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Stranded Travelers Assistance Program

Written by: Dane Groves
Last updated: November 2, 2023

At least once in our lifetimes, many of us have been stranded while traveling. This may have been due to a missed bus, a misplaced ticket, or other reasons. Stranded travelers are often stuck in helpless situations — but they can seek assistance from a number of agencies and organizations.

Various organizations offer stranded travelers assistance programs to help stranded passengers reach their destinations safe and sound. The following are a few programs that offer financial assistance for stranded travelers in any location.

Travelers Aid International

Travelers Aid International (TAI) connects support systems, airports, train stations, and social service agencies with stranded travelers. A diverse team of volunteers and staff at TAI is committed to uplifting the human experience by providing financial assistance for people in need. In addition to stranded passengers, TAI also extends help to homeless families, victims of abuse and harassment, impoverished children, and more.

Homeward Bound Program

As part of the Homeward Bound program, homeless people in San Francisco are reunited with willing and able family and friends who can provide ongoing support. The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing can provide you with a bus ticket back home through this program.

Families, stranded travelers, and crime victims can use this program for transportation assistance and other services. Travelers stranded under certain conditions are also eligible for a return trip. To participate in Homeward Bound, people need to provide proof of identity and a Social Security number. They will also contact someone in the destination area to ensure the person or family can return safely.

Salvation Army 

Salvation Army has many programs to help stranded travelers by providing financial assistance. They offer travel expenses, shelter, meals, and social services to travelers in need through the Stranded Travelers Program.

The Stranded Travelers Program

As a tradition, Salvation Army also offers meals, shelter, social services assistance, and transportation for those stranded on highways without any means of returning home.

Together with Travelers Aid International and Greyhound Bus Company, Salvation Army helps hundreds of stranded travelers. Once their identity has been verified, the social worker will make sure someone will receive them once they get home. They may also assist in arranging bus fares as well.


Travelers arriving in an unknown city with no money for food often get stranded due to weather emergencies or other sudden accidents. The Salvation Army offers hot meals to homeless people and stranded travelers. During an ice storm that left 150 people stranded in Atlanta's Greyhound Bus Station in January 2011, the Salvation Army provided 150 passengers with hot meals and warm drinks. 


During natural disasters, the Salvation Army also conducts rescue operations. They provide stranded travelers with free bedding during inclement weather while waiting out a storm.

Social Services

Salvation Army community centers have social workers who help travelers with complex needs. Sometimes, homeless travelers do not possess birth certificates or standard identification. Since the program requires people to show identification before receiving assistance, they help homeless travelers from obtaining certain documents.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that acquiring an ID may take weeks. In addition, the Stranded Travelers program can arrange for a homeless person to live in a relative’s house. In some instances, unemployed people who run out of money before finding another work may also depend on the Salvation Army to provide transportation back home.

The Society Of Saint Vincent de Paul

Non-residents who find themselves stranded in Phoenix can receive travel assistance from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP). Their volunteers ensure that clients have housing or jobs available before sending them home.

In most cases, it is better for stranded travelers to stay temporarily at a friend or family’s house instead of sleeping on the streets. Food from their pantry and a shower makes stranded travelers feel like normal people again, and then the organization sets to figure out the best way to get them back home. 

Through their generous donors and contributions, these organizations facilitate a lifesaving reunion in one way or another by working with the support network of those in need.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Stranded Travelers Assistance Program?

The Stranded Travelers Assistance Program is an initiative aimed at providing temporary support and resources to travelers in the US who find themselves stranded due to unforeseen circumstances.

Who is eligible for the Stranded Travelers Assistance Program?

Eligibility varies, but generally includes travelers facing unexpected situations such as natural disasters, transportation disruptions, or personal emergencies while in the US.

How can I access assistance if I am a stranded traveler?

Contact local authorities, the nearest embassy or consulate, or your travel insurance provider for information on available assistance programs and support.

What kind of help can I expect from the Stranded Travelers Assistance Program?

Assistance may include temporary lodging, transportation, meals, or financial support, depending on the program, individual circumstances, and available resources.

Are there any organizations that specifically help stranded travelers?

Yes, organizations such as the American Red Cross, Travelers Aid International, and some faith-based organizations may offer assistance to stranded travelers in need.


Being stranded is often a frightening situation. These organizations and agencies understand the plight of stranded travelers; that’s why they offer different assistance programs. They also provide financial assistance, food, shelter, and social support to stranded travelers. There are also some charities and churches that help with bus tickets to help you in traveling.

Are you interested in learning more about the various government grants that can help you with your financial needs? Head over to Gov Relations today!

Dane Groves
Dane Groves is the senior writer of Gov Relations. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from National University. During Dane’s whole five years with the company, he has helped train and guide new writers. Dane works closely with Dulcie to ensure that new writers are able to produce content that is of high quality and engaging, relevant, and informative to readers.
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