Concerned friends and partners,
These are unbelievably difficult times in our community, our nation and the world. Each day brings new information and new challenges. For individuals and families struggling with poverty and homelessness, the COVID-19 health crisis only multiplies their struggle to survive.
Many of you have reached out to see how we are, what services we are providing, and whether there is anything you can do to help. We continue to provide services to meet critical needs in our community:
- Our Emergency Family Services (EFS) program is open Monday through Friday and has served 1,420 households with more than 2,771 people during the month of March – a huge jump from the previous month. We are providing food bags and pre-packed boxes to clients and distributing them safely to avoid exposure for our staff and the people we serve. We are deeply grateful to the United Way and Foodlink for our year-round support and partnership, and for all they are doing to help us - and so many others in the community - during these very challenging times.
- All four shelters are in full operation for the more than 50 people who call The Salvation Army home every night. Our homeless prevention and housing assistance services are still helping families find and maintain safe affordable housing, including veterans, individuals with serious mental illness, and low-income working families. This is very important right now, as some people who are doubled up with families and friends are being asked to move out. We remain in continued contact with our City, County and State partners, and with our peer agencies/coalitions who also provide/promote shelter services, to ensure the best possible scenarios for continuing these valued services to our community.
- Staff and Salvation Army Officers who typically provide home and/or community-based services are busy connecting with at risk families, youth and adults by phone, providing practical help with groceries and cleaning supplies, and offering spiritual and emotional support during stressful times. This is especially important to keep children in at-risk families safe from physical and emotional harm.
- Our staff and Salvation Army Officers willingly provide these services because they know that The Salvation Army is a critical lifeline for so many people. Our phones are busy with people looking for food, shelter, diapers, formula, housing, and other essential resources. It is vital that the Army stays strong.
No one can predict how long this crisis will last, or the long-term impact on the local economy. What we do know is that people need help now, and we want to do everything we can to help them. We are reaching out to our supporters, because we know you care too.
We have many needs right now—food for the pantry, cleaning supplies for our residential programs (and to share with families who can’t afford to buy them), and diapers and formula to help our teen moms.
Most of all want people to know that we have been blessed to keep our doors open and by God’s grace, and with the compassionate support of our great community, and with the help of our dedicated staff and Salvation Army Officers, we will continue to serve others.