A Success Story

A lot of people have misconceptions about homelessness. Words such as “lazy” and “careless” come to mind. Many people that come through our shelter and seek out help don’t fall into these categories. Most cases of homelessness are caused by life events such as a death or medical illness. They find themselves in this situation scared and alone, but that’s where The Salvation Army can help.

Debra Roland went through several medical traumas before coming to The Salvation Army, each being triggered by a loss of a loved one, including her son and her sister. These episodes sometimes turned violent, not only to other people, but to herself as well. In August of 2018, she was admitted to Vantage Point. “There’s a lot I don’t remember,” Roland said. “It’s blank. I turned into a different person and that’s not who I want to be.” Later in November, she was released and taken to The Salvation Army Shelter in Fayetteville. She was given a bed upon arrival and later was connected to social services where she met Dawn, her caseworker. “Being homeless is scary,” Roland added. “I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
Housing is hard to come by in the NWA area. The wait list is anywhere between 9 months to 2 years so other areas were sought out such as Berryville and Eureka Springs. Debra Roland filled out multiple documents and wait list applications with her caseworker. “It was psychologically exhausting,” Roland said.

Finally, she got the message she was eagerly waiting for. A hotel in Eureka Springs gave her a room and was moved in early March. Roland is still on a waiting list for her own place, but this hotel room serves as secure housing during the interim. She now has reestablished her disability, is interviewing for jobs and has connected with locals in the community, even having Rumi game nights.

“I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I can finally sleep knowing I’m on the right track.” Roland said. “My experience with The Salvation Army was positive. They helped me get back on my feet and I’m so grateful.”

Ribbon Cutting

On Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 10 AM, The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas will host a ribbon-cutting for its new Client-Choice Food Pantry located in Fayetteville, AR. This new style of pantry will begin serving clients on June 1, 2018 as part of a summer initiative in partnership with Fayetteville Public Schools.

All are invited to attend the ribbon cutting as we celebrate this new opportunity.

This pilot program will allow families to select breakfast and lunch items to help feed kids during the summer months. For 11 weeks, FPS families, who signed up through the school district, who qualify for free and reduced lunches are invited to “shop” the pantry every Friday at no cost. The Salvation Army Client-Choice Food Pantry will be open Friday, June 1 through August 10 from 9 AM – 12 PM and 1:00 – 4:00 PM. Volunteers and staff will help in the shopping experience. Learn more about our pantry and find out how you can help. 

The opening of this pantry has included a complete remodel of our warehouse space, the installation and addition of refrigeration coolers and shelving, plus increased food supplies. With support from the Walmart Foundation, the NWA Food Bank, The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, Fayetteville Public Schools, and many volunteers, we have designed a program that will help meet the needs of hungry families in our community. Additionally, this pantry will provide for clients throughout the week by appointment. The pantry will be housed in our  Activity Center building located at 219 W 15th street, Fayetteville, AR.

WHOAll Media Outlets & Community Members

WHAT: Fayetteville Food Pantry Ribbon Cutting & Tour

WHEN: Thursday, May 31, 2018 | 10:00 – 11:00 AM

WHERE: The Salvation Army Area Command | Fayetteville
219 W. 15th St, Fayetteville, AR 72701

WHY: Our summer program will provide food for 62 families and a total of 163 children.

For questions about volunteering or for an interview please call 479-521-2151 or 479-283-5314 or email us at jennifer.brown@uss.salvationarmy.org

A Happy Heart & Home

I am back on my feet now, February 2018” were the opening lines of a Valentine’s Day card we received at the Salvation Army offices just a few days before the holiday. Our hearts filled with joy seeing these words from a woman who spent time at the Salvation Army shelter during the summer of 2017. “I so appreciate your wonderful staff and ministry. You gave me shelter, food and encouragement when I was homeless for eight days in July. You were a God-send,” our guest shared.

It is moments like these that remind us of the why behind what we do. By providing a shelter bed, a warm meal, and encouragement to people in immediate need, we can be a resource and a place to where people discovery hope. This guest is just one of many during the past year who have been able to move from emergency shelter to a permanent home. During 2017, in Fayetteville alone, we were able to help 183 people find housing.

This Valentine’s Day as you sit down to enjoy an evening meal, we hope you will take a moment to think about and pray for people who might be waiting for a place to call home. Today our hearts are full as we continue to see the hope that our emergency shelters can provide.