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Blair County Salvation Army assistance programs.

Blair County families may be able to get help from the Salvation Army. The nation's leading non-profit organization has centers in the region. Qualified individuals can get access to several emergency financial assistance programs and social services. While resources vary and are limited, some of what may be offered includes food, utility bill help, rental and housing assistance and other aid. Also work with a case manager on long term self-sufficiency and stability.

Heating and utility bill assistance may be provided as funding allows. When a family is faced with a shut-off or emergency, the Salvation Army of Blair County can provide assistance with paying these utility bills. Any help provided will of course be based upon available funding. A formal application process is in place that will require supporting documentation. Clients of the Salvation Army will also need to provide proof of income and make an appointment by dialing 942-8104. It is often combined with Project Bundle Up, which is another assistance program in Blair County that provides warm winter hats, coats, gloves, and even items such as boots to income eligible children and senior citizens in the region. Both of these have helped many a family make it through the cold winter.

The Salvation Army food bank can offer assistance as well. It is located at 1813 6th Avenue. When resources allow it can provide up to a 7 day supply of emergency groceries and food to those who qualify. A soup kitchen will also serve a weekly hot meal free of charge to less fortunate members of the community.

Holiday programs include the annual community Thanksgiving dinner and it is offered at no charge to people within the community. Another option is Christmas Assistance and a program known as Treasures for children. It can offer gifts and a meal to income eligible individuals, children, and families in the region.

The Salvation Army and the Treasures program is for children and it uses generous donations from businesses, community members, churches and regional non-profit organizations. Other donations and funds from the Red Kettle help the agency buy toys and food for this program. All items are distributed by volunteers and staff to the needy. It is sometimes combined with the Angel Tree.




Emergency Disaster Services are available at a time of natural or man made disaster. The non-profit is on scene to assist, feed, and house emergency response officials and victims.

Information and referral services may be available for individuals and lower income families who are in need of emergency or financial assistance that is not or can not be provided by the Salvation Army. Case managers will offer referrals to other non-profit organizations throughout Blair County Pennsylvania and surrounding regions.

For example, the center works with government programs such as WIC. Once a month the Salvation Army supplies the WIC program with space in its office for providing vouchers and nutrition education classes to participants of the WIC and/or food stamp program. The center will also have information on other government programs such as LIHEAP and weatherization and sometimes the agency can help people apply for them.

Resources for students and children are held at the Salvation Army too. Examples include homework help, crafts, snacks, computer, and recreation provided. All school age students, children and teenagers are eligible for this service.

The community center is at 1813 6th Ave., Altoona, Pennsylvania 16602. Dial (814) 942-8104. As indicated all programs and resources are limited and come with an application process in place.




By Jon McNamara

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