Berkeley and Dorchester County Salvation Army assistance programs.

Residents of the Dorchester and Berkeley County region of South Carolina can contact the Salvation Army for support. The funding levels will vary based on donations and even the season, however the agency will offer qualified applicants help or referrals during their time of need. The local Salvation Army centers may provide families with material assistance (such as food, shelter, or clothing) or limited financial assistance for paying expenses such as rent or electric bills.

The centers have an application process and requirements that need to be met. While the terms will depend on the exact program being applied to, clients will usually need some form of photo identification, proof of income, social security card, and copies of expenses, such as a lease or utility bill. When eligible, local South Carolina families may receive help with paying their rent, utility bills or deposits, food, clothing, and more.

One of the highest demand programs in Dorchester County is for Christmas and Holiday Assistance. The Salvation Army uses donations and fund raisers to provide free gifts and toys for children from low income families and meals as well. The holiday assistance programs are administered locally, by county. They can include Angel Tree or Adopt a Family.

Salvation Army Thrift and Family Stores also rely heavily on donations from individuals and businesses. People donate clothing, furniture and household goods. There are also individuals working at these thrift stores and they include volunteer and employed staff. Low income families and victims of a disaster may receive free goods or clothing or vouchers. Others can shop at the thrift store for low priced items. Money raised from these stores is used to fund Berkeley County social assistance programs. Or money may be used to pay for shelter programs or other financial assistance.

Emergency shelters were created to provide a place to stay as well as free food and emergency or transitional housing. They are open to children, men, women, or families in need. Those who use the shelter will also work with case managers to identify and resolve the causes of their homelessness. Guests will also be able to participate in programs and workshops developed to promote personal development and self-sufficiency.





Finally, the Salvation Army also works with families to help them transition into a more permanent housing situation in Dorchester or nearby counties. Clients can also learn about financial aid that can be applied to in order to pay the rent or a security deposit on their new home. Find other resources in the region that may provide funds to help pay security deposits.

Disaster Relief and Emergency Response services are available when the time is right. Many families and individuals across South Carolina receive the caring assistance from responders that are part of the Salvation Army and partners such as the American Red Cross. They also partner with other non-profit agencies in an effort to help police and fire personnel at area hurricanes, fires, and disasters. The families and victims of these events can also get help, such as free food, vouchers for housing, and clothing.

Some examples of the other Salvation Army social and emergency services are as follows. All of these are limited in nature.

-Homeless prevention in both Berkeley and Dorchester County is for those facing a one time crisis. Financial aid may be available for a partial rent or utility bill payment.
-Free food for low income families and the needy.
-Caring for the elderly in South Carolina. This can include home delivered meals or access to congregate feeding sites.
-Support for children and students. Examples of these Salvation Army programs can be free school supplies or summer meals and snacks.

If the center can't help, then ask for referrals. The local Salvation Army can be a place to turn to for information on both regional programs and government benefits too. The two main locations in the area are 131 S Main St, Summerville, South Carolina 29483 (phone (843) 851-2368) as well as 203 White St, Moncks Corner, SC, (dial (843) 761-0940).



By Jon McNamara

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