Name and type of agency
The Salvation Army is a social services agency that serves the community in a variety of ways. I interviewed the Salvation Army food pantry in Janesville, WI which is specifically a social services agency.
address, hours, and area served
The Salvation Army food pantry is located at 514 Sutherland Avenue Janesville WI. The food pantry is open from 10 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday although employees and volunteers work from 8 AM to often 5 PM Monday through Friday and 7 days a week during busy periods like the winter holidays. This agency serves northern Rock County – a county located in South Central Wisconsin. This agency only serves this area since there are other outlets for those in need that serve geographical areas other than northern Rock County. When it is determined an individual lives in an area this agency does not serve, the case worker or service provider will refer the client to the agency that serves their geographical area.
history of agency
William Booth started the Salvation Army in England in the year 1852. His mission was to preach about Christian teachings to the homeless and those struggling in life. When church leaders became angry at his unorthodox and nontraditional methods of teaching, Booth and his wife Catherine set up a tent in a London graveyard that held church services for the poor and homeless. Booth accepted community members that have been turned away from other churches. In 1897, the Salvation Army expanded to America. The first city that the Salvation Army thrived in America in was Philadelphia, PA. Soon after this, the Salvation Army expanded into local neighborhoods as well as other countries such as: India, Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, and France. Since Booths death in 1912, the Salvation Army has elected new leadership over the years and has continued expansion into more local neighborhoods, having Majors or other officers supervise local units. The Salvation Army was built on acceptance, the same moral that helps it thrive today.
agency interaction with schools, youth, and parents
A program at a local high school in Janesville assisted Emily, who is now a volunteer, into finding employment at the Salvation Army, where she learned employment skills and experienced a job first-hand. Sometimes, a homeless liaison is appointed to local schools to identify homeless students and refer them to the Salvation Army, where transitional housing programs or motel vouchers can be provided for them. The liaison also contacts the Salvation Army about other student needs, such as shoes, clothes, or school supplies. The food pantry also provides services that assist parents and families with food supplies if it is determined the family does not have enough to eat. The Salvation Army also provides youth recreation camps that services underprivileged youth and teaches them self-reliance skills. It also provides afterschool programs that assist with having a safe place for children to be afterschool. These programs also assist the parent that may be working extra hours to support his/her family.
funding of agency
Much of the funding for this Salvation Army food pantry comes from the Red Kettle campaign, the same campaign that can be spotted ringing bells around holiday time outside common shopping destinations. This food pantry also receives a federal ESG grant. Donations from businesses such as local newspapers and television new providers, and United Way also help fun this food pantry. There are also several thrift stores across the country that sell donated goods that help fund these assistance centers. These donations come in the form of food or cash. A majority of the funding for the Salvation Army as a whole comes from donations, the Salvation Army food pantry of Janesville is no exception.
The Salvation Army provides a wide range of services to all people meeting eligibility, many of the services provided are provided to individuals with disabilities. The majority of services provided by the Salvation Army food pantry of Janesville are food and housing services. The lodging services are either motel vouchers for short term or transitional housing programs for long term arrangements, specifically 18 or more months. Transitional housing programs are coupled with case management; a case manager works closely with the individual being assisted and monitors factors such as payment habits and drug/alcohol use. The Salvation Army also works with the PATH program which provides long term housing for homeless individuals with mental health disorders. The Salvation Army also provides rental assistance to renters being considered for eviction. I have worked first hand in assisting these services by performing data entry tasks to enter information of those being considered for services into the database as a volunteer. They also work hand-in-hand with the Rock County jail and the RECAP program to provide inmates with volunteer opportunities that teach employment and daily living skills. Many of these inmates have documented disabilities, I have learned from performing labor with these individuals as a volunteer. The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation also works with the Salvation Army to assist individuals receiving services in finding a job. Clothing vouchers, gas cards, food orders, bus passes, and free lunch is also provided by the Salvation Army food pantry
The Salvation Army as as whole provides many more services. Social and emotional assistance is provided through group therapy sessions, work therapy, leisure activities, and wheelchair donations to adults and veterans in need. Many of those receiving these services have disabilities and need to be taught daily living skills through work therapy and leisure activities. The Salvation Army also works with prisons to provide bible study, church service observations, community service, and counseling to prison inmates and their families. These programs teach career training and spiritual guidance to those who choose to receive the service. These skills taught often prevent future crime. All these services provided to individuals in need to assist their lives are provided by the Salvation Army; a majority of people receiving services have disabilities – either physical, cognitive, or behavioral.
how is eligibility determined?
When an individual requests service, (s)he meets with a local case manager. The case manager looks over the client's file, which contains basic information such as residence, social security number, phone number, email address, and other basic identifying information. Eligibility is determined by the specific service being provided. For much of the services, the client must have no violent crimes on his/her criminal record. These violent crimes usually pertain to sexual assault or murder. Many clients have DUI's on their record and that does not deny them eligibility. To have eligibility for any service, the client must have no open cases, and no warrants open for their arrest. To qualify for rental assistance, the client must show an eviction notice, their lease, proof of employment or proof they are looking for a job, and see proof of being behind on rental payments. To qualify for transitional housing programs, the client must prove they are single, homeless, an adult, and proof they are actively seeking employment or are currently employment. To qualify for shelter plus care, a client must be homeless with documented mental health issues. Eligibility can be taken away at any time if the client is found to be in violation with the housing contract they have signed to participate in the service. The terms of these service contracts vary, but almost universally arrange that the client will not be using illegal drugs or alcohol, have any open cases, or be convicted of any violent crimes.
how and by whom is this agency evaluated?
Each local chapter of the Salvation Army is evaluated by a local commanding officer. The Salvation Army food pantry of Janesville is evaluated by Majors Ruth and Bob Fay. At least once a month, a commanding officer will visit the agency and view all paperwork that has been submitted for individuals receiving services and check for errors in processing. If an errors has occurred, the Major will fix it and adjust to corresponding service appropriately. The officer also looks at inventory, current operations, and monitors volunteer and employee progress. During my 6 year experience as a volunteer at the Salvation Army, I have seen Majors Bob and Ruth Fay several times and their evaluation procedures are informal and there has never been a problem with paperwork or services provided.
describe the link to the transition process
The Salvation Army provides programs that help individuals build self-reliance, advocacy, and daily living skills through volunteer and after school programs. A school supply drive is managed once a year to assist students in need. Although the Salvation Army works with individuals who may have IEP's or at the transition age through services provided, the services do not necessarily focus on the IEP or transition process itself. The Salvation Army does not consider IEP's when providing services, as it is not an educational agency. The programs the Salvation Army provides skills that will be useful for transitions including self-reliance, self-advocacy, daily living skills, problem solving skills, independent thinking skills, and positive work ethic and habits. As previously mentioned, Emily was given a temporary employment opportunity to experience the Salvation Army operations first-hand. This experience gave Emily employment experience should would have found difficult elsewhere due to her physical and mental handicap. Emily is now a regular volunteer at the food pantry, as well as holding another regular job.