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Pittsburgh area Salvation Army assistance programs.

Social service caseworkers from Salvation Army centers in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and across western Pennsylvania may be able to provide assistance to low income families as well as people facing a crisis. Various programs are offered directly by the Salvation Army, ranging from case management to funds to help with paying rent, heating bills, job expenses, or child care.

The Salvation Army also has “seasonal programs” in Allegheny County, and those include free Christmas gifts or toys from Angel Tree, additional winter time financial aid, as well as free school supplies, uniforms, or Chromebooks. If they can’t provide the help you need, they can often refer people to emergency financial assistance and related resources.

In-person requests are received across Allegheny County and the region by the Salvation Army centers. In addition, the non-profit will receive telephone inquiries and referrals from other non-profit and human service agencies. Regardless of how the request originates, they will direct people to the most effective programs.

Get financial help for bills and living expenses from the Salvation Army

Utility Bill Assistance and Fuel Counseling is offered from programs such as HeatShare. This is a Salvation Army administered program that may provide emergency assistance with paying heating and utility bills for households that have received a shut-off notice, or that are out of heating oil. Dial 1-800-842-7279 to speak to a social worker in the Pittsburgh area. Or if you live in a different city you will reach the correct person there.

Most of the financial aid is paid out during the winter, as people can be put at serious risk if they do not have heat during the cold Pennsylvania winter months. There are other utility bill assistance programs in Pennsylvania to explore as well.

Case workers from the Salvation Army recognize that a request for help with paying an energy bill or utility shut off often involves a complex set of circumstances. It means that someone more than likely has some more serious financial issues that they need to deal with. So when you apply, you will undergo an interview and assessment, and the Salvation Army caseworker aims to identify the often multiple factors (such as job loss, reduction in income or financial hardship) contributing to the household's emergency situation.




In addition to the possibility of receiving funds for paying the bills, also get other forms of assistance such as budget counseling, debt reduction and referrals. Paying utilities can also help prevent homelessness in the Allegheny County area. Therefore the Salvation Army offers many monetary and case management services along with grants from HeatShare.

Medical Bill Assistance and referrals may be provided. For example, the Salvation Army often has information on clinics in Allegheny and Washington County such as Birmingham Free Health Clinic. Federal government qualified health centers can also offer free medical care and offer sliding fee billing scales. Many centers have on staff volunteer doctors, nurses, and dentists who provide quality health and/or dental care to low-income and uninsured individuals and families within the community. Services are provided at no cost to the qualified family. Dial 412-481-7900, or find a list of other Pennsylvania community clinics.

Clothing Assistance can include free winter coats, shoes, or reduced cost school or work clothes. The Salvation Army also offers clothing vouchers for single adults living in Washington County and Pittsburgh. Items are focused on those who are coping with disasters or financial need. Vouchers for household items or clothing are available to families and individuals in need. To find a thrift store or clothing closet near you, call a center.

Salvation Army housing programs in Allegheny County help the homeless, tenants, and homeowners too. Some financial aid may be offered for some bills, including rent or a deposit. There are also homeless shelters or transitional housing for those who are now homeless. While not as common, some mortgage payment assistance may be offered, but more than likely Salvation Army case workers will give referrals.





Free food or hunger prevention services in Allegheny County

Hot Meals and Emergency Food Assistance may be provided to families in Pittsburgh and the community, including in Washington County. The Salvation Army provides free hot meals year-round for anyone in need at local Worship and Service Centers. The meal program really ramps up during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Grocery stores and retailers like Giant Eagle, Walmart and The Salvation Army have also partnered together to create programs such as Round-Up for the Hungry. This service provides needy families with fresh food and perishable items. Types of Food Assistance include Supper Club (during the week), Food Pantries, Backpack Feeding Program for Children, After-School Meals for Children, Grocery Assistance, and Holiday Meals.

Salvation Army employment and job resources in Pittsburgh PA region

Rides or Transportation Services are limited, but may be offered. The Salvation Army of western PA provides gas money and bus cards to those in need of transportation assistance. This will usually be offered so people can get a job, or make it to an emergency doctor visit. An appointment is necessary to request transportation assistance or gasoline vouchers.

Job Counseling/Resume Assistance / Job Transition Classes – Stop by a center and a case worker may be able to help you get a job or gain a new skill. Access databases of local employers, gain information on government job training programs, and other support.

Family Caring Center can not only help families through difficult times, but also help people find permanent, safe, and affordable housing in the Allegheny County region. Also get help in learning about productive lives and job programs.

Free school supplies, Thanksgiving and Christmas

Holiday assistance, including Christmas toys, meals, and gifts are offered from programs such as Angel Tree and Treasures for Children. The Pittsburgh Salvation Army provides hope and Christmas joy to individuals and families in need. They bring holiday joy and cheer to thousands of needy children during the Christmas season. The Salvation Army provides thousands of children and individuals across the western part of the state with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, clothing, toys, gifts, and winter coats.

Some names of the holiday programs go by Operation Toy Lift, Treasures for Children, and the Adopt-a-Family program. In addition, during the holidays many clients receive financial assistance to help them meet basic needs during this time of they year, such as vouchers for utilities, rent help and grocery store/food pantry items.

Students, from kindergarten to high school age, can get free school supplies from the Salvation Army in western Pennsylvania. There is help in all counties, including Allegheny, Washington and others. There may be sneakers, clothes, notebooks, backpacks, pens, pencils, computers/chrome books and more. Other hygiene supplies may be given too, even including free haircuts.





Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Westmoreland, and Washington County Salvation Army centers

There are several Salvation Army social service offices as well as Family Stores in Western Pennsylvania. While most are in the Pittsburgh area, there are some locations for low income families in all counties. The services vary widely and include everything from emergency financial assistance for housing, rent, or energy bills to school supplies, ministry services, and more.

  • Meadville Worship & Service Center, 1087 Park Avenue, Meadville PA 16335, dial 814-724-3738
  • Monessen Worship & Service Center, 308 Schoonmaker Avenue, Monessen Pennsylvania 15062, main number is 724-684-4282
  • 217 Sycamore Street, Oil City, PA 1630, phone: 814.670.0374
  • Monongahela Service Center, Washington County, 159 West Main St., Monongahela, PA 15063, 724-292-8217
  • Washington Worship & Service Center. Free food, hot meals, shelter and other programs are run. Location is 60 East Maiden St, Washington Pennsylvania 15301, main number 724-225-5740
  • Pittsburgh Westside Worship & Service Center, 1821 Broadhead-Fording Rd, Pittsburgh PA 15205, number is 412-921-9780
  • Pittsburgh Temple Worship & Service Center. Address is 1060 McNeilly Road, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15226, telephone 412-207-2127
  • Pittsburgh Northside Worship & Service Center, 100 West North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212, number is 412-321-0290
  • Pittsburgh Homewood-Brushton Worship & Service Center, 8020 Frankstown Avenue, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15221, dial 412-242-1434
  • Allegheny Valley, Worship & Service Center, 917 Brackenridge Avenue, Brackenridge PA 15014, phone 724-224-6310


By Jon McNamara














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