Responding to COVID-19

Mar 17, 2020 | by Doug Donahoo

With the novel coronavirus now declared a pandemic, The Salvation Army has significantly increased its preparation for an impending outbreak in the United States and has ramped up efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, especially among the homeless and other vulnerable populations. This work is happening all around the globe and right here in the Kansas and Western Missouri Division.

We will be updating this story on the website with new information as it becomes available.

3/17/2020

Q: What is The Salvation Army doing about the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: As an organization that has people at the core of our mission, the safety and health of our employees, clients, volunteers, and partners is paramount. As one of the largest providers of social services in the country, we are doing our part to help contain the virus.

In our residential facilities, close living conditions mean infectious diseases can easily spread among residents. Additional cleaning throughout the day, with elevated focus on high-traffic areas, and sanitation supplies are part of every location’s infectious-disease protocol.

Several industries are at risk of financial hardship, such as travel and hospitality. We anticipate a significant increase in emergency assistance for low-wage employees who may be temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus. Types of support include rent/mortgage, utility, and food assistance.

Ensuring the safety of those who depend on The Salvation Army’s programs and services, along with the safety of staff and volunteers, is of utmost priority. We are working with health officials at the local and state levels. Hygiene and prevention guidance in accordance with recommendations from CDC is being used and shared with staff, volunteers, and program participants. Additional protocols are being formed quickly across the division should further restrictions be placed on our communities.

Q: Will The Salvation Army continue to offer worship services and programs?

No. Effective immediately, all Corps must cease all weekly activities and worship programs. This includes all Sunday services, however, many of our Corps will create Facebook live streams so that our officers may share sermons with their congregations. 

Q: Will The Salvation Army continue to offer services?

A: Yes, we will continue to serve our clients to the best of our ability, and our Emergency Assistance, Social Services and Emergency Disaster Services ministries will continue. However, we will be limiting walk-ins and allowing people to congregate in the public areas of our Corps. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please call to set-up an appointment time to receive assistance.

Our meal services offered through Honk n Holler and the Beacon of Hope Café will now be served as sack lunches or pre-boxed meals.

Our food pantries will not allow food selection for the time being. All food will be pre-boxed for distribution to limit person-to-person contact time.

Q: Are any upcoming events canceled?

Yes, we have now canceled or postponed the following events:

April 4 - Divisional Band and Music School
April 10 - KC Metro, Wichita, all Corps Good Friday Services
April 17-19 - Youth Councils (a new date in the fall is possible) 
May 1-3 - Women's Ministries Retreat
May 9 - Divisional Band and Music School

Q: What can I do to help?

The impact from this viral outbreak and shutdown will be felt by millions in the coming days, weeks, and months. A donation today will allow us to continue to help people adversely affected by the COVID-19 virus, no matter how they were touched.  

For more information on what The Salvation Army is doing in the rest of the country, please visit our National Headquarters website.

And, for more information about the COVID-19 outbreak and what to do to keep you and your family safe, please visit the CDC website.

 


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