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Worcester Salvation Army assistance programs.

The Salvation Army focuses on addressing hunger, unemployment and homelessness in the Worcester Massachusetts region. Many qualified lower income clients receive self-sufficiency services and financial assistance that can help with meeting basic needs. Some examples of what may be offered to Worcester County families include vouchers for paying rent, utilities, shelter, food, clothing, and grocery store items.

Food assistance is offered year round. Meals can assist families in need, low income individuals, children, and the homeless. Special seasonal programs are administered as well. For example, the Salvation Army will coordinate Thanksgiving and Christmas free meal programs, and will help ensure children have a source of food or snacks during the summer breaks and when school is not in session. Free evening meals are available at some locations, however some food bank locations require appointments. Other aid may be provided on a walk-in, first come first serve basis. So learn about services such as food stamps or WIC.

Every Salvation Army center across the nation and the state of Massachusetts wants to ensure that low income, unemployed and struggling families and seniors can experience the joy of Christmas. So various holiday assistance programs are offered across Worcester County. Thousands of individuals, with a focus on children, receive free toys, winter coats, clothing, and food vouchers. Some of the primary programs available include Adopt-A-Family, Angel Tree, and meals. Also during the holidays some additional money for financial assistance for bills, rent, etc. may be offered, as money is always tight around the holidays.

The agency also allows generous people from the community to contribute. Many of the programs, such as Angel Tree, rely on donations and contributions from members of the community. Your time or cash contribution will allow someone from Worcester to enjoy Christmas.

Heating and utility bill assistance is offered from local centers, and one main resource is the Good Neighbor Energy Fund. The Worcester Salvation Army offers help in a crisis that can stop the disconnection of utilities, or ensure someone has heating oil and fuel. All assistance is short term in nature, and a main reason they do this is to help prevent homelessness that can result from the loss of power. Locate additional energy bill assistance programs in Massachusetts.





When you apply for help, more than likely an interview will need to take place, and the Salvation Army case worker will direct applicants to other self-sufficiency resources. So learn about, and apply for job training programs, employment services, and longer term government assistance such as TANF.

Emergency direct financial assistance can be provided from services or social workers at the Worcester Corps community locations. Qualified, low income needy individuals and families with documented needs may apply for help. Some of what has been assisted with in the past includes utility bill  assistance, limited prescription assistance, clothing, food, and more crisis support.

Case workers and specialists really work with local providers, including utility companies and landlords. For example, social workers will work directly with local utility providers to provide grants for natural gas and electric bills. Or learn about conservation programs such as weatherization. A key program is the Good Neighbor Energy Fund per above.

Vouchers may be offered for emergency assistance to help people with small household items, special dietary needs, clothing, and prescription medications. They offer disaster relief services for local incidents such as fires. Other resources include emergency intervention and referral for domestic violence, PRC/Welfare, drug & alcohol addiction, shelter, and more.

Family Thrift Stores operate in the region. Anyone can shop at a store, and they can buy quality, mostly gently used items. Many people are also able to volunteer, or get a part time job, at one of these stores. People of all incomes can shop there. Items you may be able to buy at the Family Thrift Stores includes Baby Clothing and Accessories, boots, Men's and Women’s Clothing, and school supplies.

Household goods for sale include Furniture, End Tables, Beds/Mattress, Electronics, Tables & Chairs, and Kitchen Appliances. You never know what you may find at a Salvation Army thrift store center




Shelters and transitional housing is offered for people who were evicted or the medium term homeless. Men, single parents, women, children, and entire families take refuge in Salvation Army shelters. At the same time you stay in a housing unit, also meet with a case worker to access self-sufficiency and to get help finding long term housing in Worcester. Housing units offer food, physical care and shelter to people in need.

The phone numbers and addresses are below. In general, the Salvation Army case managers can provide advice, financial aid, and various forms of support to the less fortunate in the community.

  • 72 Cambridge Street, Worcester, MA. Call (508) 799-0528
  • 640 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts, phone (508) 756-7191


By Jon McNamara

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