Residents of the Schenectady County New York region can get emergency assistance and case management from the Salvation Army. The programs also provide coverage to the neighboring counties of Schoharie and Montgomery. While some examples of the resources available are below, numerous other assistance programs or referrals may be offered.
During the fall and winter, the seasonal assistance programs really increase. This includes free or low cost assistance during Thanksgiving or Christmas. One example is Meals on Wheels, which is a Salvation Army partner organization. They provide low cost holiday home delivery of hot meals to home-bound seniors and the elderly. They are served during the Thanksgiving and/or Christmas holiday. The program is run in partnership with the Office for the Aging in Schenectady.
Emergency homeless shelters operate in the capital region. They often go by the name of Booth House, and can house both women and children. People who were evicted due to delinquent rent are provided a safe and comfortable place to stay for a night or two. They will also gain access to referral services, three free meals a day, and ongoing case management to help the clients stay on a path to self-sufficiency and employment as they move through the journey of life.
Disaster assistance will help during times of a major crisis in the community. The Salvation Army also works with and pulls other resources from across Schenectady, the state and even the country if need be. The agency can send staff, officers, highly trained volunteers and provide food from Emergency Disaster Mobile Canteens. Other resources offered come in the form of hot coffee, meals, housing, blankets, vouchers for furniture, clean-up kits, household supplies as needed, and guidance.
Financial aid is very limited and comes with a strict application process. Most of it is for homeless prevention, so can include funds for rent, housing costs, or utility bills (including heating and energy). An eviction notice or disconnection letter will normally be requested for emergency rental assistance.
The primary centers to apply at are as follows. 222 Lafayette St. in Schenectady (phone (518) 346-0222) or
2145 Central Ave (518) 346-0205)). Another nearby Salvation Army center is at 267 Market St, Amsterdam, New York 12010 (dial (518) 842-9941).
Clothing and feeding programs will serve working poor individuals and families that are faced with a crisis. Qualified clients can receive up to several days' worth of food or groceries. People can “shop” at the pantry and select just the foodstuff they need. Examples of what may be offered by the Salvation Army pantries include fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, meats, canned vegetables, breads, and pasta.
To apply, you will need proof of income and residence. Also bring proof of identification (such as a license or social security card) for everyone in the household. Seniors in the Montgomery or Schenectady County region can use the pantries more often than others.
A Breakfast and Lunch Program is located the 222 Lafayette Street facility. All are welcome regardless of income. People will not be turned away. Also, volunteers are always needed in order to help make the soup kitchen possible to the needy. Church groups, charities and other local organizations help collect, prepare and serve the food to the needy, poor, and homeless.
The Schenectady Salvation Army clothing bank is open a few days per week. The center will sell gently used (and sometimes new) clothing to people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. The non-profit can assist struggling families with offering them free back-to-school clothes, backpacks, clothes for everyday wear, uniforms, or suits for an interview. The Salvation Army can really only offer this service thanks to the many local individuals and families who donate gently used clothing to the center.
Other holiday assistance includes the Christmas Toy Shop. This is offered to hundreds of children from ages infant to 12. Christmas Food Baskets are chock full of groceries and food, such as Turkeys. The items offered are everything needed for a complete holiday dinner. The last main resource is known as the Christmas Angel Tree Program. This needs the involvement of people, organizations and local businesses to buy new toys or gifts for specific children in the region.
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