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Polk County Florida Salvation Army assistance programs.

Families in Polk County who are faced with a crisis, such as lack of food or an eviction notice, may get assistance from the Salvation Army. The agency administers a number of social services and outreach for those who are homeless, struggling to feed their family, and those with an emergency.

Much of the emergency support is offered as part of their Social Service Department in partnership with the Homeless Coalition of Polk County. Assistance may be available for those who are faced with a crisis or an unexpected emergency. It offers assistance to low to moderate income families, homeless, the unemployed, and people who are struggling.

If you find yourself with an eviction notice or utility shut off notice, call a Salvation Army Center in Lakeland or the greater Polk County region. They work with the regional Homeless Coalition as well as the Continuum of Care to coordinate support. There may be local agencies or charities in Lakeland or the county that can help with any past due utility bill or rent. Other casework is given too, as after all acquiring new skills and obtaining full time employment is the best way to resolve homelessness.

There is never any guarantee to receiving emergency financial help from the Salvation Army or it partners in Polk County. Funding is always limited, but when possible some money may be paid directly to a landlord or utility company for rent or bills. Find additional ways to get rent help in Polk County.

There are some housing resources available as well for the homeless in Polk County as part of the Continuum of Care. It is available to families whether their need for shelter is due to a domestic situation, a natural disaster or loss a home. Or it is for those who were evicted, lost their home to foreclosure, or faced some other crisis.

Self-sufficiency services are offered as part of the Pathway of Hope. The program is run in partnership with the United Way of Central Florida, and it can help low income and homeless families acquire and develop the necessary skills or tools to maintain and achieve self-sufficiency. The goal is to get people into a permanent living arrangement in the Florida area.





Pathway of Hope is a multiple month program (it could last 36 months) and tackled all aspects of what the client needs. The Salvation Army and its partners use this service to help end poverty or homelessness. The process may address employment, budgeting, financial matters, lack of necessary skills, and more. Pathway of Hope is a major poverty fighting initiative.

Some of the social services offered by the Salvation Army include life-skill training in education, budgeting, credit repair, money management, nutrition, and parenting. Qualified families are provided the opportunities to obtain a self-supporting level of independence and self-sufficiency. The facility provides apartments, free child care, and other support while parents are working.

Other social services may be provided. Salvation Army centers are always a great place to contact for referrals, guidance, and support. Learn about local food pantries in Polk County, homeless prevention programs, and government programs such as LIHEAP and section 8 vouchers.

They also support kids from regional Polk county Florida services including Camp Keystone and Summer Day Camps. Note the summer camp is only for children who reside at the George W. Jenkins Community of Hope, so the child will be homeless and/or low income.

Salvation Army centers also help families during the holidays. In particular children can benefit from programs such as the Angel Tree. Receive gifts, toys, and Christmas meals and joy. This is when people and/or businesses “adopt” Angels for the Christmas season and buy them small presents or toys. Those items are then given to qualified children for free.




Salvation Army Centers in Polk County

There are two main locations in the region. They are 1898 U.S. 17, Winter Haven Florida (call (863) 294-7493) as well as 830 North Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL. Telephone (863) 682-8179.As noted, resources are always limited and a formal application process is in place.


By Jon McNamara

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