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Santa Barbara Salvation Army assistance programs.

Families who need help can contact the Salvation Army. The Santa Barbara Corps center provides financial aid for bills, housing, food and transportation (among other services). They offer support to residents, unemployed, seniors, immigrants, and families who find themselves in a crisis situation.

The Santa Barbara Salvation Army also gives out free items, based on donations and other contributions from the community. That can be a free box of groceries or hot meal from the food pantry. There are also free school supplies given away during the summer and fall, including to immigrants and Spanish speakers. Or get free Christmas help from Adopt a Family and/or Angel Tree.

Assistance for bills as well as free items from the Salvation Army

Referrals and collaboration are always offered. This is when the Salvation Army works with various agencies, non-profits, and government programs across the Santa Barbara community and state of California in order to provide the needy with appropriate and accurate financial resources.

Assistance programs are generally available for people of all ages and backgrounds. So get referrals to resources such as low income energy bill assistance, homeless prevention, emergency rent help, and free food. Communication with other local non-profit agencies not only assists current residents of Santa Barbara County, but it is allows for proper referrals for families and individuals wishing to enter into any type of program.

Emergency assistance and services is offered by the Salvation Army to Santa Barbara families who are in a crisis, or facing a short term financial hardship. Individuals can receive aid including clothing, food, referral and general guidance and information. When funding is available, rent and utility bill assistance may be paid out in limited quantities.

Some assistance may be offered for Southern California Gas customers as well. Only applicants who are currently meeting eligibility requirements would be able to qualify for any electric or utility bill assistance from Southern California Gas Company, and it is only offered until emergency funds are depleted. The maximum amount that is ever paid out per qualified customer will be $100. To learn more, to request an application, or for an appointment, call below.




Educational items, including back to school supplies, are offered too. This is for students in K to 12. Backpacks, pens, pencils, chromebooks and other items may be given. Students can also get free clothes or uniforms for the school season too.

Holiday Assistance - Low income Santa Barbara County California residents who need free toys or food for their children during the Christmas or Thanksgiving holidays are invited to apply to the Holiday Aid Program. The application period begins in October, and families will be notified whether they qualify or not in November. All aid is limited.

Donations are always appreciated by the Salvation Army, and they are accepted year round. In addition to accepting cash donations which allows the non-profit to buy food or obtain vouchers for families, other items are needed too.

The Angel Tree program also runs during Christmas. This is a volunteer driven program, in which donors purchase specific toys, clothes and gifts that are requested by the selected families or children. Lastly, the Adopt-A-Family program matches a sponsor with a Santa Barbara family in need. If those resources do not work, then find other free toys.

Salvation Army case management in Santa Barbara County - employment, mentoring, and more

Financial Advice and Mentoring – It is a fact that many of the individuals who are struggling and who are seeking help have had difficulty in managing their own finances. Many people struggle with budgeting money and consequently have poor credit scores or outstanding debts. Many others do not even have savings and/or checking accounts.

In order to help these individuals, the Salvation Army of Santa Barbara offers a comprehensive financial mentoring course that provides advice, guidance, answers and possible solutions to these debt and credit issues. In addition to these workshops and courses, select members of the case management team provide additional support to families when inquiring about their unpaid debts.







Budgeting is offered too, so that once an individual begins to have an income, an individualized budget and plan is created so that the client can save up to 60% of their total household income each month while they are in the program. Read more on California credit counseling.

Job Training and Vocational Course – These programs offer training certificates and the extra advantage that those come with for individuals seeking employment. Examples of this includes when the Santa Barbara City College teaches a ServSafe Course onsite. Residents who attend this program will achieve a safe food handling certificate upon successful completion of the course and when they pass the examination. And the program is free to qualified people who pass the tests and certifications. Other case management services can help people find a job.

Disaster Services can assist both victims of a disaster and rescue workers with counseling and other services. Examples of an issue that will qualify are fire, mud slide or flood. A canteen/food pantry provides food 24/7 for as long as it is needed. Also, the Salvation Army works with other agencies in Santa Barbara County California such as the United Way, FEMA, and American Red Cross to meet the long-term needs of families and individuals affected by a disaster.

Applying to and phone number for Santa Barbara Salvation Army programs

Locations and phone number to call include the emergency services line at 964-8738. Mercy Housing can be reached at 967-5074. The main Santa Barbara center is 4849 Hollister Avenue Goleta, California 93111, phone (805) 964-8738.


By Jon McNamara

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