Dallas, Texas (September 8, 2017) - In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, The Salvation Army is supporting one of the largest disaster relief operations in its history. To date, The Salvation Army has deployed 77 mobile feeding units to Texas. Salvation Army trained disaster workers are being deployed to the stricken area from across the United States and Canada.
OVERVIEW OF SERVICE
Incident Command teams continue to coordinate extensive relief efforts in five areas of Texas following Hurricane Harvey; in Houston, Victoria, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, and DFW. Local response units are serving evacuees in Abilene, Bryan College Station, Freeport, Galveston, Orange, New Braunfels, San Antonio, Temple, Waco, and Wharton. Recent days have seen some transition in personnel as initial deployments end and replacement staff rotate into key positions due to the threat of Hurricane Irma in Florida. Needs for services, equipment, and personnel are being evaluated in each location to make sure we are efficiently and appropriately meeting the ongoing needs in Texas.
77 mobile feeding units are serving meals and delivering support in communities spread across 25 counties along the Texas coastline.
The highlight of the day was a visit by General André Cox, the international leader of The Salvation Army. General Cox spent the day meeting with The Salvation Army leadership team, visiting with survivors, and encouraging Salvation Army officers, staff and volunteers involved in the response efforts.
20 mobile feeding units and response teams continue serving survivors and first responders in Houston and the surrounding counties providing meals, snacks, water, food boxes, hygiene items, cleanup kits. Emotional and spiritual care officers continue to minister to those who request prayer. The Pasadena and International Corps are distributing supplies from their facilities while the Northwest Corps are delivering supplies to families affected in the vicinity around their corps.
The transition of staff at the Incident Command Team is close to complete as the initial team, from the Florida Division, have returned to their home state and are actively working to prepare response efforts to Hurricane Irma.
The Houston Adult Rehabilitation Center has played an active role in operations by providing men to drive fork lifts and work in the warehouse as well as picking up clothing and hygiene donations from area Corps facilities.
CORPUS CHRISTI AREA
Food service continues to be provided from 12 units in the most devastated areas of the coastal bend. One mobile feeding unit served football players, cheerleaders, coaches and other workers at Aransas Pass High School. Food was also sent home with players whose families needed a hot meal. Emotional and spiritual care specialists continue to be an important part of the mission and efforts in the area.
Preparations are being made to make sure all mobile feeding units have a crew when teams rotate out following the end of the first wave of deployments.
THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE – BEAUMONT, ORANGE, PORT ARTHUR
11 mobile feeding units and 2 catering trucks are providing meals in Orange, Beaumont and Port Arthur – the Golden Triangle. Units are serving snacks and water at several hydration stations set up by city. Distribution is taking place at the IC Warehouse, Beaumont and Orange City Corps, and in Port Arthur at a local church. The Beaumont Corps is set up as a comfort station. IMT continues to try to locate and secure adequate warehouse space.
The Salvation Army is serving in the Victoria area with eight mobile feeding units. As numbers continue to fluctuate, we will assess each location and it’s needs for future planning. School districts are expected to resume normal operations on September 11 and it is anticipated that this will be reflected in a significant decrease in feeding numbers. The Victoria Corps shelter has reopened, providing services to 12 men. Distribution of cleaning kits, hydration, and food boxes will be taking place out of the Corps building.
Dallas Fort Worth - The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command continues to serve evacuees at the Mega Shelter, several smaller shelters, and several city recreation centers, and numbers continue to increase. Case management is under way and The Salvation Army is currently distributing gift cards and clothing to displaced families.
Bryan College Station - The Army has become the distribution center for the community providing hygiene kits, food boxes, clothing, and gas cards. We are the referral from The United Way, Food Bank, 211, and Catholic Charities. The Salvation Army is working closely with the Food Bank to provide assistance to evacuees. We continue to coordinate with Allen Honda to provide support for the Task Force One and other first responders (more than 700) with snacks and hygiene items.
Galveston County - Mobile feeding units continued meal service to the Dayspring Church relief center in Santa Fe and meals at the Hometown Heroes Park in League City. It is expected that the Heroes Park shelter will close by Friday. Three meals a day are being served in Dickinson at the city’s hurricane recovery center. Another mobile feeding unit continues to serve in an unused Kroger Building in League City, providing three meals per day and supplies to survivors and responders.
A distribution location has been established in Texas City and arrangements have been made to utilize volunteers.
The Galveston Island Center of Hope continues to operate as a disaster shelter and is feeding meals to anyone who needs them. They also continue to be the staging area for all canteens and other disaster services.
San Antonio - Mobile feeding units are providing meals to families evacuated to area motels through the FEMA Voucher Program in San Antonio and Comal County. Several types of assistance being provided through Social Services Office in San Antonio and at the New Braunfels Corps.
Waco - At the Red Shield Lodge & Community Kitchen services continue. The Corps Shelter is prepared to house 50 evacuees who must first register with the Open Door Church. Social Service outreach has included food cards and canned food for displaced residents from Vidor, Spring, Houston, Victoria, Anahauc, Dayton, San Leon, Alvin, Pearland, and Port Arthur.
Other local units providing services: Freeport, Orange, New Braunfels, Victoria, Abilene, and Wharton.
As of Sept. 7, The Salvation Army has served 311,955 meals, 255,522 snacks, and 321,093 drinks statewide in response to Hurricane Harvey. Emotional Spiritual Care Officers have spoken with 21,411 first responders and survivors; employees and volunteers have provided 42,938 hours of service.
To make a financial donation to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts please go to www.helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800- SAL-ARMY, text STORM to 51555.
For the latest information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmy.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx. To access photo and video resources related to The Salvation Army Hurricane Harvey relief efforts please go to www.salvationarmysouth.org/harvey.
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.