Columbia County Oregon Salvation Army emergency assistance programs.

In an effort to help the working poor and vulnerable, the Salvation Army has a social service department that also assists residents of Columbia County Oregon, but the location is not based in Saint Helens. The rent assistance programs, food pantries, Family Stores and other resources cover the greater Saint Helens region too. This is in addition to some of their other core services, such as the church ministry, shelter, and feeding programs.

When seeking assistance from the charity, an applicant may be referred to one or more of their resources. What is provided to the client will depend on the results of an in-person interview that is done. If the Salvation Army determines that someone is qualified based on their income or other factors, they will offer one or more of the services below. Note each is limited, and many people in Columbia County will need to be turned away and/or given a referral instead.

Social and emergency services

This is what most people want, but it is realistically the most difficult to fulfill. The charity, using donations from the community and grants from partners such as the United Way, may offer the following services. Note that each will generally required that the applicant participate in the Columbia County regional Salvation Army case management programs listed below. This list of possible emergency assistance programs is as follows.

-Hunger prevention includes free bags of food from the pantries in the region of Columbia County that partner with the Salvation Army.
-Utility disconnection services may provide cash grants to pay for electric bills, heat, or water services too.
-Homeless prevention is also provided by the Columbia County Salvation Army. This will include everything from partial rent payments to referrals to legal aid in the region.
-Emergency short term housing, such as shelter, transitional housing, and outreach to the homeless in Columbia County that sleep in local parks or on the streets.





-Vouchers for items such as clothing, prescription drugs, wheelchairs, medical equipment, assistive technology items, and more. There are also free school supplies and Christmas toys (Angel Tree) in Columbia County.

While anyone can apply for help, they need to be found qualified by a Columbia County Salvation Army social worker. Most of the aid will be targeted at people facing a short term emergency and that have exhausted all other opportunities. So they need to have used up any grants for Oregon LIHEAP for their energy bills, tried local charities or clinics, and did what they need to do to help themselves.

Salvation Army Columbia County basic needs, guidance and case management

The church is first and foremost a place for the vulnerable to turn to for support and guidance. When someone is out of food, maybe trying to find a better job, or they need to sign up for the Adopt a Family Christmas toy program, these are some of their core services.

A Columbia County resident that is lonely, homeless, or hungry can turn to the Salvation Army center. They will meet with a worker to review what options are available. While they are a Christian based charity, religion is never pushed and people of all backgrounds can stop in.

Many of the families that seek food from the pantry or a free, hot holiday meal have children or maybe an older person that lives in the home. Other Columbia County Salvation Army clients may be mentally or physically disabled, or they are abusing alcohol or drugs. In all cases, they will try to take in the person to assist.




Case management will involve bettering someone's live, but they need to take the initiative. During this time-frame everything from food to shelter or clothing is given out. There will also be classes on saving money on your bills, budgeting, and other support. Whatever it takes to help the client achieve success and long term stability is embarked on. For more information on the social services and guidance available from the Columbia County Salvation Army, dial 211 as the location is a regional agency.


By Jon McNamara

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