Up to 7,600 Salvation Army Locations Can Serve as Warming Centers to Fight the Freeze
The Salvation Army is meeting the needs of individuals and families affected by freezing temperatures, excessive precipitation, and power outages across the country. Amid a historic weather event that has swept across the country, The Salvation Army is offering its facilities as respite centers for warmth, feeding, and shelter for those facing homelessness and for those in need.
"The toll the pandemic has taken on Americans was already great, and now, the most vulnerable find themselves without a safe place to shelter from the sprawling winter storm," said Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, national commander for The Salvation Army. "As even some of the warmest states experience below-zero temperatures, we're prepared to serve. If needed, all of our 7,600 locations can serve as warming centers, based on local conditions and needs."
Nationwide, The Salvation Army is prepared to open emergency warming stations for those experiencing homelessness in communities where temperatures have reached dangerous lows. The organization is also distributing cold weather clothing, mobilizing outreach units (as roads permit) to serve hot meals and beverages, feeding first responders, providing stranded travelers with temporary shelter and emergency transportation.
With a presence in every zip code, The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to respond with specialized services based on the needs of each community:
- The Salvation Army is providing 24/7 warming centers in North Texas (Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis and Tarrant counties), to offer a safe and warm environment with food distribution on a regular basis for millions in Texas who face historically low temperatures and statewide power outages
- The Salvation Army in Poughkeepsie, New York has been wrapping scarves and gloves around light poles, so individuals who are unable to come directly to the community center for assistance can access warm clothes
- The Salvation Army in Chicago is providing mobile outreach to bring warmth and shelter to the homeless population
- The Salvation Army in Washington, DC continues providing hot food, beverages, winter clothing, and more through its 365-nit-per-year Grate Patrol service
In light of the pandemic, The Salvation Army has adapted service delivery with extra precautions, such as social distancing at food distribution sites, adapted feeding models and personal protective equipment requirements.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army has provided 225 million meals, 1.6 million additional nights of shelter, and offered emotional and spiritual care to almost one million people nationwide.