San Francisco Salvation Army emergency financial assistance programs.

The Salvation Army of San Francisco provides a number of emergency assistance programs and social services to low income families. The organization is part of California’s Golden State Division, and they are committed to doing what they can to support the homeless, low income, seniors, and people facing a crisis. Aid is limited, and the demand for services is high, so the San Francisco centers will often have very limited funds for the less fortunate. Examples of some of the assistance available is below.

Utility, energy, and cooling bill assistance may be available as part of the REACH (PG&E) financial assistance program. The San Francisco branch of the Salvation Army works closely with energy companies such as PG&E, and they will try to help people obtain cash or credits on their bills if they are faced with an emergency and meet qualifications. Case managers can also help people apply for government assistance such as weatherization or LIHEAP. Many other utility bill assistance programs in California are available too.

Emergency rental assistance and eviction prevention from the Season of Sharing program. The agency wants to do its part to end homelessness in the city. The church based charity can provide grants to pay some of the rent.

Thrift stores operate in northern California. While anyone can shop there and buy goods at reduced prices, some people may receive free clothing or furniture from the Salvation Army voucher program. Personal hygiene, clothing, baby supplies and other items are available.




Vouchers may also be given out at the San Francisco Salvation Army Family Stores. They can be redeemed at the location above. Most of this is for very low income families or those in a crisis, such as single moms. The vouchers can help pay for free bay items, household supplies, clothes and more. This is a core program of the Salvation Army.

Food pantries and soup kitchens offer free weekly meals, canned goods, and perishable items. Some items may be delivered to the homebound and elderly. Mobile Feeding is offered when available. Mobile feeding units serve hot meals to homeless and very low income in San Francisco. Congregate meals are held at Salvation Army buildings, senior centers, churches and other sites are used for preparation and service of free hot meals.





Job training and employment programs are offered, and can help people achieve long-term stability. Specialists and case managers want to help people find and keep a job that allows them to pay their bills, increase their income, and gain new skills. Limited childcare assistance is facilitated for people who are in job training or currently working in a full time position.

Seasonal assistance includes Infant/Toddler Wee-Ones-Wonder Fair, Christmas Toy & Joy Shop, Angel Tree, and Back to School clothing and supplies. Angel Tree can provide free Christmas gifts and toys to children in the San Francisco area.

Referrals and information is offered. There are many offices across the northern part of the state. Social Service Caseworkers are available to answer questions, provide local, everyday assistance and referrals as necessary. For example, social services include a more extensive list of resources such as Youth and Adult Services, Senior Care Programs and Assistance, Rehabilitation Centers, Emergency Disaster Help and more.

Emergency Disaster Services - Volunteers and specialists are always on call to help victims of all disasters and/or civil disorders. Any event that puts people at risk or which may disrupt or destroy family security and well-being can be addressed by the Salvation Army. They often work with other non-profits or government programs. Financial Assistance grants are offered for people who have experienced a disaster, such as fire, earthquake, or a man made event.

Other Salvation Army San Francisco financial assistance may include items such as food, clothing, utilities and/or rent. Some items for children or infants may be baby formula or free diapers. On some occasions transportation, prescriptions and other basic needs are provided. Referrals to other resources are included where The Salvation Army cannot provide assistance.

Shelter is offered at many facilities or other sites. In addition to housing, other assistance programs may include child care to allow adult family members to salvage personal effects, guidance and support in applying for long-term assistance, section 8 vouchers, and more.




Like most branches, the Salvation Army of San Francisco relies heavily on donations and volunteers. The assistance programs available are mostly from generous individual donors, government grants and corporate gifts which enable them to assist thousands of individuals each month. If you can contribute time or money, please do so. Many of the services and programs referenced here could not be provided without the help of volunteers who give their time and talents.

Salvation Army center locations in San Francisco

4000 19th Avenue, San Francisco, CA (415) 585-8877

832 Folsom Street #600, San Francisco, California, phone (415) 553-3500

1450 Powell Street, San Francisco, (415) 781-7360,

3921 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, California, call (415) 876-6390

355 1st St # S1603, San Francisco, CA (415) 503-3029

1156 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California, dial (415) 401-0698

133 Shipley Street, San Francisco, CA main phone number (415) 543-5381

360 4th Street, San Francisco, California phone number (415) 777-2677




By Jon McNamara

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