Salvation Army assistance programs in Gaston County.

The Gaston County Salvation Army provides support to the poor, struggling, and vulnerable. The goal is to help them rebuild themselves and end a dependency on public aid or other forms of assistance. In an effort to do this, the center operates community or adult building programs along with providing basic needs around food, housing, and case management.

The center not only operates a Family Store, which sells gently used items to the public, but they also operate a volunteer service, which allows people to give back. There are Bell Ringers that volunteer time at the church, people working at the soup kitchen, and even volunteers advocating on behalf of the poor in Gastonia North Carolina.

Meeting basic needs is a focus. The Gaston County Salvation Army address the need for shelter, food, clothing, and medical care. Most of this is what every single person needs to be healthy. So whether an applicant is a single mom, homeless, part of the “working poor” or elderly, support is given.

The two main centers involved in this goal are the Gastonia Family Store and also the food pantry. This is where basic needs are met from. Anyone that is hungry, and is qualified based on income, can get a free bag of groceries. Or they can be served a hot meal or lunch during the week. This program also provides free holiday meals, as Christmas or Thanksgiving.

The Salvation Army Family Store in Gastonia is often called a “thrift shop”. The name may change, but the purpose is the same. This is to provide individuals with low cost but gently used goods. Whether it is an article of clothing, furniture, crib for a new baby, or any one of many other items, some form of household goods may be sold. There may even be so called vintage items available in Gaston County.

The development services include character building services for youth as well as fellowship and community-building for adults. These are part of the Case Management Services. What may be available is as follows.

  • Students can apply for summer camp in other nearby North Carolina Counties.
  • Adults, both the unemployed and underemployed, can access Salvation Army job assistance programs.





  • Basic needs for employment may be provided, such as bus passes, gasoline vouchers, etc. These are the last resort and can fill the gap while the person is waiting on a paycheck.
  • Children under the age of 14 or so can apply for free school supplies or clothes, and this is a key youth service.
  • Substance abusers can be referred to outplacement sites for rehabilitation.
  • Find how to apply for Christmas gift giving programs, such as Angel Tree.

These types of community building activities are some of the key programs available from the Gastonia Salvation Army. They are critical to ending poverty in the region and can allow people to gain the critical skills they need for success.

Many people do request financial help. However this is challenging to meet. The Salvation Army in Gaston County may, in rare cases, but able to provide a few dollars in a crisis. This form of financial aid may be for rent to keep a family housed or utilities to keep water or electricity on. This will generally be available for applicants with a short term crisis but that have a plan in place to get back on track with their rent.

Even if there is a service that the center can't provide, they can often offer referrals. The social workers at the Salvation Army are a great resource for information on resources available in Gaston County. They can link people to affordable housing, provide details on food assistance programs, and of course job placement. These are just some of the programs that may be provided in a crisis. For more information on any of their services, the center is at 107 S. Broad St., Gastonia, NC 28052. Call 704-867-6145 for information.




By Jon McNamara

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