Basic needs can be met by the Camden County New Jersey Salvation Army centers. Thousands of local families and individuals apply for and receive everything from cash for paying bills in a crisis to food and case management services. While resources are limited, the Salvation Army does whatever it can to help the less fortunate in Camden, with a focus on children, senior citizens, and other low income families.
Holiday programs are offered by Salvation Army locations in New Jersey, including in Camden. Most of the resources focus on addressing Christmas and Thanksgiving needs. The programs rely heavily on donations and volunteers, but they can provide thousands of families with free toys, winter coats, gifts, and household items. The main services are known as Angel Tree and Adopt a Family. Centers will coordinate holiday meals, including Turkeys and all the topping. Seniors, the homebound, elderly and people in nursing homes can receive visitation and companionship from Salvation Army volunteers and social workers.
Shelter and transitional housing centers are located across the state. Some focus on women and children, other housing units may be for men only. If someone does need to use short term housing, they will also benefit from other supportive services that can help them facilitate independence, find a job, acquire new skills, and otherwise obtain self-sufficiency. Related services offered at the same time as transitional housing include life skills job readiness classes as well as a computer learning center. Some shelter/housing units are reserved for veterans.
Each and every Salvation Army center in Camden and neighboring towns and cities will have a food pantry. The community centers have food banks and pantries on site to help feed the low income, homeless, and to otherwise meet emergency needs for hot meals, canned goods, and all sorts of food. Some of the items available will usually be canned goods, fresh fruits, rice, breads, and much more.
Additional meals and feeding services are available. These can include, but are not limited to, soup kitchens and Sunday feeding programs, holiday food distributions, and centers also offer food baskets to the needy. Free hot and healthy meals are offered to anyone who needs support.
Eviction prevention, basic needs and homeless services are available. The main program is offered from the Salvation Army's Service Extension Program. Assistance may be offered for food, shelter, rent, clothing, information and referral. They do have information on emergency heating and utility bill assistance programs as well. A key is preventing homelessness.
The Camden County Salvation Army also works closely and can refer people to NJ Shares. This is a state of New Jersey energy bill assistance program for individuals who are out of options. The program can help residential energy and heating customers who are experiencing a short-term financial emergency and who have also used up all other resources, including government assistance such as LIHEAP. Any financial assistance is very short term, and is meant to help prevent a disconnection.
In addition to the special holiday programs referenced above, families, children, and students can gain access to new and used clothing. Some items for the winter may include gently used winter coats or boots. Children may be able to get additional clothing in the fall for when they go back to school. Others clothing items may be available too. This does not include clothing that may be sold at thrift stores.
A program focused on helping veterans and military members is Operation Red Shield. This Salvation Army program provides assistance to current military personnel in Camden County. In addition, any dependent family members of the service members, as well as veterans, can look into assistance. Services provide information, referrals, advocacy, needs-based financial assistance and Pastoral counseling on an individual basis.
The main Camden County office is located at 915 Haddon Avenue, Camden, New Jersey 08103. Call (856) 338-0601.
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