Midland Salvation Army Limits Meal Hours, Showering for Homeless 1/31/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
January 31, 2012
MIDLAND--A new policy at the Midland Salvation Army has some homeless looking for new places to find a hot meal and a shower.
Their printed notice states it is "due to confidentiality policies”, but those who use the services are asking more questions.
"Everybody needs an answer of why they stopped doing this and what was so traumatic that they stopped helping people?"
The Salvation Army's manager says the new policy changes benefit residents--they house men, women and children and never turn anyone looking for a place to stay away.
"It's just for the privacy of our residents,” said Anna Delgado, The Salvation Army of Midland’s Office Manager.
Up until this month—The Midland Salvation Army offered breakfast, lunch and dinner to the public. Now it’s only open to the public for lunch.
"You can't take a shower anymore, you can't eat breakfast, you can't eat dinner,” said Becca, a homeless Midlander.
Delgado says the new measures are necessary.
"We have one desk monitor, with 50 men trying to shower, it can get a little chaotic,” Delgado said.
Captain Tex Ellis told us they are working on figuring out showering hours for the future, but problems with vandalism which lead to the new policy.
"We've had a couple guys who come in to shower who would break the showers," Ellis said.
Delgado says the SA prides itself on never turning anyone who needs a place to stay away. They house men, women, children and families. They also offer their residents job placement assistance to help with their long-term goals.
Ellis said that's part of the reason why the meals are now limited to residents--it was too easy for residents seeking relief from outside trouble to be found in the shelter.
"We weren't able to keep a good eye on who comes in and out," Ellis said. "In order to reach our showers, you had to go through our shelter. It was a change that should have been made a long time ago."
There are other resources for the homeless in the area. The Big Spring and Odessa both offer public showering hours seven days a week.
The Odessa SA gives dinner daily to the public and the Big Spring SA gives both breakfast and supper seven days a week to everyone, including those not staying in the shelter.