Assistance for Individuals

Below are a list of resources that may be available to those affected by this drought emergency. Please check each section for details:


2-1-1 provides local information to the people of Tulare County. If you have suffered from a job loss, mental health issues, other wellness issues, due to the drought, 2-1-1 may be able to assist you with locating the help that you need. You can access 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 from any phone, or by visiting their website linked in this section.


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Low Interest Loans

The United Stated Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Agency maintains two low interest loan programs that may be used to deepen existing wells, or drill new wells, that you might qualify for. The local USDA Rural Development Office is located at:


Visalia Service Center
3530 W. Orchard Ct.
Visalia, CA 93277-7055
559-734-8732 Telephone

Section 502 Program

Section 502 loans can be used to help low-income individuals or households improve their homes in rural areas. Funds can be used to deepen existing wells or drill new wells. Applicants for this loan must have very low or low incomes. Please refer to USDA's Direct Loan and Grant Income Limits to see if your household qualifies.

Click here to download the Section 502 Direct Program application.

For assistance with this application, or any questions, please contact the local USDA Rural Development Office, above.

Section 504 Program

Section 504 loans or grants is a Housing Repair program for very low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their dwellings, or to remove health and safety hazards:

  • Homeowner-occupants must be unable to obtain credit elsewhere and must have very low incomes, defined as below 50 percent of the area median income.
  • Homeowner-occupants must need to make repairs and improvements to make the dwelling more safe and sanitary or to remove health and safety hazards.
  • Grants are only available to homeowners who are 62 years old or older and cannot repay a Section 504 loan.

For more information about the Section 504 Program, to get an application, or if you have questions about the Section 504 Program, please contact the local USDA Rural Development Office, above.

Tulare County Federal Credit Union

The Tulare County Federal Credit Union has started a low-interest loan program to finance the drilling of new private wells. The credit union also organizes water drives, in conjunction with FoodLink, that will serve families not covered by the County of Tulare's water relief efforts. For more information, please contact:



Tulare County Federal Credit Union, Tulare Branch
300 North K St.
Tulare, CA 93274
559-686-1791 Telephone


Tucoemas Federal Credit Union

The Tucoemas Federal Credit Union offers a loan program to finance the drilling of private wells through their Signature Home Improvement Loan, for financed amounts between $12,000 to $25,000. In order to qualify, this program will requires licensed contractors and good applicant credit. However, there are no fees or appraisals, and no equity is required. For more information, please see their brochure, or contact:

Tucoemas Federal Credit Union
Loan Department
559-737-5777 Telephone

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Tenant and Landlord Rights and Responsibilities


The California Department of Consumer Affairs protects and serves California consumers, including tenants who rent.  Renters should be aware of their legal rights, as described in the publication California Tenants (Inquilinos de California, en Español), and should seek legal advice if they feel that their rights have been infringed upon.

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Rental and Utilities Assistance


Proteus offers rental assistance to low-income families that are being affected by the drought. Qualifying conditions are: working less hours, less days, unemployed, or if the rent is past due.

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For more information, contact Proteus at:



1830 N. Dinuba Blvd.
Visalia, CA 93291
888-776-9998 Telephone


Community Services & Employment Training (CSET)

CSET may be able to assist families affected by the drought with funds to pay for utilities. For more information, please contact:


312 N.W. 3rd Ave.
Visalia, CA 93291

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TulareWORKs division provides essential resources and services to dependent children and adults experiencing financial hardships, life crises, or barriers to employment in Tulare County.  TulareWORKs services may include determining eligibility, delivering public assistance benefits, and providing employment case management services.

To access services in person, you can visit one of the five district offices; they are located in Dinuba, Lindsay, Porterville, Tulare, and Visalia - Click here for office locations. You can also call our county-wide call center at 1-800-540-6880, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Additionally, you can submit an on-line application at 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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FoodLink has been committed to providing emergency food to individuals and families facing the drought, and distributes over 3,000 boxes of food per month.

For a calendar of FoodLink distribution sites and times, please use the links below:

October 2016 Drought.pdf
October 2016 Nu Go Calendar.pdf

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Self-Help Enterprises (SHE)

Self-Help's community development program works as a catalyst in seeking funding and technical assistance for communities developing water and wastewater systems.

SHE coordinates two grant programs:

The CDBG may help provide some funding for deepening or drilling new private water wells. Eligible households or individuals income do not exceed 80% of the county median income, adjusted for family or household size.

The Household Water Well System (HWWS) Grant Program provides grants to qualified private non-profit organizations to establish lending programs for household water wells in rural areas. Homeowners or eligible individuals may borrow money from an organization receiving a HWWS grant so they may construct or upgrade their private well systems.

For more information, contact Self-Help Enterprises at:


8445 W. Elowin Court
Visalia, CA 93291
559-651-1000 Telephone

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Central California Animal Disaster Team (CCADT)


The Central California Animal Disaster Team (CCADT) has been assisting pet owners during this drought emergency since government agencies are only authorized to provide drinking and sanitation water relief to drought-affected citizens.

Resources and assistance may be very limited. However, potentially, CCADT may be able to assist in providing referrals to other agencies with resources for pets, re-homing referrals, and/or limited water for pets/

For more information, contact CCADT at:


Central California Animal Disaster Team
5132 N. Palm Ave., PMB 113
Fresno, CA  93704-2203
559-433-WOOF (9663) Telephone

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Rural Community Assistance Corporation

The Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) is offering a Household Water Well System Loan Program. This will offer low interest loans for the construction, refurbishment, or replacement of individual water well systems.

Program Requirements:

  • Residence must be in a rural town or community in California with a population not exceeding 50,000.
  • Applicants must own and occupy the home being improved or be purchasing the home.
  • New home construction and community water systems are not eligible.
  • Household income may not exceed $62,883.

Loan Terms:

  • Maximum loan amount: $15,000.
  • Interest rate: 1% - 3%, dependent on repayment ability.
  • Maturity may not exceed 20 years.
  • Associated loan costs estimated not to exceed $250 (e.g. credit report, recording or loan fee are borrower expenses and can normally be included in the loan).

For more information, contact RCAC at:


Cyndy Elliott
Loan Officer
Rural Community Assistance Corporation
7201 Dusty Ln.
Modesto, CA 95357
206-576-0430 Telephone

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Community Water Center

The Community Water Center (CWC) was a leading force in securing over $19 million for emergency drinking water needs in Governor Brown’s legislation for drought-impacted communities. Since the funds were released in the spring, CWC has been working with implementing agencies, local governments, and communities to ensure that the funding gets to those that need it most. Additionally, CWC has connected impacted communities with the State’s interagency drought task-force, legislators, and numerous local, state, and national reporters to ensure the needs of communities are heard. As a result, we have seen swift private and public funding of many communities’ immediate needs.

For more information, contact CWC at:


311 W. Murray Ave.
Visalia, CA 93291
559-733-0219 Telephone

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Workforce Investment Board (WIB) of Tulare County

The Workforce Investment Board (WIB) has been tracking the effects of drought upon County businesses and the workforce, and can help locate alternative or temporary employment for those who have been laid off due to the drought. For more information, contact WIB at:


309 W. Main St., Ste. 120
Visalia, CA 93291
559-713-5200 Telephone

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Porterville Area Coordinating Council

The Porterville Area Coordinating Council provides water donations, assistance, and services to the communities of Porterville, Terra Bella, Richgrove, Woodville, Poplar, Pixley, Tipton, California Hot Springs, Springville Pine Flats, Ducor, and Camp Nelson. Besides the distribution of water donations, the Porterville Area Coordinating Council can provide:

  • Emergency Housing
  • House/Rental Payments
  • Utilities
  • Furniture & Appliances
  • Prescriptions
  • Christmas baskets
  • Gasoline Vouchers
  • Referrals to other agencies

For more information, please contact:


400 E. Date Ave.
Porterville, CA 93257
559-793-0213 Telephone

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