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Financial assistance programs from Columbus and Franklin County Salvation Army.

Short term assistance can be provided by the Salvation Army in Columbus Ohio as well as Franklin County for everything from rent to heating bills to employment needs. While this financial assistance is being administered, case managers will work with clients to address the causes of poverty and help people gain self-sufficiency.

While the mid to long term objective is to help low income families escape poverty permanently, many people need to address an immediate crisis first, so the Salvation Army provides the following basic needs. This can include free furniture, clothing, food (such as hot meal programs, Choice Food Pantries, food for the elderly), Jackets for Jackets (which is free coats for adults and children), and also utility bill or rent assistance. There are also the free holiday programs raging from free Angel Tree Christmas toys to Thanksgiving turkeys or Easter baskets.

Emergency assistance for bills or free stuff

Shut off prevention for utility assistance, including electric, cooling, gas, and heating bills is offered. The Columbus Ohio Salvation Army has developed a partnership with AEP, Dollar Energy, and the Neighbor to Neighbor program. When combined, these resources are able to assist thousands of low income families and individuals with payment of their monthly electric bills.

Most of the funding, and priority, is given to people to help them avoid a shut-off of their service, fill up a heating oil tank in the winter, or to restore electric service. The program runs year round, and can even help with paying cooling and air conditioning expenses during the summer. Read more on Ohio utility assistance.

Customers who have a termination notice or who have had their utilities disconnected, and who also have an income that is at or below 200% of the federal government poverty level may apply for help. All people applying must have paid at least $150 towards their utility bill within the last 90 days as well, so applicants need to have made an effort.




The Salvation Army also works closely Columbia Gas to provide a program known as HeatShare, which is for paying natural gas bills. Thousands of individuals across Ohio can receive help with the monthly payment of their gas costs. For over 20 years, each qualified household may be able to obtain about up to $250 to maintain or restore gas services to their home or apartment. The HeatShare program begins in summer (so it is good for cooling bills) after other utility and energy bill assistance programs have ended.

Emergency rental assistance is very limited and is only available certain times of the year. The non-profit will try to ensure all residents have a roof over one's head, as shelter is critical and is one of the basic necessities of life. Columbus Ohio Salvation Army case workers are able to provide emergency rent assistance, when funding is available, to families in dire need of help. Find a list of other Franklin County Ohio rent assistance programs.

Furniture Assistance can be offered as part of the various free material assistance programs. This can help meet basic needs, and includes clothing, furniture, household products, and other aid. The Salvation Army and the various centers have formed a unique partnership with the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio. The Furniture Bank stores appliances and other types of furniture and items that can be provided free of charge to families and individuals, if they are referred by a case worker and meet income guidelines.

The Mid-Ohio Food Bank as well as local grocery stores are yet another example of a private company or non-profit that partners with the Salvation Army. This is a Feeding America location. By these groups working together, many people receive food and groceries from the Salvation Army.





There are also multiple free food pantries that operate in Columbus as well as Central Ohio. They are formally known as the Choice Pantry model, where qualified low income people can shop and choose their own items, recommended servings from each food group, and also receive groceries or meals based on the number of people, including children, in their families. Local residents who shop at the Choice Food Pantry are given a three-day supply of groceries, meals and food for the entire household every 30 days if needed.

Low income seniors can also receive food. Monthly distributions are made to qualified elderly individuals as well as low income seniors. Items and the food boxes need to be picked up from the five Centers for Worship and Service, which are located around Columbus Ohio. Some of the items provided in the food boxes include evaporated milk, cereal, dry milk, juice, meat, canned fruit and vegetables, protein (beans or peanut butter), and grain, which is spaghetti or rice.

The Lord's Table Hot Lunch is also offered, and it is a free sit-down meal that is provided to those in need who live in West Columbus' Hilltop neighborhood. All ages are welcome to come eat a hot, nutritious, meal at the center.

Another option is The Salvation Army Heart to Heart Weekend Meals program, which provides free, hot, nutritious meals to a poverty-stricken inner city community. This particular resource is a large mobile canteen, and it operates as a kitchen on wheels that travels to four downtown locations every Saturday and Sunday. Over 200 people are served every weekend.

Additional Franklin County Ohio Salvation Army programs

The list above is generally what is most in need. But there are other ways the faith based charity can help the less fortunate. They include, but are not limited too, the following.

  • During Christmas, there are free gifts, presents, toys, and gift cards for low income families.
  • Students can get help, including free school supplies in Franklin County, access to internet connections, summer camps, meals, and other support.
  • Substance abuse centers are operated by the Salvation Army across Ohio, and they help drug or alcohol abusers.
  • Family Stores sell low cost, gently used clothes, furniture, collectibles and other goods.
  • A major focus of the Salvation Army in Columbus is on self-sufficiency. Apply to job training programs, use a computer lab, learn about computers or online phone apps, or even learn how to save money while living on a budget.
  • Case managers from the Salvation Army can help lower income families access medical or dental care.





Columbus Ohio Salvation Army Centers

These locations support all of Franklin County Ohio. Most of the Salvation Army offices also have a Family Store on site, or they operate shelters or housing assistance programs. Whether it is free food or rent money, information on local charities in Columbus, the Salvation Army may be able to help.

  • Salvation Army Corps Community Church, 252 Curtis Street, Delaware, Ohio 43015, phone number is (740) 369-5301
  • 340 Lake St, Delaware, Ohio 43015
  • Salvation Army, 760 Worthington Woods Boulevard, Columbus, OH 43085, main number is (614) 846-1884
  • Salvation Army Thrift Store, 2632 Morse Road, Columbus, Ohio 43231, call (614) 471-5080
  • 3662 Karl Road, Columbus, OH 43224, main number is (614) 262-9611
  • Salvation Army, 4242 Macsway Avenue, Columbus, OH 43232, dial (614) 755-4433
  • 888 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43206
  • Salvation Army Thrift Store, 1675 South High Street, Columbus, OH 43207, telephone number is (614) 221-4269
  • 966 E Main St, Columbus, Ohio 43205
  • 2300 W Mound St, Columbus, OH 43223

By Jon McNamara

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