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Salvation Army assistance programs Black Hawk County.

Any household in Black Hawk County that is struggling may be able to turn to the Salvation Army in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids for help. The Christian Based charity offers everything from financial aid (rent or utilities) to programs for children (free Christmas toys or school supplies) and a worship service too. The most common request from families is for social services, and while not every person will qualify, the Black Hawk County Salvation Army does its best to meet the needs of the disadvantaged. The main services include the following.

Emergency financial help for utilities, rent, and bills

Black Hawk County based Salvation Army provides very limited Utility Bill as well as Rent Assistance in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids. The funding is limited and may even be seasonal, with more funds for paying utility/heating bills during the winter months. This financial aid programs are funded from the generous donations by local utility companies as well as members of the community, such as the United Way.

Anyone seeking help for rent or energy bill needs to prove their income and hardship. Oftentimes the center will need proof that effort was made by the applicant to pay their electric bill or housing costs/rent in the last 90 days, and grants are generally for people that meet income guidelines of 250% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Additional Salvation Army social services in Black Hawk County

Since a focus is on long term solutions, there are referrals to local job placement and career enhancement centers. Working with partners, including from the WIA, the client will have educational plans created as a guide to follow as they work for success.

Salvation Army Black Hawk County staff members will also help the under-educated access GED Preparation Classes. Or they show clients how to make money non-traditional ways, such as selling hair for extra cash or smart phone applications. For immigrants to the greater Black Hawk County region, there will be English as Second Language classes (ESL) coordinated as part of the career centers. These sessions can last week and are held by volunteer instructors.

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There is a thrift store on site. While this will generally sell items such as furniture or household supplies, there may also be free clothing vouchers in a crisis. These can be used by Black Hawk County Salvation Army clients at most one time per fiscal year. They also give low income families with kids from back to school supplies, clothes, pens, rulers, haircuts or backpacks and other items.

A free food bank will serve a qualified low income household. The pantry in Waterloo can only be used if the client has not received free groceries or a hot meal within the last 30 days. If this does not qualify, then the case worker may still offer referrals.

The Waterloo and Cedar Rapids Salvation Army will have information on other programs to stop hunger. These include SNAP food stamp applications; hot meals from soup kitchens; Christmas and Thanksgiving food baskets; and Meals on wheels for the home-bound. Information may be given on one or more of the services, such as those below. Or get free Thanksgiving or turkey meals or Christmas food baskets.

Senior Food Boxes are for Black Hawk County residents age 60 and over. It can also feed their spouses or care givers, provided the meet income guidelines of 130% of the Federal Poverty Level. There is also a Mobile Food Canteen in Black Hawk County as well as a free hot lunch program for the homeless and residents in poverty. Lastly, the Salvation Army plays a role in a free summer produce give away scheme in partnership with Feeding America affiliates. Or read more on how to use food stamps at farmers markets.

There is often support for children of Black Hawk County. Some resources are as follows.

  • Affordable summer camps with activities such as swimming, fishing, crafts, sports, boating, hiking trails, music, and more are organized.
  • After School Learning Centers help low income parents and single moms. The student can get free academic support, teachers give help on preparation, tutoring and more.
  • The Black Hawk County Salvation Army adopt a family can give meals and Christmas gifts to children.
  • Other kid focused programs include school supplies, backpacks, summer meals, and more.





The Emergency Disaster Services also try to respond quickly. There may be aid in the form of food, water, lodging, and shelter to people that have been impacted. The Salvation Army also partners with the Iowa Red Cross on longer term services to get the family back on their feet. This may be furniture for a new home, clothing, and help with moving.

Applying to Salvation Army programs in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids

The Salvation Army caseworkers as well as volunteers will be involved in addressing a wide array of self-sufficiency barriers. These include employment, referrals to low cost childcare and Transportation, homeless shelters or rent help and more. All of this is combined with the food and financial aid referenced above in Black Hawk County. This will help the family gain stability. For details, stop in at 89 Franklin St, Waterloo, IA 50703 or call (319) 235-9358.

By Jon McNamara

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