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Grand Traverse, Wexford, Manistee, and Benzie Salvation Army assistance programs.

Most of the resources provided by the Salvation Army are offered as a last resort. Families from Grand Traverse County Michigan need to have applied for and used other government and federal benefits first. Applicants also need to have a plan to regain self-sufficiency, as the Salvation Army provides support and not a hand out. When possible, assistance can be provided to feed a family, prevent homelessness, or assist senior citizens in Wexford, Grand Traverse Michigan and nearby counties.

Thousands of families struggle to feed their families while trying to keep up with other bills and expenses, such as rent and utilities. Helping seniors, children, single parents, and families that are going through a hardship is very important to the Salvation Army. Almost 20% of families (many with children) in the Grand Traverse region do not have enough money to consistently buy groceries every month.

Operating food pantries and fighting hunger is a focus of the organization and many local partner agencies, such as churches. Not only will it help feed families, but this can go hand in hand with preventing homelessness in the community. Offering free or low cost food to many people can now free up their hard earned money for other needs such as rent or heating bills. Families from across the region, including in Manistee and Benzie County turn to the pantries and other feeding programs available in the greater Grand Traverse region.

The Salvation Army runs a disaster program locally and nationwide. They have a strong commitment to serve low income and families impacted in their time of need. As many people know, tragedy and crisis can come to anyone at a moment's notice.

The Salvation Army can provide free food for a meal, counseling in times of disaster, furniture to a burn-out victim, or shelter. Disaster response teams, which are coordinated by highly trained and experienced personnel, are on call to serve all people that were impacted. Other assistance offered includes mobile canteens which provide food, blankets, temporary shelter, communication resources, clean-up kits, pastoral counseling, and even emergency lighting. They work with groups such as Federal Emergency Management Agency or the American Red Cross as needed.




Satisfying basic needs is a priority. Caseworkers will try to assist and care for those in need of assistance by sharing such resources and financial aid as funding allows. This can include boxes of groceries, medicine, clothing, rent and utility bill assistance, travel vouchers, and emergency shelter. Offices in Grand Traverse are staffed and able to help. Or they can provide referrals to more convenient centers and programs in Wexford or Manistee. They provide the low income and working poor with a network of services, all of which are available to families and individuals in need.

When local families or individuals face unemployment, tough social challenges, abusive relationships, eviction or disaster, the Salvation Army is there. Whether making sure there are adequate funds to heat a family's home in the cold Michigan winter, or provide a meal during a holiday, meeting basic needs of the less fortunate goes hand in hand with non-profits main mission.

Homeless prevention resources are available. Residents are struggling, mostly as a result of the weak economy. Families are having difficulty due to unemployment, unexpected expenses (such as medical bills, medications or car repairs), or maybe just because of the ever increasing cost of food and housing. For many people, paying the bills is a challenge. So they juggle all their expenses and sometimes do not have enough left over for their monthly rent. So they fall behind, and can’t catch up.

This is when the risk of eviction and homelessness increases. Case managers from the Salvation Army can help Grand Traverse area resident work through their challenges. They can help clients and together they focus on finding employment or getting some short term relief. Clients of the agency can learn about more affordable housing in communities such as Benzie or nearby Wexford County. Regardless, the organization will do what they can to help those struggling or that are currently homeless. In general, as indicated above, any emergency financial assistance may be paid out as a last resort.




Locations of regional Grand Traverse centers

1239 Barlow St, Traverse City, Michigan. Call (231) 946-4644 for intake.

725 Wright St, Cadillac, MI 49601, telephone (231) 775-7131

A salvation Army center is also at 215 Monroe St, Manistee, MI 49660, call (231) 723-0774

415 River St, Manistee, (231) 723-6243


By Jon McNamara

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