Fort Smith Salvation Army assistance programs.

The vulnerable, working poor, and less fortunate in Fort Smith Arkansas can turn to the Salvation Army. Providing both assistance with basic needs as well as general faith based services, the charity is involved in helping low income families. There is assistance focused on meeting various situations, whether the client is a single mom, child, or elderly.

The money to fund the Salvation Army services comes from many sources. The local office will apply for United Way grants and they also have the well regarded Red Kettle campaign, in which volunteers ring bells at Christmas to raise funds. There is also a thrift store in Sebastian County which sells gently used clothing, furniture, and more. All of this money will also go to fund their operations.

Sebastian County Salvation Army also uses volunteers to help cut back on expenses. Dozens of people give back to the less fortunate by working on one or more of the following activities.
-Volunteers work at the thrift store to pack and sort items.
-Free food boxes, which are available at the pantry, are mostly passed out by these individuals.
-A major Salvation Army program that relies on volunteers and donors is the Angel Tree, and this gives children free Christmas gifts and toys.
-They may also give rides to job interviews, provide transportation for seniors, and deliver meals.

Not only may people volunteer at these locations, but they also help to raise goods from the community. They are involved in collecting toys, winter coats, boots, and more for the Angel Tree Christmas program. They also collect food for the pantry and are involved in the back to school services. The volunteers come from all races and ages, with many retirees also helping the Salvation Army out on a part time basis.

Disaster Relief is a major focus too. This is available as a local assistance program in Sebastian County, and is generally under high demand in Arkansas. But the Salvation Army offers this nationwide too. They provide support to anyone that lost their home to a fire, hurricane, tornado, or another issue. Based on the event, and what is needed, the agency will ramp up their assistance programs. Everything from food to shelter or clothing vouchers are given out.





Using those funds referenced from the United Way, the center in Sebastian County provides temporary financial relief. A major goal is stopping homelessness. In an effort to do this, the center will provide money in an emergency for paying rent, mortgages, or utility bills.

Another key service from the Fort Smith Salvation Army is their knowledge of energy company donation programs. There are providers in the state of Arkansas that raise money from local businesses as well as individuals. Those funds are then available to the low income for their utility bills, and a case manager can help a person apply for them.

Salvation Army Fort Smith vouchers are also used as a tool to help the less fortunate. The tools can be used at the food bank for a box of groceries or the thrift store to pay for clothing or furniture. There are different resources available at these two locations, not just food or the like. There is everything from household cleaning supplies to cribs for single moms and more. Vouchers can even be offered to help a parent with children pay for school supplies.

Social services are also always arranged by the non-profit. Many people from the region refer to this as case management. But regardless of the name, the program operates in the same way.

The Salvation Army works to end poverty and encourage everything from proper nutrition to ongoing job training. The case worker from the local office will meet with the client for several weeks if not longer. This social service process is what the agency uses to break the cycle of poverty as well as homelessness in the community.

For more information on these or other programs, call the local Salvation Army Fort Smith office, which is based at 301 N. 6th Street, Fort Smith, AR 72901. Dial (479) 783-6145.



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