San Diego Salvation Army emergency financial assistance.

Resources offered across San Diego County will vary between each Salvation Army center. The Family Services program will do its best to help the low income and people who are struggling. Depending on funding, locations can offer food, limited financial help, shelter, summer cool zones, and general case management.

Social Centers and Senior Dining locations are operated by the Salvation Army, and some are run in partnership with other non-profit organizations. Many seniors across southern California receive free and healthy meals on a weekly basis. Volunteers and others may also provide for the delivery to the homebound. The meals offered to seniors can help keep them healthy, and may prevent them from needing to decide each month between paying their rent, medications, or buying groceries.

In addition to these senior meal programs, the San Diego Salvation Army provides emergency food boxes and groceries all year long. The centers offer food boxes on an emergency basis to qualified low income families and applicants of all ages, including a service known as the Back Country Outreach program. The organization provides a community Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner to the needy. No one is ever turned away, regardless of age, religion, or culture. Some assistance may require a small fee or donation from the recipient.




The Homeless Outreach Team provides guidance and resources to the homeless and people who were recently evicted. This is offered in cooperation with other community partners and charities in San Diego California.

When someone applies for financial assistance, the Family Services Department will closely review each application in order to assess and determine if there is a legitimate need. The Salvation Army has a multitude of services to help individuals and families with short term needs. As funding allows, centers offer emergency utility bill assistance and rental assistance, including a program specific for So Cal Gas. They may offer referrals as well if the center can’t meet your need.





Every department also contains a free food pantry that serves the needy and less fortunate in their local community. Locations can partner with other local nonprofit organizations, churches, and food wholesalers in San Diego to help scale the scope of their programs. Food is usually distributed seasonally, with an uptick in the amount provided around the holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Some other seasonal financial assistance programs available include Christmas toy & food distributions, Easter meals and baskets, back to school supplies, and free Christmas assistance from Angel Tree and Adopt-A-Family. There are several Corps Community Centers in Southern California, including San Diego. Each location offers social services, including help with clothing and shelter, food, youth and adult activities, worship, and spiritual guidance.

Bike for Kids is offered in partnership between the Salvation Army as well as NBC San Diego. Children and students between the ages of 6-12 may receive a free bicycle. For over 10 years children selected to receive a bike are from families who would find it difficult to purchase one on their own. Most of the funding relies on the generosity of local donors.

Cool Zones can help local seniors get relief or an escape from the summer heat. The Salvation Army of San Diego and the Sierra del Mar Division has responded to hot weather by transforming each of its Senior Social Centers and Dining locations into a so called Cool Zone. Elderly and the seniors can stop in for a respite from the heat, a nutritious meal, a few fun activities such as bingo, and also fellowship with friends. While there is no charge for the meals, a small donation of a few dollars is suggested. These are places where neighbors can come to stay cool on hot California summer days. They can also help people save money on their home utility bills as they do not need to run the AC as much as the centers are cool and air conditioned.

Housing and shelter is offered. Some names of the programs include Door of Hope, The Haven, Shelter Transition Employment Program Services, Transitional Living Center, Coordinated Assistance to Residential Stability, and Path to Prosperity. Each resource will focus on a specific client, such as single mothers, homeless men, children, people recovering from an addiction, and more.




Basic health care is offered by a few Salvation Army centers in southern California. For individuals who need more intensive services, then the agency can refer people to specialty care at nearby hospitals. For many low income and uninsured families and patients, the struggles of disease management and trying to pay excessive medical bills have been a challenge to manage. The Salvation Army of San Diego and their partner agencies are strongly committed to providing affordable and quality basic health services to homeless, uninsured and low-income individuals.

Addresses of Salvation Army Centers in San Diego

  • 901 Park Blvd, San Diego, California (619) 232-1378
  • 727 E Street, San Diego, CA (619) 699-7272
  • 6875 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, California (619) 466-4778
  • 4170 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, (858) 483-1831
  • 3240 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego, California (619) 758-1716
  • 1335 Broadway, San Diego, California (619) 239-4037
  • 2320 5th Avenue, San Diego, (619) 231-6000
  • 6845 University Avenue, San Diego, (619) 287-5762
  • 13020 County Highway S4, Poway, California (858) 748-9336
  • 1301 Las Villas Way, Escondido, CA (760) 745-8616
  • 1011 Main, El Cajon, CA (619) 440-4683
  • 366 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA (619) 691-8254
  • 3935 Lake Boulevard, Oceanside, California (760) 631-8212




By Jon McNamara

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