The Salvation Army established a new community partnership to assist the newly unemployed.

The Salvation Army establishes a new community partnership to assist the newly unemployed.

Due to the sharp increase in unemployment, The Salvation Army has established Hoosier Help for Hardship, a community partnership and a grant opportunity which could mean as much as $27,000 in assistance for the newly unemployed and their families.

The Salvation Army’s Midwest Headquarters in Des Plains, IL has reallocated $3.45 million in endowments to be designated for utility assistance, housing assistance, and groceries for families and individuals who are in crisis as a result of job loss occurring after October 1, 2008. The money will be distributed to local Salvation Army units throughout the Midwest for use in their communities.

To be eligible for the $18,000 grant, the Marion County Salvation Army must show community support by raising a 50% match ($9,000) with local civic organizations, businesses, and individuals. This could mean $27,000 in assistance over and above what is already provided by The Salvation Army. If the grant is not awarded, the money raised in the community will remain in Marion County to relieve the economic burden of the newly unemployed.

Job loss in Marion County has increased 2.8% since 2007 and the Poverty Rate is 15.2%. Even more disturbing is the Childhood Poverty Rate which is currently at 21.7%. “Our community is in desperate need of assistance, and this grant would really help us out right now. We need to come together and raise the $9,000 so we can apply for this grant,” said Jeff Stanger, Development Director for The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is urging businesses, churches, civic groups, and individuals to make a donation and help their neighbors in need. Time is of the essence as the deadline for the grant is March 12, 2009. Partners can simply pledge their support to The Salvation Army with a letter of intent or by making an online donation at HoosierHelp.SalvationArmyIndiana.org. Checks and letters of intent can be made out to The Salvation Army and mailed to 3100 North Meridian, Indianapolis, IN 46208.

To learn more about Hoosier Help for Hardship and the other communities affected by unemployment, visit HoosierHelp.SalvationArmyIndiana.org.