The Salvation Army is distributing pre-packaged meals and pre-prepared food bags amid COVID-19 pandemic; National spokesman for The Salvation Army USA, Dale Bannon joins ‘America’s News HQ.’
Salvation Army Galveston Working with Homeless during Coronavirus Crisis
The Salvation Army continues to offer overnight emergency shelter and meals to the homeless during the current Coronavirus crisis. “We always practice universal precautions because of the nature of our work. Now we have stepped it up a notch,” said Melanie Thornton-Lewis, Director of Social Services for The Salvation Army in Galveston. “We have spread out the beds in the shelter to give everyone space 6-feet from each other and limited the number of people who can eat at the same time. We have a room for isolation if someone exhibits symptoms while they wait for medical and health department intervention. And we’re are continually cleaning and disinfecting.” Emergency shelters are considered an essential service of the community. The Salvation Army works with local authorities and partner agencies to maintain the provision of essential services.
In addition, support to help county residents impacted physically, emotionally and spiritually by this crisis includes assistance with rent, utility payments, and groceries. “We anticipate the need for these services will grow as this crisis drags on,” said Captain Nathanael Doria, Corps Officer at The Salvation Army. “We will provide assistance until our funding runs out which won’t be very long. People have the impression that The Salvation Army has a lot of money, but the truth is that every local chapter is responsible for their own community. The scope of this particular disaster is making it difficult for everyone to raise funds because there is not a person in America that is not affected by this event.”
Salvation Army Galveston Stay-At-Home Plan
Before the Stay-At-Home order came out on Monday evening, The Salvation Army had already started looking for support to open the emergency over-night shelter during the day. Places to spend the day when the shelter is normally closed continued to diminish in the face of the coronavirus and the risk of community spread was increased by those who are un-housed coming in and out. Beginning Wednesday, March 25, the shelter will remain open all day for those who are registered guests. Sack dinners to-go will be available at 5:00 pm for those who normally come to the community meal but are not residents of the shelter. Due to social distancing restrictions, the shelter capacity is reduced to 60 people.
The Salvation Army finds itself in a very unique situation with this particular disaster. Normally a disaster hits a certain area and The Salvation Army sends resources to the affected area to help the community. In this case, the disaster is world-wide and each Salvation Army unit is on its own to do what it can in its community with the resources that it has. To expand the services of the shelter to include day-time hours will cost at least an additional $1950 per week.
The Salvation Army is an essential service, falling in the category of Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations in the Stay-At-Home order, so the shelter will continue to operate. The Family Store in Galveston will be closed at least until April 4. The donation center will be open from 12-5 to accept paper goods, particularly toilet paper, hand-sanitizers, non-perishable canned goods, bread, cleaning supplies, and gently used clothing and household goods for the Family Store when it reopens.
The Salvation Army needs paper goods, particularly toilet paper, hand-sanitizers, non-perishable canned goods, bread, cleaning supplies, and cash donations. The Salvation Army relies solely on the community it serves to support the needs of the area. To help, you can make a donation online at http://www.salvationarmygalvestoncounty.org or by check to PO Box 990, Galveston, TX 77553.