Tom Rowan: Isaac evacuee comes full circle to The Salvation Army

August 31, 2012
Mark Jones | | (601) 961-7709

Mobile, Ala. (August 31, 2012) - Tom Rowan sits outside The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama with no place of his own to sleep tonight. But he knows he is at home at The Salvation Army.

“I wasn’t sure where you guys were here in Mobile, but I knew that if I found it, The Salvation Army would help me,” explained Rowan.

Rowan moved to Mobile about a year ago as retirement, and lives on his 75-foot boat that he docks on Dog River. With the threat of flooding from Hurricane Isaac, Rowland was forced to pull his home from the water and abandon it on jacks.

Monday night Rowan slept in his car. As weather conditions strengthened, he found his way to the shelter at Theodore High School on Tuesday. But when that shelter was closed on Wednesday, he again found himself with nowhere to go and slept in his car.

Finally on Thursday, Rowan made his way to The Salvation Army. He sits outside, hoping for help from an agency that he, himself, used to help.

“Back when I was working, I gave $100 a month to the Denver Rescue Mission and $100 a month to The Salvation Army,” said Rowan. “I just felt like The Salvation Army would put the money to good use. I knew it wouldn’t wind up in some exec’s pocket.”

The Marine Corps veteran has traveled the world since then, but now needs a safe place to sleep. He is glad The Salvation Army is open to anyone in need – and will, therefore, return the favor.

“I never thought of it as an investment,” joked Rowan. He never thought that one day he would be the one needing services from The Salvation Army.

Rowan now looks forward to a hot meal and a roof over his head at The Salvation Army.

His story shows that you never know who will come through our doors. And you never know when you may be the one in need. But one thing is for sure, The Salvation Army will be there.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

Our Mission

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
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