On a case by case basis, the Salvation Army of Plymouth County may be able to assist struggling families. They do have a few core areas they focus on. Those include the desire to spread the holiday joy at Christmas as well as prevent homelessness and hunger. Another goal of the Plymouth and Brockton organization is to help the family gain long term stability.
First, any support from the Salvation Army will depend on donations from the community. They also rely heavily on volunteers to distribute the goods to needy families, and this is done on a first come and served basis.
Low income families can seek help around the holidays. There may be free Thanksgiving meals that can have turkeys and all the toppings. Or during the December there can be food boxes with meals more targeted at that specific holiday, even accounting for different religions.
In addition to that, the Salvation Army holds fund raisers and drives during the fall months. For children from low income families or that may be in local shelters, there can be toys, clothing, and other presents given to them. The Red kettle is often used to raise money for this, and these resources are similar to Adopt a Family programs.
Some people from the community may not be able to drop in for a holiday meal or box of food. Maybe they are considered home-bound or have a serious illness. In these cases they can apply for a free, home delivered meal.
Plymouth County Salvation Army thrift stores are operated for people in the community. Most of them are manned by volunteers from the community with a small, part time staff. The store sells reduced priced goods. There can be clothing, books, furniture, shoes, appliances, and small household items.
Anyone from the city of Brockton or the county looking for job experience can also contact the store. By volunteering there it can help a person gain new skills for their resume. Of course they are also able to give back to the community by working at the center.
The Salvation Army emergency food pantry and clothing closet assists individuals and families that may otherwise go hungry without help. Based on an assessment process done, there can be a box of food given to them. Or maybe work or school clothes may be passed out if that is what they need.
There may be enough non-perishable goods in it to last a few days. While a family can only use the pantry or clothing bank a few times per year, then can be exceptions made in a few cases. Assistance is also provided for obtaining items such as diapers for a newborn, free baby formula, and personal hygiene products.
The Senior Meal Service is for people age 60 and older, however in some cases the disabled can use it regardless of their age. The Plymouth County Salvation Army provides a hot, nutritious lunch meal to the elderly. This may even take place multiple days per week. If someone can't make it to a site, then Meals on Wheels are offered, and the volunteer driver will also give the client regular contact with Agency staff. So this will allow the person to benefit from ongoing monitoring general health and wellness status of the client.
So the resources above are more for basic, everyday needs. However, staff from the Salvation Army can also help clients with applying for SNAP Food Stamps or they can seek vouchers from WIC. Or there may be other federal or state of Massachusetts food assistance programs if they are found to be eligible.
Anyone that needs assistance will need to make an application and will be assessed on a walk in basis, first come and served. Based on a full assessment that is done, the agency may be able to direct a clients to a government grants for their bills or rent. Or in some cases no-interest loans will be provided to the applicant.
Any type of housing or energy bill assistance from the Salvation Army in Plymouth County is for families that are facing a one time crisis. The money will be combined with case management. Assistance is given during a emergency situation in the areas of providing food to the client, shelter, medical care, or utility bill help to stop a shut-off. One high demand resource in the region is for heating bill help, and that is met by the Salvation Army Good Neighbor Energy Fund.
While the Salvation Army corp center does its best to help the less fortunate, the fact is that funds are limited. There will always be a maximum amount paid out as well. However, the dollar amount that will be authorized by the case manager for any household will be determined on a case-by-case basis. So in those cases they will try to offer a referral to other local services.
The three main centers, including thrift stores, are as follows.
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