As the seasons change, the Salvation Army in Madisonville is changing too.
After years of only being a winter weather shelter, the Salvation Army is now an all-weather shelter.
Salvation Army Captain Lisa Good said an all-weather shelter means they can stay open 24/7 all year to house people, instead of just six months for only 12 hours.
“This year we have been able to maintain funding,” she said.
By this time in past years, the shelter normally has no one who needs shelter, but they have a full house and have stayed full, she said. They are taking care of 20 to 25 residents at a time.
“People have been needing to come in out of the heat, so we have been able to provide housing,” said Good. “As long as we can keep the funding coming in, we are going to be able to provide it.”
Good said the Salvation Army has already applied for more funding to stay open all year, and as the funding continues, they will be able to maintain the all-weather shelter. If they can’t continue to find funding, then the shelter will close on March 15, 2022.
She said the community has been very supportive in donating items and money to keep the shelter going.
Another change is that Dr. Bill Crump, the dean of the medical school at the University of Louisville Trover Campus, will be bringing his third-year medical students by the shelter to offer health care screenings.
“We find that a lot of our residents have health issues that have not been seen,” said Good. “We are starting to give them better health care.”
Crump said his goal is to find people in the community who do not have good access to primary care.
“We do the screenings, check blood sugar, check blood cholesterol, check blood pressure, ask folks questions about their activity and smoking,” he said. “All the routine kind of stuff.”
Before COVID-19, the students, under the direction of Crump, were going to Breaking Bread and Christian Food Bank at least once a month to offer health care check-ups. Now, they can add the Salvation Army to the list of places they visit.
“We are just now getting started back,” said Crump. “We try to go to places where folks don’t have good access.”
He said two things that make them different than other places are that the students only go where they are invited, and every patient walks away from the screening with an appointment at the free clinic already set up.
“Most of the time if you go through the screening, they will say call this number and make an appointment at our free clinic,” said Crump. “People leave our screening table with an appointment.”
Since stops to the Salvation Army are new this year, they are trying to find out what is needed to determine how often the students will visit, he said.
Along with health care, the Salvation Army is also doing remodeling with the soup kitchen with new floors being installed and fresh paint on the walls.
“The jail came and was able to paint our kitchen and we are getting new fresh floors in there,” said Good. “We are very grateful.”
Since the shelter can house people for the entire year and it is full, they need donations, she said. Snacks, bottled water and pillows are a big need right now.
“We are very low on pillows because with COVID we have to get rid of them,” said Good.
They will also accept donations of oatmeal, cakes, brownies and Little Debbie cakes, she said, adding that milk, paper towels and toilet paper are needed as well.
Good said volunteers would also be appreciated. Anyone interested can stop by and talk to Crystal Doss, and she can work them into the rotation.
The Salvation Army is located at 805 McCoy Avenue. For more information, call 270-821-8112.