BIRMINGHAM, AL (March 23, 2020) – The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope is home to over 140 men, women and children. While other businesses across the area are closing, we are still operating at full capacity because we share the responsibility to continue to care for our “family” of residents 24 hours a day.
With an expected spike in requests over the coming weeks, months, and potentially years, ongoing public support will be needed to help ensure that services are available to existing and new vulnerable populations. In Alabama, 16.9% of the population live below the poverty line and this means our neighbors will be impacted.
The Salvation Army is ensuring that people have access to food, shelter, and desperately needed services. In Birmingham, The Salvation Army is now distributing groceries curbside effective immediately by appointment only. Our lunch service is open to the general public Monday through Friday year round. We will modify this meal service and will feed our community lunch guests from our mobile canteen on the Center of Hope campus daily. During this difficult time, we realize that people may need emotional and spiritual care and we are offering remote pastoral care available by phone. At this time, we are no longer accepting outside volunteer assistance. We are assessing needs daily as each day brings new challenges and guidelines and we will continue to adapt our plans as needed.
In the months that follow, The Salvation Army will continue to provide basic needs to the populations we already serve, and anticipate it will also serve a new generation of need that is born out of the virus. Anticipated impacts on the economy and workforce will likely force more Alabamians to seek financial, utility, and other forms of assistance. While the full scope of the pandemic’s economic impact is still unknown, cancelled fundraising events and market volatility elevate the need for public support in order to maintain and grow these efforts.
“Though this is an unprecedented situation for all of us, its impact will be greatest on the least of these,” said Major Charles Powell, Area Commander of The Salvation Army. “Thousands of Alabamians were already living paycheck to paycheck, and they will likely face incredible challenges from these uncertain times. Across the country, The Salvation Army is committed to serving those who need our help, and we are thankful for generous public support which will allow that to happen.”
For emotional or spiritual care support or social services assistance, please call 205.328.2420 to schedule an appointment by phone.
To contribute to The Salvation Army’s efforts online, visit BirminghamSalvationArmy.org. Donate By Mail: The Salvation Army, PO BOX 11005, Birmingham, AL 35202, Please designate ‘COVID-19’ on all checks or Donate By Phone: 205.328.2420.