The Salvation Army and the regional Orlando Metropolitan Area Command administer a number of social services and emergency assistance programs for the needy. Programs cover families across Orange County Florida. Thousands of individuals get assistance in overcoming barriers, receiving basic needs (such as food and clothing), and achieve self-sufficiency with help from the Salvation Army in Orlando.
The non-profit runs emergency services, including financial assistance, for the less fortunate. They can also help people of all religions and cultures overcome barriers to personal/spiritual growth. Specific programs from the social service department do provide relief and support to thousands of individuals and families every year. Emergency financial assistance can help with paying rent, utility and cooling bills. Gently used clothing may be distributed. Many people call the Salvation Army for free food or meals as well. Special holiday and Christmas programs provide food and gifts to low income families with children.
Any type of emergency financial or cash assistance is very limited, depends on donations, and comes with conditions. Help is offered on a limited basis. Applicants will need to make an appointment and they usually need to be made a couple weeks or so in advance. An individual will need to go through a formal interview process and meet eligibility standards. These include, but are not limited to, there needs to be an emergency or crisis and the applicant needs to have lived in Orange County Florida for at least 1 year. Also most of the aid is offered as a last resort, and one time only. So if you have received financial assistance from another non-profit agency or government program within the past 3 months, it is possible you will not qualify for help from the Salvation Army and you will be referred back to that agency you worked with in the past. Documentation and proof of the hardship is needed as well, and includes social security cards, proof of expenses such as bills or your lease, proof of your income, and identification.
Any type of emergency financial assistance and similar programs is very fluid. Meaning that criteria may change, funding may run out, and funds are very limited by location. All support is dependent upon the individual’s unique case requirements and personal situation.
A couple shelters and short term housing units also operate around Orange County. One is focused on women’s and children, while a second location is only for men. Both provide short term housing as well as longer term self-sufficiency. The women’s shelter is at 400 West Colonial Drive Orlando, Florida 32804, 407-423-8581. A location for men is 624 Lexington Avenue Orlando, FL 32801, call 407-423-8581.
Clothing assistance is offered for emergency situations or disasters such as fire, flood, or eviction. Some seasonal programs, such as back to school, may offer school clothes, shoes, or backpacks for students. Holiday assistance gifts and toys may be covered by the Angel Tree program.
Food assistance and meals are offered from pantries and soup kitchens. Items are offered for an unforeseen emergency. Special Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and gifts may be served too.
Prescription medication assistance and savings are offered from the FamilyWize Discount Card. The Orlando Salvation Army works with the United Way in Orange County to offer this free discount card. The Heart of Florida United Way is the lead agency for this service, and they work with dozens of other local organizations in Florida. Individuals and seniors who use this card can save up to 40% on their prescription drugs. There is no cost to obtain the card and it can be used at hundreds of local pharmacies and retailers, including Walmart.
Seniors can get low income housing from the William and Catherine Booth Towers. The two Towers are available for low-income senior citizens age 62 and older, and they are high-rise apartment complexes in the greater Orlando area. Some apartments may also be offered for people of other ages as well, and they can be as low as 18 years of age. There is often a waiting list for these low income housing units.
These are just some of the social services, emergency financial assistance, and case management resources offered in Orlando. For any other questions, or to get more information, call the Salvation Army Social Services department at 407-423-8581. Or stop by the centers. The addresses are.
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