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Tyler, Smith and Cherokee County Salvation Army emergency assistance programs.

The less fortunate in the Smith and Cherokee County Texas region can try the Salvation Army. Local centers try to help the less fortunate among us with meeting their basic needs or offering emergency financial assistance for bills including rent, food, medications, or even transportation. When in a crisis and are out of options, try the non-profit for assistance or referrals.

Christmas programs are often funded by donations and the red kettles that you may see all over town. The number of services offered by the Salvation Army around the holidays is quite extensive. Some of the main resources are as follows.

Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners and meals are served. During the event the staff try to ensure everyone is experiencing some form of festive holiday spirit. The Salvation Army will pass out presents stuffed stockings, maybe even including bikes. Most of the toys are for children and infants from the Smith County Texas area.

Other resources can include the ingredients for a Christmas dinner, such as free groceries. They are given to low-income parents to provide a special holiday in their home. Gifts, clothing and companionship is given to shut-ins and the elderly in their homes or nursing facilities. Volunteers help in this effort too. To either sign up for Christmas assistance or to give back to the community, dial 903-592-4361 to reach the Salvation Army.




Services during times of disaster such as a tornado or fire are provided. Some of what is passed out will be food, free clothing, access to shelter, prescription medicine, and other things that are needed by the family impacted. The Salvation Army helps both victims of natural and also man-made disasters. The organization will also work with many other organizations and emergency management systems in Smith County, such as the Red Cross, to provide the most efficient services possible.

Social Services/Emergency Assistance is for basic needs. Thousands of people call upon the Salvation Army, and many of them never had to ask for help in the past. The centers will offer them enough food to eat for a meal, clothes to keep them safe, money for a place to live, rental help and other basic needs. By the case workers offering these simple necessities to qualified low income clients, people are able to in effect get time to take back control of their lives.





The Salvation Army Tyler Food Pantry is for individuals, families and senior citizens. They will be provided free food boxes and bags containing nutritious items bread, canned food, diary, dried goods, frozen meats and more. The groceries allow people to meet their needs for several days.

Utility bill and rent assistance will try to prevent a person or family from becoming homeless. It is far less difficult to offer some short term aid and help that family to regain its footing with housing and a manageable budget. By offering emergency financial assistance in Tyler Texas, the Salvation Army staff are able to help families in temporary crisis to stay in their apartments or homes.

Other non-monetary items such as clothing and household goods can also be obtained through the Salvation Army social services office. A caseworker from the non-profit may provide vouchers to be used at the thrift store or a maybe a nearby, designated retail outlet. 903-592-4361.

League of Mercy is for the lonely, disabled, or elderly. Volunteers visit those who need guidance, advice, and some sort of support. It can occur in either medical centers, hospitals and special homes.

Shelter is offered from the Salvation Army in Tyler Texas. The center is the only residential unit in the Smith or Cherokee County area that serves women, men, and children. They also have transitional living homes, case management and related programs. Guests of these shelters can also get free hot meals, maybe clothing, and other very basic needs met.

  • The shelters can allow someone to stay who is facing an emergency for up to 3 days. They are open during the hot summer and colder months as well.
  • Transitional Housing from the Salvation is more longer term. It has a work component known as H.E.L.P. Other services offered to people include transportation, Counseling services, clean clothes, hot meals, and more. Work with a case manager on employment programs, learn to increase savings, and access credit counseling.

Family Store sells items that were donated to the greater Smith County region. The items at the Salvation Army thrift store are sold at a low cost to families who often could not afford the items at full price in other stores. The locations may have clothes, holiday goods, furniture and more. The money raised from the sale is used to fund the financial assistance resources. It is located at 723 N. Broadway, Tyler, Texas 75702, call (903) 266-1635.




Additional housing is from the William Booth and Catherine Booth Garden Apartments. They are run in partnership with HUD funding. There is low cost and affordable housing for seniors and the less fortunate. Those that live there will still need to pay a portion of the rent and utility bills too.

The main locations include 633 N Broadway Ave, Tyler, Texas (dial  (903) 592-4361) as well as 601 Golden Rd, Tyler, TX. Call (903) 595-5641 for information.


By Jon McNamara

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