ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Salvation Army transformed into the Day Center for the homeless a couple weeks ago and KIMT News 3 is learning they're going through their donations quickly.
The shelter has a resource room full of clothes, hygiene products and blankets and one thing they're really needing right now is bottled water. Corps Officer, Major Lisa Mueller, said with the pandemic, they aren't able to have a fully staffed kitchen so they're going through bottles quickly. They're serving up to 90 people during the day. She explained overall though, it's been a huge success and is making up for a lot of other resources being closed at the moment. "Public restrooms, drinking fountains, water, just sitting down inside a restaurant, the library and the internet and the computers,' said Major Lisa. "We're offering free wifi, so a lot of people are getting job offers, and things like that. Or meeting with their case workers right here because the other things in the community are not opened up yet."
Major Lisa explained they switched over to one of their bigger buildings that wasn't in use in order to house everyone for at least 90 days because that's what they agreed on with the city. While the Salvation Army is preparing for evictions to start happening again, the rental assistance they provide is helping in the meantime. "On any given hour if you look in there, you will only see 10 or 12 people who really need to stay there. I'm telling you, people are getting housed at a rate I don't know this community has ever seen before," said Major Lisa. "So that's a good thing, that's creating some urgency. Just having all your needs met in one space, we're getting really good feedback."
Some other things the Salvation Army is needing right now are backpacks and more hygiene items. If you donate any items, they get quarantined for a few days to rid off any germs before being placed on the shelves. Staff is there from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon during the week.