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Union County New Jersey Salvation Army assistance programs.

The Salvation Army center in Union County provides assistance to families in poverty that are striving to become self-sufficient. The goal is to meet basic needs around housing, food, education, and support for children. Some of the programs are offered directly by the centers in Union County New Jersey, and others are run with the Salvation Army centers that operate across New Jersey.

When it comes to housing assistance, there are short term shelters available. They give guests a place to stay for a short period of time while they work towards self-sufficiency. At the shelter they may be given services such as a meal or have access to personal hygiene items.

Transitional housing centers are operated by the Salvation Army as well, and Union County families can inquire into them. Most are for people facing a special situation, and that includes formerly homeless men or veterans from the region. These tend to be income based facilities, meaning that the individual must pay a portion of their income for their rent. They will also need to agree to save money from their job, budget, and participate in self-sufficiency classes.

The Salvation Army of Union County also operates the Service Extension Program. This addresses basic needs of low income families. Some of what may be provided to families in the region are as follows.

-Referrals are given to financial aid programs, such as ESG grants for paying rent or a security deposit.
-Food pantries offer free groceries while a family waits on SNAP food stamps to start. There may be  canned goods, fruits, baby formula for single parents and other non-perishable grocery items.
-Clothing for work or school reasons.
-Senior citizens in the Elizabeth area can sign up for Meals on Wheels services.
-Households struggling with their utility or heating bills can be referred to grants from LIHEAP.
-Veterans and their families can get referred to state of New Jersey health care facilities or VA benefit sites.

Soup kitchens are also available in the region. These are for families living in poverty as well as the homeless in Union County. The Salvation Army will give them a free, hot meal or drink. This is combined with other support services.

  • Seasonal meals may be served. There are free Christmas and Thanksgiving meals during the holidays.
  • Food baskets may also be available at Easter and other events.




The Salvation Army in Union County offers many other seasonal assistance programs. They range from Christmas to Back to School supplies and Thanksgiving. Hundreds of local families typically sign up, and as the result of donations and volunteers from across the county, there may be help provided to them. This includes the following.

There may be free toys and gifts at the holidays. During the summer, students may be given uniforms or a backpack for the school year. Families from across Elizabeth New Jersey turn to the Salvation Army during these times of the year. While not everyone will qualify, the programs can help them provide the items their child needs or wants.

Another key goal is to provide for senior services in the region. The Salvation Army can of course help the applicant enroll into on of the programs above, or they can explore other resources that are focused just on their needs.

Feeding programs are targeted at their needs. There are congregate meal sites in the community that not only give a hot meal, but the senior can participate in other activities. There are educational classes and recreation services. Another feeding program is Meals on Wheels, and this will deliver items to their home.

Union County senior citizens can also learn about financial aid programs for their needs. They range from NJ Shares to LIHEAP for paying their utility bills. Or Medicare can help them pay for prescription drug costs and medical bills. So there are a number of services available.





There are several other services run by the Salvation Army for Union County families. They include disaster relief to programs for children, such as after school care. For more information, the main office is at 4 Gary Rd, Union, NJ 07083 (dial (908) 851-9300) or a second site is at 1005 E. Jersey Street, Elizabeth New Jersey. Telephone: (908) 352-7057.

By Jon McNamara














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