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La Crosse County Salvation Army social services and assistance programs

Several short and long term assistance programs are run by the La Crosse County Salvation Army. The charity operates from two sites in the region, as noted below. The resources available are for less fortunate families in the community, and clients range in age from children to senior citizens.

The organization offers medical care, known as CARING, for health and dental needs. There are four forms of financial assistance provided, including free thrift store vouchers, emergency rent, utility bill assistance, and prescriptions. The Salvation Army in La Crosse also offers an overnight shelter, monthly grocery distributions and more. All of the details are below.

Vouchers as well as financial aid

All of this is based on funding levels. There are also limited distribution times in place at the La Crosse County Salvation Army. The charity will offer the following. There are housing programs, in which grants are given to pay back rent or utility bills (including water or heating). A partnership is in place with Cass St. Pharmacy, and between the Salvation Army and this business they offer limited prescription assistance. There are also thrift store vouchers given on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon on a case by case basis.

Change is a housing and rent program that stops evictions. The Salvation Army partners with the La Crosse Community Foundation as well as the Otto Bremer Foundation. There are many parts of it, including legal defense, landlord intervention, and mediation. Low income families need to make a 90 day commitment to this Change program. They also need to create a self-sufficiency plan and address other needs, ranging from transportation to employment. The phone number is 608-782-6126.

When it comes to medical care, this program is known as CARING. The La Crosse Salvation Army works with Viterbo University and the County Health Department to provide this basic service. It is available on Tuesday from 11:30a.m.-12:30p.m as well as Wednesday from 4:30p.m-5:30p.m. There is a combination of information given out on everything from Medical Billing advocates to Medicare.





CARING also offers some basic, free health care screening services. Nurses and doctors offer Cholesterol and Nutrition screening, Flu Shots during the fall or winter, Blood Pressure Tests, Diabetes Screening, vouchers for medications, Tuberculosis Skin Tests, and much more.

Other housing program is the emergency shelter. The La Crosse County Salvation Army has as many as 80 spaces for women, kids, families, DV victims and others. Not only is the shelter open, but “guests” also meet with social workers to address the root cause of their homelessness. Whether it is lack of funds for a security deposit, employment needs, or another barrier, help is available.

The shelter also gives out free hot meals, has a shower and laundry on site, computers for use, and more. For those clients that need it, free alcohol and drug abuse counseling is also arranged by a Salvation Army.

Hot meals and monthly grocery distribution is also arranged. The meals are served over 200 times per day a total of 365 days per year by volunteers. There is a breakfast at 7:30, lunch at 11:30, and dinner at 4:30. As far as groceries, they are given for free from the La Crosse County Salvation Army food pantry at 223 N. 8th Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 once per month. There may be Tuna, Boxed Dinner's, Sugar, Flour, Coffee, and more.

Additional social services in La Crosse

The La Crosse County Salvation Army thrift store is open to Monday to Friday from 9 to 6. There are weekly discounts for students, senior citizens, military members, kids, and others. The savings can be as much as 25% off. Free items are given, such as furniture or clothes, to shelter guests. Other items are sold at affordable prices, and they include dishes, clothes, furniture, shoes, toys for kids, and more.

Other services that partner with the store including the Angel Tree Christmas gift program as well as back to school supplies. Both of these provide a combination of clothes, shoes, and toys to needy families (and children) at Christmas or back to school season.




The Salvation Army Pathway of Hope, also known as case management, is a strength based approach from the La Crosse County charity. A case manager, client, and social worker all partner together on this. Applicants need to have a kid under the age of 18, but it includes single moms or dads too. Clients will create a plan of their personal goals.

The Salvation Army centers are at 223 8th Street North, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54603 (dial (608) 782-6126) or 728 Copeland Avenue, and that number is (608) 784-1421.


By Jon McNamara

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