The Bristol County Salvation Army administers several assistance programs for the needy in the community. Anyone can seek help, regardless of race, religion, or age. In fact, some services are focused on lower income seniors or children from families living in poverty. Whether it is assistance in applying for heating bill help from the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, free food from the pantry, or support in a disaster, the centers in New Bedford and Fall River may be able to help.
When it comes to hunger prevention, there are two main resources used to help feed families. They include the food pantry, which is open limited hours from Monday to Friday. This Salvation Army program will provide items such as groceries, paper products, infant formula, and other food to the less fortunate. The goal is to give a client enough free food to last them three full days, which gives the household time to find other resources.
Also, during the week, the Salvation Army in Bristol County will organize a few Community Meals. These are available to all people, no questions asked. The food is usually served one day during the week and one weekend day. This will provide either a hot lunch or dinner to the client so they have some form of nutrition for that day. Dial 508.997.6561 for details.
Case manager can also refer the homebound to a local New Bedford Meals on Wheels service. This will be for those who can't prepare food on their own or that can't make it to a local pantry for groceries. Volunteers from across New Bedford partner with organizations such as the Salvation Army and Agency on Aging Centers to help feed senior citizens and the disabled that are homebound.
The community centers may also have small dollar amounts of financial aid available to them. Any type of funding is intended to meet the needs of the Bristol County community, and it is for those applicants that are faced with a crisis situation. Since resources are limited, a focus is on helping in a cost effective way, and this means the applicant needs to also both contribute to their bills and take steps to gain stability.
The support comes in two main ways, and they include referrals and direct financial help. More information is as follows.
Case managers will determine if funding can be used for living expenses such as food or clothing for work or school. In some cases, bills such as rent, heating and utility assistance is available from the Bristol County Salvation Army, but this will come with restrictions.
Local community centers of course offer referrals. This ranges from shelters in Fall River and New Bedford to dental clinics or medical programs. Another goal is to direct a family to some form of affordable housing in the community.
Also, during certain seasons in Bristol County Massachusetts, the Salvation Army is a provider of summer camp as well as free back-to-school supplies and toys for Christmas. One of the largest is the Angel Tree toy giving program for children from low income families. Many of these resources rely even more so on the volunteers from the community. They make a key impact on the needy.
Another key program offered in Bristol County is the Salvation Army affiliated Good Neighbor Energy Fund. This helps with utilities, with a focus on winter heating or gas bills. This is an option as a last resort, when a family is not able to get help from LIHEAP or another charity. Also, the applicant income needs to be lower than 80% of the Bristol County median.
Women, including single moms and pregnant teenagers in Bristol County can access the independent living program known as Gentle Arms. It is for those that are either homeless or so far behind on their rent that they may be evicted. The Salvation Army will arrange everything from shelter to supportive services for them.
Some of the Salvation Army programs, such as the food pantry, is generally open on a walk in basis. They also offer rapid response to a local disaster in Bristol County. But some of the aid, such as financial or job placement, will require an appointment and a formal meeting with a case manager. ID and Proof of residence in the region is always needed.
Salvation Army locations in Bristol County
One site is at 290 Bedford St, Fall River, MA 02720, dial (508) 679-7900.
Another community center has an address of 619 Purchase Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts 02740-6307. The phone number is 508.997.6561.
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