Salvation Army Changes Rules To Help Clients During Coronavirus Outbreak
The Salvation Army of North Texas announced new rules it will set in place this week in response to the coronavirus outbreak in Tarrant and Dallas counties.
The largest provider of social services in the region will allow emergency clients to stay at the facilities all day instead of going other places to receive daytime services like meals or programs.
The region’s two largest centers in Dallas and Fort Worth will use gymnasiums or other multipurpose rooms to provide additional space for sleeping. They will also increase the spacing between the beds to three to six feet. Quarantine and isolation zones will also be located in low-traffic areas of these facilities.
When entering the building, volunteers and clients will be screened for symptoms and have a referral process in place with county hospitals.
Major John Rich, the Salvation Army's area commander, says food pantry services are his main priority. As people stay at home, drop-off donations are tapering off and the organization has to rely other partnerships.
"We are well-stocked at this point," Rich says. "And we are hoping as long as grocery stores make available items that they don't use — and we do have arrangements with like Trader Joe's and other grocery stores that regularly provide food for our food pantries. We hope that will continue, and then at the end of the day, we really need people to donate."
Rich encourages people to avoid leaving home and donate money rather than canned goods. He also says the organization is more dedicated than ever.
"We'll continue to serve as long as it's possible and someone doesn't feel the need to tell us to stop," Rich says. "We certainly don't anticipate that happening, so we'll be on the front lines of this crisis."