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Salvation Army continues to lend a helping hand

Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 9:32 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - In the last year, the Salvation Army of Southwest Louisiana has been consistent in their efforts to serve the community through the pandemic and amid the lingering devastation from the recent hurricanes.

The organization received damage during the hurricane, but they don’t see this as a set back and continue helping as much as they can.

“We are helping with water bills and electric bills,” said Commanding Officer Thomas Marion. “We have a new thing that we are doing that helps with prescriptions. We are helping with gas if people need gas.”

These are just a few examples of help the Salvation Army provides. Trouble to make ends meet or a place to stay are at the top of the list of the struggles people continue to face.

“It is just lost jobs and everything else. People have trouble paying their bills because they do not have a job because of COVID-19, or hurricanes wiped out the business they were living at,” Marion said. “One of the biggest things is if you go through the city, you will see houses and especially apartments that are vacant because they are trying to get them fixed.”

Damage caused by the hurricane has limited the organization. Construction for housing, which provides 52 beds to transients and veterans, is scheduled to begin on April 1. The family store will reopen very soon.

“The funds that we make from our family store goes to our social services,” Marion said. “That helps pay for people’s bills and everything else like that. Right now, we are trying to find employees and volunteers to come and help, so we can get it back up and going and get the doors open.”

Marion reflects on what he calls the most rewarding part of his job.

“Seeing the success, we have through our shelter, for the guys who come through our work program who want to do better for themselves, who just need a hand up to get them up on their feet and make them a great citizen in this community.”

Marion says the Salvation Army aims to help as many people as they can.

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