By Alex Butler
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) –When you donate money into the Salvation Army kettles, eighty three cents of every dollar goes towards one of their many programs. One program in particular is the Ella Gentry Family Housing Facility in the Salvation Army Family Services building located at 1614 Avenue J in Lubbock. KCBD News channel 11 went inside the shelter to find out what the process of getting a bed for the night entails.
First, the desk clerk will ask a series of questions:
Then you will fill out a "Temporary Housing Client Record Card," which will list details like your name, previous address, and where you slept last night. The shelter has 67 beds and is currently full, but they have over 100 cots for anyone else who needs a place to stay for the night. Anyone who stays at the Salvation Army Shelter will be assigned chores such as cleaning the bathroom or taking out the trash. The shelter also provides all temporary residents with toiletries, towels, sheets, a pillow, and a blanket.
Community Relations Associate Melody Paton explained that there are several rules at the housing facility. "Lights are out by 10:30 and lights are on at 5 o'clock, breakfast is at 6 and you have to be out of the facility by 7 o'clock in the morning. That's because we want the people staying with us to be out looking for a job so they can get into a better position."
The Salvation Army offers several positions for work such as bell ringers during the holidays. They will provide employees with a place to stay, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an hourly wage of $8.00.
Melody Paton says she hopes that during the upcoming winter months those who have nowhere to go will choose to come to the shelter.
"Basically they stay out on the streets and they freeze to death and if we can bring them in then that's one less person that we have to worry about," Paton said.
In 2009, the Salvation Army provided 7,644 nights of lodging and 38,065 meals to 3,716 unduplicated individuals.
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