Social Services in Nevada County for People with Low Income

I’m consistently amazed at the level of assistant you can get from government, and non-profit organizations if you make less than 21K-40K a year. Here are programs I’ve had personal experience with. Also, some extra money saving tips. For a comprehensive list of services (Dial 211 or visit

Bottom Line: Minimize buying, but when you do, buy used and buy locally. For instance: Gold Country Craigslist, Nevada County Swap Shop Facebook group, thrift stores, yard sales, and sort by distance on eBay.

Cash Aid

  • Calworks
  • Unemployment
  • Disability or Paid family leave
  • Business grants
  • Supportive Services

We are incredibly lucky. We have an immense good food network. I only eat organic, non-GMO, no sugar and local meat.

  • Food banks (Staples, as well as organic, local produce)
    • Interfaith Food Ministry – open every Mon, Wed, and Fri. You can go every two weeks. Bring your social security card your first visit. Be sure to return any food you do not want before you leave. www.interfaithfoodminist…
    • NC food bank – Open once a month, view calendar here: Calendar
  • Food stamps (EBT or Calfresh) Sign up online – 1-877-847-3663. I get around $200/month.
    • TIP: If you’re in a hurry, at Natural Selections you can buy locally premade Way Yum sushi, Theresita’s Haute Tamales, or Warehouse deli sandwiches with your EBT card!
    • TIP: You can use EBT at the Nevada City Farmers Market
    • TIP: You can use EBT to mail order food from Amazon or Walmart.
  • Markets: Nevada City farmers Market, EBT, and $25 free voucher.
  • Stores: Grocery outlet (Pick out the organic food), Natural Selections (Clearance shelves)
  • Free School Lunch Program
  • WIC if you are pregnant or have a child you can get food and a free breast pump. They also provide tokens for the Nevada City farmers’ market.

TIP: Save your vegetable scraps and meet scraps in the freezer to make vegetable and bone sock respectively.
TIP: Eat your food in the order that it will perish. Regularly eat all the food in your fridge.
TIP: Save your bacon grease. Cook with it, or make soap.
TIP: Nut/seed/grain milk is super easy to make. Kefir/Yogurt. Kombucha/jun. SaurKraut/Kimchi, Sprouts.
More info here:…

Federal Subsidized housing
Grass Valley First Time Home Buyer Program
Nevada County Habitat For Humanity Homeownership Program
Nevada County weatherization program Project Go  call 1-800-655-7705
PGE Weatherization program
Habit for humanity REstore
Regional Housing Authority of Sutter and Nevada County

PG&E Care program – Gives a discount on Electricity and Natural Gas
Project Go For Energy Assistance, please call 1-888-524-5705 – Will pay your PG&E for a year, and/or will provide vouchers for wood, or propane.
Ferrelgas w/ neighborhood association or refurbished tank.
TIP: Composting toilet
TIP: Dryer lint and tp rolls for firestarters
TIP: Dry your clothes on a line!
TIP: Use cold water to wash your clothes.
TIP: If you use the dryer, add a dry towel with your wet clothes to speed up drying, or use wool dryer balls.

Phone and cellphone
California and Federal Lifeline programs – A free cellphone and service, or a discount on your landline. For more info check out my article here: The Cell Phone Guru blog post
(Sprint) Freedompop – 200 Voice Minutes 500 Text Messages 500MB 3G/4G Data with $99 phone +$10 s/, OR activate your own Sprint phone for $20. Not limited to low income users.
Google Voice with Hangouts and dailer- free wifi calling for your smart phones or computers. Not limited to low income users.
MVNO’s: Republic Wireless (Sprint, Verizon, Wifi), Pageplus (Verizon), Airvoice (ATT) Not limited to low income users.

More info here:
(Sprint) Freedompop – 500MB/month 4G connection free with $30 + $10 s/h hotspot purchase. Not limited to low income users.
(Sprint) Netzero – 200MB/month for a year.$76.90 for device and s/h.  Not limited to low income users.
(T-mobile)… – $10/month hotspot for $62.51 1.2GB at 4G speed, then unlimited at 3G for month.
(Comcast) www.internetessentials.c… – Most have a child that qualifies for some school lunch program. Actually you have tons of options if you qualify for school lunch programs.
(ATT) Sonic – semi-local DSL company

TIP: Gasbuddy
electric bicycle

Medi-cal @ Western Sierra Medical Center General and dentist, vision dr. moon, equine therapy
Women’s health specialist w/ qwest and fee waiver

Vehicle Insurance
Minimum insurance or
Pay as you go: Metromile

FirstUS Credit Union – Free checking and savings
River Valley Community Bank – Free checking and savings

Sierra College: FAFSA, Governor Fee Waiver

Nevada City Small Business Loans and Grant
David Nelson – Nevada City CDBG Program Manager

Click to access EconomicDevel.pdf

Sierra commons
Kickstarter Indiegogo, etc…

Website hosting
HangLeft Hosting

Open source software

Use white vinegar to clean everything
Make your toothpaste
Use soap nuts for soap or make it
Use apple cider vinegar and baking soda to wash hair, coconut oil to condition
coconut oil for all lotion, moistorizer, sunblock
Use reusable toilet rags instead of toilet paper
Petfood: Animalsave program or make your own.
Make cloth bags for bulk items and produce
Store vegetables in cloth bags or dish towels

These are the programs that I personally use. A resourced, single, white male living in Western Nevada County. If you are a person without reliable transportation, a person without a permanent home, a person with two X chromosomes, a person with children, a person with a disability, a person suffering from chronic illness, a person who has suffered violence, a person suffering from addiction, a person that has served in the military, a person with more than 65 years under your belt, of you live in Eastern Nevada County, check out the site below where you will find even more services.
Nevada County Community Resource Directory (available 24 hours a day)
Emergency Assistance Coalition (EAC)
877-847-0499 (Dial 211 /

You can view Nevada County’s 2014-2015 Cummunity Action Plan (CAP) that was created so that we could receive the $1.6M Federal CSBG* grant that helps fund these services here: CAP. Note: Each non-profit that applied and was approved got $60K/year for 2 years.

*The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), administered by the states, provides core funding to local agencies to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities and to empower low-income families to become self-sufficient.

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