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Salvation Army Sees Increase In Families At Its Shelter

The Salvation Army provides help to families, but now it is the organization that needs help because of a spike in families using the shelter.

Salvation Army officials said the increase has stretched its resources.

“It seems like everybody’s here for the same reason,” said Gabriela Manriquez.

The 21-year-old said she’s met many people in her position lately. She and her four children have been staying at the Salvation Army’s homeless shelter since the children’s father fell on hard times.

“He got fired of his job and he couldn’t pay the rent no more. So we ended up here,” said Manriquez.

The Salvation Army’ Shelter Director, John Martin, told ABC-7 they usually reach their peaks during winter months.

But this year, they’re at the shelter early.

“We’re sitting at 110 – that’s as of this morning,” Martin said. “About two weeks ago we actually topped put at 130.”

Martin said many of the extra bodies are because of the economy, some having nowhere to go after fleeing the violence across the border and the major growth with the military.

“What we’re seeing is that housing is a very rare issue,” Martin said.

Salvation Army officials said the need has become so great because food pantries, usually filled with food, are now sitting empty.

Meanwhile, Manriquez said she just needs some time, “To get our own place and get a career.”

For information on helping the Salvation Army, call (915) 544-9811.

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