San Francisco, CA (February 13, 2015): The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross have worked together to assist 117 people affected by three major fires during the week of January 26 in San Francisco. For two weeks, Red Cross has operated a shelter within The Salvation Army’s Mission Corps Community Center. Today, at 10:00am PST, the Red Cross will transition daily shelter operations to The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army will continue to provide shelter for a limited time to residents unable to find housing.
“While some individuals and families have secured new housing options, factors of affordability, safety, and the emotional strain of suddenly losing a home of 20-plus years have made locating a new residents more difficult for others,” said John McKnight, Emergency and Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army. “The intent of this short-term extension is to give the displaced a few more days to search for a feasible solution.”
Moving forward, The Salvation Army will continue to provide shelter and meals for up to two weeks for those individuals still without replacement housing. On-site emotional counseling and caseworker assistance will be available. As the survivors transition out of the shelter, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide vouchers for individuals to select replacement furniture as they secure new places to live.
“We’re trying to give these survivors up to one month to find housing following the fire,” said McKnight. “It’s not much time, but is a manageable amount to find another place to live, even a temporary one.”
To date, The Salvation Army has provided fire survivors with $3650 in vouchers for new clothing, $650 in personal products for the survivors (e.g., underwear, bras, socks, etc.), and items for the children and teens in the shelter (e.g., games, books, hair care items, make up items, scarves and accessories, and movies). In addition, volunteers from The Salvation Army Mission Corps hosted family game nights, movie nights, special birthday festivities for those survivors celebrating birthdays while in the shelter,
Since the opening of the shelter, several San Francisco businesses, including Tartine Bakery, BiRite Grocery, Delfina, Tacolicious, HeyDay, GoodEggs, Sprig, Namu, Bernal Cutlery, Kasa Indian, Arizmendi, Lefty O’Douls, and Heirloom Café, contributed more than half of the nearly 3,800 meals served to shelter residents over the past two weeks. The Salvation Army’s Central Kitchen, Harbor Light Center, Adult Rehabilitation Center and Mission Corps provided the rest of the meals.
Though the Red Cross will cease management of the shelter, it will continue to provide casework, referrals and guidance and additional assistance at an off-site location. Individuals affected by the fires can call 415-427-8010 for assistance.
How people can help:
The best way to help fire survivors is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow responding organizations to meet the specific and evolving needs of fire survivors. There are a variety of ways public can support ongoing Mission Fire disaster relief efforts:
Donations for Survivors: The City and County of San Francisco has set up an account for people who would like to donate to the fire victims. Please log on to give2sf.org, select “Mayors Fund for the Homeless” and include “Fire Victims” in the reference line.
Donations for Shelter Operations: To make a gift toward the continue operations of the shelter, including food, personal items for the survivors (e.g., new undergarments, personal items, etc), and other needs, please visit The Salvation Army’s Mission Fire page at http://salar.my/ewNl69. Donations can also be made by calling 1-800-Sal-Army or by mail to The Salvation Army, Attn: San Francisco Mission Fire, P.O. Box 193465, San Francisco, CA 94119-3465.
Donations of In-Kind Goods: The community has been extremely generous in providing donations of clothing, toys, games and toiletries to support the evacuees. Because of the small size of the shelter facility, the public is discouraged from dropping off donations directly at 1156 Valencia, because there is not adequate space to store them. Rather, please direct all donations to The Salvation Army at 1500 Valencia (IMPORTANT: drop off is at rear of building, at 26th Street & San Jose Avenue), which is accepting donations for fire relief.
About The Salvation Army:
Since 1883, The Salvation Army has been serving the San Francisco Bay Area, offering practical support, spiritual comfort and a critical safety net to people in need. The Army has 16 facilities throughout San Francisco providing a myriad of services, including youth programs, meal delivery, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, transitional housing, and nutritional and housing support for seniors. In addition, the Army also provides disaster relief services. For more information on Salvation Army activities in San Francisco and the Bay Area, visit online at: http://www.sanfrancisco.salvationarmy.org/
The Salvation Army Mission Corps, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, has been serving the Mission neighborhood for over 120 years, providing senior meal and activity programs; youth afterschool and tutoring programs; summer day-camp for kids; a weekly food pantry; on-site caseworker for social service assistance and referrals; youth/teen character building programs; men’s and women’s fellowship groups; worship services and more.
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