Homeless Shelters full of needy and fearful people
Jackson, Miss.– Salvation Army personnel throughout the central Gulf Coast are actively serving residents of Hurricane Isaac impacted areas.
In New Orleans, Pascagoula, Miss. and Mobile, Ala. Salvation Army Homeless Shelters are filled to maximum capacity.
The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama is already seeing an increase of people in the area looking for a safe place to sleep because of Tropical Storm Isaac.
“Scared,” explains one man waiting outside The Salvation Army. “I’ve been through seven hurricanes, and I’m scared.”
With tropical storm conditions forecasted overnight, The Salvation Army is expecting more people to line up looking for shelter. Those numbers could swell even higher because the Waterfront Rescue Mission has closed through Thursday, due to its location.
“In emergency situations, we will open our doors to as many people as possible who are in need of a safe place to sleep. We will continue to provide shelter to the homeless throughout storm,” said Major Mark Brown, Coastal Alabama Area Commander.
For many of the homeless, the threat of Isaac brings back anxious memories of previous storms. Herman Southland was living in Bayou la Batre when Hurricane Katrina hit. He woke up in the middle of the night to find his home flooded. Southland and his wife cut through their ceiling and spent two days on their roof, waiting for rescue. Now he’s homeless, and worries that he could get stranded again.
Another man explains that without a shelter like The Salvation Army, he is forced to sleep in parking garages during a storm.
The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope in New Orleans continues to make accommodations for the influx of homeless seeking shelter from the storm. Already near capacity prior to Hurricane Isaac, the homeless shelter has now begun placing temporary cots around the building to handle the overflow.
In Pascagoula, Miss. fifty-five men, women and children enjoyed a hot lunchtime meal and will ride out the storm.
The Salvation Army Homeless and Emergency shelter operates 365 days a year, providing shelter, feeding and emotional support.
“The Salvation Army shelter in Pascagoula runs like a well-oiled machine,” stated Major Terry Ray, Area Commander for The Salvation Army MS Gulf Coast Area Command. “They are always ready to take in those in need and share the love of Jesus with all.”
Salvation Army personnel throughout the Gulf Coast continue to mobilize to respond to Hurricane Isaac, as it moves inland tonight. Army units in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi have 24 mobile feeding units and one fully-equipped 54-foot field kitchen ready for immediate response. Additionally, The Salvation Army is prepared to supplement Gulf Coast states with canteens from inland states, as was necessary in response to Hurricane Katrina.
In addition to food, hydration and emotional and spiritual care, The Salvation Army is also prepared to provide:
• Clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies
• Hygiene kits
• Shower units
• First-aid supplies
• Communications support
The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in the storm’s path to prepare an emergency supply kit and stay informed of all warnings and evacuation orders. Disaster response professionals recommend having a three to five day supply of food and water for each member of your family as well as flashlights, medication and battery powered radios.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by this disaster to visit www.salvationarmyusa.orgor call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by text messaging the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.” Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate “2012 Hurricane Relief” on all checks.
At this point, in-kind donations, such as used clothing and used furniture, are not being accepted for hurricane relief. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).
For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation and response to Hurricane Isaac, please visit http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/, www.facebook.com/salvationarmyusaor www.twitter.com/salvationarmyus.