While numerous social services and referrals are offered by the Salvation Army, the non-profit does focus on addressing basic needs such as housing, food and homeless prevention. The amount and type of assistance administered varies throughout the course of the year, but hundreds of lower income and struggling families from Gainesville and across Alachua County Florida will generally use their services every month.
Providing housing assistance and homeless prevention is always a goal. However this this is easier said than done. There are a number of monthly requests for rental assistance and eviction prevention, however the Salvation Army does have limited resources. They try to help as they are able to.
Some of the housing type resources available in Florida may include emergency shelters, group homes, and other types of short term, transitional living centers. The locations will provide those that qualify with housing on a temporary basis for varying amounts of time. The Salvation Army will try to serve the homeless and recently evicted in Alachua County by providing food, case management and overnight lodging.
A goal is self-sufficiency, so the centers offer counseling, educational and vocational services to destitute individuals and homeless families for extended periods. Social workers work with clients to address long-term specific issues of youth for whom family care is undesirable or unavailable. Some of the other services available can include counseling, education, basic health care and specific job training. This is all done in an effort to meet the basic needs of such groups as emancipated minors, pregnant teens, the unemployed, and wards of the juvenile court.
Employment is a key to stability and self-sufficiency. A Salvation Army case worker can provide qualified low income, unemployed, and struggling clients with information on employers in the access Alachua County region, the free use of a computer, and more. Get referrals to local government run and funded job centers too.
The Salvation Army Family Service programs help the working poor and low income families. Those in need can be provided in a crisis with free food, rent, utility bill assistance and other support. This tends to be the highest program demand wise, and only a fraction of needs can be met.
Energy and summer time utility bill assistance in Alachua County may be provided from the Gainesville Florida Salvation Army centers. As funding and resources allow, the non-profit can provide emergency, short term energy bill assistance. Money can be used to keep someones home cool during the summer or warm during the winter. Financial aid is generally offered as a last resort and is available to people who are faced with a financial hardship or at risk. This can include a resident with an unexpected, short term reduction in work hours or a senior facing a medical emergency.
As indicated above, homeless prevention is offered whenever possible. Many people from the community are struggling due to weak economic conditions. They may be unemployed, have been faced with unexpected medical bills, or are struggling with increasing costs of food and housing. Sometimes paying your bills on time can overwhelm a family. They may fall behind on their rent or mortgage and become homeless. Seniors or single, hard working parents are especially at risk as they face the challenges of paying for child care, prescription medications, employment, and more. Case managers and volunteers from the Salvation Army can help people by maybe offering direct cash assistance or assist them with referrals and general guidance.
Veterans in the region, and their families, can turn to a Corps Center. They offer support to those that are experiencing an economic hardship or crisis situation. It can be difficult to make the transition from military to civilian life and to find employment. So additional support, case management, and maybe financial aid is offered to military personnel in Alachua County.
The primary locations in the region are as follows. 639 E University Ave, Gainesville, Florida, call (352) 376-1743. Or a second Salvation Army site is at 55 NW 23rd Ave, Gainesville, FL, (352) 373-7597.
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