Most forms of assistance for housing, medical bills, or other personal expenses such as debt relief will come from charitable organizations or government assistance programs, rather than grants from foundations. Foundation grants are generally awarded to nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Those that give grants to individuals typically do so to help pay for education or to support artistic or research projects.
We realize that you may need the funds urgently. However, researching the few foundations that provide emergency funding to individuals takes time. More immediate resources for funding may be in your area, including government agencies, local organizations, and gifts or loans from generous individuals. You might also contact your elected officials to ask about government-sponsored or other programs for which you may be eligible.
By and large, foundations do NOT make grants to individuals for the purchase of a home. Instead, we recommend that you explore the resources available at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) web site for homebuyers, which includes links to local home buying programs administered by state and local governments and nonprofit agencies. Many of these organizations provide assistance with down payments and closing costs for low-income families or individuals and other groups. HUD also provides a searchable listing of approved housing counseling agencies.
Virtual and print resources on this topic are available at Foundation Center libraries and Funding Information Network partners, and your local public library. All Foundation Center locations provide free access to Foundation Grants to Individuals Online or its print equivalent, our searchable database of grantmakers that fund individual grantseekers.
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