Salvation Army Takes Step Locally to Help with Harvey

Fayetteville, AR — – People right here in Northwest Arkansas are gearing up to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Members of the Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas are in Texas helping out those in need. The organization says this is most likely going to be one of the most extensive feeding operations the Salvation Army has undertaken.

“You see the devastation and you hear words like unprecedented, catastrophic… I think our response because you hear words like unprecedented, our response needs to be unprecedented as well,” said Captain Joshua Robinett, the Northwest Arkansas Area Commander of the Salvation Army.

Three members from the local Salvation Army were sent down to Texas early Sunday morning. One from Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers.

“On the way out we saw a lot of fences down, huge bales of cotton broken apart and kind of scattered, flagpoles down, power poles at about a 45 degree angle, a lot of shingles off of roofs,” said Captain David Leonard, with the Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas.

The scenes Captain Leonard describes are something that is common across South Texas right now. Leonard is helping out on a mobile food unit in Driscoll which is right outside of Corpus Christi.

“We were told last night that there was a community of about 800 people that still had no power. What food they did have has gone bad so we’re currently serving breakfast to this community and when we get finished with breakfast we’ll start cooking lunch and when we’re done with lunch we’ll prepare for dinner.”

Leonard said giving out basic necessities is just one of many things they hope to provide.

“You’re giving them food, you’re also giving them an ear if they need to kind of process this event. If they need a shoulder, if they need a hug. It’s just really not much more that I can think of that’s any more rewarding than serving people in this capacity.”

The Northwest Arkansas Area Commander for the Salvation Army said helping out those who are in desperate need is something their organization was made for.

“To know that we’re able to send folks down there and we’re able to help, the Salvation Army is mobilized and will be there will be there through the duration of not just what’s happening now but through the long term recovery efforts as well,” Robinett said.

Salvation Army crew member will help out in relief efforts for at least two weeks.

Local Woman Claims Warming Shelters May Have Saved Her Life

It’s cold for anyone having to go outside this time of year, especially for our homeless population.

Many of them are spending most of their days in freezing temperatures.
One Northwest Arkansas woman says warming shelters may have saved her life.
Jewelya Boyd was homeless for ten years, she now lives at the Havenwood Home in Bentonville, but she said the salvation army is why she survived being on the streets.
“When you’re homeless and it’s cold you are fighting for your life most definitely,” Boyd said.
For Boyd, staying warm isn’t something she’s taking for granted.
“I experienced homelessness for the last ten years of my life, off and on, off and on. Mostly do to my addiction and not keeping things together like i should have,” Boyd said.
She regularly used the Salvation Army’s cold weather shelters to get by during the decade she was on the streets.
“I’ve literally slept in my car and on the ground before that,” said Boyd.
A spokesperson for the Northwest Arkansas Salvation Army said the number of people coming to the shelters has increased, because of the overall population boom.
But they say no matter the building capacity size they won’t turn away people, even if it gets a bit crowded.
Boyd believes cold weather shelters saved her life, and recommends if you can’t find your way to a shelter,  use blankets, hay or anything to keep yourself warm through the night..
“One bad circumstance is all it takes for someone to wind up on the streets and cold,” Boyd said.
Which is why she says we are so fortunate to live in Northwest Arkansas
“A lot of areas don’t have these shelters and opportunities and warming places. It’s hard for someone that’s out in the country I can imagine, but we are very incredibly blessed to have such warming shelters and areas that are willing to take people in for just the night,” Boyd said.
There are several options for shelters in Northwest Arkansas, including Bentonville and here in Fayetteville.
For people in the River Valley, The Community Rescue Mission in Fort Smith is also open.


Cold weather in the forecast is prompting the Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas to open its overnight emergency centers for those who are without shelter.

The centers are located in Fayetteville and Bentonville and typically open when the forecast is 34 degrees and below.

Temperatures are set to be cold this week, with the lowest temperature being in the teens this week. Cots will be available for the homeless population seeking shelter from the cold temperatures starting Monday night through Friday night.

Lindsey Strong with the Salvation Army said there is no capacity limit and the shelter has seen up to 40 people when the temperatures are very low.

The Fayetteville shelter is located at 219 S. 15th Street and the Bentonville shelter is located at 3305 S.W. “I” Street.

Cooling Centers Open During Hot Weather

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) –Summer hasn’t even officially started but temperatures are soaring, which poses a threat for the elderly and those without a place to cool down. Luckily, several local organizations are offering help.

The Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center has been handing out fans to seniors in need this week, after receiving a donation from Home Depot.

Fayetteville Senior Center director Cayla Wilson said each day the center delivers meals on wheels. While they are there, they check to make sure the air conditioning is working in the seniors’ homes.

“We’re taking extra precautions to make sure everyone has a fan, has their air conditioner going and is very aware to stay hydrated and to not be out in the heat,” Wilson said.

Joyce Gilly is one of the seniors whom the center checks on daily, and she said the visit is always appreciated.

“It’s a good thing, it’s a real good thing,” said Gilly. “I just can’t say thanks enough to the people that bring them to me, you know?”

The Salvation Army in both Bentonville and Fayetteville will be open as cooling stations on any day when the feels-like temperature is 95 degrees or higher. They are open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., which is when the night shelter opens.

“We have a lot of moms with kiddos who are just walking around the city, and when it gets really hot this is a place for them to come,” said Lindsey Strong. “We have cold water, we have snacks, so it’s a great place for them. We have some elderly people who may not be able to make it through those hot times.”

Seven Hills homeless center in Fayetteville will also be open to people looking to cool off Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Cooling Centers Open To Help People Stay Safe In The Heat

Cold Weather Shelter

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The frigid overnight temperatures are causing the Salvation Army to open up its cold weather shelters.
The Salvation Army opens its doors for folks needing a warm place to stay when the temperatures drop below 34 degrees.  There are cold weather shelters located in Fayetteville and Bentonville.  Both locations can accommodate dozens of men, women and children.  The cold weather shelters open at 4:45 p.m. and close at 7:30 a.m. the next day.
“There is a chronic homeless problem, of people who are living in tent cities and that sort of thing, but when weather drops what do they do?  I would hope we would all think that they need a place to come to, and that’s the Salvation Army’s job,” Major Mary Matthews said.
Major Matthews said the Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas housed 175 people in its cold weather shelters in December, and has already provided emergency shelter to 34 people this month.
The shelters are located at 219 W 15th Street in Fayetteville and 3305 SW I Street in Bentonville.

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