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York County Pennsylvania Salvation Army assistance programs.

When people are struggling to meet their basic needs, assistance programs from the York Salvation Army can assist. Qualifications will need to be met by applicants, restrictions apply, and income levels need to be met. Programs can help with paying heating and utility bills, prescriptions, food, rent, and offer help around Christmas and holidays. The primary resource is known as Family Services.

The York Family Service Department and the programs offered include one or more of the following.

  • Grocery assistance, food pantries, and meals around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Prescription assistance – Limited vouchers or information on discount programs and savings.
  • Budget Review – Includes credit counseling, advice, and self-sufficiency type programs.
  • Utility and rent assistance – Families in York County Pennsylvania who have an eviction notice or who are faced with a disconnection may qualify for emergency funds or aid.

One of the main goals of the local Salvation Army Family Service Department is to provide for the basic survival needs of residents, seniors, the working poor and transients. So this includes those items indicated above, and expenses such as heating costs, utility bills, rent payments, prescriptions, food, clothing and other needs. Many programs even focus on families and children, so the Salvation Army also operates an after school and summer program for youth and teenagers. The Family Service Department has been serving York County residents since the 1990s, and thousands of people have received help and guidance.

The number of requests for housing programs, such as rent payment and utility assistance, is always in high demand. People need help for a variety of reasons, and usually no two requests are the same. When someone gets to the point of needing to request help with a rent payment, or utility shut off, there is often a number of circumstances which may have caused this.

When people apply, they will meet with a case manager from the York office. There will be a one on one interview that will take place, and together you will review the applicant’s financial and personal situation, and try to determine the cause of the hardship. For example, is it due to an unexpected emergency such as a job loss, poor budgeting, or lack of emergency savings?





Regardless, the representative from the Salvation Army will provide other forms of social services and assistance such as budget counseling, credit counseling, referrals, and financial and emotional support as necessary. The goal is to offer self-sufficiency, and prevent a future crisis.

Community Referrals are offered. Learn about public and government aid, as well as other non-profits in the region. Sometimes the agency can’t help you, or they are out of resources, but they will try to refer individuals. In some cases the case manager from the York Salvation Army center can help the household apply for benefits, and find more details on Pennsylvania public assistance programs.

Additional services that are provided include access to a food pantry, as well as a large and well-stocked clothing room. While hours will vary based on the season and other factors, the clothing room is generally open most Tuesdays and Thursdays. Walk-ins are accepted, however people may want to call to ensure hours of the centers.

Seasonal programs in the York County region include Christmas Cheer and Angel Tree Programs. These can provide gifts for children, free winter coats, and toys. Seniors can also experience holiday cheer, and benefit from these Salvation Army resources. Free hot meals may be offered, the elderly and homebound may received home delivered items, and more.

The Harry Miller Back-to-School Shoe Program can help students get shoes for school. It is important for children to be prepared.

As indicated, it is important to note that the ability to serve and help people depends on the availability of funding and resources. Most Salvation Army services are available by appointment, but walk-ins for emergency services may be accepted. The address of Family Services as well as the thrift store is 50 E. King St., York, Pennsylvania 17401. Or dial 717-848-2364 for details.



By Jon McNamara

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