When disaster strikes around the world, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services is always among the first to respond. Deploying trained officers, staff and volunteers, The Salvation Army emerges within the heart of disaster, providing food, water, spiritual and emotional care along with practical assistance to address the immediate and long-term needs of those who are affected.
While every disaster is unique and creates its own special needs, the core of The Salvation Army’s disaster program consists of several basic services. And while these services address many of the typical needs of a disaster survivor, Salvation Army disaster relief is also flexible. Our services are adapted to the specific needs of individuals and communities and scalable according to the magnitude of the disaster.
Disaster Services At Work
The Salvation Army Midland Division Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) has been responding to last night’s severe weather in Quincy, Illinois that has left more than 21,000 residents without power as many of the city’s roads were littered with fallen trees. Two canteens from St. Louis are being deployed and will join the Quincy canteen in providing food and hydration to first responders and victims as well as emergency assistance to those that have been impacted. Each canteen is capable of serving 1,500 meals per day.
“We are here for the community and will continue to provide relief efforts and spiritual support for as long as we are needed,” says Lieutenant Colonel Lonneal Richardson, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Midland Division.
With the onslaught of heavy rains and flooding since early-June, Midland Division Salvation Army officers, personnel and volunteers have fanned out across Missouri and Southern Illinois to aid in the disaster response and recovery efforts. The Salvation Army has served first responders along with hundreds of individuals affected by flooding in Festus, Winfield and Foley, Missouri and Quincy and Centreville, Illinois. This assistance included serving 511 hot meals, 559 drinks and 75 healthful snacks as well as over $6,500 in emergency financial aid for housing, utilities, clothing and groceries. Related to these efforts, The Salvation Army has provided more than 100 clean up kits and cases of water.
EDS disaster relief efforts have occurred or ongoing in the following Missouri and Illinois counties: Adams (IL), Marion (MO), Jefferson (MO), St. Clair (IL) and Lincoln (MO) and have included setting up a distribution center to provide blankets, clean up kits and items for children as well as joining forces with other agencies to provide assistance to affected individuals.
Thanks to generous support from the bi-state region and communities across the country, The Salvation Army has provided $5.05 million in aid to assist in Joplin recovery efforts following the F5 tornado that devastated the city on May 22, 2011.
From the onset of the disaster, The Salvation Army, which has a strong presence in the community and a history of service in Joplin for more than 125 years, provided emergency food and shelter immediately following the tornado. Continuing ever since, The Salvation Army has provided assistance in restoring homes, securing mortgages, renting apartments and anything else necessary to get survivors’ lives back on track.
Key to these rebuilding and healing efforts has been partnerships with Joplin Habitat for Humanity and Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri (CFSWMO). As part of the overall aid The Salvation Army has provided, both organizations received grants in the amounts of $800,000 and $1,750.000, respectively.
An Update on Our Work with Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri
The CFWMO has approved several specific recovery projects using The Salvation Army funds. Below is a list of grants made since July 23, 2014:
|Joplin-R-VIII schools||$262,000||July 29th||Project Hope – provide counseling to middle & high school students|
|Rebuild Joplin||$100,000||July 29th||Housing construction/rehab|
|Rebuild Joplin||$250,000||August 15th||Housing construction/rehab|
|Catholic Charities of Southwest Missouri||$441,000||August 15th||Home repairs|
|Leffen Center of Autism||$140,000||August 15th||Rebuild their physical space|
|United Way of Southwest Missouri||$40,000||September 24th||Circles program — counseling|
|Crosslines||$40,000||September 24th||Food for families still in need|
|Joplin Family YMCA||$20,108||December 3rd||Additional assistance in food and support for children in its programs|
|Hearts & Hammers||$50,000||March 23rd||Housing repairs|
|Rebuild Joplin||-50,000||Monies returned unused|
|Side-by-Side||$25,000||Only committed||Long-range community plan|
|TOTAL COMMITTED TO DATE||$1,318,108|
The remaining $431,892 is in the Joplin Recovery Fund, which is administered by the organization and accepts applications on a rolling basis for tornado recovery projects and programs. Several needs still remain for Joplin. The grants committee continues to vet requests.
An Update on Our Work with Joplin Habitat for Humanity
The Salvation Army and Joplin Habitat for Humanity will conduct a Work Day on Thursday, October 29, 2015. We believe the Work Day will add impact to the houses, storm shelters and other Salvation Army / Habitat For Humanity projects completed and underway in Joplin.
We will be creating a team of 10 – 15 Salvation Army Officers, employees, Advisory Board members and Soldiers for the Work Day. We know that there are skilled and willing people throughout the Central Territory who may want to join this team. Some of them may have even helped in Joplin with emergency disaster efforts after the tornado. Interested parties are encouraged to contact their local Salvation Army Community Center to find out more information.
In addition, The Salvation Army in partnership with the Joplin Habitat for Humanity are building seven homes and constructing 23 handicap-accessible shelters. As of early-May 2015, two Habitat homes have been completed in addition to 16 shelters!
St. Louis Sluggers, a group of retired tradesmen from the St. Louis area, made their sixth trip to Joplin to help with framing the third Joplin Habitat for Humanity house in collaboration with The Salvation Army.
Rebuild Efforts In-Progress, Five New Homes Under-Construction
The Joplin Habitat for Humanity partnership with The Salvation Army, which was announced in December 2014, is quickly moving forward with the construction of five additional homes with various ground-breaks scheduled throughout the summer and fall months.
The fourth house is for the Hunter family, who was displaced by the tornado. Ms. Hunter and her three children were living at the Hampshire Terrace Apartments on May 22, 2011. They were all at home when the tornado hit and destroyed their apartment, but they were very fortunate to escape without injury.
Home number seven will be for a single mother of four children. Across the street from the seventh home is Cunningham Park, which has been beautifully restored following the tornado. On the south side of the street is a stunning memorial to Mercy Hospital. This home will be for a single mother of 4 children.
As a preventative measure against future tornadoes, building tornado shelters remain a top priority of the partnership. The 2011 storm damaged nearly 7,500 homes, hundreds of businesses and killed 161 people. So far, 16 shelters have been installed with seven scheduled for past homeowners along with current and upcoming homes being constructed.
Every penny raised for Joplin recovery is being reinvested in the community. With the strong partnership between The Salvation Army, Joplin Habitat for Humanity, Community Foundation of the Ozarks / Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri and their respective management teams, rebuild efforts will hopefully create a stronger and more resilient community.
Keep up-to-date with our long-term recovery efforts in Joplin by visiting stlsalvationarmy.org.
The Salvation Army Midland Division continues its assistance and spiritual support in Ferguson, Missouri, preceding and following the civil unrest that has occurred. In December, the Salvation Army distributed hundreds of toys through its Toy Town program. Some 387 Ferguson children whose parents cannot afford Christmas presents will receive them through this program. The program is being funded through The Salvation Army’s Tree of Lights campaign, which runs through January 31.
Toy Town also provides families with a voucher redeemable at local grocery stores to purchase the basics for a holiday meal. Through Toy Town and its General Assistance program, which serves low income households without children, The Salvation Army is issuing over 4,600 food vouchers this season.
Earlier in December, The Salvation Army took 70 children from Ferguson, Missouri, Christmas shopping at Walmart. The children were provided with $100 gift cards to purchase toys, clothing, personal care items and other must-have items just in time for the holidays. This effort was made possible by support from individual and corporate donors such as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Subway, Maplewood Commons and Ferguson Walmart Supercenters and Emerson.
Additionally, The Salvation Army regularly participates in multi-agency response centers directed at providing short-term emergency assistance to residents and employees in the Ferguson area, who were impacted by ongoing incidents of civil unrest. Assistance is offered to prevent loss of shelter and utilities, and access to crisis and mental health services in order to execute the emergency relief grants provided by St. Louis County.
Since mid-August, The Salvation Army has served thousands of Ferguson-area residents, who had needs that were exacerbated by the events in their neighborhood. This assistance included working with 323 households to provide $74,036.16 in utility assistance, and serving 710 hot meals, 1,134 drinks and 1,639 healthful snacks. Related to these efforts, The Salvation Army has provided support to law enforcement officers and the National Guard responding to incidents in Ferguson. In addition, The St. Louis County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) requested The Salvation Army support the Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP) Command Center with donations management.
With temperatures expected to plummet to 20 degrees or colder, The Salvation Army joined forces with the City of St. Louis and other social service agencies to provide assistance to unsheltered homeless men, women and children.
The Salvation Army provided all evening meals as well as cots and blankets to individuals seeking assistance and shelter at the Emergency Cold Weather Overflow Shelter opened by the City of St. Louis. The shelter, located at the 12th and Park Rec Center, will be open Tuesday, December 30th and Wednesday, December 31st from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. to accommodate unsheltered homeless men, women, and children.
In addition, Salvation Army Community Centers, also known as Corps, will serve as warming stations when wind chill is expected to -15 degrees or less or the air temperature is 15 degrees. The list includes, but is not limited to Salvation Army Corps located in St. Louis (Temple Corps, Family Haven) Alton, Granite City, East St. Louis, Arnold, Cape Girardeau, Joplin, Jefferson City, Columbia, Branson and Springfield.
St. Louis City officials, accompanied by the fire department and The Salvation Army, came to the rescue of the residents of the Penrose Apartments in mid-January after it was discovered they were living with the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning and no running water. The Salvation Army provided hot lunches, warm beverages including coffee and hot chocolate and bottled water to displaced residents.