Sep 06, 2023
The rising cost of living has forced many felons and their families to decide between their next meal and paying the rent.
If you’re struggling to pay rent or utility bills, the Salvation Army is here for you.
As detailed in its 2022 annual report, the Salvation Army provided 3,870,131 people with financial assistance in 2021 alone.
There are numerous rent assistance options from government agencies and private institutions you can explore and see whether you qualify for them. However, since navigating websites or finding local services can be challenging, this article will guide you through everything you need to know about the Salvation Army’s rent assistance program.
What Is the Salvation Army in the U.S.?
The Salvation Army is a charitable Christian-based agency that has been helping people in need since 1865. Motivated by their love for God, their ministry has spread from England to 133 countries worldwide and currently has over 1.8 million members.
Today, the Salvation Army is active in every zip code across the U.S. and helps over 23 million Americans each year regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, and age.
The organization helps individuals escape and prevent poverty and homelessness, brings food to their table, and provides rehabilitation, ageing assistance, and veteran services. It also offers LGBTQ+ support, disaster relief, job training, budget and debt advice, and spiritual healing.
Finally, it provides help for domestic abuse and human trafficking victims.
The Salvation Army first assess the hardships and needs of each community they serve. Then, they create programs tailored to those specific communities that can aid them immediately, over a short period, or long term.
Lastly, they develop and invest in those programs by spreading awareness across local communities and collaborating with them.
Did you know? Around 46.7 million people in the U.S. live below the poverty line, with 15.5 million of them being children. This makes the U.S. the country with the second-highest child poverty rate in the world. In addition, around 60 million people are one crisis away from falling into poverty.
Salvation Army Help With Rent
There are plenty of causes of a rent emergency. You might be going through a rough patch in your life with unexpected changes such as job difficulties or even loss.
Maybe your or a family member’s medical bills have risen, and you can no longer afford them alongside your rent. There’s no easy way out when it comes to choosing between your health and your house, and you’re bound to put one of them at risk.
People with disabilities may find themselves in a similar situation, coping with medical bills, the need for in-house help and being unable to provide for themselves.
Whatever the case, the Salvation Army understands and is here to help you keep your home and maintain your water and power.
It can provide you with assistance regarding rent, utilities, food, clothes, medicine, and transportation.
Mortgage and Rent Assistance
Whether you’re a homeowner struggling to pay off a mortgage or simply renting, the Salvation Army has a viable solution for you. Depending on your location, there are programs in every location you can connect with and ask for assistance.
For each state or city, there’s an online referral help desk form that you can fill out with your information and why you need assistance.
For example, for Chicagoland, Northern Illinois, and Northwest Indiana residents, the Nicor Gas Sharing Program assists households whose income falls between certain percentages of the poverty level with heating services once a year.
In addition, the Salvation Army directs everyone eligible to Relief Benefits that match them with resources, programs, and benefits according to their needs.
On their website, you can find housing and utility programs, such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or income assistance programs which include personal loans of $25,000.
Utility Bill Assistance
The Salvation Army ensures that no household goes cold during the winter and that there’s always water running from the tap.
One of the popular utility bill assistance programs for people struggling to pay bills in Oregon, California, and Washington they’re involved with is the bill payment program provided by Pacific Power.
Through Oregon’s Low-Income Discount (LID) program, you can get discounted monthly utility bills.
In California, a program called the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) provides a 20% discount on your monthly bills. There are also low-income weatherization and state energy assistance programs in all three states.
Long-Term Salvation Army Rent Solutions
Escaping poverty for good and preventing future rent issues comes requires a bit more effort than temporary solutions like a loan.
Many people, including felons, struggling with money often need programs to pull them through difficult periods of their life and equip them with long-term solutions. Otherwise, they may continue to fall into difficulties.
Job and Unemployment Services
Preventing unemployment and homelessness requires a stable job. Many people work from paycheck to paycheck, not knowing whether they’ll have their job the next month. That’s why the Salvation Army provides services that assess each individual’s skills and strengths and helps them find a suitable and prospective long-term job.
The Salvation Army connects people with reliable counseling support and helps them complete their education, accurate training programs, and other requirements for their desired job positions.
Once you’ve completed the necessary requirements, the Salvation Army will continue to provide you with assistance until you land a suitable job. They’ll help you create a compelling resume and teach you how to leave a good impression in interviews regardless of your age, gender, race, ethnicity, marital status, disability, and other characteristics.
Did you know? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 6.1 million unemployed people in the U.S. as of May 2023. Each year, the Salvation Army helps over 11,000 people find a job.
Budget and Debt Advice
Even after finding employment, the Salvation Army offers continued support, like helping you organize your finances and save money by taking your interests and particular circumstances into consideration. The Salvation Army also ensures that you find good insurance coverage.
In addition, they’ll discuss and help you with any existing debts you need to pay by developing debt repayment plans and providing money education programs to minimize the chances of debt reoccurring in the future.
Apart from helping you plan your finances, the Salvation Army will also help you find safe, reliable, and affordable services for your children, so you can work without worrying.
Furthermore, families with at least one child under 18 can ask for housing and rent assistance through the Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope service. The Pathway of Hope initiative helps families create a path out of poverty and overcome unemployment and housing difficulties.
How to Contact the Closest Salvation Army Service
Finding a local Salvation Army office can be done through its official website. At the top of the page, you’ll find a search field where you can input the name of the state, city, or ZIP code.
This will give you a map of all available centers in that particular area, their addresses, phone numbers, the services they offer, and a website link if they have one.
Never Lose a Roof Over Your Head
As the cost of living rises daily, those who are already struggling to make ends meet have it the hardest. Fortunately, the Salvation Army helps anyone, including felons, who need shelter, food, or employment.
Whether it’s emergency assistance or financial advice for the long run, you can turn to the Salvation Army wherever you live.