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.


Relief for those struggling with high energy bills

FITCHBURG — With the combination of high energy costs and a cold winter, utility bills are especially painful this year, and organizers behind an annual private charitable fund are hoping local people will dig deep to help their neighbors.

For the past 30 years, Massachusetts utility companies have teamed up with the Salvation Army to create the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, which provides money for utility bill help for families who make too much money to qualify for state or federal energy-assistance funds.

“If someone is not eligible for fuel assistance, they would most likely be eligible for the Good Neighbor Energy Fund,” said Major Mark Hager of the Salvation Army’s Montachusett Corps Community Center in Fitchburg.

Hager said to his knowledge, the overwhelming source of funding is private donations from Massachusetts residents. The campaign’s fundraising goal is $550,000 this year, and he said participating families can expect to receive $275 this year. Energy and utility companies do contribute, however. On Thursday, the energy company TransCanada donated $15,000 to the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund.

To be eligible to receive the fund, a household’s gross income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the Massachusetts median income level. For example, a household of two people would have to have a total yearly income between $42,654 and $56,872 to qualify.

“The fund has experienced an increase in the number of inquiries by those families in need of energy assistance,” said Unitil’s Sue Corson, with customer-assistance programs, in a press release. “The reasons for more requests is the recent extreme weather and electric supply rates that are higher than last year for much of New England.”

Customers who receive bills through the mail are receiving green donation envelopes this month alongside their bills. Donations can also be made at, by calling 1-800-725-2769 or by sending checks made out to “Good Neighbor Energy Fund,” c/o The Salvation Army to 25 Shawmut Road, Canton, MA 02021-1408.

To apply for assistance through the program, call 1-800-334-3047.


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Hallmark Wants To Know, What Does Christmas Mean To You?

What does Christmas mean to you? That’s what our friends at Hallmark are asking as part of their “Countdown to Christmas” campaign on social media.

Until January 1, you can visit , simply register and write a heartfelt message – long or short- about what Christmas means to you. Registering takes no more than 20 seconds. Each time you share, Hallmark will donate $1 to The Salvation Army.

The feeling of Christmas is different for everyone. I just donated $1 by sharing, “Christmas means rejoicing in the hope and comfort of our salvation. As well as food, family, and singing!”
Every dollar donated by Hallmark will support families in need this Christmas and throughout the year through the services of The Salvation Army. Help the company give someone else a meaningful Christmas by sharing your feelings today!

Posted by Megan on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 ·