The Salvation Army is one of the charities that may be able to assist the less fortunate in Ionia County. All of the assistance programs are run in partnership with the local office of the Department of Human Services, and applicants need to contact that government agency first. The services will vary by time of year and resources, but there may be financial help for utility bills, Christmas meals, a free food pantry, and much more.
The Social Services Department is part of the regional Salvation Army network. This gives them greater scale, but also causes more demand. Working with partners such as DHS in Ionia County as well as local churches, they all try to support the working poor. There is help for medical emergencies, eviction prevention programs, short term shelter, and even some funds to pay rent to stop an eviction or money for utility disconnections.
All assistance is provided on a case by case basis. When applying, be sure to bring evidence of current address in Ionia County (lease, utility bill, etc.). Also bring proof of identification, including a passport, driver’s license, green card, birth certificate or government issued ID. The Salvation Army also need proof of all current income, which may be proof of government assistance, job check stubs, SSI statements, or food stamps.
The Ionia County Salvation Army is big into offering residents with resources from different organizations and they are a source of information. The case manager will connect the client to another program. Some examples of them include free health care services, Job training, affordable day care, legal aid, and they have lists of low cost apartments. There are also other state of Michigan and federal government benefits available, including SNAP food stamps and section 8 rent vouchers. The Salvation Army will direct the person to one of those programs that is most helpful to them.
Many of those resources take a holistic approach. This means they look at all aspects of what the client may need. It touches on both basic needs (food, shelter, health) as well as more in depth, anti-poverty measures (employment, budgeting, etc.). It is a holistic network of support.
Free Food Pantry – This has mostly non-perishable items. Cereal, pasta, sauce, and much more.
Free Christmas Programs and School Supplies – Donations keep these services running. Children in Ionia County can be given toys, back to school supplies, clothes, backpacks, and more.
Utility and Heating Bills – The Salvation Army partners with energy companies and donation type services in an effort to provide funds for electric, gas, and light bills.
USDA Commodities – Families can get cereal, cheese, beans, and more staple food items.
Prescription Assistance – A voucher may help pay for some of the medications cost. It will mostly cover generics.
Adult Rehabilitation for Alcohol and Drug Abuse – A low cost programs that helps people overcome addiction. It provides advice, housing, and other support at a more affordable cost then some other options.
Computer Lab – Some Salvation Army centers have these. Or the case managers can refer the resident to another location. While there they can create resumes, search for jobs, and learn some of the latest software applications.
Salvation Army Pathway of Hope – This is a case management service in Ionia County. It aims to help the client overcome the causes of their financial hardship.
As noted, the Department of Human Services needs to give a referral to the Salvation Army. The main Ionia County center is at 425 Republic Avenue, Alma, Michigan 48801, dial 989.463.2864.