Eastern New Mexico Salvation Army assistance programs.

One of the charities in Eastern New Mexico, including counties of Curry, Harding and others that can help struggling, low income families is the Salvation Army. There may be rent help, free food, school uniforms or supplies, shelter and mroe. The organization is a regional Christian, faith based group but does not discriminate based on age, race, religion, or gender among other factors. Everything from food to school supplies, free Christmas toys or meals, and stabilization services are available. It is a regional charity.

One of the primary resources of the organization is their low cost Family – Thrift Store. This is a location that is open to the public. There are many benefits to this Family Store service in the community, including the following:

-It allows the community to shop there.
-The location provides volunteer opportunities for those who want to give back; they can stock shelves; tag items for sale; work the register; etc.
-Individuals looking for job skills can volunteer at the Eastern New Mexico Salvation Army thrift store to gain customer service experience or other skills.

Of course the store sells a wide variety of items. Most of it is for sale. However when a crisis strikes (such as natural disaster or domestic violence issue), then vouchers or free gift cards may be given out. They would only be able to redeemed for the items at the thrift store though. They also help families save money.

Another key goal of the church is to feed the poor, homeless, and destitute. This is where the Salvation Army can offer help from the food pantry or some limited meal services. However the assistance even goes above and beyond that. Many lower to moderate income families in counties including Quay, Union, Curry and others use the pantry too. Maybe they stop by once or twice to try to get a few grocery items or household supplies, such as soap or paper items. If a senior citizen or disabled person can't get there, then referrals are given to low cost Meals on Wheels programs run by the Salvation Army in the region.

 

 

 

 

Another major objective is to help the youth. There are a few ways the Eastern NM Salvation Army does this. There is of course the seasonal programs that rely on donations, and the two big ones are the back to school supplies and the second is the Christmas gifts. The first one focuses on students, but the second one is available for any young children from low income families (they generally need to be under 13 or so).

The Eastern NM Salvation Army helps stabilize clients too. This is what case management is used for. A worker from the agency will assess what the client needs; what caused the hardship; go over goals; and put a plan into place. Follow up is also called for to ensure the client remains on the right path. Everything from employment to saving money, budgeting, career skills, health care, and much more may be offered as part of case management. The process is non-judgmental, as the ultimate goal is to get the client back on track.

When disaster strikes, the charity is often one of the first to respond. The disaster relief programs are effective at both man-made and natural events. Staff, as well as numerous volunteers, pass out water, serve meals, give free blankets or clothes, and just offer general guidance.

Last, but not least, is the possibility of financial help. This form of aid is always very limited, comes with restrictions, and often runs out quickly. However even when the Salvation Army in Eastern NM counties including Guadalupe, Quay and others can't assist financially, they try to provide referrals, including to public assistance programs in New Mexico.

Using money raised from the thrift store, there may be a few dollars for such expenses as rent, energy bill, emergency medical care or medications, gasoline for work, relocation costs for people fleeing violence, etc. All of the financial aid is rare and there are never any promises to receiving help.

 

 

 

Locations of Salvation Army offices in Eastern New Mexico

There are other social services offered from time to time. The bottom line is that the Eastern NM Salvation Army at Clovis (phone 575-762-3801) is one of the resources to use in the community. The goal is to help the working poor and others by offering a hand-up.

 

By Jon McNamara

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