Emergency Disaster Services Provide Hope to Local Church Affected by Flood

Jun 30, 2021

When disaster strikes, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team stand by to assist. On Friday, June 25, flooding of local roadways, businesses, and homes caused the abandonment of vehicles, permanent structural damage, and the relocation of many occupants.

St. Paul Church in Detroit is among those affected. The church is used as a rehabilitation center for those battling addictions and mental illness and residents reside in the basement of the building. When the basement started to flood, the City of Detroit reached out to The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services for help.

Charles McDougall, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division, said the church basement started to flood on Friday night. Since then, about 40 people have been relocated to the Kemeny Recreation Center in Detroit where our EDS staff and volunteers are providing lunch and dinner daily.

“Everyone seems very grateful,” McDougall said. “They are loving everything that I’ve brought out so far. A lot of them work, so we make individual to-go lunches for those who aren’t in person when the meals are being served. Everyone is being taken care of.”

With the unpredictability of Michigan’s weather and the extent of the damage still unknown, McDougall said they will continue serving food until the residents are able to move back into the church or find another location.  

“We’ll be here as long as they need us,” he said firmly. “Part of your heart just breaks. You can’t really explain it. These are all young to middle aged men and here they are. This is their life. It’s very fulfilling to be able to do something to help out.”

Since 1900, The Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services provides rescue and relief to communities affected by disaster. The worldwide program has gone on to serve millions of disaster victims in the 121 years since. In the Eastern Michigan Division alone, a dozen disaster response teams are on call to serve at all disasters and civil disorders. Disaster relief and recovery services are provided to all in need without discrimination.

To learn more about The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services or how you can help, please visit our website or contact Charles McDougall at charles.mcdougall@usc.salvationarmy.org

Please consider a gift to support The Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services. Funds raised go to provide food, temporary shelter, blankets, communications, pastoral counseling, emergency lighting, clean-up kits and referrals to Salvation Army centers.

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