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San Luis Obispo Salvation Army financial assistance programs.

One of the oldest non-profits in San Luis Obispo County is the Salvation Army. The agency administers various assistance programs for seniors, those who are less fortunate, and the unemployed. The center does rely on donations from the community and maybe other agencies like the United Way. So funding and resources are limited and only a fraction of people who need assistance may be able to obtain it from them. Or call for referrals to other organizations in the San Luis Obispo region or for information on state of California resources.

The non-profit is one of the so called beacons of hope in the area. Basic needs (such as food and housing assistance) is offered as well as self-sufficiency. Volunteers and staff from the Salvation Army will also help seniors and the youth in the community. Or explore various job training and employment programs that are available in the community. They also administer youth programs, such as a children’s choir and information on summer camps for students and children. After all the Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Christian church and they offer holistic services. However they can assist people regardless of religion and offer a wide variety of social services and assistance programs to anyone in need.

When faced with a disconnection or eviction from your home or apartment, the Salvation Army of San Luis Obispo may have some emergency funds for you. Programs available include REACH (for energy bills) or rent help for eviction and homeless prevention. Financial aid is offered as a last resort when an applicant has explored all other options. Most money will go to people who will regain self-sufficiency and who can pay their rent and bills on their own in the near future. Usually a couple dozen families per month get help. Salvation Army social services sites that provide basic needs and emergency assistance are also located in Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande California as well.

Soup kitchens and food pantries can serve almost 50 families each day. This service is a key function of most locations in California. Pantries provide free food, groceries, and hot meals to the poor. Many children and seniors receive assistance from the non-profit. Anyone who needs a meal can come in and be served. These services will continue as usual and some will expand the number of people they help. Volunteers across the community help serve the needy a well.




Homeless assistance is provided. San Luis Obispo County shelters can house people for a few days. While someone stays there the client can get a hot meal and also access to case management so they can find longer term, short term transition or permanent housing.

Holiday assistance is offered from the Salvation Army Adopt a Family, Angel Tree and other programs. The Red Kettle is one of the main ways to raise money for these and other holiday programs. The agency wants to ensure that struggling families across San Luis Obispo County, in particular children, are able to experience holiday joy. Children may receive toys, gifts, and free holiday meals. Seniors may even have items delivered to them. Volunteers will also visit the elderly in hospitals and nursing homes.

Any resources distributed will usually require an extensive application process and also for the applicant to go through case management. This will help them deal with the cause of their financial hardship or crisis. As the funds provided by the Salvation Army are not intended to be long term charity type assistance. So stabilization services can include job training, career counseling, or help in enrolling into public assistance like CalFresh food stamps.

Addresses of Salvation Army centers in San Luis Obispo

815 Islay St., San Luis Obispo, California, telephone (805) 544-2401

5301 Hillcrest Dr., Cambria, dial (805) 927-4044 for information on assistance programs.

211 E Fesler St, Santa Maria, California, call (805) 349-2421




By Jon McNamara

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