Legal Assistance

If you cannot afford legal assistance, here are options for free legal services available in Indiana.

Reach out to a librarian with any questions or for one-on-one assistance navigating these resources!

Call 574-282-4646
Visit any library location

Indiana Legal Services

Indiana Legal Services is a nonprofit law firm that provides free legal assistance for a variety of civil legal matters. Eligibility: Income within 125% or 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines depending on expenses and type of legal problem

Indiana Legal Help

Indiana Legal Help connects Hoosiers to free and low-cost civil legal help, court forms, and information. Resources can be found for the following legal issues at our website:

  • Divorce
  • Protection Order
  • Driving
  • Housing
  • Continuance
  • Child Support
  • Name and Gender Mark Change
  • Parenting Time
  • Expungement

Notre Dame Clinical Law Center

Notre Dame Law School’s second- and third-year students receive academic credit while providing free legal services to individuals, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations who cannot afford legal counsel.

  • Applied Mediation: Provides mediation services to individuals litigating civil matters such as child custody, parenting time, landlord-tenant disputes, and contract disputes.
  • Community Development: Offers non-litigation services to nonprofit organizations and small businesses.
  • Economic Justice: Provides legal services to low-income clients in consumer law matters.
  • Exoneration Justice: Committed to correcting the miscarriage of justice and investigating, litigating, and overturning wrongful convictions.
  • Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship: Offers counsel to businesses and entrepreneurs on IP-related issues.
  • Religious Liberty: Protects not only the freedom for individuals to hold religious beliefs but also their right to exercise and express those beliefs and to live according to them.

Volunteer Lawyer Network

The Volunteer Lawyer Network promotes and organizes free legal services in Elkhart, LaPorte, Kosciusko, Marshall, Starke, and St. Joseph counties.

  • The VLN takes phone calls and messages on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 8am and 1pm, and Fridays between 1-5pm. Call within those hours, or e-mail at

The VLN can place cases with volunteer attorneys in these areas:

  • Adoptions
  • Guardianships
  • Dissolution (Divorce)
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Consumer/Collections
  • Small Business Legal Needs
  • Estate Law
  • Wills/Powers of Attorney/Health Care Directives
  • Contracts
  • Bankruptcy
  • Real Estate
  • Expungements/Special Driving Privileges

IN Free Legal Answers

IN Free Legal Answers is a website operated by the American Bar Association.

  • Post a question about a civil legal issue and have it answered for free by an attorney.
  • In order to qualify, you must be unable to afford to hire an attorney.
  • To see if you are eligible and to ask a question now, visit IN Free Legal Answers.


Trained Library Staff

Notary Services

St. Joe County Public Library offers notary services at Main Library on Monday-Thursday from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 1-4:30 p.m. This service is available for free for resident cardholders, or $5 for guest cardholders or patrons without a library card. Please call ahead to ensure notary services are available.

Business Research and Support

Our staff offers professional help in locating business resources, as well as support using online business databases such as Morning Star, AtoZDatabases, and many more. These resources can help entrepreneurs and business owners gather valuable information to make important decisions.

Early Literacy Librarian

Our Early Literacy Librarian works to support children 0-9 and their families, including:

  • Developing Storytimes and Babytimes, based on the five early literacy practices: read, write, sing, talk, and play.
  • Organizing initiatives such as 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten to help children develop the skills they need to become lifelong readers.
  • Coordinating with daycares, preschools, kindergartens, and grades 1-3 to offer library tours and visits, as well as outreach.
  • Collaborating with community partners to develop programs and promote early literacy resources for families.

Bilingual Staff

Bilingual staff at Western Branch are available to help Spanish-speaking patrons.

Teen Librarian

Our teen librarian helps create programming and events for teens. From resume writing workshops, to video game nights, to book clubs, the teen space offers educational and fun ways to engage.

Studio 304 Staff

Studio 304 staff can help you to navigate the tools and tech available to create and produce print, video, and audio projects and to help your ideas become reality.

Local & Family History Research Librarians

Our research librarians in Local & Family History can help you navigate databases and resources for your research project.

Reach out to a librarian with any questions about these resources!

Call 574-282-4646

Voting Resources

The Library cultivates civic engagement by connecting you with resources to help you register and be prepared to vote. To register to vote, check your voting status, find your voting location, or see your ballot, visit the Indiana Voter Portal.

Reach out to a librarian with any questions or for one-on-one assistance navigating these resources!

Call 574-282-4646
Visit any library location

Register to vote

Upcoming election: May 3, 2022 
Last day to register is Monday, April 4, 2022.

Three ways to register to vote:
  1. Online at Indiana Voter Portal
  2. By mail using the Indiana voter registration form. 
  3. In-person at the Voter Registration Office on the 4th Floor of the County-City Building
    • 227 W. Jefferson Blvd., South Bend IN (Phone: 574-235-9521)

Think you are registered? Double check by visiting the Indiana Voter Portal.

What you need to register:
  • Have a valid Indiana Driver’s License or Indiana State Identification Card.
  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before election day. (A 17-year-old may register and vote in the primary election if the voter turns 18 on or before election day.)
  • Have lived in your precinct for at least 30 DAYS before election day.
  • Not currently imprisoned after being convicted of a crime.

NOTE: You can register to vote if you were previously incarcerated or are on parole or probation, in home detention, in jail awaiting trial or in a community correction program. For more information visit ACLU Indiana.


Indiana Voter Portal
  • Register to vote
  • Check your registration and voting status
  • Vote by mail
  • Find your voting location
  • Learn about election security
  • Monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases
  • Run by independent editors and journalists, focused on looking at specific statements made by politicians and rating them for accuracy.
  • A nonpartisan, statewide effort to register new voters and help Hoosiers understand the issues and know the candidates on the ballot.
  • Find information about candidates and issues.

  • Election information you need, brought to you by the League of Women Voters.
  • See your sample ballot and compare candidate answers to policy questions.

Voting as an informed citizen
  • Bendable Community Collection by Lisa Plencner, Director of voter registration for the League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area.

Tax Assistance

Need help completing your taxes?

Taxes are due on April 18, 2022. An IRS Certified Volunteer can provide free tax preparation at the Library! Information on dates / times is subject to change.

Reach out to a librarian with any questions or for one-on-one assistance navigating these resources!

Call 574-282-4646
Visit any library location

ND/SMC Tax Assistance

Online registration for ND/SMC tax assistance opens two weeks prior to each date at Main Library. Registration for the first date opens January 27, 2022. Masks are required!

Main Library
February 10 – April 9, 2022

Thursday Feb. 105pm-7pmMain Library,
Saturday Feb. 129am-3pmMain Library,
Thursday Feb. 175pm-7pmMain Library,
Saturday Feb. 199am-3pmMain Library,
Thursday Feb. 245pm-7pmMain Library,
Saturday Feb. 269am-3pmMain Library,
Thursday Mar. 35pm-7pmMain Library,
Thursday Mar. 175pm-7pmMain Library,
Saturday Mar. 199am-3pmMain Library,
Thursday Mar. 245pm-7pmMain Library,
Saturday Mar. 269am-3pmMain Library,
2nd floor classroom
Thursday, March 315pm-7pmMain Library,
Saturday, April 29am-3pmMain Library,
Thursday, April 75pm-7pmMain Library,
Saturday, April 99am-3pmMain Library,

VITA/Goodwill Tax Assistance

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) will be run through Goodwill Industries. To make an appointment or to learn more please call Goodwill directly at 574-800-1361. Masks are required and VITA requires proof of vaccination for anyone who makes an appointment at Tutt, Western or LaSalle.

Western Branch
Wednesdays (hours TBD)
February 9 – April 6, 2022

LaSalle Branch
Thursdays (hours TBD)
February 10 – April 7, 2022

Tutt Branch
Mondays (hours TBD)
February 7 – April 4, 2022

Will Prepare

  • Wages, salaries, etc. (Form W-2)
  • Interest Income (Form 1099-INT)
  • Dividends Received (Form 1099-DIV)
  • State Tax Refunds (Form 1099-G)
  • IRA Distributions (Form 1099-R)
  • Pension Income (Forms 1099-R, RRB-1099-R, CSA-1099)
  • Social Security Benefits (Form SSA-1099, RRB-1099)
  • Simple Capital Gain/Loss (Form 1099-B) limited
  • Sale of Home (Form 1099-S) limited
  • Self-employed Income (Form 1099-MISC) limited
  • Gambling Winnings (Form W-2G)
  • Cancellation of Debt (Form 1099-C) limited
  • Health Savings Accounts (Form 1099-SA) limited
  • Itemized Deductions limited
  • Education Credits (Form 1098-T)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Earned Income Credit
  • Health Insurance Statements (Forms 1095-A, B or C)
  • Prior Year and Amended Returns limited
  • Form 8615 (tax on certain children’s unearned income) limited

Will Not Prepare

  • Schedule C with loss, depreciation or business use of home
  • Complicated Schedule D (capital gains and losses)
  • Form SS-5 (request for Social Security Number)
  • Form 8606 (non-deductible IRA)
  • Form 8814 (child taxed at parent’s tax rate)
  • Form SS-8 (determination of worker status for purposes of federal employment taxes and income tax withholding)
  • Parts 4 & 5 of Form 8962 (Premium Tax Credits)
Please see a professional preparer for assistance with complicated returns.

What to Bring

  • For married filing joint, both spouses must be present
  • Photo identification for you and your spouse (if filing joint return)
  • Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification
  • Number documents for you, your spouse, and dependents
  • Birth dates for you, spouse, and dependents
  • A copy of last year’s tax return
  • All Forms W-2, 1098, and 1099
  • Form 1095-A (Marketplace Health Insurance)
  • Information for other income
  • Information for all deductions/credits
  • Total paid to day care provider and their tax ID number
  • For direct deposit of refund, proof of account
  • For prior year returns, copies of income transcripts from IRS if Form W-2 not available
  • Landlord’s name and address (if renting)

Unemployment Resources

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the economy. Even as businesses reopen, unemployment remains high. Whether you recently lost your job, are filing for the first time or have received unemployment benefits before, the Library can help navigate these resources.

Reach out to a librarian with any questions or for one-on-one assistance navigating these resources!

Call 574-282-4646
Visit any library location

Department of Workforce Development

Call Center

Unemployment Insurance Toll Free Call Number:
1-800-891-6499 | 317-232-7560 (TDD)
Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST

The call center is experiencing very high call volumes and you must call on the day designated for your first letter of your last name**

  • Monday: Letters A-E
  • Tuesday: Letters F-I
  • Wednesday: Letters J-M
  • Thursday: Letters N-T
  • Friday: Letters U-Z or if you missed your day

Web Chat

Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST


Please include:

  • Your last name
  • The last 4 digits of your social security number or employee account number
  • Are you a claimant or an employer?
  • Zip code of your residence

Account assistance:
Do not call the call center for account assistance.

Please include:

  • Your full name
  • The last four digits of your SSN
  • Your current mailing address
  • Phone number where you can be reached.
  • Let us know if you need username assistance or password assistance or both.

How to file unemployment

Filing for Unemployment in Indiana
You will need these items to file for benefits:

  • A valid email account: your email address will become your username  
  • Your personal information, including your:
    • Indiana Driver’s license or Indiana ID card
    • Address 
    • Social security number (SSN)
    • Date of birth
    • Phone number
  • Information about your last employer, including:
    • Employer’s name/company name
    • Employer’s mailing address
    • Employer’s phone number
  • Information about your employment, including your:
    • Dates of employment
    • The reason you are unemployed 
  • Your bank routing number and account number if you chose direct deposit as your payment option
    • NOTE: a debit card–Key2Benefits prepaid MasterCard®–is also available

MOST IMPORTANTLY! Remember to file your weekly claim or voucher each week before 8:59pm on each given Saturday to continue to receive your benefits.

Guides and Tips

How to file for back claims

  • To file a claim when the initial deadline has passed or for back claims, use State Form 56923.
  • This form allows you to file for weeks that have passed that you were unemployed.

General Information and Resources

Coping with job loss and unemployment

Training and upskilling for a new job

Bendable – Over 1k learning resources from local and national providers to help you get a leg up for your next job. Explore career collections, backed by local employers, to help you learn new skills in high demand jobs.

Your Next Step Indiana – Get help finding a job, learning new skills, furthering your education or securing emergency aid. Brought to you by the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet.

NextLevel Jobs – Free training for working-age Hoosiers in one of Indiana’s high-demand job fields. – Use this portal to search for local jobs if you are an ex-felon

Rural Resources

If you live in southern St. Joseph County, this list can help you identify timely support services and information about finding COVID-19 testing, crisis food distribution, help with grocery trips, etc. Please contact these organizations directly for the most up-to-date information.

Reach out to a librarian with any questions or for one-on-one assistance navigating these resources!

Call 574-282-4646
Visit any library location

Local Pantries

Bread of Life Food Pantry
6770 N Michigan St | Plymouth, IN 46563
Mondays — 5:00-7:00
Wednesdays & Fridays — 1:00-3:00
Questions: (574) 936-1006

County Line Brethren Church
69988 US-31 | Lakeville, IN 46536
1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month — 2:30-5:30
Questions: (574) 784-3552

Food Bank of Northern Indiana
702 Chapin St | South Bend, IN 46601
Mondays & Fridays — 9:00-2:00
Wednesdays — 11:00-5:00
Questions: (574) 232-9986

Lakeville United Methodist Church
610 N Michigan St | Lakeville, IN 46536
Tuesdays — 9:00-12:00
Questions: (574) 784-8215

Marshall County Neighborhood Center
201 N Plum St | Plymouth, IN 46563
Office Hours: Monday-Friday — 9:00-4:00
Food Pantry: Mondays — 1:00-3:00
Wednesdays: 5:00-7:00
Fridays: 9:00-11:00
Questions: (574) 936-3388

Walkerton Christian Community Food Pantry
625 Roosevelt Rd | Walkerton, IN 46574
Food Pantry: 3rd Tuesday of the Month – 11:30-1:30 pm & 5:30-6:45 pm
Questions: (574) 586-3078

Necessary Pantry
Services: Paper products, soaps, personal care products, etc. Hours: 4-5:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at the North Liberty United Methodist Church.
Requirements: Must have a current ID and proof of current address.
Questions: Call 574-850-5156 for more information.

Counseling Services

Bowen Center
460 Stull St. Suite 300 | South Bend, IN 46601
(800) 342-5653 ext. 3348
990 Illinois St. | Plymouth, IN 46563
(574) 936-9646
Services: Comprehensive care for mental and physical health conditions and student assistance programs. 2 Free counseling sessions for students.
Office Hours: Monday — 8:00-8:00
Tuesday/Thursday — 8:00-7:00
Wednesday/Friday — 8:00-5:00
Appointments: 1-800-342-5652

Eric Foster and Associates Counseling Services
322 W Jefferson St #1734 | Plymouth, IN 46563
Services: Group, Family, and Marriage Counseling available.
Office Hours: Monday – Thursday — 8:00-8:00
Friday — 8:00-6:00
Contact: (574) 936-3377

Michiana Behavioral Health Center
1800 N Oak Dr | Plymouth, IN 46563
Services: Free assessments, acute and residential hospitalization if needed. Programs available for children, teens, and adults.
Contact: (574) 936-3784

Domestic Violence Services

SOS of Family Justice Center
533 N Niles Ave | South Bend, IN 46617
Contact: (574) 289-4357

YWCA – North Central Indiana
1102 Fellows St | South Bend, Indiana 46601
Contact: (574) 233-9491
Crisis: 866-937-9922

School Lunches

John Glenn School Corporation
101 John Glenn Drive, Walkerton
Phone: 586-3129
Eligibility: JGSC students
Services: Meals for students, deliver schedules, e-learning and information on topics affecting students and families

LaVille Elementary
Eligibility: LaVille Students
Services: Meals for students (call or email to register)
Phone: 574-784-2311

Community Services

Lakeville Lions Club
P.O. Box 506 | Lakeville, IN
Services: Sponsors community services project in Lakeville, including partnerships with Toys for Tots, the Boy Scouts, 4H, Camp Millhouse, and state projects.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Services: Assistance with groceries and utility bills due to COVID related hardship.
Questions: Call 574-850-5156 for assistance.

Potato Creek State Park
25601 IN-4, North Liberty
Phone: 574-656-8186
Services: In addition to conservation efforts, Potato Creek State Park offers an educational programming schedule for schools and groups, as well as field trip grants.


1st Source Bank
109 N. Main Street | North Liberty, IN
Phone: 656-8131
Lobby Hours:
9:00am – 5:00pm M, Tu, Th, Fr.
9:00am – 12pm Wednesdays.

The Treasure Chest Thrift Store
105 W. Center St. | North Liberty, IN 46554
Services: Affordable clothing and household items.
Open Tuesday-Friday 12- 4p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Updated November 4, 2021.

Housing Assistance

If you are having trouble paying your rent, mortgage, or utilities, you are not alone. Here are some options available for getting assistance.

Table of Contents
Utility Assistance
Mortgage & Rental Assistance
Eviction Assistance
Legal Support

Reach out to a librarian with any questions or for one-on-one assistance navigating these resources!

Call 574-282-4646
Visit any library location

Utility Assistance

City of South Bend Utility Assistance Program (UAP)

The City of South Bend’s Utility Assistance Program (UAP) provides a discount on your monthly utility bill based on income and household size. Qualifying customers could see a discount from $8 to $25.50 every month for a year with the possibility of renewing their enrollment annually. Applicants must have a City of South Bend utility account in their name and receive sewer service in order to qualify for this program. Learn more about the Utility Assistance Program or apply below:

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Need help paying your heat, electric and water bills? The City of South Bend is partnering with REAL Services on the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which assists households with electric, heating, and water expenses during the winter months. To be eligible for the Energy Assistance Program, households must be within 60% of the state median income.

Apply now by calling 574.232.6501 or emailing The application deadline is May 16, 2022. Customers who qualify for LIHEAP will be automatically enrolled in the City’s Utility Assistance Program.

Portage Township Trustee’s Office

The Portage Township Trustee’s Office helps with:

  • past utility bills and current rent assistance
  • client referral to Real Services for Energy Assistance
  • final arrangements
  • prescriptions
  • food and non food needs

They are currently closed to the public, so help is given over the phone at (574) 233-2126.  Their hours are 8:00-4:30 M-Th and 8-12 Fridays.

Catholic Charities

  • Go to and click the “Financial Assistance” tab to fill out the application.

Mortgage & Rental Assistance

St. Joseph County’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA)

To apply, click here.

For questions, call 574-800-6242 or email

An “eligible household” under the IERA program, as defined by the U.S. Department of Treasury, is a renter household in which at least one or more individuals meet the following criteria:

  • Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19
  • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median

Informational documents about the program and an online application can be found at:

IERA has also partnered with Indiana 2-1-1 to assist households unable to complete the application online. After being asked to enter your zip code, individuals calling 2-1-1 can select option 3 to speak with someone about the IERA program.

Renters living in Elkhart, Hamilton, Lake, Marion, and St. Joseph counties, along with the City of Fort Wayne will need to apply through their local Emergency Rental Assistance program. Referral information can be found below:

Fill out the intake form and be sure to include a working email address so program staff can get back to you. This link provided has a google form they can fill out for the initial intake form, (Bottom of the webpage), but then the patron will be emailed a link for the actual application so if you’re helping a patron please make sure that they have a working email address they actually have access to before applying. We’re not sure how long it takes them to send the link yet since this is a newer program, so we may have to advise them to return to the library to check on that status and help them fill it out again.

The program’s contact information is below if they have more complicated questions:

ERA Program Contact:

Phone: 574-800-6242

City of South Bend Rental COVID-19 Housing and Utility Support

REAL Services

  • Qualified applicants can receive up to three months of rent payments.
  • Call 574-284-6020 to apply.
  • Currently only taking applications for those financially affected by COVID

St. Vincent de Paul Society

IHCDA Mortgage Assistance Fund

Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund (HHF)

Submit an application at or call: 1-877-GET-HOPE (1-877-438-4673).

  • This is a federally funded program managed by the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network.
  • Eligible Indiana homeowners who have fallen behind or are unable to make future payments on their mortgage due to an involuntary loss of employment or reduction in employment income can receive up to $30,000 in mortgage assistance.
  • Counselors are also available to provide free foreclosure prevention counseling.

United Religious Community’s Help

The URC’s Advocacy Center is one of the organizations helping to distribute aid for individuals/families affected by COVID in some way. Help is available for rent and utility assistance with St. Joseph County’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program; other providers include REAL Services, St. Vincent de Paul, Our Lady of the Road, Catholic Charities, and Penn Township.

Should you need help, or wish to refer someone for help, please email URC at the following address:

Eviction Assistance

IHCDA Coronavirus Eviction and Foreclosure Resource Guide

Review this resource guide for answers to frequently asked questions for those having difficulty paying their rent or mortgage.

  • The first and most important step to take is to communicate your situation to your property manager or mortgage lender.
  • Although the state of Indiana has halted court proceedings, individuals are still obligated to continue paying rent or mortgage to keep credit in good standing. If you fail to pay your rent or mortgage and do not make other arrangements, eviction/foreclosure proceedings will resume after the governor’s declared pause on evictions and foreclosures has ended.
  • Check directly with each of your utility providers to see if they are offering help at this time.

Hoosiers who are unlawfully subjected to eviction and foreclosure proceedings during the ongoing public health emergency should file a complaint with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.


If you are facing eviction, this website has a form to determine if you are covered by the Federal Eviction Moratorium and to create the correct letter (or “Declaration”) to send to your landlord. It will help you produce the letter you need.

Information about the Eviction Moratorium

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an Order to temporarily halt certain residential evictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 264) and 42 CFR 70.2. This order is in effect until January 31, 2020.

  • Declaration form for those who do NOT have a pending court case to say they are unable to pay rent due to COVID.
  • Declaration form for those who DO have a pending court case to say they are unable to pay rent due to COVID.
  • Checklist of items needed to bring to court in order to avoid eviction.

Does the CDC order prevent all evictions?

No, the moratorium only covers claims solely for non-payment of financial obligations (rent, fees, etc.). If there are other breaches of the rental agreement (i.e. engaging in criminal activity while on premises, threatening health or safety of other residents, damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property, other violations of the rental contract, etc.), an eviction may still take place. See this article for more information.

Information about Foreclosure

Can I be evicted from my rental or lose my home through foreclosure even though there is a public health emergency?

Yes. However, there are some protections that remain in place. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) each extended their eviction moratoriums to January 31, 2021.

CALL 211

If you are looking for help to meet immediate needs, call 211 or visit

211 call specialists are ready to provide direct aid to individuals and families in need (food, shelter, utilities, mental health, and health care resources).

Legal Support

Indiana Legal Services, Inc.

Indiana Legal Services is a nonprofit law firm that provides free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income residents throughout the state of Indiana. They are continuing to do intake and accept new cases.

IN Free Legal Answers

IN Free Legal Answers is a website operated by the American Bar Association.

  • You can post a question about your non-criminal legal issue and have it answered for free by an attorney. This service only answers questions about civil legal questions.
  • In order to qualify, you must be unable to afford to hire an attorney.
  • To see if you are eligible and to ask a question now, visit IN Free Legal Answers.

South Bend Tenant Association

The South Bend Tenant Association’s primary focus is educating tenants about their rights. Contact: Rodney Gadson |


Homelessness Resources

Here are some local and national resources that can help if you are experiencing homelessness.

Table of Contents
Food Assistance, Meals and Personal Care
Winter Amnesty
National Resources

Reach out to a librarian with any questions or for one-on-one assistance navigating these resources!

Call 574-282-4646
Visit any library location


Catholic Worker House
518 S St Joseph St.
(574) 235-0623 (Men’s house) / (574) 287-7734 (Women’s house)

Center for the Homeless
813 S Michigan St.
Daily 6:00am-9:00pm
Contact Brendan Devitt to be placed on the Coordinated Entry list
(574) 282-8700

Foster Youth the Independence (FYI) Initiative
For young adults between 18-24 who are currently or at one time had been in foster care can be fast tracked for available housing vouchers with DCS. DCS will pay for up to three months rent and also offer utility and deposit assistance as well.

Contact Christine Singleton

Hope Ministries
432 S. Lafayette Blvd.
(574) 235-4150

MotelsForNow Voucher Program
(through March 2023)
Contact Jon Schommer at Our Lady of the Road to be added to the waitlist
744 S. Main St.
(574) 234-2330

(domestic violence center, women and children only)
1102 Fellows St.
(574) 233-9491

Food Assistance, Meals and Personal Care

Berean Community Services
601 Colfax Ave.
Food Bank 1st and 3rd Friday: 3:00 pm-5:00 pm
(574) 234-2784

Broadway Christian Parish Church
(breakfast, food pantry, showers)
1412 Carroll St.
Food Pantry: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9:00 am-10:30 am
Soup Kitchen: Monday-Thursday 8:30-11:00 am and lunch on Sunday
(574) 289-0333

Catholic Charities of Ft. Wayne-South Bend
1817 Miami St.
Food Pantry Wednesday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
(574) 234-3111

City Chapel Evangelical Free Church Food Pantry
101 S. Main St
Sunday: 1:00 pm
(574) 237-1913

Community Food Pantry of St. Joseph County
702 S. Chapin St.
(574) 232-9986 x129
Monday and Friday: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Wednesday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

(food provision resources)
Contact Randy Z.:

Doulos Chapel
608 S. St. Joseph St.
Food/Clothes Giveaway 1st Saturday of the month: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
(574) 298-0110

First United Methodist Church
333 N. Main St.

Downtown Soup kitchen
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Food pantry
Tuesday: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
(574) 233-9463

Food Bank of Northern Indiana/Community Food Pantry of SJC
702 Chapin St.
Monday and Friday: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm; Wednesday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
(574) 232-9986 ext.129
List of county food pantries:

God’s Grace Food Pantry at Layman Chapel
303 S. Kenmore
Second and Fourth Saturday: 11:00 am -1:00 pm
(574) 344-8295

Hope Ministries
532 S. Michigan
Soup Kitchen Monday – Sunday
Lunch: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm; Dinner: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
(574) 235-4150 ext. 221

La Casa de Amistad
746 S. Meade St.,
Food bank Wednesday: 2:00 pm – 4:45 pm
(574) 233-2120

Michiana Five for the Homeless
2206 Miami St.
(574) 607-3483
Survival kits, clothing, food and blankets delivered directly to the unsheltered homeless.

Monroe Circle Community Center
526 Western Ave.
Food pantry fourth Tuesday: 9:00 am – 11:00 am; second Saturday: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
(574) 243-3500

Our Lady of the Road
744 South Main St.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 8 am – 11:30 am; Wednesday: 11 am – 1 pm
(574) 235-0623

Salvation Army Family Center
Food pantry, utility bill assistance
900 W. Western Ave. (The Kroc Center)
Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
(574) 233-9471 ext. 2205

Southgate Food Pantry
3717 S. Michigan St.
Food pantry last consecutive Monday and Tuesday of the month: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
(574) 291-5230

St. Margaret’s House
Day shelter for women and children only – showers, lunch, laundry
117 N. Lafayette
Monday-Friday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
(574) 234-7795

St. Paul’s Memorial United Methodist Church
1001 Colfax Ave.
Food pantry last Thursday of the month: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
(574) 234-6940

Sunnyside Presbyterian Church
115 S. Frances St.
Food bank Monday and Thursday: 9:30 am -11:30 am
(574) 287-1524

Winter Amnesty (2021-2022)

Center for the Homeless
(574) 282-8700
813 S Michigan St.
The Center for the Homeless is open 24 hours for anyone who needs to get out of the cold, even if a bed is not available.

Hope Ministries
432 S. Lafayette Blvd.
(574) 235-4150
Hope Ministries is open 24 hours a day for anyone who needs to get out of the cold.

Howard Park Event Center
219 S. St. Louis Blvd.
(574) 299-4765
Monday – Thursday: 8 am -9 pm, Friday: 8 am -10 pm, Saturday: 10 am -8 pm, Sunday: 1 pm- 8 pm

O’Brien Fitness Center
312 E. Walter St.
(574) 299-3482
Monday – Friday: 5am – 9pm, Saturday: 7am – 4pm, Sunday: 9am – 2pm

Charles Black Community Center
(574) 235-9446
3419 W. Washington St.
Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm, Friday: 9 am – 3 pm

Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center
(574) 235-9445
1522 Linden Ave,.
Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 9 pm, Friday: 9am – 6:30pm


Indiana Health Centers at South Bend
1901 W Western Ave. # B
(574) 234-9033
Hours: Monday – Wednesday 9 am – 8pm, Thursday 1 pm – 8 pm, Friday 9 am – 4 pm, Saturday 9 am – 2 pm

IHC at South Bend Project Homecoming
701 S Main St
(574) 235-7990
Hours: Monday – Wednesday 8:00 am – 4 pm, Thursday 12:00 pm –  4:00pm, Friday 8 am – 3 pm, Saturday 8:00am – 1pm

National Resources

Homeless Shelters Directory

National Alliance to End Homelessness
The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to end homelessness in the United States.

National Coalition for the Homeless
The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission: To end and prevent homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights are respected and protected.

National Health Care for the Homeless Council
The National Health Care for the Homeless Council is the premier national organization working at the nexus of homelessness and health care. Grounded in human rights and social justice, the NHCHC mission is to build an equitable, high-quality health care system through training, research, and advocacy in the movement to end homelessness.

National Homeless Information Project (NHIP)
The National Homeless Information Project (NHIP) is a grassroots effort to increase sharing and understanding of homeless services data in order to increase knowledge in the field. The cornerstone of the NHIP effort is to foster a collaboration of professionals working in the field to improve the collection of homeless services data, to increase the sharing of homeless services data and to promote a greater understanding of homeless services across the country.

Food, Cash, & Transportation Assistance

We all need a little help sometimes. If you have lost income, here are some available resources to help you get by during this challenging time. Apply for long term and short term help through:

  • Food Assistance (SNAP)
  • Cash Assistance (TANF)
  • 211 and United Way
  • City of South Bend’s COVID 19 Community Resources

Reach out to a librarian with any questions or for one-on-one assistance navigating these resources!

Call 574-282-4646
Visit any library location

Food Assistance (SNAP)

SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is available to help individuals and families buy the food they need for good health when their income has been reduced.

  • Apply by phone: 800-403-0864
    • The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Family Resources (FSSA/DFR) offices. This is a statewide number serving residents of all Indiana counties.
    • Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time.

Frequently Asked Questions | Info and updates about SNAP | Appeals process

  • Apply by mail:
    • South Bend Office, St. Joseph County DF
      401 E. Colfax Ave., Suite 375
      South Bend, IN 46617-2737
      Telephone/fax number: 800-403-0864
      ZIP codes 46536, 46552, 46554, 46574, 46595, 46601, 46613, 46614, 46615, 46616, 46617, 46619, 46624, 46626, 46628, 46634
    • Mishawaka Office, St. Joseph County DFR
      102 N. Center St., Suite 500
      Mishawaka, IN 46544-1232
      Telephone/fax number: 800-403-0864
      ZIP codes 46530, 46544, 46545, 46546, 46556, 46561, 46635, 46637, 46660, 46680, 46699

NOTE: While offices are closed, all scheduled appointments will take place over the phone.

Local Food Assistance in St. Joseph County

Food Bank of Northern Indiana (South Bend)
702 Chapin Street
South Bend, IN 46601
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Mishawaka Food Pantry
315 Lincolnway West
Mishawaka, IN 46544
Monday – Friday 10 AM to 2 PM

St. Augustine Parish Soup Kitchen
1501 W Washington Street
South Bend, IN 46619
Main Phone (574) 234-7082
Soup Kitchen (574) 234-6334

“The Saint Augustine Soup Kitchen was founded by Francis Hubbard as his deaconate project in the mid to late 1970’s. He was a member of St. Augustine parish and the soup kitchen has been a parish project since its founding, although the soup kitchen maintains its own funding and governance structure. Francis sought out and was given financial help from the St. Vincent de Paul Society and they have considered the soup kitchen as one of their outreach projects as well.”

Titans Feeding Titans Food Pantry
South Bend, IN 46615
Fine Arts Building, Room 111

Titans Feeding Titans Food Pantry is a student-run food pantry for the students and staff of Indiana South Bend.”

Unity Gardens
Main Garden, LaSalle Square
3701 Prast Blvd
South Bend IN 46628
574-315-4361 – call or text

“Unity Gardens’ mission is to improve community health: Physically by increasing accessibility of fruits and vegetables as well as providing education on nutrition and food preparation. Socially by providing education, increased social capital, and opportunities for the disadvantaged. Economically: by developing a sustainable local food system, recapturing food waste, creating new jobs, and increasing per-capita productivity.”

When will eligible households receive benefits?
“Eligible households that are not already certified to receive SNAP and will have a monthly gross income of less than $150 AND less than $100 in cash / checking / savings in the month of application, or have monthly housing costs that exceed their gross monthly income and cash/checking/savings for the month of application will receive benefits within seven days from the date of application. Other households will receive notification of determination within thirty days from the date of application.”

Cash Assistance (TANF)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a program that provides cash assistance and supportive services to assist families with children under age 18.

  • Apply online here.
  • Apply by phone: 800-403-0864
    • The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Family Resources (FSSA/DFR) offices. This is a statewide number serving residents of all Indiana counties.
      • Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time.

Frequently Asked Questions | Appeals process

South Bend Office, St. Joseph County DFR

  • 401 E. Colfax Ave., Suite 375
    South Bend, IN 46617-2737
  • ZIP codes 46536, 46552, 46554, 46574, 46595, 46601, 46613, 46614, 46615, 46616, 46617, 46619, 46624, 46626, 46628, 46634

Mishawaka Office, St. Joseph County DFR

  • 102 N. Center St., Suite 500
    Mishawaka, IN 46544-1232
  • ZIP codes 46530, 46544, 46545, 46546, 46556, 46561, 46635, 46637, 46660, 46680, 46699
  • Apply by mail: Division of Family Resources P.O. Box 1810, Marion, IN 46952.

Family and Social Service Administration (FSSA)

The FSSA can help connect you with social services and health care.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance (FEMA)

WIC (Women, Infants & Children)

WIC aims to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children under age 5 by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, nutrition education and health care referrals.

St. Joseph County WIC Program
201 Lincolnway West, Mishawaka, IN 46544
(574) 647-2175; (Alt. # 574-647-2184)
Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri.: 8:00 – 5:00; Tues.: 10:00 – 7:00
FAX (574) 647-2178

South Bend
325 N. Lafayette Blvd., South Bend, IN 46601
(574) 647-2100
Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri.: 8:00 – 5:00; Tues.: 10:00 – 7:00

North Liberty Community Center
300 South Main Street, North Liberty, IN 46554
For appt., call Lafayette Av. Clinic: (574) 647-2101
3rd Wed.: 8:00-12:15 & 1:15-5:00

For more information call 574-647-2100 (South Bend) / 574-647-2175 (Mishawaka).

Call 211 for Short-Term Help

For help with urgent or immediate needs, call 211.
“2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that helps Hoosiers across Indiana find the local resources they need. Dial 2-1-1 to connect with a navigator. We’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

If you are having trouble paying bills or utilities, buying groceries, finding childcare, dealing with addiction, call 2-1-1 to inquire about short-term help.

Heating and Cooling Assistance, St. Vincent de Paul Society

As of April 29, 2021: St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph County is taking applications for Team Cooling. If you have made a payment on your utility bill (even a partial payment), you may qualify for up to $75 in matching funds. Apply online today here.

Financial Assistance Programs, St. Vincent de Paul Society

520 Crescent Avenue ~ South Bend, IN 46617 ~ (574) 234-6000

St. Joseph County Emergency Rental Assistance Program Portal

“St. Joseph County’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) is designed to decrease evictions, increase housing stability, and prevent homelessness by helping tenants whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 with rent and utility payments.”

Application Deadline for St. Joseph County ERA Program: Friday, January 14th, 2022.

St. Joseph County and St. Joseph County partner organizations will continue to process emergency rental assistance applications received by January 14, 2022. In addition, St. Joseph County will continue to process re-application/re-certifications for those who have already received St. Joseph County ERA funding.
Renters in need of assistance after January 14th, 2022, may be eligible to use the State of Indiana’s emergency rental assistance program. For more information about Indiana’s program, renters are encouraged to visit

South Bend Tenant Resources

“South Bend Tenant Association is a grassroots movement fighting for tenant’s rights. This fight occurs on both the private and public plane. We commit ourselves to providing temporary assistance to tenants, increasing tenant education, and lobbying local legislatures.”

City of South Bend

View local programs and support throughout the city here.

St. Joseph County Township Trustees

Township Trustees can offer cash assistance for food, utilities, etc. If you’re unsure which St. Joseph County Township you reside in, you can enter your address here: Census Reporter or call SJCPL at 574-282-4646.

  • Portage Township: 133 N William St, South Bend, IN 46601, (574) 233-2127
  • Centre Township: 19971 Kern Rd, South Bend, IN 46614, (574) 291-7766
  • Clay Township: 18355 Auten Rd, South Bend, IN 46637, (574) 277-4452
  • German Township: 51755 Portage Rd, South Bend, IN 46628, (574) 272-9020
  • Harris Township: 13981 IN-23, Granger, IN 46530, (574) 272-2371
  • Liberty Township: 300 S Main St, North Liberty, IN 46554, (574) 656-4587
  • Madison Township: 15267 Madison Rd., Mishawaka, IN. 46544, (574) 850-0302
  • Olive Township: 102 S Arch St, New Carlisle, IN 46552, (574) 654-3231
  • Penn Township: 210 E Russ St, Mishawaka, IN 46545, (574) 256-6213
  • Union Township: 507 S Michigan St, Lakeville, IN 46536, (574) 784-3110
  • Warren Township: 59330 Crumstown Hwy, North Liberty, IN 46554, (574) 288-8702

Transportation Assistance

The On the Road Lending program helps people get affordable loans for cars. The program has now expanded to Indiana and was publicized Fall 2021 in the South Bend Tribune.

Updated 4.19.2022

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