Montcalm and Isabella County Salvation Army assistance programs.

Emergency and self-sufficiency services are provided by the Salvation Army. Low income families, seniors, and children are the main beneficiaries of their various programs. Resources are offered from centers across the Michigan counties of Clare, Mecosta, Isabella, and Montcalm. All assistance is offered in confidence. If the agency can’t meet your request, as resources are limited, then referrals or other support may be provided.

If you are facing eviction or a disconnection of your utilities, then emergency financial aid may be offered. This may be the service that is the most highly requested, but it is the most limited as well. Funds may be offered to assist individuals and families from areas such as Isabella and Montcalm that may be homeless without their power or if they fall behind on their housing.

All applications and requests will be reviewed and any assistance is determined on a case-by-case basis. In general, the Salvation Army will only pay a portion of your bill, so a so called co-pay may be required as determined by the caseworker. Documentation required may be a written shut off notice, a copy of eviction letter, proof of income and more. Also, in general, assistance for paying your rent or bills may not be provided unless the applicant's household income will be sufficient to pay for the costs on their own going forward.

Any financial assistance is provided as a last resort. All other private and government resources (such as LIHEAP) will be need to be applied to and explored before any help is provided by the Salvation Army. Usually all low income applicants may be required to have a letter of denial from the Department of Human Services.

Food pantries may pass out groceries, supplies, vouchers for shopping at local grocery stores and more. Volunteers from the centers may also offer referrals to other non-profit agencies and charities. Any type of free or low cost food is provided to address a variety of emergency situations.

This program also relies on donations from businesses and people in the community. So limited amounts of food assistance is given in amounts sufficient for a few days, based on family size and income. The pantries may also offer personal care products, such as shampoo, soap, clothing, and more.




While more limited, some centers in Clare or Isabella may have Prescription Drug Assistance. This would also be available only after all other resources have been used up. The Salvation Army will require a valid prescription from a doctor. In addition, any assistance is generally not provided for mood-altering drugs, pain killers, anti-depressants, or tranquilizers which are easily abused.

Emergency lodging, short term housing, and help in locating permanent housing may be provided for families, individuals and the homeless in the region. Any aid is only for those in an immediate housing crisis or facing eviction. Once again, applicants can’t have any other options available to them. Proof of imminent eviction and/or currently homelessness may be required as well.

Sometimes they Salvation Army may give the applicant a voucher to pay for a few nights at a local hotel/motel.  All applicants must resided in Isabella, Montcalm, or Mecosta County or surrounding towns in Michigan. In addition, all applicants for housing assistance or shelter will need to demonstrate that they have plans to pay their own rent in the future and overcome the short-term hardship.

In addition to those resources listed above, other types of rental and/or mortgage assistance may be provided as funds and grants allow. This may be able to help individuals and families who are facing imminent eviction or foreclosure and then the subsequent homelessness. A security deposit will normally not be part of this program, but exceptions can be made. All assistance paid out by the Salvation Army will be determined on a case-by-case basis and as part of a broader service plan that the individual must agree to follow.

Several other resources and programs are available in the greater Isabella County area. They include some or all of the following. Receive free Christmas assistance (meals and toys), shop at the Salvation Army Family store, disaster assistance, and referrals. Resources for seniors, such as home delivered meals and housing is offered too. The Salvation Army is committed to help the unemployed and low income in the region make it through a short term crisis.

The two primary Salvation Army centers to call include 1308 Burch St in Mt Pleasant (call (989) 773-4663) and 325 Linden St, Big Rapids, MI 49307. This center can be reached at (231) 796-5597.



By Jon McNamara

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