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Chautauqua County Salvation Army assistance programs.

When faced with a crisis, the Chautauqua County Salvation Army is a leading non-profit organization to call for help. Various social services and emergency aid may be offered to the less fortunate and working poor.

During the cold winter months many people need help paying their heating and natural gas bills. So the Salvation Army of Chautauqua County and rely the centers across the entire state administer various utility assistance programs. The aid will usually be offered as a last resort and will help people who are facing a disconnection or who are out of heating oil. It may also assist low income families who have used up all of their federal government LIHEAP benefits.

The main offering is the Neighbor for Neighbor program. It will distribute a onetime grant to help pay heating bills for qualified low income and struggling households in New York. While funding will vary it may offer anywhere between $150 to $400 per year.

Neighbor for Neighbor applications can be used to apply for either natural gas or electric bill assistance. While conditions can change over time, in general financial assistance with electric is only provided when the Salvation Army and American Red Cross Care and Share program is closed. Most of the funds are for the unemployed or Chautauqua residents who are age 55 and older or disabled. Individuals with a serious medical condition may also apply.

Emergency food and meals may be offered from food banks and soup kitchens. Donations are used, and many volunteers work at the locations to help the less fortunate. The food is offered year round, with some special holiday meals, such as Turkeys, offered at Thanksgiving and Christmas. They also work with other groups such as churches and even retailers. The hungry in the Chautauqua County New York may be able to get help from a Salvation Army pantry.

Employment services and job counseling is offered. A case worker or volunteer from the Salvation Army can provide the unemployed or people looking for a new job with access to a computer, resume review and other similar support. Some centers, if resources allow, may have bus tokens or gasoline vouchers too.




A number of other emergency services are offered.

  • Medical and basic health care needs can be met from prescriptions.
  • In addition to the heating bill help referenced above, other more general utility help is offered too.
  • Basic needs such as clothing, furniture, and clothing may be available. Some of this is sold to the general public from Chautauqua thrift stores and some the Salvation Army may provide for free using vouchers.
  • For after-hours or weekend emergency service, one option is a short term shelter in western New York.

The Salvation Army and people in the community also sponsor annual Christmas assistance programs. They are wide ranging and can assist families and their children with food, free toys, and coats. Much of the assistance is for children 12 years old and under. Winter coats are offered. The Salvation Army will accept and process applications. The clothing assistance program will target its coats for children 12 and younger. Holiday toy program will have its own application process in place too.

The process is formal. When applying for the Salvation Army holiday programs you should bring at least copies of birth certificates for children 12 and younger, proof of income and proof of expenses as well as a social security cards for children 13 and older.

Case management and self-sufficiency is offered from an interview process. The Salvation Army caseworker will explore and try to address the factors contributing to the household's emergency or crisis. After better understanding the need they will offer other forms of assistance. This can include referrals, budget counseling, credit repair, and emotional/spiritual support.

The main Chautauqua County center is at 83 South Main Street, PO Box 368 in Jamestown, NY 14702-0368. Call (716) 664-4108.



By Jon McNamara

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