Berkshire County and Pittsfield Salvation Army assistance programs.

The Berkshire County Salvation Army provides several services to the less fortunate in the community. Some of the programs, such as food or hot meals, can help those residents that are in an emergency, regardless of their income. Other Pittsfield Salvation Army programs, including any grants for paying utility bills or clothing, are more income based services.

Even if someone applies to the non-profit, and if they are not qualified, the workers at the center will try to offer referrals to some form of alternative. Unfortunately many resources are limited, such as financial aid, and some, including Christmas assistance, rely on donations. So if the Salvation Army can't help the applicant, at the very least they will try to link them to another local agency that can assist.

Emergency services is the name of the program that helps with both basic needs and assists financially. Some of this form of aid may be available at the thrift store, so there may be a nominal cost to the applicant. Other assistance, such as that for paying energy bills, is very limited.

When applying to the Berkshire County Salvation Army emergency services, note that funds are not always available. While they will try to meet the needs of income qualified families that are truly working to better themselves, this can often be difficult to do. Not only may the money run out, but some potential clients are so far behind on their utility bills or rent that is will not make financial sense to assist them.

When possible, there may be vouchers to pay for clothing from the Salvation Army thrift store. The case managers can walk an applicant through applications for financial aid, such as for rent or heating bills. Those programs are sometimes available under LIHEAP or even the Energy Fund. Or people can learn about federal government benefits include SNAP food stamps or public housing. But these services in Pittsfield Massachusetts are very limited.

The Salvation Army in Berkshire County has several food resources. These will help residents of all ages, income, races, and backgrounds. The main services are as follows.

  • A hot dinner is served on Sundays, and Pittsfield families can also get a breakfast on Monday's. This is for the homeless and very low income.




  • The Salvation Army food pantry is available Monday to Friday. Groceries, perishable food, and more is provided by volunteers. The referral number is 413-442-0624.
  • Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving meals and food baskets are available.
  • In general, if the family has any participation in any federal government or state of Massachusetts program (such as free school lunches or food stamps) it qualifies them for use.

During the holiday season, Community Care Ministries is administered by Salvation Army volunteers. Staff visit the elderly and disabled in residential care facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes in Berkshire County. They bring them small Christmas gifts, serve holiday meals, and in general work to uplift their spirits. This resource is mostly only available as the result of donations as well as volunteers from the community.

There are also resources for teenagers as well as ex-convicts or substance abusers. The Berkshire County Salvation Army supports them in one of a few different ways. One is an intervention program (Bridging the Gap) for teens from Pittsfield, and it will assist those that have committed non-violent crimes. The Residential Adult Rehabilitation Services provides counseling, job placement, financial help for ex-prisoners and the vulnerable.

When applying for any of their services, applications need an identification and proof of residency in Berkshire County Massachusetts. Some of the programs, such as the pantry, are available once per month. Other Salvation Army programs are even more limited. They may be constrained to providing support at most once every 30 days.

To volunteer, or apply for help, the Salvation Army in the Berkshires can be reached at 298 West Street, Pittsfield, MA 01202. The non-profit does support the entire county. The phone number is reached at (916) 551-2150.




By Jon McNamara

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