Local homeless shelter plans to temporarily close its doors

Local News

Delsie Howard has been homeless off and on for the past 10 years and spends his nights here at the Salvation Army in Monroe. 

Yet, on August 26th he will have to find a new place to sleep when the shelter closes its doors.

“I don’t know, it’s going to be tough,” Howard said.

Salvation Army officials said they can’t afford to run the shelter any longer.

About six employees will also lose their jobs.

“We gave the current officers kind of every chance to turn things around, to gain community support and right the ship financially and that hasn’t happened,” Salvation Army Spokesperson Jon Kalahar said. 

Right now the facility is the only overnight shelter in the area.

Last year, it provided a safe place to stay for men, women and children with no other options, for more than 12,000 stays. 

“I’m not sure where they’ll go,” community member Casey Jo Crus said. “They’ll probably live on the streets.”

Officials said basic social services will continue to be served through their food pantry, utility assistance and service to seniors.

In the meantime, the daytime Desiard Street Shelter down the street is going to lend a helping hand. 

“Hopefully the community… the faith based community will step up and assist us in providing temporary housing for those individuals,” Desiard Street Shelter program organizer Billy Varner said.

Howard hopes others will pitch in. If not, he believes many like him will suffer. 

“Maybe they’ll build another shelter,” Howard said. “It’s imperative to this area.”

As of now, it’s unclear when the shelter will reopen. 

Salvation Army officials said this will depend on whether or not they get the funding to do this. 

 

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