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DSHS Emergency Programs

You can expect a prompt response when you are in an emergent situation. If you need help with any of the following, you should be able to talk to someone about your situation right away:

  • Eviction
  • No food
  • Homelessness
  • Pregnancy medical
  • Utility shut off
  • Domestic violence
  • Medical emergency
  • Non-receipt of benefits
  • Daycare needed due to work
  • Circumstances which present harm to yourself or others

Emergency Programs - We Offer Include:

Medical Programs:

If you have a medical emergency, we may have a medical program to help. A financial worker can explain more about the eligibility requirements of the medical programs provided by DSHS.


Emergency Food Assistance:

If you have very little money are in need of food, you may qualify for emergency food assistance. If you meet expedited guidelines and are eligible for food assistance, your assistance will be available within seven days of your application's receipt at your Community Services Office. You may be eligible for expedited service if you meet any of the conditions below:

  • Little or no money
  • Not enough money to cover your rent and utilities
  • Have a destitute migrant or seasonal farm-worker household member whose available cash does not exceed $100

Emergency Cash Assistance:

If your family has an emergency and you need a one-time cash payment to get or keep safe housing or utilities, you may be eligible for the Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN) or the Diversion Program. To be eligible for these programs, you must meet ALL the requirements listed below:

  • Meet eligibility requirements for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), State Family Assistance (SFA), or Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)
  • Have an emergency housing, utility or other need; and 
  • Have a good reason that you had insufficient funds to pay your housing or utility costs.

A WorkFirst case manager or other staff member can tell you more about these programs.



How to Apply:

You can apply for any of the emergency services listed above online or at your local Community Services Office.

As with all our programs, the only way to know for sure if you are eligible is to apply.