Local Salvation Army is Broke: San Angelo Emergency Shelter Closing End of February
SAN ANGELO, TX — The Salvation Army’s emergency shelter in San Angelo will close Feb. 28 temporarily due to a lack of funding and the Concho Valley Homeless Planning Coalition, or CVHPC, is searching for temporary and permanent solutions to house the 44 homeless currently in the shelter.
The CVHPC met Wednesday morning in City Hall to discuss solutions to the problem. Salvation Army Major Stan Carr said the shelter is still open until the end of February and they are working on placing the 44 individuals in housing within the next two weeks. Carr says he had to borrow money to make payroll the last three pay periods. There is only one shelter employee remaining on staff.
Carr says they are simply out of money at this time. He says they are working on local, state and federal grants to reopen the shelter within three or four months. In the mean time, they will repair the roof and upgrade kitchen equipment.
City of San Angelo Neighborhood and Family Services Director Bob Salas conducted the CVHPC meeting. Salas said while the emergency shelter is closed his office will be the referral point for homeless persons seeking help. Salas says they have not formulated a plan yet and asked the members of the CVHPC for concepts at the meeting. Salas says the Salvation Army has emergency shelters in Abilene, Midland and Odessa and they may have to refer individuals and families to those shelters.
Major Carr said, “I don’t want to have to do this. But there’s simply no funding.” The annual budget for operating the emergency shelter is $500,000 and most of that funding comes from fundraising and grants. Carr says when the shelter reopens, it will be a 30 day rapid rehousing program unlike the way it has been operated in the past. Carr has only been in San Angelo for about six months and said some of the individuals in the shelter treated it as a ‘flop house.’
CVHPC member Lara Ozuna recently attended the Texas Annual Conference on Ending Homelessness. Ozuna made a presentation to the group Wednesday. Ozuna said they need to take a systematic approach to recruiting landlords and to reducing frustrations for homeless ‘neighbors.’ The presentation included finding funds to “support landlords in case of damage to property from ‘neighbors.’”
According to the CVHPC website, “The purpose and function of the Concho Valley Homeless Planning Coalition shall be: charitable, supportive and educational especially for the provisions of service to homeless individuals and the implementation and carrying out the provisions and intentions of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as it may be from time to time amended.”
According to the San Angelo Salvation Army’s website, in addition to the emergency shelter, the San Angelo Salvation Army provides worship services, emergency financial services and women’s ministries.