in the morning (9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.) and scheduled appointments are booked in the afternoon. To make an appointment, call 727-398-9592. More Information.

Legal Services

Legal Aid of ManasotaLocated at 1101 6th Ave. W Ste. 111 Bradenton, FL. Their services are low cost legal and some may be pro-bono. There are a variety of services available, including bankruptcy, wage garnishment, debt collections, landlord/tenant issues, foreclosure defense, mobile home disputes, public housing issues, immigration issues, protection injunctions, divorce, powers of attorney, living wills, wills, health care surrogates, probate to preserve homestead, non-profit assistance, guardianships and domestic violence. For more information contact: Nina Perry, Esq. 941-747-1628

Tax Preparation 

Step Up Suncoast: Will offer free (virtual) tax preparation services January 25 to April 12. In-person appointments may be available ONLY for the elderly and those with limited proficiency in English. Email or call 941-300-2256 for more information. Step-by-step details

United Way Suncoast:  By appointment only at locations throughout the region. VITA site and appointment-making information.

Crime Prevention Resources 

Clothing Resources 

Women's Resource CenterLocated at 1926 Manatee Ave. W Bradenton FL, the Clothing Closet is available Monday through Thursday 9am-4pm and on Friday from 9am-11:30am. They allow one visit every six months (five complete outfits, two shoes, and one purse). For more information contact: Chris Braun, Manatee 941-747-6797 | Sarasota 941-366-1700 

County-Funded Programs for Adults