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Salvation Army assistance programs in Shelby County.

Some of the services available from the Memphis area Salvation Army include shelter, free holiday assistance (Thanksgiving meals or Christmas presents), food, rental as well as utility bill help. However the organization may have information on other local non-profits or resources that people can turn to in addition to these assistance programs.

There are multiple Salvation Army locations in Shelby County. They also pass out free back to school supplies to students or give box fans to the vulnerable during the summer. The faith based charity also gives case management, operates homeless shelters, feeds the poor, and offer clothes, free hygiene supplies and other social services.

Help for the low income - financially, food, and free items

The Food Pantry or Mobile Meals Ministry operates in Shelby County. The pantry will distribute emergency food boxes and canned items. Another focus is on senior citizens, who may receive food, including home delivered meals. The mobile canteen also visits areas of need throughout the year, and they also deliver non-perishable food items and snacks to the low income and homeless.

Emergency Family Shelter operates out of the Purdue Center of Hope. The Memphis Tennessee Emergency Family Shelter provides the less fortunate, homeless, and recently evicted with safe housing, two meals a day and caring guidance. A focus is on homeless mothers, single parents and their children. In general, a few dozen women and children access the housing/shelter every night with a maximum stay of 90 days.

The Salvation Army Emergency Family Shelter is designed to be a temporary solution to homelessness, so people who stay there will be able to access self-sufficiency too. In addition, individuals can receive intensive case management and assistance. Programs can help people by offering job placement services and free workshops like budgeting. Those who stay in the shelter can also get help in finding long term affordable housing or apartments to live in. When the time is right, the Salvation Army can refer clients to rent and security deposit assistance programs in Memphis.




Single Women's Lodge provides shelter services for up to 20 women each night. In addition to giving people a place to stay, women can receive safe housing, access to free nutritional meals and individual case management. These services are provided for up to 90 days while the social worker’s clients turn their lives around over the long term. With a focus on finding employment and permanent supportive housing, resources are identified in the Shelby County region. In addition, case managers make referrals to people in order to help them overcome or manage substance abuse, job loss, mental illness and other forms of displacement.

The Memphis Salvation Army works with or has on call disaster response teams. This resource is coordinated and directed by trained personnel and is supported by volunteers and commissioned officers. They run the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) plan in the Memphis and Shelby County Tennessee region. The disaster programs provide free meals, clothing and snacks for victims as well as emergency personnel.

Christmas assistance is offered from the Angel Tree Program. Free holiday assistance is offered to thousands of underprivileged children from low income families. Many seniors also benefit from the Angel Tree program, as it provides children and the elderly the magic of Christmas. Some of the typical holiday gifts offered are toys, bicycles, clothing, coats, and special-needs items. All this Christmas aid will help relieve family budgets that are just too tight to allow for extras, and it allows people to spend their hard earned money on the basics such as food or rent.





Recipients of any type of Christmas assistance programs are individually screened to verify their need. The agency will determine if they were not served last year by other local holiday programs. The children or senior citizens will provide the Salvation Army with individual wish lists to allow adopters the joys of personalized shopping. Recipients of the Angel tree program often receive the delight of having dreams fulfilled.

Utility, electric, and cooling bill assistance programs are offered by the Salvation Army. Memphis families may apply for cash payments of up to $100 to avoid cut-off of their utilities. Or there is information on low income energy bill assistance programs from the government in Tennessee. This is offered for those experiencing a loss of income within the past 60 days through no fault of their own. So this can be an unexpected job loss or maybe even a reduction in work hours.

Salvation Army thrift stores and social services in Shelby County

There is also the Family Stores in Memphis, of which help pay for the operation of the Salvation Army. This is a service that is open to all Shelby County families, no matter their income. Families or individuals can shop there for a wide variety of low cost, mostly gently used items. But from time to time some new goods are for sale.

A major focus of the Salvation Army is helping (1) adults gain stability and (2) assisting children/youth on educational needs. To this end, the Salvation Army case managers operates a family ministry. They alsp help parents find jobs, gain new work skills, learn about budgeting, and gain other skills.

As far as younger kids, there are free back to school supplies given out prior to the school year. There are also after school programs and summer camps for kids. And when a child is hungry, free food, meals, snacks, and other items are given out. Case workers also refer families to food pantries for the low income near them.

Locations of Memphis area Salvation Army centers

Anyone seeking direct financial aid for housing issues, such as for a security deposit, utility bill, or rent should call (901) 415-2790. This is a regional housing hotline.





The other Salvation Army programs in Shelby County can be reached at the contact information below. Whether it is a low cost Family Store or other support, there is assistance given to the needy.

  • 4741 Winchester Rd, Memphis, (901) 365-6128
  • 8110 Dexter Rd, Cordova, (901) 737-8232
  • 696 Jackson Ave, Memphis, (901) 543-8586

By Jon McNamara

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