Salvation Army assistance programs in Rochester New York area.

The Salvation Army of Rochester New York Emergency and Family Services (EFS) Program is located downtown, and is accessible from bus routes and other means. It offers free groceries, one time rent help, hot meals, case management, and a variety of social services. The center is open Monday to Friday, and the building is well marked. This is the primary location that people can turn to for help or information on their options, and it covers all of Monroe County.

The Salvation Army relies heavily on donations and contributions from businesses, individuals, and non-profits such as the United Way. There are also the sale of goods from the Family Store. Therefore resources are always limited. All clients who need some form of emergency financial assistance are helped on a first come, first served basis. So ask for help early. After-hours appointments may be taken from time to time, but they are only available if prior arrangements are made via the Intake Desk.

Basic needs can be met by the EFS program. Monroe County New York families who have lost their jobs, or who have no or very limited income may be eligible for help. Financial assistance is targeted at seniors, families with children, and people who are facing a short term crisis that was both unexpected and not of their own creation. Thousands of families across Rochester and the county receive some form of assistance every year.

  • Food is provided from vouchers, pantries, and soup kitchens. Vouchers can be used at Rochester area supermarkets in order to pay for groceries or even personal hygiene type items. Holiday baskets may be offered too. Or locate other free food pantries in Monroe County.
  • Clothing – Get referrals for work or school clothes, uniforms, or coats for kids.
  • Shelter and temporary lodging is available on site. including financial aid for paying heating bills, rent, or even vouchers for a motel room in Rochester.
  • Prescription assistance and information on pharmaceutical programs.
  • Transportation assistance, including limited bus passes and so called stranded Traveler assistance.
  • Information, advice, crisis case management, advocacy to promote access to other needed services, and referrals to address additional areas of concern are all provided by the Salvation Army.





For family or emergency services, dial 987-9540.

Angel Trees, Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners – Angel Trees provide needed gifts, toys, and clothing for needy children and seniors at the holiday season. Free holiday meals and food baskets are offered on November 22th and December 25th. The Salvation Army prepares and offers a holiday meal at their centers, and the items are for people in the community who are alone. Volunteers and staff will help prepare, serve and clean up the meals.

Some seniors and homebound may even be able to get a free hot meal delivered to them. Most holiday seasons, volunteers are needed to help serve Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to the homeless in November and December. This is done from a mobile canteen that operates around Rochester and Monroe County.

Education and job training is offered by the Salvation Army Project ReDirect program. It provides services, including employment, to people who have been homeless in the past or incarcerated. Participants of this program may pursue their G.E.D. with a teacher and also get training using a customized computer program.

Other clients may be able to learn work skills through apprenticeships or part time positions work-site coordinators. Substance abuse and mental health counselors work with case managers to develop individual plans for each participant. This Salvation Army programs also offers free school supplies for kids, students in the ReDirect Program, adults, and others. But most of the back to school supplies are for youth from low income families in Monroe County.




Case managers will work with the client to develop individualized service plans that include medical treatment, substance abuse counseling, and educational classes.

The Salvation Army in Rochester is headquartered at 70 Liberty Pole Way, P.O. Box 41210, Rochester, New York 14604-4310. Main telephone number is 585-987-9500.


By Jon McNamara

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