Family Support Services

The following are the components of the Family/Emergency Assistance program and are handled at our Family Services Office at 611 W. Washington St.

The Salvation Army of McLean County provides:

Comprehensive Emergency Assistance & Food Pantry: This is a supportive program designed to provide the minimum necessities of life or other expenses on a limited short term basis to individuals and families during a period of sudden and unexpected dislocation, emergency or tragedy. Food Pantry hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 1pm to 4 pm. All nonfood-related issues, referrals, financial assistance appointments are Monday through Thursday 9 am to 12 noon.

The following are the components of the program, and are handled at our Safe Harbor facility, 208 N Oak in Bloomington:

Household, Personal grooming or Baby items Referrals- Hours: Mon-Thurs, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. This program is based upon the availability of these items. One must have a Photo ID and Paper referral from a caseworker from one of the following agencies: Department of Human Services, PATH, Children Home + Aid, Family Community Resource Center, McLean County Health Department, Safe Families or Social Security Administrative Office.

POH (Pathway of Hope) - This program is solely constructed upon households with children 18 years or younger whom are ready to take action out of the cycle of crisis and vulnerability towards becoming self-sufficient.

Food Pantry (Monday-Thurs 1pm-4pm) - Once every calendar month McLean County Residents may access The Food Pantry, you need a photo I.D. and a current piece of mail 30-60 days posted. Income guidelines are set by The State of Illinois EFP (Emergency Food Program) which is based on 185% of the Federal Poverty Guideline.

The food pantry is stocked primarily by donations of food from individuals and families, through food drives, Mid-West Food bank and through the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) commodities program.

How you can help make a difference: Hold a Food drive at your local office, club, neighborhood, school, or make a contribution specifying The Food Pantry. We are always in need of the following items:

Non-Perishable foods, dry pasta, boxed meals, canned meals, canned meats, cereal hot or cold, water, canned goods of all sorts.

Furniture Assistance Referrals- RFF (Recycling Furniture for Families) once in a lifetime program to help clients or families fleeing domestic violence, have been homeless or the household income falls below the 2017 Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

Please call for an appointment.

Financial Assistance
Description: Emergency assistance to families and individuals for rent and utilities when funds are available.
- Must be a resident of McLean County.
- Must have an income that is greater than expenses.
- Must have a documentable crisis, beyond the person's control, that caused the current financial       crisis.
- Must not have received financial assistance from The Salvation Army within the last 24 months.

Documents Needed: Proof of residence, Social Security card, eviction notice (rent assistance), current utility bills or shut-off notice (utility assistance), and proof of income for last 30 days.
Fees: No fees.
Referral Procedures: By phone, appointment only.

Nicor Gas Assistance Program - Sharing
Description: Administers the Sharing Program, which can provide assistance with Nicor gas bills when funds are available.

Hours: Mon-Thurs, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm.

Eligibility: To qualify for a Sharing grant, all applicants must:
- Be a residential heating customer of Nicor Gas.
- Be ineligible for state or federal assistance programs.
- Meet the maximum income guidelines outlined below.
- Make a good faith payment of $ 25-$100 within the last 60 days.

Maximum Income Guidelines: Annual income above 150% but not exceeding 250% of federally-established poverty level.

Documents Needed: Proof of income (check stub, social security or unemployment letter), proof of residence (photo ID such as driver's license or state ID), and current Nicor Gas bill.

Additional Information: The Sharing Program is no longer a matching program. After the good faith payment ($25-$100) has been made, a grant amount between ($350-$400) will be made for qualified applicants.

Referral Procedures: By phone - (309) 829-9476


Ameren Warm Neighbors Cool Friends 
Description: Salvation Army is the administering agency for Ameren's Warm Neighbors Cool Friends for McLean County. These funds provide help with payment of Ameren electric bills. WN/CF assistance begins in January. Cooling program runs from June through September. Heating program runs from October through May. Eligible clients can be helped once each heating/cooling season per calendar year.

Eligibility:1) must be an Ameren Illinois customer living in McLean County.
2) Must be a senior, disabled, or have a temporary, documentable crisis.
3) Bill cannot be over $750.
4) Must meet income requirements, 150-300% of poverty level (this is above the LIHEAP income requirements).
5) Must have active service in the home (cannot be shut off).
6) Must make matching payment. Ameren will match payments up to $350.
7) Income must be from an adult (cannot count child's disability as income).
8) People that meet these requirements are eligible for the Warm Neighbors Cool Friends program.

**The Cooling Program starting June 2018 will match up to $200.00.

NOTE: If someone has already qualified for (or is eligible to qualify for) LIHEAP, they will NOT qualify for WN/CF program.

Area Served: McLean County.

Maximum Income Guidelines: Must meet minimum and maximum income requirements (income must fall between 150-300% of Federal Poverty Level). Some people may be over-income for this program.

Documents Needed: Proof of residence, proof of income, utility bill, and documentation of a crisis if they are not someone with a disability or a senior age 60 or older.

Additional Information: People with incomes at or fewer than 150% of the Federal Poverty Level should qualify for the LIHEAP program administered through Mid Central Community Action. If a person qualifies for LIHEAP, they will NOT be eligible for WN/CF.

These funds can only be used for electric bills. There is no assistance for propane.

Fees:No fees.

Referral Procedures: By phone, appointment - (309) 829-9476

Area Served: McLean County and the surrounding area.


For more information about any of these programs, contact Kiki Brown (309) 829-9476.