Emergency Assistance

DSC_0989If you need help with electric, gas or heating bill there are a number of places you could turn to.

First, you should always contact your utility company to find out about any programs they offer. Many utilities offer help via shareholder or community funded emergency payment assistance programs for their utility customers. These programs will provide cash assistance to help offset the costs of cooling and heating homes, and they will provide needed help with escalating electricity bills.

There are also numerous other plans and options that will provide help if you need it. As an example, some companies offer payment plans to help you manage your energy bills, such as balanced payment plans. These plans charge you a fixed amount each month so you can better budget your electric bill costs.

The Fruit of the Vine can submit a funding request to the Community Sharing Fund to provide funding to individuals, families and organizations with verifiable emergency needs when other services or funds are unavailable. Grants are approved for rent, damage deposit, utility costs, medical expenses, child care, transportation and other critical needs.


  • The applicant is a resident of Dakota, Ramsey or Washington County, Minnesota.
  • The request is the social service area.
  • The applicant has not received a grant from the Community Sharing Fund within the last 18 months.
  • The need has been created by an unforeseen event that has resulted in an emergency.
  • The Community Sharing Fund is the last resort. Eligibility for assistance from other funds and the family’s own resources are considered.
  • The grant will solve a problem which is not expected to reoccur in the near future.
  • s deteriorated economic situation, the grant will be approved only if financial plans have been developed with the assistance of the referring organization, or if the referring organization can verify that other corrective action has been taken.
  • Grant amounts range from $50 to $500. The average grant is $320; the maximum grant may vary depending on the availability of funds.