TEMPLE, TX — An organization that houses dozens of people each night shared it is in need of the community's help.
"We have a shelter that houses 70 people every day and that shelter remains full almost every night. On top of that we have about 300 that come through our pantry that receive food assistance, and in the past year we've housed over 200 people. 200 cases in permanent housing," said Lt. Chantel Millin, Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army Bell County.
Left homeless about a month ago, Hilda Gray is using those services.
"You get three meals here, and also I came here with just the clothes on my back, so I was able to go and get some clothing. Also I went to get help with my birth certificate," said Gray.
Millin shared once the red kettle bell stops ringing and the big season of giving comes to an end, the need for funding tends to increase during the summer months. However, non-profits often see a dip in their donations during that time period.
The center in Temple opened its doors about three years ago, and representatives said they are still working on establishing their foundation. As a result, they have a big gap to fill.
"There comes an operational budget to keep everything going, and at this three year mark, we are about $350,000 short in our annual budget for operations. And so we are just at this point where we are putting out the call to the community just to say that we need the support," said Millin.
The Salvation Army Temple recently merged with The Salvation Army Killeen to become The Salvation Army of Bell County. Representatives said the fundraising gap is specific to the Temple location. Although, the Killeen location is in pretty good shape, representatives said donations are always accepted.
With each donation or purchase from their family store in Killeen, the money goes back to their programs and services.
"I'm loving the services that they have here and if they can continue that it would be very helpful to everyone that comes through these doors," said Gray.
Officials shared, as an organization, they are expected to get to the point where they are completely funded by the community.
There are a number of ways for you to donate to the Salvation Army of Bell County:
- Stop by The Salvation Army McLane Center of Hope in Temple located at 419 W Ave G
- Visit http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/bellcounty/
- Mail a donation to PO BOX 1884 Temple Texas, 76543
"Trying to put an end to poverty, put an end to homelessness here in the Bell County area. And the only way for us to continue to do that is again just by receiving community funds from local donors. So the more we get, the more we give," said Millin.