LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Since the storm hit, the Salvation Army has been assisting with relief efforts.
“We are moving from a disaster response phase to a disaster recovery phase,” said Lt. LeAnna Marion, Administrator of the Salvation Army of Lake Charles. “We just have been given so much that we need to get as much of it out to the community as quickly as possible so they can use it now when they need it.”
Their men’s shelter and family store were both damaged during the hurricane.
“Our 30-bed shelter, we were actually at the end of a $160,000 renovation to increase the bed count from 30 to 52, and that entire building has been gutted,” Marion said. “There was massive damage to the right backside of the building and then roof damage on other parts, but that building is inoperable.”
They had evacuated some of the men staying at the shelter to Baton Rouge prior to the storm.
“They have been taken care of there, and some of them have decided to stay in Baton Rouge and live there,” Marion said. “Some of them have decided to stay in Baton Rouge and live there, and then some of them have come back who have jobs and cars and have found alternate living. But it means that our shelter is not there anymore.”
Despite the damages they themselves have faced in their home, Lt. LeAnna Marion and her husband administrator Lt. Thomas Marion have been assisting with relief efforts.
“There was roof damage. That created a mold issue within our house, so it was unsafe for us and our kids, our two young children to go into our house and to remove things,” Marion said. “Well, for my husband and I, it’s not just a job, it’s not a nine to five. This is our life and our calling. So, it’s important for us to put others before ourselves and even within our own personal tragedy to try to help as many people as possible, and we fared far better than many other people did. And so, we want to make sure that our community is supported in every way that we can.”