The Salvation Army Supports Isaac's Forgotten Population

August 28, 2012 - 10:06 PM EDT
Mark Jones
mark_jones@uss.salvationarmy.org
(601) 961-7709
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Jackson, Miss. (August 28, 2012) – 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 feeding, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide:
• Clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies
• Hygiene kits
• Drinking water
• Shower units
• First-aid supplies
• Missing persons support through The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (www.satern.org) and
• Emotional/spiritual care

For more information regarding The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Service program please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by the 2012 Hurricane Season to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or 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 Season” on all checks.

At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted.  Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident.  However, these gifts are vitally important in 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).

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About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 128 years in the United States. Nearly 29 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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