Salvation Army opens only transitional homeless housing program in Decatur

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DECATUR, Alabama (WAFF) – There is new hope for homeless families in Decatur. The Salvation Army has opened its transitional housing program for people in need around River City.

“There are a lot of homeless families that you wouldn’t know who stay in tents in the woods and sleep on mattresses even in cold and rainy weather, they have nowhere to go,” the coordinator said. Salvation Army Social Services, Tiara Turner. .

According to the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, there were more than 3,000 Alabamians in 2020. Of those, more than 250 were family households.

“We get calls every day from families who have nowhere to go,” said Kathleen Ross, President and CEO of United Way of Morgan County.

The Salvation Army in Decatur with help from the United Way is tackling the problem. Turner says there is room for up to four homeless families now, but they will grow to nine families this spring. It is the only such program in all of Decatur.

“We work with families and help them budget, find a job, help with daycare and live independently. Regardless of your family makeup you go through the application process and if we have room by the time we are staying for up to ninety days then depending on certain situations it may go beyond ninety days, ”Turner said.

Turner says the first family moved in on Friday, a single dad with two teenage daughters.

“He was in tears because they had been in this homeless transition for a while. It’s a family of three and just being able to give your kids something new was amazing, ”said Turner.

Ross says they’ve needed something like this for many years. She says it’s a small but important step.

“The kids are going to have homes and the adults will be able to be successful because they are given a start here,” said Ross.

Turner says the goal is to end generational poverty.

Homeless families are selected according to their needs. If you would like to apply for the program or make a donation, contact The Salvation Army in Decatur at (256) 353-2822.

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