How the Salvation Army Helps

Each household that requests utility assistance is given a one-on-one interview conducted by our social services staff. During the interview, individual strengths and needs are identified, including the need for utility assistance. Also at this time, past and current use of community resources are explored and household income and expenses are reviewed. This dialogue leads to the development of a service plan to guide the provision of utility assistance. In all cases, eligibility for services is individually determined by our social services staff, based on the comprehensive assessment. Social services staff then work directly with the utility companies to assist the household financially and to avoid shut off.

Salvation Army Service Locations

Persons requesting assistance must provide the following at time of intake:

  • Proof of Identification: Driver’s License, State of Michigan I.D., Birth Certificate, Social Security or Medicaid Card, Passport, or other official I.D.
  • Proof of Dependents’ Identification: Birth Certificate, Social Security or Medicaid Card.
  • Verification of Income and Expenses: Utility Bills, Paycheck stubs, Social Security Notice.


Utility assistance is one of the things we do the most. In 2009, The Salvation Army helped over 20,000 households in all 83 Michigan counties and in 4 northern Indiana counties. Though our programs continue to grow, requests for assistance still outnumber available resources, particularly in the late summer and fall seasons when funds are very limited. Many families we see have their utilities shut off already and are still trying to catch up from the previous winter. The reality is a constant, year-round need for help.


The Salvation Army’s concern is that thousands of households in need of emergency assistance this fall and winter may be denied help because of limited funds. Additional donations will help us reach our goal of meeting the home energy needs of every qualified household.

To make a local donation for utility assistance directly to The Salvation Army, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. You may also donate on-line directly to the Salvation Army’s PeopleCare Program at The Salvation Army’s secure PeopleCare Donation Page. Consumers Energy utility customers also have the opportunity to voluntarily contribute to The Salvation Army through the PeopleCare Program by designating an amount to be added to their monthly bill.

All gifts are tax-deductible and will benefit your neighbors in need. On behalf of the thousands of Michigan families helped, we thank you for partnering with us.

Salvation Army Utility Assistance by County