Families facing a short term crisis can get help from the Muscogee County Salvation Army. The non-profit agency works to help those in which an unexpected hardship impacted their ability to remain self-sufficient.
Help is available for a number of needs. Events such as death of a family member, loss of employment, reduction in work hours, or medical issues can wreak havoc on personal finances. Through the agency's client service corp center, emergency funding or short term loans are available to help families meet their basic needs of daily living. The money paid out and assistance is a direct effort to prevent homelessness, unemployment, hunger, and poverty in general.
Using donations raised from the Red Kettle program and other sources, a one-time only emergency assistance payment may be available to assist families who are living with the threat of eviction or homelessness. The funds can be used for paying their rent, utilities, or mortgage to allow them to remain in their homes.
There is an on-site food pantry through Salvation Army of Columbus Georgia for families living with or on the edge of hunger. This may also serve Thanksgiving or Christmas meals, including to the homeless in the city of Columbus. The pantry and soup kitchen is at 1718 2nd Avenue in Columbus. Call (706) 327-0275
Public transportation, such as free bus tickets, are sometimes available for local travel in Muscogee County. This is for at-risk individuals through the Salvation to help them remain employed or find a job. Or transportation may be provided by volunteer drivers as people do usually donate their time to the Salvation Army.
In order to decrease homelessness and evictions within the community, individuals who are at-risk of evictions or foreclosures may have access to affordable, independent living options through Muscogee County Salvation Army Housing Services. There are several components offered.
In addition to low income housing as well as emergency shelter, there is referrals to supportive services such as transportation, childcare, financial budgeting workshops and other necessary life skill classes. Case mangers from the non-profit can direct people to these resources in Columbus. They tend to be available for working poor and struggling families.
Clients will be placed in their own safe, secure apartment verses living in a congregate shelter. These services are available through partnerships and collaborations with other apartment complexes and even non-profits in Muscogee County Georgia.
There are several options for housing from the Salvation Army including the Short-Term Program, Extended Housing and Transitional Solutions. There are several units for low-income, at-risk clients who participate in the case management services and programs. As part of this, residents contribute to their shelter costs on a weekly basis by paying a portion of the rent while working towards moving their families into a stable, safe and permanent housing situation.
In order to help individuals find gainful, permanent jobs, employment and education services are available. They are covered by Columbus Georgia corp centers and the case management process. Or they can be arranged through a variety of job training programs. These services prepare clients to meet the demands of the job market in order for them to make a stable salary, which will lead them back on the path to financial independence.
Individual counseling and job interview preparation are essential steps that lead to employment. Case managers from the Salvation Army work with clients on retention skills, job search and resume preparation to maximize future employment readiness.
Part of the Muscogee Adult Basic Education service is GED preparation. This is a service that is for those in-need, struggling individuals. Afternoon, morning and evening classes are geared around the needs of the non-traditional student. Individuals who enroll into this GED training may work at their own pace with a tutor on a one to one basis or in small groups to meet the goal of obtaining their education.
Career Builders is also available from the Salvation Army as a stand-alone workshop for individuals ready to enter the Georgia workforce. Tools, workshops and skills are provided and reviewed to help clients of this service meet the requirements for steady, long-term employment.
An important part of securing a life of stability and independence is working and adapting life skills. Training is available for several life management skills, covering a variety of topics such as conflict management, parenting, child development, stress management and financial budgeting. All of these Muscogee County classes and workshop sessions help parents become self-reliant and confident in leading their families out of risk and into a secure home life. In addition, the goal is to help them become contributing members of the community.
In order to be eligible for these programs, at-risk individuals and families in Muscogee County need to be available for intake and assessment at the Salvation Army corp center. These sessions are held on a first-come, first serve basis, as the capacity is limited. To meet requirements and conditions, individuals need to bring a picture ID and a Social Security Card or Birth Certificate, and they must also meet pre-determined residency requirements in the county and prove their income eligibility.
The annual holiday food drive organized by the Salvation Army and its partners provides struggling people with the food and preparatory items necessary to create their own Thanksgiving meals. This is done to help ensure they follow their own traditions within the comfort of their own homes. These provisions are made possible through the generosity of volunteers and the greater Muscogee County community. Other holiday and Christmas goods are available at the thrift store, which is at 615 Manchester Expressway in Columbus.
In addition to the sites referenced above, the Salvation Army is located at 5201 Warm Springs Road, Columbus, Georgia. Dial (706) 561-9026.
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