After eight months, Salvation Army Family Store reopens

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 7:15 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Shaken and battered by last year’s storms, some local staples are just now getting back on their feet.

The Salvation Army Family Store is now back serving the community and taking donations for the first time since Hurricane Laura.

Businesses big and small have had to navigate through a lot of uncertainty during the last eight months. With post-storm recovery and daily hiring challenges, the Salvation Army is just happy to be back serving the community.

“We’re so happy to have the family store back open. It’s taken 8 months to get it back open,” said Southwest Louisiana Commanding Officer Lt. Thomas Marion.

Employees are now back to work.

”Our two biggest things that we use to help people were destroyed in the storm. We’ve had to mold and change the way we look at our process so we could help people while we were still down,” Marion said.

Prior to the storms, in total, the store was only open for four months: one prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and three once certain COVID-related restrictions were lifted.

”Everything we make over our bills stays locally, and we put it back to help others with water bills, electrical bills, medicine, mortgages, rent, all those things come in handy,” Marion said.

Marion said although the last year has been rocky, they’ve been able to tailor their work to the needs of the community but says there’s still more work to be done.

”We’ve helped people get to different cities down in Lafayette since there’s really no housing and no shelters. As for our shelter, we’re still waiting for permits and the availability of building materials,” Marion said.

He says they’re hoping to have the Salvation Army Men’s Shelter on Legion Street open by the end of the year. Like most places, the high demand for building materials is slowing down the process.

”Even though our building is still down, we’re here to help as many as we can. The family store is the first step of many to get us back on our feet 100 percent.”

Until they’re fully staffed, the Salvation Army Family Store will operate Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For anyone interested in making donations, the Salvation Army will resume accepting donations of gently used furniture, clothing, and household appliances between 9 a.m and 4 p.m at the store location, 3960 Gerstner Memorial Dr., Lake Charles.

For more information about The Salvation Army Thrift Store and all other Salvation Army programs call (337) 721-8068 or visit 3020 Legion St, Lake Charles, LA 70615.

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