San Diego East County Resources

For downloadable PDF versions of food resources and general resources click on your community below

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

Vaccinations and health and safety precautions are the most potent tools against infection. Practice social distancing, refrain from handshakes or hugs as greetings, wash your hands, clean surfaces, and wear a mask.

Get the latest facts by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health, and the County of San Diego.

Access To Food In Your Neighborhood

For a list of food pantries, also visit the community FOOD RESOURCES pages on this website.

County Assistance and San Diego County Libraries (SDCL)

  • General Relief (GR) provides temporary cash assistance for eligible county residents who have no other means of support. Any aid received must be repaid to the County. Completed hours of required Job Training may count toward repayment of the debt.For more information, call 1-866-262-9881
  • The San Diego County Library has 33 locations, including branches in Alpine, Casa de Oro, El Cajon, Fletcher Hills, La Mesa, Lakeside, Lemon Grove, Rancho San Diego, Santee, and Spring Valley. Please visit their website to find locations and hours

Housing and Shelter Services

  • Crisis House– 9550 Cuyamaca St., Suite 101, Santee. Tel: (619) 444-1194. Open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Call for an appointment for more information on housing assistance and domestic violence shelter assistance. Homeless outreach is available in the field. Rental assistance is limited for unincorporated communities in East County.
  • Home Start, Inc.– 333 E. Main St., El Cajon. Tel: (619) 535-9356. Call for an appointment. Services include programs for pregnant or young mothers who are experiencing homelessness, emergency rental or mortgage assistance, Rapid Re-Housing, Transitional Age Youth (TAY) housing, host homes, and other unsheltered services.
  • San Diego County Rental AssistanceClick Here to apply online or call 2-1-1 for assistance.
  • 2-1-1–  Call for shelter openings throughout San Diego County.

Mental Health Resources

Resources for Kids- Diapers, How to talk to kids about Coronavirus and Learning Resources

  • Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus-
  • Learning Resources for Kids Home from School-
  • Bedtime Stories Streaming Series Every Sunday at 8:00 p.m., hear a princess read a bedtime story. To gain access (did we mention it’s FREE?!), request to join our group-  The Storybook Character Company VIP Group- Specials, events, and more!, and tune in on Sundays.
  • PBS Programming and Online Content to Keep Americans Informed and Support Families and Educators- Click here for resources
  • Simple Activities for Children and Adolescents–Offers activity ideas to parents and caregivers whose families are sheltering in place, social distancing, and homeschooling due to school closures amidst the COVID-19 outbreak–Click here for pdf. version
  • San Diego Food Bank Diaper Program–Click here for the English pdf. version of locations of diaper banks. Click here for the Spanish .pdf version.
  • First Responder and Healthcare Provider Daycare–Santee School District is opening child care with Project SAFE and YALE during Spring Break. Following the San Diego Public Health Dept’s orders, all proper staffing and other preventative practices will be maintained. Cajon Valley Union School District also has childcare available for essential workers by calling (619) 588-3000.
  • Computer Access and Internet Service- For low-cost refurbished computers, contact San Diego Futures Foundation at (619) 269-1684 or click here. For additional providers and computers, call 2-1-1 or click here.

Senior Services and Information

  • SD County Aging & Independence Services— Hotline (800) 339-4661 for assistance. For frequently asked questions, Click here for a pdf. version.
  • Live Well San Diego–Older Californians now have a one-stop shop to answer their non-emergency COVID-19 related questions. Call for assistance, like access to groceries and medication delivery. Call (833) 544-2374
  • Meals on Wheels–Senior Meal Delivery– (619) 447-8782
  • Senior Meals for Pick Up & Delivery–
    Salvation Army-
    1011 Main St., El Cajon  (619) 440-4683 10:00am-12:30pm  Meal delivery for clients only. Call to sign up.
    Mountain Health Community Center–976 Sheridan Way, Campo  (619) 478-2384. Same schedule of congregate meals sites with frozen meals and sides to go. Meal deliveries continue.  Serving Alpine, Descanso, Campo, Pine Valley, Dulzura, Potrero, Boulevard. An emergency pantry is available.
    Jewish Family Services–(858) 637-3000 Call for meal delivery in El Cajon
    Serving Seniors–(619) 337-1425  Serving El Cajon, La Mesa, Spring Valley (site closed), and Lemon Grove meal deliveries.
  • You can find additional senior meal programs by clicking here for a pdf. version
  • Protecting Seniors–Scams using the virus have been highlighted by the Federal Trade Commission: If you learn of any suspected Price Gouging within San Diego County, please report this activity to the San Diego District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit Hotline at 619-531-3507.

Financial, Labor & Workforce Assistance

  • California Labor & Workforce Development
    for information about paid sick leave, family leave, disability, and unemployment insurance.
  • Small Business Administration–
    Guidance and loan resources for small businesses.
  • San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund– Simple and immediate financial assistance for utilities, rent, or food and no-interest loans for nonprofits- Call 2-1-1 to apply or apply at United Way at
  • Coronavirus Law and Policy Information-
  • Rent Hardship- Tenants should send a hardship letter/email to their landlords as soon as possible. They must also provide/collect documentation related to hardship (COVID-19). If tenants do not notify their landlords, they may lose the protections under the “eviction moratorium.” This template is based on the strict requirements based on the local moratoriums. For a sample Inability to Pay letter to the landlord, click here. Letters must be sent within seven (7) days of rent due.
    See above for Housing and Shelter for information on Rental, Mortgage, and Utility assistance programs.
  • CSA San Diego- Landlord disputes, rental and housing assistance- 327 Van Houten, El Cajon or call (800) 954-0441. Open Monday-Friday until 4:30 p.m.
  • SDG&E Initiatives to help business customers during COVID-19 
    SDG&E recognizes the tremendous economic and human impact the coronavirus has had on our business community. We want all customers to know that SDG&E is here to help them through this crisis and support their energy needs.
    If you or anyone you know is struggling to pay their energy bill, please contact SDG&E to learn about assistance programs or set up flexible payment arrangements at 1.800.411.7343.
    Many businesses are also trying to take care of their employees at this difficult time. SDG&E has bill discount programs to support customers year-round. Many people who previously did not qualify for these income-based programs may now be able to do so due to lost wages. Even if they are receiving unemployment benefits, those who recently lost their job may be eligible for CARE and/or FERA, which can save customers up to 30% or more on their monthly energy bill. Customers may qualify for a bill discount with the Medical Baseline program if they have a qualifying medical condition. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is federally funded and helps low-income households with their energy bills. For more information on LIHEAP, visit
    Find out more about SDG&E’s bill discount programs at
  • Helix Water District- Financial assistance programs are available to help customers pay their past due balance. Visit the HWD Bill Payment website or call their Customer Service team at 619-466-0585.
  • EDCO Disposal- EDCO offers a special discount for financially challenged seniors. If you are head-of-household and over the age of 65 with a combined annual income of less than $32,000, EDCO offers a 20% discount to qualified customers. Email application information to
Photo : Rebecca’s children back with their mom; photo courtesy of “Rebecca”

If you are a non-profit and have a story of hope please submit to the email below.

Finding Hope

    Believing she was “too difficult” to live with her father, Rebecca at age 16 ran away to live with her mother, whom she discovered was drug addicted. After fleeing one bad situation, Rebecca found herself living in more unstable environments, often sleeping on couches. Like her mother, Rebecca began to abuse drugs. Now herself a mother of two children, on drugs and evicted from her apartment, child welfare took Rebecca’s children.
    Rebecca unsuccessfully attempted multiple rehab and sober living programs, but her addiction kept her from being reunited with her children.
    She learned of Home Start, a San Diego agency with services that protect children and strengthen families. At age 19, Rebecca began her recovery process when she entered Home Start’s Maternity Housing Program that gave her stable housing and intensive case management services. She established and achieved goals, and received parental coaching and personal therapy. Her therapy helped her deal with feelings of guilt and shame. After six months of successful recovery, Rebecca’s children were living back with their mom.
    Today Rebecca is clean and sober, gainfully employed, and successfully raising her children. Eighteen months of transitional housing with wrap-around services through Home Start provided her with stability she’d never known. Because of people who supported her and assisted her, Rebecca is self-sufficient and thriving. Best of all, her children also are thriving with their mom.

Who We Are

We are a community-based volunteer program of the San Diego East County Chamber Foundation. We promote collaboration between public, private, and non-profit sectors to discover and action solutions for homelessness in East County.


How This Site Works

This website was created to assist you with accessing resources that are available in your community.

On the far left navigation bar, you can find specific pages detailing resources and how to get into contact with assistance services. You may also download PDF versions of all resources available by clicking on the buttons above.

For updates and changes, please email

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Disclaimer: El Cajon Collaborative maintains the East County Assist website as a service to families as a reference tool. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information, we make no guarantee. The inclusion of an organization or service does not imply an endorsement of the organization or service, nor does exclusion imply disapproval. El Cajon Collaborative has provided external links to other websites, however some of these links may refer to information that no longer exists or has been moved to another site. El Cajon Collaborative is not responsible for the content, privacy practices, or security practices of these sites.
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