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Salvation Army providing financial aid, more to residents through grant

July 12, 2017
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Salvation Army's Lehigh Acres Service Center is helping residents in financial distress stay cool this summer and avoid possible eviction thanks to a recent grant it received.

In the agency's program, staff review individual situations to determine if a person is eligible for financial assistance, which can include emergency rent, utilities and food. Residents who are facing a hardship only need to contact the local office and make an appointment to meet with the staffers.

According to Major Brenda Lane, administrator for Lehigh Outreach Services, citizens only need to bring proof of an imminent eviction or a shut-off notice from a utility provider to be considered.

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The Salvation Army logo

"We have had a big influx of people since opening nearly two years ago. In the month of July alone we saw 100 people," she said.

Since opening its Lehigh center in 2015, the organization has helped countless individuals with everything from food stamp applications and renewals, to referrals for a substance abuse program.

"We sometimes get people coming in looking for other assistance, such as food and a place to live," Lane said. "While we do get emergency food supplies sometimes, we are not a food pantry. In those cases, we direct people on where they can go."

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The Salvation Army also offers an Emergency Financial Assistance for Housing Program geared toward the elderly, according to Lane. It assists low-income households with at least one person over the age of 60 that are experiencing a home energy emergency.

To apply, individuals need to contact the Area Agency on Aging Helpline at 866-413-5337 on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The agency offers emergency medical and dental services through its We Care program, a medical specialty referral and case management program, according to Lane. Individuals can receive medical care from physicians and other healthcare professionals who provide their services voluntarily.

"Those with medical needs who meet the criteria are referred to Family Health Center's downtown office," she said.

In April, the Salvation Army held a ribbon cutting for its We Care Dental Clinic, located in the Gardner Orthopedics Building, at 3033 Winkler Ave., Suite 140, in Fort Myers. With state-of-the-art equipment, the facility includes three exam rooms, two hygienist rooms, a recovery room and an oral surgery suite.

Lane noted that the expansion allows more accessibility for those in need of dental care.

For more information on the programs or applying, call the office at 239-491-6071.

The Lehigh Acres Service Center is at 25 Homestead Road, Unit 42A.



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