Salvation Army sees rise in clients utilizing its services

Salvation Army sees rise in clients utilizing its servicesFernando Mena sat at a cafeteria table consuming a hot dog, chili and potato chips.

The 25-yr-old who stated he lives in the woods began going to The Salvation Army 3 times a day for meals after recently quitting his job cleaning at a fast-food restaurant. Mena cited well being issues as the rationale behind quitting his job and stated he’s in search of temp jobs.

At one other table, Artherine Booth, seventy five, sat with a few buddies. Ms. Booth moved in to The Salvation Army ladies’s shelter in June after having to leave her previous residence.

She is planning to move into the Catherine Booth Gardens of Tyler, one of two residential facilities that The Salvation Army operates for low-income and senior citizens via a federal government contract.

Though Disa Brown has a house she shares together with her fiancé and eighty three-yr-old father, she eats lunch at The Salvation Army two to 5 times every week, one thing she’s done off and on for the past 4 years.

“It simply is significant, because Tyler isn’t a large metropolis, and it doesn’t have a whole lot of assistance for us, so for this to be right here to feed us three meals a day, it means so much to lots of people who don’t have,” stated Ms. Brown, 36, who described herself as a homemaker and self-employed. “You by no means know when your life can turn around and you don’t have anything.”

These individuals are amongst a rising number of East Texas residents who’re going to The Salvation Army for meals.

This summer, the nonprofit has seen a 40% increase, from 5,000 to 7,000, in weekly meals served.

In addition, about 10% of the 127 shelter residents are within the facility due to climate.

The nonprofit has a 200-bed facility and further housing area for 250 cots for emergency situations. Water and cooling stations for short-term use can also be found.

Director of Development Cindy Bell mentioned, because the Salvation Army doesn’t survey their shoppers, they can’t formally attribute the rise to one thing in particular.

However anecdotally, they stated the summer season does create greater pressure on folks, as a result of rising utility cost, and people must make harder decisions about the way to spend their cash.

“I have to decide, ‘do I buy meals for my household or the medication that I need?” Ms. Bell mentioned.

Lindsey Galabeas, The Salvation Army’s community and public relations coordinator, mentioned when individuals already live paycheck to paycheck, any increase in expenses, makes it tougher.

For the organization, the challenge comes as a result of, despite the fact that the individuals utilizing its services are growing, donations are declining as they usually do throughout the summer season.

“Lots of people consider us as a Christmas group,” Ms. Galabeas stated. The fact is the group is largely active throughout  the year.

The nonprofit’s services include men’s, women’s and family shelters, free daily meals, a residential drug rehabilitation program, rent and utility assistance, emergency disaster services and afterschool programs.

The agency is seeking donations to help fund its programs, which is about $four million for the shelters, social services and administration buildings.

Ms. Bell stated the company has a lean budget, and 87 cents of each $1 donated goes to services.

Twitter: @TMTEmily



The Salvation Army of Tyler is in need of monetary donations to help fund the growing number of clients utilizing its services. For more details about The Salvation Army or to donate, go to , stop by the office at 633 N. Broadway Ave. in Tyler, or call 903-592-4361.



The Salvation Army serves three meals a day Sunday through Friday and two meals a day on Saturday. These free meals are open to the general public. Serving times are as follows:


Breakfast: 7 to 7:45 a.m.

Lunch: 12 to 12:45 p.m.

Dinner: 4:30 to 5 p.m.


Brunch: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Dinner: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.


Breakfast: 8 to 8:30 a.m.

Lunch: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Dinner: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.


Charging station for homeless

Charging station for homeless

Homeless Charging Station

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Following the misdemeanor arrest of two homeless individuals in Portland for utilizing an outdoor energy outlet to charge their cell phones, Salvation Army staff have created a cellphone charging station.

The Oregonian reports ( that the Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter announced Tuesday that it has 5 USB ports and 4 electrical outlets accessible for any homeless woman who needs to charge their phone and doesn’t cost a thing.

Salvation Army spokeswoman Teresa Steinmetz says keeping electrical devices working is essential to holding down a job, a spot to dwell and different connections.

Final yr two homeless individuals had been charged with misdemeanor theft of services once they had been discovered charging their cell phones at an outside electrical outlet. Under Oregon regulation, there isn’t any minimal financial loss for theft costs. Each charge has since been dropped.

center for hope

More NC children living in poverty than in 2008


center for hopeThe number of children in North Carolina living in poverty has increased by 25 percent since 2008, according to a report to be released Tuesday, even as the nation recovered from the recession.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation report, which studies factors related to children’s well-being, noted several worsening financial conditions in the state since the recession, but also saw improvements in healthcare and education. The foundation is a private philanthropy that makes grants to nonprofits to respond to issues that negatively affect children.

About 566,000 children, or one in four in the state, live in poverty, according to the report. Two other measures of financial stability – children whose parents lack secure employment and teens who are not in school and not working – also worsened since 2008.

North Carolina ranked 35th overall in the report for child well-being. The state tied with Texas and Kentucky for the 11th highest child poverty rate in the country. The federal poverty level for a family of four is $24,250.

Laila Bell, the director of research and data for the non-profit NC Child, said that the recession was a trigger for some of the changes, but state legislation contributed to the problems.

As an example, she cited the state allowing the earned income tax credit to expire in 2014. Republican lawmakers at the time said eliminating the tax credit, along with other changes, was meant to simplify the system and to spread the tax burden equally.

Bell said the challenges are even larger than the report indicates because it takes the income of twice the federal poverty level to adequately provide for children.

Measuring by that standard, about half the children in North Carolina live in poverty, or more than a million children, Bell said. Children of color are twice as likely to live in poverty, she said.

Nola Davis, 37, is staying in the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope shelter near uptown with her three children, ages 2, 3 and almost 11. She said her family moved there in October after losing its home and living in a hotel for about a year.

Davis recently found a job with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and her children’s father works at the airport.

She said she has continually been rejected by landlords for housing despite being able to pay the rent.

“Once they find out you’re here, it’s such a stigma coming from a homeless shelter that nobody wants to rent to you,” she said. Davis and her family recently found a landlord willing to rent to them, and they hope to move in next month.

‘A heavy burden’

Poverty impacts many areas in a child’s life, Bell said. Children in poor households have less access to fresh foods, high-quality schools and green space. Over time, these children may be less prepared for school, impacting their education.

“Coming to school with that on your shoulders is a heavy burden,” said Susan Hansell, executive director of A Child’s Place.

Children living in poverty also spend less time in school because they normally have to use school buses to get home, she said. “They’re not able to take advantage of after-school programs,” she said.

Homeless children can also experience a higher degree of anxiety and depression, Hansell said.

Though poverty affects children at any age, those in early stages of development are particularly susceptible, Bell said.

Davis said her oldest daughter can’t understand all of the circumstances that led to living at the shelter.

“How do you explain that to a child?” she said.

Bell said North Carolina lawmakers could improve conditions for kids in the state by supporting the health of mothers before and during their pregnancies. Better healthcare, possibly through expanded access to insurance for low-income women, can help prevent low birth weight babies.

The state government could also invest more in early childhood education, a key to children’s development and future success in school, Bell said.

Charlotte has a network of support groups and non-profits that can help children and families in poverty, Hansell said. A Child’s Place advocates for homeless children and their families, helping them find healthcare and educational support.

Not all the factors in the Kids Count report worsened. All health measures improved, and three out of four education measures improved. About 94 percent of the state’s children are insured, more than at any point in the state’s history, Bell said.

In education, the report found more fourth-graders are proficient in reading, more eighth-graders are proficient in math and more high school students are graduating on time.