Twin Cities Salvation Army Enacts Procedures to Safeguard Clients and Staff

Mar 17, 2020

ROSEVILLE, Minn – In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Twin Cities Salvation Army is taking steps to help mitigate the spread of the virus among its clients, staff and volunteers. At the same time, programs centered on food distribution, housing and emergency support will continue to provide help to those most in need.

In Minnesota, one in ten people live in poverty and well over 10,000 are homeless, affecting many who may be vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. This unprecedented crisis is affecting many in the community, and as businesses move to comply with new state and federal mandates, more people will need assistance. The Twin Cities Salvation Army is reaffirming its commitment to assisting those in need, as it has since its founding in 1887.

“Our mission of providing help to those needing assistance has not changed, even in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Lt. Colonel Lonneal Richardson, commander of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “These services are vital to people and families whose lives and livelihoods could be compromised during the difficult weeks ahead.”

Food distribution programs will adapt to avoid group gatherings. As a result, daily meals will no longer be served inside their service centers but will instead be available as take-out meals. In addition, Salvation Army food pantries will begin to provide pre-sorted boxes of food to eliminate the need for individuals to “shop” inside the pantry.

All Salvation Army emergency, transitional and permanent housing facilities will continue operation with enhanced virus mitigation efforts. Routine checks on vulnerable residents will be stepped up to ensure their safe welfare, and to provide vital groceries to limit their need to venture outside to shop.

Salvation Army emergency assistance programs will also continue, to help provide financial help to those in need. Please call a local Salvation Army location for more information.

The Salvation Army is also participating in a multi-agency task force along with directors of major Twin Cities shelters to discuss and deploy best practices aimed at mitigating further spread of the virus, especially among the homeless community.

Other program changes and safety enhancements are being made to help safeguard clients and staff at all 11 Twin Cities Salvation Army service centers and residences. These changes, effective Wednesday, March 18 th , will include:

  • Suspending midweek programming and Sunday worship services at our service centers. Worship services will be available to view online.
  • Suspending adult day center services to protect those most vulnerable to the virus.
  • Additional anti-bacterial cleanings of common surfaces in high traffic areas.
  • Maintaining recommended 6-foot social distancing practices, as well as implementing alternating head-to-foot sleeping arrangements in our higher density shelters.

“The additional steps taken to improve safety and extend needed services will certainly stretch our resources,” Richardson said. “But we are committed to serving as many people as possible, in the safest way possible, now and well into the future.”

For more information or to help provide support for The Salvation Army’s efforts, visit

Interviews with Lt. Colonel Lonneal Richardson are available; please contact Dan Furry at The Salvation Army Northern Division serves 324,000 people a year throughout Minnesota and North Dakota by providing food, shelter, disaster response and other critical services, meeting human needs without discrimination. Support The Salvation Army in #DoingTheMostGood.


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