COVID-19 response and updates

Apr 6, 2020

Updated 4/6. CHECK BACK FREQUENTLY for information about The Salvation Army Northern Division’s response to COVID-19 in Minnesota and North Dakota.

The Salvation Army Northern Division is meeting the needs of people impacted by COVID-19, and we have ramped up our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus among our staff, volunteers and program participants. (Give now and learn how donations are being matched, up to $500,000, through Friday, April 10). 

While most of our non-essential programs have been suspended, our most important programs – food, emergency assistance, and housing – remain open, in accordance with government safety recommendations (see complete list of services offered at our operation centers in Minnesota and North Dakota). 

“Our services are vital to many people and families whose lives and livelihoods could be compromised during the difficult weeks ahead,” said Lt. Col. Lonneal Richardson, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “We are committed to serving as many people as possible, in a way that ensures the highest level of safety for our staff, volunteers and guests.”

Here's a closer look at the current state of our programs and facilities:

Food programs

Our food shelves in Minnesota and North Dakota are open by appointment. Grocery amounts are distributed according to the size of each household. 

For more information or to make an appointment, please call your local Salvation Army.

Housing facilities

The Salvation Army Northern Division operates dozens of housing facilities that provide emergency, transitional and permanent housing for hundreds of people in Minnesota and North Dakota.

Extra precautions are being taken at our emergency homeless shelters, where close living conditions mean infectious disease can spread quickly among residents. We have instituted additional cleaning throughout the day, with an elevated focus on high-traffic areas. (Learn how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.)

The same cleaning procedures are taking place at our transitional and permanent housing facilities, along with door-to-door check-ins to ensure the safety of our residents.

Emergency assistance

Our social services offices are open to provide emergency financial assistance for rent, utilities, and transportation, as resources allow.

We anticipate a significant increase in need for emergency assistance for low-wage employees facing layoffs due to COVID-19. It is likely that these programs will become more urgent as the situation evolves.

Emergency assistance is offered by appointment only. For more information, please call your local Salvation Army.


The following programs and facilities are suspended until further notice:

  • All mid-week programming at our 26 Worship and Service Centers in Minnesota and North Dakota
  • Adult Day Center in Maplewood, Minn.
  • Adult Day Center in Rochester, Minn.
  • Family Stores in the Greater Minnesota and North Dakota 
  • Family Stores in the Twin Cities closes through April 10
  • Adult Rehabilitation Center in Minneapolis: No new intakes until April 11

Donations needed

It is possible that our COVID-19 response will require us to serve more people than ever before. A potential influx of people in need of emergency assistance could cost millions of dollars in unbudgeted expenses.

Please help by donating money. We need support from our communities to continue to meet the needs of people affected by COVID-19. Your gift will allow The Salvation Army to respond to this crisis as it unfolds every day. 

Another need: masks, latex gloves, hand sanitizer, antibacterial cleaners. These items are needed for the safety of our staff and volunteers as they continue to serve our guests. Items can be shipped to or dropped off at The Salvation Army Northern Division Headquarters, 2445 Prior Ave. N., Roseville, MN 55113.

“Thank you for supporting The Salvation Army Northern Division during this historic crisis,” Lt. Col. Richardson said. “We are prepared to do all we can to serve every person who comes to us for assistance."

We recognize this may be a frightening and uncertain time for many. Please know that The Salvation Army’s response plans always include emotional and spiritual support, and we are here for anyone needing encouragement or prayer. The Salvation Army remains strong in our faith and resolve, and we trust the Lord with the future. 

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." –Deuteronomy 31:6

Related Content: COVID-19, Local/Community Support, Disasters / Emergencies, Emergency Assistance

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