The Salvation Army in Kent provides at least five programmes to help the needy in the area. A list of the services is below, but it includes everything from a free food bank to the LIFE project, debt counselling, as well as a drop in centre and housing assistance to the homeless. The Christian charity organisation provides help to the poor, needy, and low income using their Services Group.
Free food from Chatham Salvation Army
There are two main programmes used to feed the hungry. Volunteers from Kent as well as other local benefactors allow the Salvation Army to provide food, meals, parcels of groceries, and other support. The two schemes include the following.
Meals, hot drinks including tea, as well as refreshments are served from the community café called Hub. It is available Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm, so the hub is a good place for a lunch in the middle of the day.
The national charity Trussell Trust as well as the Kent Salvation Army partner together on the food bank. All families or individuals who want a parcel of canned items or produce need a voucher first. Only then can the Salvation Army of Chatham food bank help them. What is available at the food bank will vary, but there may be rice, cereal, pudding, soup, and more.
Vouchers, which are free, can be obtained from place in Kent including housing associations, doctors’ surgeries, shelters, employment agencies, the local council centre, social services and a school. An application will be required, and usually the Salvation Army can provide enough free food to last for 3 days.
Additional social services
The Salvation Army does more than provide free groceries or refreshments. The charity also tries to end the poverty cycle, and can link the poor to emergency welfare in Kent. To this goal they offer information on employment from One2One, debt assistance from counselling services, and they also provide free Christmas gifts as part of a holiday outreach scheme. Other support, including form filling for welfare aid may be offered too.
Kent employment plus – This is the Salvation Army One2One programme. It is provided in the county of Kent and across the entire UK. Volunteers, as well as social workers, help the unemployed find a job and get back to work. The services include help with conducting job searches, access to training, creating CVs, and making appointments with employers.
The Salvation Army in Chatham will also give job seekers additional aid. There will be free clothes for work or an interview. Transit passes, for trains or buses, and be given if the job seekers needs to go to an interview. One2One also helps the client both budget and pay down debts so they can improve their financial situation.
Free Christmas toys, gifts, and meals are part of the Salvation Army Christmas Outreach programme in Kent. The items are given out mostly to kids or the vulnerable, and the giveaway is done during the Christmas Carol celebration. Volunteers, working with the Salvation Army, collect toys and clothes and the items are given to families on a low income.
The LIFE Project is a form of drop in centre/housing/shelter. The Salvation Army in Chatham, along with Kent Social Services and Job Centres, address housing needs. There is shelter given as well as information on bond schemes to pay damage deposits, rent help from local housing allowance, and other financial aid. The LIFE Project is also mostly a drop in service, in which the vulnerable can get that information as well as a meal and winter gear.
There are many other schemes as well as programmes offered by the Salvation Army in Kent. The list above is more around the Social Services, but of course there is a daily church, care for toddlers, ministry, and more. The address is Church St, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4BT and a second centre is at Gun Lane, Strood, Kent, ME2 4UH. For the main office, ring 01634 843689.