Salvation Army looking for help to shelter homeless from heat

Salvation Army looking for help to shelter homeless from heat
Major Kelly English (WALB image)
Major Kelly English (WALB image)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As temperatures soar into the 90's, and rain evades most of South Georgia, the Salvation Army is trying to help people get some relief from the blazing misery.

The Salvation Army of Albany is asking for community help. It's overwhelmed from helping shelter the homeless from the heat.

The Albany commander of the Salvation Army says the daily numbers have tripled. They desperately need the community's help to continue to keep pace with those in need.

The Salvation Army has been serving Albany's poor and homeless for almost 100 years. Their leadership says their organization has never been this much in need of help themselves.

William Butler comes daily to A Place 4 Hope, the Albany Salvation Army's day shelter. He has seen the numbers there increase dramatically.

"Well, it's hot outside," said Butler.

A Place 4 Hope provides people like Butler a place to shower, wash their clothes, and get back on track.

The shelter is also a place to get inside in air conditioning and cool off. They are seeing triple the usual numbers to shelter.

"We have been straining under the number of folks who have been coming to us. We need practical items now," said Salvation Army Albany Corps Officer Major Kelly English.

The Army's bottled water is gone, and the pantry of canned goods is running dangerously low.

Officials say donations, especially monetary donations, are dramatically needed now more than ever.

"This is the most critical place we've ever been in.  To get to the point where, you are wondering if you are going to have enough money to make payroll. To pay the paid staff here, is a major concern. And that's something the community needs to know," said former Salvation Army Albany board chair David Blackwell.

Officials say the heat is making A Place 4 Hope a necessity for many people.

"When you are hot, and nowhere else to do, it just does something to the morale. It lowers it," said English.

The Salvation Army shelter is feeding dozens of people two meals a day, and running close to capacity.

Officials say they need help from the community to keep their mission alive.

"I'm hoping that the community will help out," said Bulter.

The shelter is in need of bottled water, canned food, clothing, and toiletries. Officials say monetary donations are needed the most.

Find out how to make a donation by calling 229-435-1428 or clicking the link here.

You can usually take your donations to the Salvation Army at 304 West Second Avenue in Albany, but the building may be closed during the weekend.

Donations may be also dropped off by the news station on 1709 Stuart Avenue from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday.

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