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Howard County Salvation Army emergency assistance programs.

In limited situations, the Salvation Army of Howard County  may be able to offer financial assistance for bills ranging from heating to rent or prescription medications. However, much more likely will be general case management services.

Staff from the corp centers can be a resource to use when struggling. They can provide suggestions on where to turn to for assistance. In a crisis, and as a last resort, there may be some funds available for certain emergency expenses, or the non-profit can help people apply for other government benefits. However all resources from the Salvation Army are very limited.

Emergency shelter, and eventual access to transitional housing, is one option for the homeless or individuals that have been evicted. There is lodging for families, single parents, veterans, and other individuals from the community. The lodging is very limited. In some cases, when the shelters are full, a voucher may be given for a local motel in Columbia Maryland.

The Salvation Army in Howard County will also try to raise money from the community as a form of emergency financial aid. It will be a last resort, and only available for some or all of the following.

  • -Energy bills, including cooling or heating if a household is faced with a shut off.
  • -Housing expenses, such as rent or the deposit on a new, low income apartment.
  • -Basic needs, such as clothing, food, or baby formula. In some cases, a voucher may be given to a supermarket.
  • -Food baskets are offered at many corp centers. Residents of the county, regardless of income, can stop by for these services or access to a pantry.
  • -Vouchers for prescription medications or referrals to clinics.

During the holidays, meals and toys may be passed out. The programs, such as Angel Tree, Red Kettle or Adopt a Family, are run from sites throughout the Howard County and Columbia area, including shopping malls and businesses. These services rely on donations and participation of the community, so please given back.




Each location of the Angel Tree will be set up with little tags on a Christmas tree, which will really have the wishes of a child from a low income family. They may request a small toy, winter coats, or maybe clothing for school. Those items can then be bought by the participant, and the goods will be given to the child.

Adopt-a-Family allows families to create a wish list of needed items, and they will then be matched with a volunteer or a company that will buy the goods for them. People that participate in Howard County Salvation Army Adopt-a-Family request items for the holiday. Then local employers, churches, families, and even school groups adopt the families and try to get the items they have requested.

Disaster Help in a crisis is a key Salvation Army of Howard County resource. They offer support to victims and responders. What the agency may do is serve people a hot meal or give a voucher for a local motel. Other basic needs such as clothing can be passed out, or the household may be able to shop at a local thrift store for new furniture once they have a new place to live.

Any type of disaster help is run in partnership with the American Red Cross as well as FEMA. So the Salvation Army is rely a key partner, and they do not take the lead in resolving the crisis.

Salvation Army Howard County corp centers coordinate social services. Case managers will meet with clients to go over a range of options that can be used for long term stability. They offer help with various needs, such as the following.

  • -Self-sufficiency, such as employment and education.
  • -The staff can help individuals apply for public aid, which is long term stability.
  • -Budgeting classes can be arranged.

The programs above are just some of what is offered by the Salvation Army in Howard County. As noted, they can't help everyone, and people will need proof of income, expenses, and more. However, the non-profit is a resource for the less fortunate, and the main number is (443) 656-3376. Or stop by 9017 Red Branch Rd, Columbia, Maryland 21045.



By Jon McNamara

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