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Eastern Kansas Salvation Army assistance programs.

Residents of the eastern part of Kansas can contact the Salvation Army for assistance. The non-profit agency administer a number of social services and assistance program for a wide area. Thousands of families from Lawrence, Topeka, Emporia, Leavenworth, and Olathe receive some form of help every year from the organization.

Providing life's basic necessities of housing and food is always a huge component of what is offered. The Salvation Army, working with partner agencies, churches, and others, has created many programs and facilities for the hungry, homeless, and people facing eviction. Dozens of shelters, food pantries, transitional housing and other feeding programs operate in Kansas. They will try to ensure people have a meal to eat, some groceries, and a roof over their heads. During this process you will also attend case management services, including job training and more.

Emergency assistance programs are available as well. This is really limited to funding and comes with several conditions. Every county and city throughout Kansas provide some form of aid for families who need utility bill help, clothing, rental assistance, food or other required assistance. Caseworkers or volunteers meet with families at centers in Topeka, Douglas County, and other locations in order to assess their needs.

Seniors can get help too. Volunteers and staff offer a caring heart,  listening ear and a helping hand to the elderly in the community. Another side benefit is the ability to ease loneliness and isolation that envelop many in their twilight years. Programs can provide food, meals, and information on government programs such as Medicare. A number of recreational and social activities are organized too.

Holiday assistance ramps up during the fall and winter months. The Salvation Army coordinates volunteer programs such as Angel Tree and Adopt a Family. These provide free gifts and food during the Christmas holiday to thousands of families and children.

A major focus in Kansas and the eastern part of the state is to help people keep their power on, especially during the cold winter months. So various resources are focused on this, including Gift of Warmth, HeatShare and Share the Warmth.




Donations from the community fund the Gift of Warmth program. The Salvation Army works with gas and electric providers in the region and they will distribute contributions and grants to qualifying families. Funds can pay for gas, electricity, heating oil, and other fuel types. Applicants will need to prove sufficient proof of need and also meet income guidelines.

Another offering in Share the Warmth. This is the financial assistance program for Atmos Energy customers, and the Salvation Army runs it on their behalf. It runs from October until April, and people can only apply at most once per heating season.

The last main energy program available is HeatShare. Once again it doesn't matter where you live, whether in Olathe or Topeka (or some other city) as long as you have service from Aquila, Inc. or Butler Rural Electric you may qualify.

Low income families with young children, the elderly and disabled are given priority for any cash grants. Many people who are struggling are doing so for the first time due to some unexpected expenses or bills, such as a death or birth in the family or car repair.

Both cooling and heating bills can be paid by HeatShare and the Salvation Army. Funds can pay for electricity, natural gas, propane, fuel oil or wood bills. Also, depending on funding, it may even pay for repairs to hot water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, and other heating or cooling equipment. Repairs or windows could even be repaired too. Please donate if you can.

If emergency assistance is not available, or if HeatShare has run out of funds, then referrals and other support may be provided. Counseling and financial literacy classes are also available in eastern Kansas.

Several other assistance programs are available as well, including these below.

  • Supportive Services for Veteran Families, or SSVF, will help low-income and struggling veterans and their families in obtaining and maintaining stable housing. The Salvation Army in Kansas offers this service as a result of a grant from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. Veterans can attend other services as well such as career counseling and more.
  • Disaster Services will help people who have been impacted by a crisis or emergency, including a tornado, fire, or some other event. Material assistance and other support is provided.
  • Housing services, including shelter and transitional units, are available in the region, including Shawnee County. The Salvation Army does what it can to both prevent evictions and rehouse the homeless. So this can even include rent or deposit assistance.
  • Other resources include school supplies, summer camps, home delivered meals, and information on self-sufficiency programs.

Salvation Army Centers in the eastern part of Kansas

1320 SE 6th St., Topeka, Kansas 66607-1934, dial (785) 233-9648

946 New Hampshire St., Lawrence, KS 66044-3042, telephone - (785) 843-4188

Leavenworth Salvation Army center is at 600 Walnut St., Leavenworth, Kansas 66048-2641, (913) 682-6523

420 E. Santa Fe, Olathe, Kansas 66061, (913) 782-3640

327 Constitution St., Emporia, KS 66801-1106, call (620) 342-3093




By Jon McNamara

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