Lea County and Hobbs Salvation Army assistance programs.

Supporting residents in Lea County, the Salvation Army Family Service Center provides financial aid along with basic needs. They offer support using money raised from the thrift store, and while many local residents need help for rent or utilities, this is rarely offered. Much more likely will be the Salvation Army in Hobbs New Mexico offering basic needs such as food, Christmas meals or free gifts, and  clothing.

The number of families in the region that are living in poverty is very high at almost 20%, and the level has not improved much in recent years. Families, including those with children, often need assistance for many different needs. Offering food or basic needs is often not enough, so various programs are combined together to help.

There are resources that offer basic needs to families, and the Salvation Army in Hobbs has a food pantry, clothing closet, and thrift store. The assistance provided includes the following.
-Free boxes of food.
-Hot meals and lunches.
-Back to school supplies such as notebooks, clothing, pens, pencils, and more.
-Summer and winter clothing for working poor families.
-Vouchers that people impacted by a disaster can use to shop for goods.
-Job seekers can seek help such as suits, work attire, and more.
-The disabled in Lea County may have goods delivered to their home.

The main program in the region is the Lea County Salvation Army thrift store. This is a location open to the public. It is based in Hobbs New Mexico but it services people of all races, religions, and backgrounds from across the county. The store has many of those items referenced above, as well as furniture, beds, cribs for children, and more.

The savings experienced at the thrift store will vary. There are instances in which families have furnished parts of a new home by shopping there and have saved as much as 30% off of retail costs. Please remember that anything bought will be gently used, and new items are rare. However the Salvation Army thrift store volunteers will try clean up all items before they are sold, and everything is professionally packaged.




All of the goods sold at the thrift store allow financial help to be provided. So this means when something is sold at the location, that money is used to pay some of the administrative costs and any excess is given out in the form of a grant to income qualified families.

The Hobbs Salvation Army will try to help with housing as well as medical needs. There will be grants given for rent, utility bills, or medications to the underinsured. There are funds for immigrants and non-English speakers, and senior citizens can also get housing or rent help. Another priority is on assisting the disabled with their bills and the care they need. Other financial aid, including loans, may also be available.

In an effort to help immigrants, families living in poverty, farm workers, the disabled, and others, an extensive case management service is arranged. The components of this are used for breaking a cycle of poverty, homeless, and helping the sick as well as uninsured. Whether it is a job, applications to government aid such as TANF, or referrals, information is given to clients. The Salvation Army in Lea County also has information on various disability loans as a last resort.

Additional social services are available on a one off basis. Two key services include disaster relief as well as holiday help. Both of these rely on volunteers as well as donations. The American Red Cross in Hobbs New Mexico may partner with the Salvation Army on responding to an event, and they have food, water, shelter, and more. The other program is Christmas Assistance, and the donations of free toys, gifts, and meals come from the Angel Tree program.

For more information on the financial aid as well as social services available, the Lea County Salvation Army is available at 820 South Fowler Street, Hobbs, New Mexico 88241-0830. For intake or information, call 505-397-2119.



By Jon McNamara

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