It's Cold. The Local Shelter is Closed. So Where is All That Money Pitched Into the Red Bucket Going?
SAN ANGELO, TX – As temperatures drop during the coldest months of the year, many people are concerned about what is happening with the homeless in San Angelo who are left out in the cold.
On February 28 this year, the San Angelo Salvation Army Lodge, the largest homeless shelter in the county, closed it's doors. After the emergency shelter closed, it left nearly 50 homeless people searching for shelter as they had previously resided in the Lodge. This led to a big problem here in San Angelo as it was the only overnight shelter for those who can't afford housing.
The Salvation Army teamed up with the Concho Valley Homeless Planning Coalition (CVHPC) and found permanent solutions for some but only temporary solutions for others. The problem is that the Salvation Army ran out of money.
“I don’t want to have to do this. But there’s simply no funding.” said Major Stan Carr head of the San Angelo Salvation Army in a previous interview in February. Here is the story: Local Salvation Army is Broke: San Angelo Emergency Shelter Closing End of February.
Now that the cold of winter is here again, the question remains. Where are the homeless going when it gets cold? The answer was provided by the CVHPC with the "Out of the Cold" program. This program will provide the homeless individuals and families with a warm place for one night and a meal voucher when the outside temperature is 35 degrees or colder. The Salvation Army as well as many churches around town have helped with the project and, according to Major Carr, have helped roughly 80 homeless individuals this winter. Yet, with numbers like this, funding is a necessity.
The number one funding source for the Salvation Army is their yearly drive in front of highly trafficked businesses such as Walmart, H-E-B, and the Sunset Mall. This being the first year that the lodge is closed, a cloud of questions loomed over the red bucket and where the money was going.
"All money donated in San Angelo stays in San Angelo," said Major Carr. "Even though we stopped the overnight staying, the money goes towards food, clothing, and social services." One other service that the Salvation Army provides is the Salvation Army Angel Tree. This event is to help nearly 800 children in San Angelo receive gifts for Christmas. The final day to donate for the Angel Tree is today, December 13.
The monetary goal for the Salvation Army's Red Bucket campaign in San Angelo is $100,000. Carr said that at the 12 days prior to Christmas mark, bell-ringers have achieved just 51 percent of their goal.
If you see the volunteers, many of them your friends, family and neighbors, with the Salvation Army ringing the bell in front of the red bucket, rest assured that every dime donated is staying right here in the local area. And, because winter doesn't stop coming every year, the local Salvation Army needs all the support each of us can offer.
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