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Bartholomew, Jackson, and Decatur County area Salvation Army assistance programs.

The Salvation Army is one of the region's largest organization that is focused on meeting the needs of the low income and working poor. Resources operate across the region, including in counties such as Bartholomew and Jackson, however other areas are covered too. While the focus is on basic needs (such as food, shelter, and clothing) from time to time your local Salvation Army center may have funds for paying rent, heating bills, medications, and other expenses.

The main Corp Centers are at 2525 Illinois St, Columbus, phone (812) 372-7118. Additional offices are at 4856 Norwood Dr, Columbus, (812) 375-9153 as well as 136 E Washington St in Shelbyville, Indiana. 46176, dial (317) 398-3771.

Christmas and the holidays is always a time when the Salvation Army ramps up its services. Red Kettles, which depend on volunteers and donations from the community, are out in full-force during the fall and winter. They raise money for holiday meals, toys, and in general, the financial assistance programs.

Qualified low income families in the Bartholomew County, in particular those with children or senior members, can access a wide variety of services during Thanksgiving and Christmas. This can include free holiday toy and food programs, such as Angel Tree or Adopt-a-Family.

Across the nation and in Indiana, the Salvation Army operates the largest holiday toy and food distribution program. Items such as winter coats, food, hot meals and toys are distributed to thousands of families in the region, including in Shelby County. Working poor and lower income families must register and apply to receive assistance.

Financial aid available includes utility and heating bill assistance. Much of this is seasonal and of course depends of available government funding and grants. Money is raised from fund raisers, donations from people in the community, and even from generous contributions by local utility companies.

Housing needs can be addressed too. When someone is faced with an eviction due to a short term crisis, then money may be available to pay a portion of your rent. The applicant needs to have a plan in place to get back on track as well. Salvation Army funds and cash assistance is used to bridge the gap and help families make it through an emergency. The aid is not long term, charity care.




Food pantries and soup kitchens in Bartholomew, Decatur, and Shelby County Indiana will help fight hunger. Whether you have children or not, if you are a senior or student, food and groceries may be offered. The Salvation Army may also partner with other local charities and non-profits, including even churches, in an effort to help the poor and less fortunate. The numerous feeding programs provide food, support, and even applications for food stamps for hungry families.

Seniors can explore programs such as Meals on Wheels and emergency food boxes. This can also include a hot meal, visits from a driver, and general companionship. Some Salvation Army centers may also house congregate meal sites as well. The free food and meals served will meet the nutritional requirements that are established by the USDA.

Emergency Disaster Services are available. The Salvation Army and its staff and volunteers are there, on call, when disaster strikes. Oftentimes the non-profit is the first on the scene to respond. They can provide immediate aid, spiritual counsel, and psychological support to individuals and families in the community. They may also partner with the American Red Cross as needed. Together they may offer free or gently used clothing, food, vouchers for basic needs, and furniture to help restore lives of victims.

As indicated, almost every center tries to address Basic Needs. Most of this is done by appointment only. Examples of services offered include clothing, food, school supplies, vouchers for medications, and more. Some of this may be provided by local clothing closets or Salvation Army run thrift stores.




By Jon McNamara

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