In response to the rising levels of anxiety and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army has launched an emotional and spiritual support hotline for people who just want to talk.
The hotline connects callers to pastors and other emotional care personnel who provide a listening ear – and if requested, spiritual guidance and prayer support. The hotline also helps the Army determine areas with additional needs and collect prayer requests.
“People are scared and don’t know what to do. We’ve been asked to socially distance and stay at home,” said Major Johanna Pook, The Salvation Army officer overseeing the hotline. “It is important – and more importantly healthy – to talk about your concerns, to know there are people out there who will listen and support you.”
The Salvation Army launched a similar hotline in the wake of the September 11 attacks and saw an immense response.
The phone number is 1.877.740.8829. Staff is available 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., and counselors speak English and Spanish. Callers are encouraged to leave a message if they call off-hours.
In addition to the new hotline, The Salvation Army is also providing feeding and social services programs:
- The Salvation Army is the lead agency for the City of Chicago’s Feeding Task Force, working with partners to make sure City residents don’t go without food.
- Food pantries with pre-packed food boxes to those in need throughout the greater Chicagoland area.
- Emergency Disaster Services is also sharing its support plan for mass care with the emergency management departments in Cook, DuPage, McHenry, and Lake counties, at the counties’ request.
- Emergency Disaster Services has been providing thousands of snacks and bottles of water to passengers who have been undergoing screening by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at O’Hare International Airport.
- The organization has also been supporting the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communication, Cook County Emergency Operations Center, and 311 dispatchers with food and hydration.
- The Salvation Army is prepared to offer long-term support to affected individuals as needed. This includes access to emergency assistance, such as funds to offset the cost of rent and utilities, for people who suffer financial hardship, including lost wages or employment due to COVID-19. Those in need of financial assistance and other support can call 773.205.3520.
The Salvation Army recognizes COVID-19 will have a long-term impact, and we are prepared to assist for as long as necessary. But, public financial support is needed to ensure everyone is helped. Please donate at: SalArmyChicago.Org/Coronavirus.
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