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Emergency assistance from Lee County Salvation Army.

The Lee County Florida Salvation Army specializes in providing emergency assistance, Christmas and holiday aid, food, programs for seniors, and outreach. When someone is struggling, maybe from a job loss or unexpected illness, the Salvation Army is one of the agencies in the area to call for help and support. The Lee County corps center focuses on the nearby cities of Fort Myers and Cape Coral, but it also provides assistance and resources to the neighboring counties of Hendry and Glades.

The We Care program is a program that provides free or affordable medical care. The program coordinates specialty health care in Lee County Florida and other towns and cities in the region. Services are voluntarily given to the unemployed, medically needy, and uninsured people in the community.

There are eligibility requirements for the We Care program. Applicants and potential patients need to have a life altering or medically necessary condition, and that condition cannot be managed by a standard doctor or primary care physician. Applicants need to be between 18-64 years of age, and also have lived in Lee County Florida for at least 6 months. The Salvation Army will also require applicants to meet certain income standards that are based on FL Statute 766.1115 and/or certain federal government guidelines.

Medical care is offered only to those who are classified as working poor, unemployed, and/or uninsured, and if they are not qualified for any source of medical care which would pay for those needed medical services. So they can’t be currently enrolled in Medicare, a VA program, or Medicaid.

Sally's Café is a local Salvation Army site that provides food and meals in Cape Coral and surrounding regions. The center is open every day of the year, and it offers free hot meals and aid to anyone who needs a healthy, nutritious meal. This outreach service is also called Meals with Compassion, and for many people who use Sally's Café it will be the only real, nutritious meal they will have for the day. In the last year, the centers have been serving an average of 100 meals per evening, which is almost twice as many as a couple years ago. Volunteers and donations are always appreciated. The location is at 2476 Edison Ave.





Emergency and Crisis Management is provided by the Salvation Army. For those families who have been impacted by a job loss, an illness or injury, or a disaster such as a fire, those are prime examples of when the Salvation Army can help. Hundreds of Cape Coral and Fort Myers individuals receive assistance every year. The Salvation Army of Lee County can provide emergency clothing, food, and home items. Rarely some funds for rent or energy bills may be offered. Another service they offer is referrals to other community resources, non-profits, and government programs that can help families and individuals meet basic needs and provide for their families. The Outreach Services Center houses this crisis management program, and it is located at the Red Shield Lodge.

Christmas Cheer is a program that operates during the holidays. It is a Toy Distribution program, and the Salvation Army can also provide Lee, Hendry, and Glades residents with food and meals.

Applications are accepted during October for the Christmas Cheer program. The Salvation Army starts the application process early so that they can accommodate all the people (or as many as possible) who are seeking some form of holiday assistance. After the process has been complete, case workers will schedule appointment times to those seeking help. Families will be provided a time and day to stop by and shop for toys, clothing, and gifts at the Toy Distribution Center/Shop.

When someone stops by the Toy Shop, and when your name is called, you will be able to go through the distribution center with a volunteer Salvation Army shopper. This individual will help you find and pick out toys, gifts, or clothing for your child. In addition to free toys and gifts, the family will also be provided a food bag/basket that will contain items and ingredients so that a family can prepare a healthy holiday meal.

The meal items passed out will contain chickens, vegetables, turkeys, or other meats, and these are given when a family picks up their food bags. The Salvation Army is committed to treating Lee County individuals with respect and care. Volunteers just don’t bag up random toys, gifts and items and they just don’t give the families a food bag. Families are able to choose which gifts they want from the Toy Shop, which helps ensure an individual Christmas is joyful.




A food pantry is also available as part of the Crisis Management program. This is located in the Outreach Services Center. The Salvation Army will use this center in order provide groceries, perishable items and food boxes to families and individuals who are in dire need of help. Many children also rely on the items during the summer in order to receive their lunch.

Salvation Army centers in Lee, Glades, and Hendry County

  • 2581 Palm Avenue, Fort Myers, Florida, phone number (239) 337-0955
  • 15418 South Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers, Florida, dial (239) 267-9652
  • 10291 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers, phone number (239) 278-1551
  • Red Lodge Family Unit, 2400 Edison Ave, Fort Myers, Fl 33901, main phone 239-334-3745
  • 4506 Del Prado Boulevard South, Cape Coral, Florida, dial (239) 540-0265


By Jon McNamara

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