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Kankakee County Illinois Salvation Army assistance programs.

Every month many Kankakee County Illinois residents struggle to pay their utility bills, provide food for their families, or pay the rent. The Salvation Army is one of the organizations that will do what it can to assist during these challenging times. Only referrals are given to local financial aid programs. Social workers can also direct people to longer term solutions such as job training and self-sufficiency.

While the amount and availability of resources will vary based on the time of year and available donations, in general some form of support will be offered year round. It may either be direct financial assistance or just referrals. Do not hesitate to call a corps center in Kankakee or nearby Iroquois County.

Family Services will try to both unify and also strengthen the family unit. Services are offered for a household led by a single adult, a traditional two-parent family, or a “standard” blended family. Many of the assistance programs are administered as part of Family Services. The center is located at 148 N Harrison Ave. Call (815) 933-8421 for hours.

Basic needs include food and clothing. Boxes of groceries may be distributed from pantries. Special holiday meals may be served around Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas too.

Financial assistance is very limited in the Kankakee region. As funding allows the Salvation Army may have referrals to other local charities for money for paying heating bills or rent. Most of this is offered as a means to prevent eviction or homelessness.

Referrals, case management, and guidance is available for numerous programs. It is often combined with social services. This can include Bus Transportation Tokens, GED, Medical Care, Social Security for disabled homeless, and Employment opportunities.

The Kankakee and Iroquois region are also supported by Salvation Army Thrift Stores. The locations provide gently used items for sale at a low cost to anyone. There are no income limits or restrictions in place. The focus of the thrift stores are to help those living on lower budgets or who may have had a reduction in income due to job loss or reduction in hours.





The stores do not provide a profit for the Salvation Army. The centers may sell clothing, household items, or furniture. Note that if your income is low enough then you may qualify for vouchers. These are offered for those who cannot pay for the goods on their own. Donations are always needed too. The address is 599 E. Court St. between Chicago Ave. and Harrison.

A free lunch program will operate in the region. The Salvation Army corps in Kankakee feeds the hungry and low income. The location will offer daily, nutritionally balanced, free and healthy meals for anyone. Dozens of meals are served every day and thousands of people in the county take advantage of the service. There is also a food pantry run by the Salvation Army, and they can direct families to other free food banks in Kankakee County.

Seasonal programs include holiday assistance, camps, and tax preparation. For example, during Thanksgiving a free dinner is served. Christmas programs include baskets of food box, toys, and a turkey for families and children. There is also the Red Kettle program and Angel Tree available. Or during the spring receive tax preparation assistance from specialists. These are just some of the seasonal programs administered and the list can be added to over time as well. These will provide assistance to those in need it during the most demanding and expensive times of the year.

Residents faced with a disaster can look into emergency response and/or disaster services. The Salvation Army, working with non-profits such as the Red Cross and the state of Oregon, provide mobile units and volunteers. They work together in an effort to assist victims and first responders of the Kankakee area and surrounding communities. They address public disasters and can offer emergency services such as free food, beverages, counseling, clothing and referrals to those in need.




Shelter and housing is located at a Drop Inn Center. It serves as an alternative to living on the streets when no other option is available. It also will serve a free breakfast and supper. Note that the size of the shelter is limited.

Location of Salvation army in Kankakee County Illinois

The main social service department, as well as thrift store, is at 148 N Harrison Ave, Kankakee, IL 60901. Call (815) 933-8421 for referrals or information on assistance programs.


By Jon McNamara

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