How the Salvation Army helps the homeless in northeast Louisiana
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - In early November, the Salvation Army held a banquet in order to raise money to help the homeless in northeast Louisiana.
KNOE’s Alyssa Azzara spoke to Captain Jerry Casey about the Salvation Army’s “Doing the Most Good” banquet and how they use the money raised to help the homeless. Casey says homelessness is a tremendous issue and all of the money raised from the event will go directly to helping people in our community.
The Salvation Army in Monroe serves 13 parishes and they’re always prepared to provide a clean bed and a hot meal to those in need.
Experts counted 135 homeless individuals on Jan. 27 of last year in Ouachita parish alone. The Home Coalition reported 162 homeless people in northeast Louisiana in January of last year.
“There are so many homeless in this area, you just don’t see them. They’re in crooks and crannies. You don’t see ‘em. There behind a building, behind on a stoop, they’re walking around all day long.”
Casey says there are many reasons why someone could be homeless, including mental health, addiction, domestic violence, and natural disasters.
“With COVID over the last 18 months, 24 months, with the hurricanes that we’ve had even back as far as the ice storm, it damaged homes, it just knocked people out,” Casey said. “We’ve had floods, you know, you’ve seen what we see here in Louisiana. That all contributes to homelessness.”
The Home Coalition says around 73 percent of those homeless are individuals and the rest are families with children.
The Salvation Army has both a women’s and men’s shelter at their location in Monroe. Casey says the shelter can hold 56 people and they’re packed every single night. However, the Salvation Army offers much more than just a place to stay.
“We give them a shower, we give them some clothes, we let them settle down and regroup. We have a caseworker that comes in once a week and he speaks with each and every individual. We also have a medical bus that comes in on Tuesday. We also have 12 step programs that come every Tuesday night.”
Whether it’s a place to stay or help to find a job, the Salvation Army helps the homeless get back on their feet and they do it with the help of the community.
“We are here to help them, that’s what we’re here to do and the community helps us. It’s a great system the community helps us, we help them. Other organizations help us, we help them. It just works, the system works. This community is unbelievable as far as helping people that are in a bad way.”
The Salvation Army is able to help those in need through donations they receive.
Last year alone, they served over 50,000 meals to those in need and provided more than 10,000 nights of shelter in Monroe.
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