For the last 18 years, the Collaborative Winter Shelter Program has been offering assistance to low-income and needy families to help them keep their housing during the coldest winter months.

Grants Administrator Leslie McClintock said the county-funded program was originally established by the At Risk Housing Coalition," McClintock said. "It's a way to keep people in housing, or to get people into housing when the weather turns cold. It's usually for a one-time emergency situation where someone needs help paying a power bill, a medical bill or a car breakdown."

McClintock said the program runs from November through April.

"Last year, an average of $285 per household was allocated to 130 households," she said.  "It's a Godsend, when you're in that emergency situation and you don't know what to do and you contact the Salvation Army and find out there's a program that can help."

Those who face the need for the program should contact the Salvation Army to find out if they qualify, at 549-0710.