One of the leading agencies across Las Cruces is the Salvation Army. They try to take the lead in tackling poverty across the county and region. The faith based group will assist struggling people of all religions, provided they have available resources and that the family is found qualified.
The organization is limited in the scope of services they offer as most of their funding is from donations. Some of what may be provided includes a box of free food from the pantry, small dollar amounts for paying a portion of a bill or housing payments, or hot meals. Another goal though is to direct people from the community to alternative programs in Dona Ana County to deal with the situation.
During the major holidays, such as Easter, Thanksgiving and the Christmas Season, the Salvation Army will hold fund raisers such as from the Red Kettle or Angel Tree. Based on the participation from the community, they will offer hot Thanksgiving day meals or baskets of food, toys for children so they can experience the holiday, and visitation to seniors and those in a nursing home.
The staff at the Salvation Army of Dona Ana County Food Pantry respond to as many requests as possible. Families from across Las Cruces request a wide variety of goods such as free food, groceries, or information on food stamps. Others turn to the pantry for other basic needs, such as clothing or hygiene items. While all applicants will not qualify for help, there are still many families that are supported.
Free, healthy meals for the elderly as well as the homebound can often be arranged. The Salvation Army will partner with senior centers and other groups on this. This provide the senior citizen with companionship as well with a caring volunteer. In addition, after the meal has been served, a food box is usually given to them as well for future usage.
The Las Cruces Salvation Army Family Thrift Store is open as well. This will sell gently used goods to families, regardless of their income. For more details, the address is 220 East Idaho Avenue. It can be used for even buying items such as school supplies or furniture for a home.
Anyone that is homeless or in a crisis, such as facing domestic violence, can turn to the Salvation Army shelter. They are for any woman, child, veteran or man who needs a place to stay. They are only short term solutions though. But one benefit to the shelter is case managers will work with the client to find some other type of more permanent housing in the region.
The most common request to Dona Ana County Salvation Army is for financial help, however this is the most limited. While they try to fulfill as many requests as possible, it is not common to get assistance due to funding levels. Whether funds are issued for expenses such as electric bills or some other expenses, sometimes they can also provide other support. This will be done even if there is not money available. This may be referrals to benefits or other charities in the region.
Anyone seeking help will need to go through a formal application process. This has been implemented for everything, whether it is the pantry or for financial support. Terms and conditions may change, but the following will normally be required, including proof of residence in Dona Ana County, copies of utility bills or a lease, and more. Also, applicants to the Salvation Army will normally need to have an eviction notice from their landlord or a disconnection letter from their energy company.
Salvation Army disaster assistance is a key service when a crisis strikes. They partner with groups such as the American Red Cross and others to help people impacted by fires, floods, and more. They offer practical support (such as food, clothing, or a meal), shelter, and just general compassion.
For more information, dial (575) 524-1044 or stop 1590 California Avenue, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001. Note the number of requests is always very high, so many residents of Dona Ana County will receive referrals instead of direct aid.
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