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|Salvation Army experience leaves bad impression|
Recently, due to circumstances beyond my control, I had the opportunity to sample the services of our local Salvation Army Homeless Shelter on Hart Street in Monroe. I have to say, I was not impressed with the things I experienced and witnessed there. I am not sure where the donations of money, food and clothing are going but it is certainly not going to the intended recipients.
While there, I personally witnessed food being served that was out of date and had been pulled off super market shelves. When I called this to the attention of the staff, I was told... "Its still good...eat it" I am sorry, but the Federal Food and Drug Administration set those Federal guidelines for a reason. If food is not fit for sale, it is not fit for human consumption...period.
I also witnessed donations of clothing and other items being picked through by staff members and then thrown into dumpsters. These were clothing and personal items that were desperately needed by the tenants of the facility and could have helped them, but they were thrown away. I personally had my late grandmother's antique silver mirror "confiscated for my own protection" and had to get the police involved to get it back.
The facilities are horrible and the staff are far less than kind. You see there is a feeling in our community that the homeless are there because they want to be or they are "crack heads." In my experience, they were neither. The people that I met on the streets are mothers with small children who couldn't take another beating.
Or men and women who couldn't find work. Most had lost their jobs through no fault of their own...layoffs and such and could not find work to pay their expenses. All men and women, just like me. These are the down trodden in our community and we should be helping them. What I saw at the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter was more like prison that any brand of salvation that I would ever want.
Again, I don't know what has happened to the thousands of dollars that I have personally dropped in those little red buckets through the years, but I can't see that it's being spent where it needs to be spent. I encourage everyone who reads this to spend the night in the shelter on Hart Street BEFORE you decide to fill the coffers this year. I know I wont be donating another red cent. Instead, I will give my money to my church.