Former drug dealer is now a top Salvation Army leader

Former drug dealer is now a top Salvation Army leader

When former drug dealer Envoy Tom Canfield first arrived at The Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center in Minneapolis in 2005, he’d just been released from jail after getting caught selling methamphetamine. Police had arrested him in a scuzzy hotel room, where they found him naked, emaciated, and passed out cold.

It’s been 13 years since then, and Tom still hasn’t left the rehabilitation center. But now he’s there for a different reason.

He is in charge of the place.   

“I’m alive and in this position because of the transformative power of Jesus Christ,” Tom said proudly.

He serves as the rehabilitation center’s lead business administrator, a job that also entails helping to manage nine Salvation Army Stores in the Twin Cities and more than 250 employees. He’s been working for The Salvation Army in management ever since he graduated from the rehabilitation center in 2005.

Tom serves alongside his wife, Envoy Trudi Canfield, who works as the rehabilitation center’s program administrator. The couple took over as leaders on June 27.

The rehabilitation center (pictured) offers free or affordable residential addiction treatment for up to 115 men. The men receive six months to a year of onsite housing, counseling, spiritual guidance, and other transformative support – all of which is funded by sales at Salvation Army Stores.

Tom and Trudi are excited to work in their new positions.

“It’s amazing to see the hope in the hearts of these men,” Trudi said. “It’s to the point that I have a hard time picturing them having ever been drunk or in jail. They’re such good guys.”

Tom believes he is uniquely suited to connect with men at the rehabilitation center because he spent much of his life battling the same demons they do.

Former drug dealer is now a top Salvation Army leader“I know what it’s like to walk in here for the first time,” Tom said. “You’re scared, you’re alone, and you’re not comfortable with Christianity. I’ve been there. But I can show these men how Jesus can help them make the same 180-degree turn that I did.”

Oftentimes, men from Tom’s troubled past enroll at the rehabilitation center. When they see Tom, they hardly recognize him.

“One guy came in and couldn’t believe it was me,” Tom said. “The last time he’d seen me, I was being hauled away in a cop car because we were trying to rob a bank together.”

Similar encounters happen almost monthly, and Tom does not believe they are a coincidence. Each encounter serves as a reminder to Tom that God had a purpose for everything that happened in his life and every person he met.

“I’m in this ministry because of my past,” Tom said. “There was a period of time when drugs, alcohol and criminal activity consumed my mind. Now, God is using me to be His face to these men.” (Read Tom’s astonishing testimony.)

Tom and Trudi have big plans for the rehabilitation center, and their top goal is to boost enrollment.

Former drug dealer is now a top Salvation Army leader“We want to take what has been started here at the rehabilitation center and build a more robust program that touches on all aspects of mind, body and soul,” Trudi said.

Other big goals include the execution of a multimillion-dollar renovation of the rehabilitation center, and implementing a clear-cut managerial succession plan for employees of the stores and rehabilitation center.

“We want to have our employees moving up at all levels,” Tom said.

Meanwhile, Tom and Trudi are thrilled to engage in the daily work of helping men break free from their addictions and find Jesus.   

“The day-to-day interaction of getting to know these men is the best,” Trudi said.

The dollars you spend at The Salvation Army’s thrift stores and rehab center may help someone kick a drug or alcohol habit.

Salvation Army has new commander over thrift store and rehab center

The dollars you spend at The Salvation Army’s thrift stores and rehab center may help someone kick a drug or alcohol habit.

“That is why we do the thrift,” said Major Michael Morton, who recently took over as administrator of The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center in Richmond.

“The center that this store is supporting has approximately 100 beds. The thrift stores provide the operations income for this program,” Morton said, speaking at a new Salvation Army thrift store scheduled to open in early August on West Broad Street in Henrico County.

Morton and his wife, Salvation Army Major Nettie Morton, transferred to Richmond from a Salvation Army in Weirton, W.Va., five weeks ago, replacing the previous administrator who retired. Morton has managed Salvation Army thrift stores for 22 years, but overseeing the rehabilitation center is something new for him.

The residential rehabilitation center at 2601 Hermitage Road enrolls men recovering from substance abuse into a six-month work-therapy program. Many come as referrals from prison and are mandated to be in a recovery program as a condition of release.

Revenue from the Salvation Army’s three thrift stores fund the approximately $2.4 million budget to operate the rehabilitation center and thrift stores. All the merchandise in the stores is donated.

The West Broad Street store replaces the thrift store on Mechanicsville Turnpike that closed earlier this year. The organization’s other stores are at 11000 Midlothian Turnpike and on Hermitage Road adjacent to the rehabilitation center.

The new thrift store is in a building that once housed a Pier 1 Imports store and a kitchen design store. That Salvation Army store will initially occupy about 11,000 square feet of space and will expand to an adjacent 4,000 square feet of space in coming months. James Ashby of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented the landlord in the lease negotiations.

The Midlothian Turnpike thrift store is about 15,000 square feet, the Hermitage Road store about 9,000 square feet.

Morton said the Broad Street location puts them in a busy retail area, with Goodwill and other thrift stores nearby.

“You can say Goodwill is our competition, but the reality is thrift store shoppers are not loyal. Positioning us near Goodwill is a good move because shoppers will go to both stores,” Morton said.

Just weeks in, Morton has begun making changes in the rehab program and the warehouse that supplies the thrift stores.

“We were being a little too restrictive in our admission policies,” with less than half the center’s beds filled, he said.

“In four weeks, we’ve added 25 folks. Mostly we started allowing walk-ins. We weren’t allowing walk-ins before. The fact is there are folks out there who haven’t broken the law, who haven’t gone to prison, that would like some help. We have the help,” Morton said.

The three thrift stores and the rehabilitation center have about 30 paid employees, Morton said. That number doesn’t include the program participants who work in the warehouse and center.

“We have folks who have all kinds of skill sets because there are all kinds of folks who have problems with drugs or alcohol, or who had problems,” Morton said.

The Salvation Army is opening a new, 24-hour shelter for survivors of human trafficking, a resource the charity is billing as the first of its kind

Salvation Army National Capital Area Command Opens Shelter to Serve Human Trafficking Survivors

The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command is opening a new, 24-hour shelter for survivors of human trafficking, a resource the charity is billing as the first of its kind in the D.C. area.

Leaders with the group’s National Capital Area Command say they can’t reveal where, exactly, the new shelter is located in the region in order to protect the people they’re trying to serve. But they held a ribbon-cutting for the new facility all the same today (Wednesday) at the organization’s Arlington headquarters in Alcova Heights.

“This strikes at the heart of the core values of the Salvation Army,” said Maj. James Hall, the charity’s commander for the D.C. region. “We believe this is the best way we can make a difference on a transformative issue addressing injustice.”

Hall added that the entire effort is being paid for by private donations. He’d originally hoped to win grant funding for the shelter, but struck out on that front.

State Sen. Dick Black (R), who represents Prince William and Loudoun in the General Assembly, commended the effort as an essential one to deal with a “rapidly increasing problem” around the region.

He placed most of the blame for that trend on gang members crossing the Mexican border, which he believes has “literally become a torrent pouring into the country” even as data show net migration levels falling in recent years.

“Runaway children are so easily preyed upon by these people,” Black said.

Kyla Conlee, the shelter’s director, says the new facility will have about half a dozen staff members in all, with two “on call” at all times if someone who’s recently escaped a sex or labor trafficking situation needs help.

She says the shelter will have eight bedrooms, and will be open to both men and women looking for a place to stay. Conlee notes that the facility will only be able to house people for up to 10 days at a time, but her staff plans to work with a network of other charitable organizations to find a more permanent living situation during their stays.

“The most immediate need someone has coming out of a trafficking situation is: where am I going to sleep that first night?” said Stuart Allen, a federal prosecutor in D.C. “I can’t take them in. Law enforcement can’t take them in… But now, victims will have a place to go that first night they need those services.”

Conlee added that her staff will work with local emergency rooms to provide basic medical care for their clients, and even more advanced care for victims of sexual assault. She also wants to offer them the basics at the facility, like new clothes and food, and plans to rely on the community for donations.

Anyone interested in making a donation can drop off goods at the Salvation Army’s Arlington center at 518 S. Glebe Road. www.salvationarmynca.org/antihumantrafficking.

Broker/Owner, Al Abbitt, and Director of Operations, Brooke Scutt, were presented the award for "2017 Donor of the Year" by The Salvation Army

RE/MAX Peninsula awarded “2017 Donor of the Year” by The Salvation Army of the Virginia Peninsula

Broker/Owner, Al Abbitt, and Director of Operations, Brooke Scutt, were presented the award for “2017 Donor of the Year” by The Salvation Army of the Virginia Peninsula.

“Our group was so moved by the Angel Tree program and the Salvation Army striving to provide Christmas to thousands of children on the Peninsula. However, three weeks before Christmas there were still nearly 600 children in danger of being forgotten and having no Christmas. Our team rallied with adopting angels, sharing the message throughout of networks and raising additional funds. In 2017, all 4,654 “Angels” we’re adopted, something we were incredibly honored to be a part of,” says Scutt.

About RE/MAX Peninsula:
RE/MAX Peninsula is a local, veteran owned and operated full- service real estate brokerage with offices at 25 Diligence Drive, Suite 126, Newport News, 5400 Discovery Park Blvd. Suite 101, Williamsburg, and 6549 Main Street, Suite 2, Gloucester, VA.. Founded in 1992, the brokerage has over 70 Realtors® and specializes in residential real estate and property management. RE/MAX Peninsula is a proud supporter of Children’s Miracle Network Hospital® and various local organizations.

The Salvation Army of Dane County's Emergency Disaster Services

The Salvation Army of Dane County’s Emergency Disaster Services

PORTAGE, Wis. – The Salvation Army of Dane County’s Emergency Disaster Services response team is providing support to crews in Portage Tuesday as they continue to search for the body of a 13-year-old boy, the organization said Tuesday.

The Salvation Army said it’s providing hydration and food services to the boy’s family, EMTs and other first responders at the scene.

On Sunday at about 6 p.m., an officer was flagged down near Silver Lake Beach in Portageon a report of a person possibly drowning, according to the release. The boy was playing in the water near the boat launch at Silver Lake Beach, outside of the swim area.

Three days later, crews were still searching to recover his body.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said the department has a dive team in the water, and the Department of Natural Resources and Milwaukee police are at Silver Lake with a sector scan sonar.

Authorities with the city, county and state departments have been at the scene to help in the search.

Lt. Keith Klafke said teams Tuesday were discussing the options left and worst-case scenario type of plans.

“We are using all the resources available and it is helpful to have these teams on hand,” Klafke said in the release. “Closing in on three days now, the other entities will help push the search into later today with more invasive search tactics.”

Klafke said the family has been an active part of the search process and everyone is working to keep false information out of the media.

“I can understand the frustration of not having your boy in your arms for three days, but through it all the family has exhibited the utmost cooperation and been extremely supportive of our efforts.”

Silver Lake and its access points, including the beach, boat landing, park and parking lot areas, were closed to the public as the search continued, Portage police said.

 

Salvation Army, DMG Foods is a platform for their efforts on workforce development, nutrition and food education. DMG stands for...

Inside DMG Foods, the Salvation Army’s grocery store in Harwood

Earlier this spring, the Salvation Army opened its first-ever grocery store, DMG Foods, in Harwood, a new direction for their mission being tried out right here in Baltimore.

“Because the Salvation Army has always been involved in food delivery,” explains Maj. Gene Hogg, “it seemed like a natural progression to try to fit into a larger sustainability program on food insecurity within the food desert.”

Hogg, who is a Central Maryland area commander for the Salvation Army, along with his wife Rebecca, says he’s not aiming to make the most money or use the store as a “fundraising mechanism.” But it’s not a food aid program either.

For Hogg and the Salvation Army, DMG Foods is a platform for their efforts on workforce development, nutrition and food education. DMG stands for “Doing the Most Good,” the motto of the Christian service organization.

“We don’t anticipate making a profit,” Hogg says. “And if there’s any money left on the table, then that goes over to another program we offer in the Maryland area called Catherine’s Cottage,” a standalone program for women who have been rescued from human trafficking.

The hope is that people in a roughly quarter-mile radius of DMG will no longer have to take a long bus ride to reach a discount grocery store. The closest Aldi is about six miles away.

“When you’re living in the suburbs, that doesn’t feel like a very long way,” Hogg says. “But when you’re living in an inner city and you have to rely on public transportation, that can be a trip.”

And the prices at DMG are lower than at conventional grocery stores. Read our price comparison of common items at DMG, Safeway, and Aldi here.

Another aim of the store is what Hogg calls the 360 effect.

“You come in the door, you see a meal solution,” he says, referring to the pre-made meal plans DMG is working on. An electronic kiosk already in place will supply pricing and nutritional information. With help from local chefs and culinary students, they hope to have samples of the meals available to try.

“You taste it, you get the menu… We select one of those menus and the chef will show you how to cook it and how to present it. And then maybe you’ll take that home and cook it in your house. Because one of the goals is to strengthen the family table. One of the strongest anchors of family is the dinner table.”

One area where DMG does dabble in direct food aid is through a partnership with the Maryland Food Bank. Under the agreement, customers who self-identify as recipients of SNAP or other food subsidy programs when they sign up for the store’s loyalty card get a different kind of card. It looks the same as the normal loyalty card, but when you scan it on the electronic kiosk, a window pops up with items from the food bank that the customer can take for free.

“I can get 10 pounds of chicken out once a month to those families,” Hogg says. “That’s five dinners.”

What’s on the shelves now is DMG’s “first best guess,” based on the market studies they did. But as shoppers start to come in and become regulars, the store is changing what it offers. It’s already added Goya products and tofu to the lineup, Hogg says, “and we think the next step will be bulk food items.”

Director of Social Services Robert Galan says bridge stands for Building Resilience in Discipline, Growth and Empowerment.

Salvation Army’s Bridge Program helps women get back on track

SAN ANTONIO — A new initiative (Bridge) taken on by San Antonio’s Salvation Army is helping women get back on their feet.

“Coming here was just like a wakeup call to me. What brought me over here was a bad relationship. I went through so much. My daughter got taken away because of that and I didn’t know where else to go,” said Salvation Army Bridge program participant Mary Rocha.

Like so many women Mary Rocha doesn’t know where she’d be without the Salvation Army’s Emergency Family Shelter. Now, thanks to a newly implemented program in San Antonio called Bridge, she’s taking her future into her own hands.

Director of Social Services Robert Galan says it stands for Building Resilience in Discipline, Growth and Empowerment.

“Unfortunately, what was happening was people were staying here for a certain number of days, and leaving in the same position in which they got here,” Galan said.

Bridge allows women like Rocha to extend their stay based on setting and meeting goals.

For $87.50 a week, women receive three hot meals a day, a clean place to sleep and shower, a secure place to keep their things and access to help finding employment and services.

Rocha is an example of the program working.

“I do restorative aid, I assist with physical therapy. The two things I look forward to every day is my job and coming here. I’m really serious about getting my life together. They’ll be there for me one-hundred percent. That’s where I’m at right now. I’m only one step away from getting my apartment, somewhere I can finally call home,” Rocha said.

“One-hundred percent of the monies that are received in program service fees go towards this shelter,” Galan said.

Rocha is looking forward to getting her life back and sharing it with her daughter.

“My daughter is excited and she’s happy for me and proud of me. She got a full paid scholarship for nursing. It’s not just a shelter they provide. There’s so many programs that they have here to help out people that are struggling and willing to get back on their feet,” Rocha said.

A will to succeed and the guidance to make it happen.

Salvation Army captain goes on search-and-rescue mission after the storm. Ward’s contributions weren’t over once the waters receded.

Salvation Army captain goes on search-and-rescue mission after the storm

The boat already carried great meaning before the storm of Hurricane Harvey.

It had been passed down through three generations of men, a family heirloom bearing cherished memories of father-son fishing trips. Its significance would rise with the rain.

As the commanding officer of the Salvation Army’s Houston Northwest Corps, Capt. Jay Ward was prepared to serve in the relief effort once Harvey passed, but plans changed when his 18-year-old son Christian read messages of despair on the Nextdoor app. The people in distress were less than two miles away.

“Dad, we’ve got a boat,” Christian said. “We have to go help.”

The Salvation Army of Maryland is deploying some of its officers to Texas to help with the relief effort from Hurricane Harvey. The Salvation Army in Maryland is gearing up to send 12 officers to Texas.

Media: WBAL

So, wearing athletic shorts and tennis shoes with no socks, they headed out into the floodwaters.

Ward recalls a man waving from his second-story window with a look of desperation. Inside his home, a flat screen television hung on the wall, framed photographs decorated the mantle. Everything appeared normal, except for the three feet of water and their floating furniture.

“It was a really odd feeling,” Ward said. “If you didn’t look down, you would never know that his house was full of water.”

Ward and his son used the family boat to rescue that man, plus 40 more people and 10 dogs over the next two days last August.

Ward’s contributions weren’t over once the waters receded. His church and community center became the Salvation Army’s first incident command post in Houston. Volunteers from all over the country met there to coordinate canteen, hydration and spiritual counseling services.

In a month’s time, the organization would serve nearly 1 million meals by way of 90 mobile canteens throughout Texas.

“We are not a search-and-rescue organization,” said Alexis Thompson, director of development at the Salvation Army of Greater Houston. “But Captain Ward jumped in and knew that he had to do something.”

“Our mission is to meet human needs without discrimination, and he did that in his own way.”

The 21st General for the 21st Century. On May 24, Commissioner Brian Peddle was elected the 21st General of The Salvation Army during the 2018 High Council.

The Salvation Army 21st General for the 21st Century

On May 24, Commissioner Brian Peddle was elected the 21st General of The Salvation Army during the 2018 High Council. Following the conclusion of the High Council, the General-elect was interviewed by Lt-Colonel Brian Venables, communications secretary at International Headquarters, reflecting on his new role and responsibilities.

We have a very good outline of your history with The Salvation Army, but we want to know a little bit about you. What excites you? What gets you up in the morning? What makes your day?

What gets me up in the morning? Sleep and rest are a necessity but engaging a new day comes easy. I wake with three thoughts … First, I hope the family is OK, then I hope the Army is OK and finally I hope the world is OK – and all before you make the first coffee – through a check on social media. As an international leader I am keenly aware that while I am finishing my day, half the world is just beginning. The idea and thought that The Salvation Army is a 24/7 reality is quite intriguing. As never before, I am aware that the sun never sets on The Salvation Army flag.

Commissioner Brian Peddle delivers a message at the Mobilize—Newfoundland and Labrador congress in July 2017

What excites me is the ongoing reality that people are engaged in mission, and the vibrant activity of the Army continues … the gospel is being preached, suffering humanity is being served, strategies are being planned, schools opening for children, a mobile clinic rolls into a needy community, or a meal is served. What gets me up in the morning is knowing that the Army has not been sleeping – it’s a living organism and I engage with it as soon as I wake. I find that quite inspiring.

Do you hear lots of good stories?

My inspiration comes from the good stories that arrive reminding me that the world is small and very interactive. I am privileged and daily I am aware of an Army that is using its spiritual footprint in the world to the fullest extent. I never cease to be amazed at what God is doing. There are also many days when I am concerned about, and praying for, some part of the Army world where there is conflict, or there is a natural disaster, or some of our people are at risk. We are serving in 128 countries and almost without exception, a news headline draws attention to the fact our people are there as well, sometimes serving in the midst of their own tragedy. That’s the volatility of the world that we live in. I think there is lots of room, not only to celebrate God’s faithfulness but also to pray through some of the challenges faced by people and the circumstances that surround them.

What relationships do you value the most?

I thank God every day for my growing relationship with him. I am simply aware of his presence and a journey that remains an adventure with the Almighty. I am presently understanding what it means to live in this world and still do so with an active consciousness of God’s presence. Family comes next. My wife, Rosalie, has been a central focus for 40 years and for all of that time we have shared a ministry partnership that’s been incredibly rich. Of course, we are both preoccupied with the broader family and the interaction with two daughters, sons-in-laws and five grandchildren. Our day usually ends with FaceTime as they get home from school or are heading out to evening events. The best time of the day is when the screen comes alive and I hear the words: “Poppy, I have something to show you.” We stay connected even though we are not together often. I might admit and put out there as a caution to all that sometimes life moves so fast that personal needs are challenging. We are very conscious about making time for others.

That’s quite a commitment.

Well, they’re all important!

How did you come to The Salvation Army?

That was an interesting time in the life of my family. I credit my Mom and Dad, who were not Salvationists, but were a bit uncomfortable with things that were happening in their local church. In obedience to God they started to go to the Army and sometimes I would go along. Early in that experience they found a really good place in the Army where they were welcomed and embraced. Before I knew it, WE were attending!

I was immediately taken by the music, by vibrant preaching … I would even now remember the animated and enthusiastic preaching and strangely I remember testimonies. I was used to a very quiet, formal liturgical experience.

I admit I was attracted, pulled in and warmly welcomed and embraced by corps officers and people who displayed God’s love and genuine interest in us. A month ago I had the privilege of going back to that corps, Trinity Bay South, in Dildo, N.L., to lead the 125th anniversary celebrations. All I can say is that God is faithful.

So, there were other opportunities to be engaged besides family worship. Were you involved in the music sections or corps cadets?

No, I’ve missed most of that by not showing up until I was 14-15 years of age. I had skipped some of these formative things that many of our Salvationists get to enjoy as kids growing up in the Army. Strangely that was never an issue. I soon became a soldier and without a lot of time in between was sensing a call to officership and not to be dismissive. The rest is history as I now get to lead this incredible Army that gave me space and a spiritual home as an uncertain teenager.

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Friday, June 1, marks the official start of the 2018 Hurricane season. The Salvation Army stands ready to serve if needed. Mobile feeding units

The Salvation Army Prepares for 2018 Hurricane Season

Atlanta, GA – Friday, June 1, marks the official start of the 2018 Hurricane season. The Salvation Army stands ready to serve if needed. Mobile feeding units are in place to respond and serve first responders and disaster survivors at a moment’s notice.  Trained disaster workers and volunteers are prepared to provided physical, emotional and spiritual support.

During the devastating 2017 hurricane season, The Salvation Army responded with one of the largest disaster relief operations in its history, second only to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  In response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, The Salvation Army’s Southern Territory and Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams from across the United States and Canada deployed to Texas, Florida and Georgia, providing food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders.

Hurricane Harvey Response

On August 24, 2017, The Salvation Army began deploying resources in response to Hurricane Harvey’s devastation and continued to offer meals, beverages and bulk items such as food boxes and clean-up kits across thirty-five Texas counties effected by the storm and to evacuees across the state and region. At the peak of the disaster response, The Salvation Army served over 900,000 meals from 96 mobile feeding units.

The Salvation Army provided:

  • 929,868 meals to survivors and first responders
  • 997,541 drinks and 977,553 snacks
  • Emotional and spiritual care to 58,318 individuals
  • 58,369 food boxes, 15,828 clean up kits and 108,344 comfort kits
  • 96 mobile feeding units at the peak response
  • Over 2 million hours of employee and volunteer service

Hurricane Harvey Long-Term Recovery Efforts

The Salvation Army continues to support the hardest hit areas of Texas by assisting individuals and families on the long road to recovery.  Through the work of a robust team of caseworkers, The Salvation Army has been able to help more than 16,000 clients and provide over $6 million in direct assistance to date.  Establishing partnerships with local community advocacy groups and churches have extended the reach of The Salvation Army’s ability to give assistance and needed supplies especially to those historically underserved and families in rural communities.

The Salvation Army also continues to distribute products donated by individuals and corporations, receiving in-kind gifts at its disaster warehouse in Arlington, Texas. These goods are sorted and disseminated to eight distribution locations in the affected area to make items available to people in need. Nearly $5 million worth of goods have been distributed to date.

Hurricane Irma Response

Preparations for the response to Hurricane Irma began before the storm made landfall by pre-staging mobile feeding units, other resources and aiding evacuees.  Once the storm had passed, 101 mobile feeding units were deployed during the response phase to provide over 375,000 meals to first responders and survivors throughout south and western Florida, including the Florida Keys and the coastal areas of South Georgia.

In Florida and Georgia, The Salvation Army provided:

  • 384,000 meals to survivors and first responders
  • 544,000 drinks and 342,532 snacks
  • Emotional and spiritual care to 28,382 individuals
  • 26,678 food boxes, 4,682 clean up kits and 24,258 comfort kits were distributed
  • 101 mobile feeding units at the peak response
  • Over 1.4 million hours of employee and volunteer service

Hurricane Irma Long-Term Recovery Efforts

The Salvation Army’s long-term recovery efforts continue in Florida where the charity is operating Disaster Assistance Centers in Naples and Ft. Meyers where disaster survivors can receive help navigating local, state, and federal assistance programs available to rebuild homes.  These centers also provide financial assistance, vouchers and various items such as toiletries, household supplies, water, and food to survivors.  Several long-term recovery initiatives are set to begin, including a multi-state partnership with The Home Depot to purchase building materials to provide building assistance.

The Salvation Army of Georgia is committed to sustaining long-term recovery efforts throughout the state in cooperation with partner agencies. Six disaster case workers have been hired and trained to reach out to those in Georgia impacted by the hurricanes. To date, these disaster case workers have closed 63 Hurricane Irma related cases and are working on another 63 cases. In addition, both the Georgia and Florida Division continue to provide support to evacuees from Hurricane Maria who have relocated from Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other areas of the Caribbean.

As the 2018 hurricane season begins, The Salvation Army reminds everyone to be prepared.  A single storm can cause catastrophic damage and even a relatively weak storm can bring tremendous rain and cause life-threatening flooding.  Now is the time for families to develop a family disaster plan, to collect a kit of essential emergency supplies, and if you live in an area likely to be evacuated, to develop an evacuation plan and consider where you will relocate to and how.