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Special Edition INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

• How Our Services Have Changed During These Uncertain Times • Stories of Resilient Staff and Clients Told by The Executive Director


TAPC resident training to become an EMT

Former TAPC resident beginning her next chapter living on her own with her daughter

Food Pantry staff during Spirit Week

Daycare teacher taking care of baby

Major David Dean with kids from Emergency Family Shelter holding Wegmans cookie donation

a note from executive director linda lopez Everything that is difficult during the coronavirus crisis is exponentially more difficult for individuals and families who were struggling prior to the pandemic. • Th e ability to work from home isn’t an option if you didn’t have a job. • D istance learning for children requires an internet connection and a smart device to use with it, which are luxuries if you can barely afford to pay your rent. • Th ere is no primary doctor to contact for advice when your family doesn’t have health insurance. • U sing public transportation feels risky but is often the only option when you don’t have a car. • C leaning products are essential to keep households healthy, but if your family depends on SNAP (food stamps) to help make ends meet you can’t use them to buy cleaning products or personal care items like toilet paper and toothpaste. Pantries rarely have these items. • O rdering food and household items online isn’t possible if you don’t have a credit card.

mental health issues, and housing assistance services to prevent homelessness. Throughout this crisis, our staff have gone above and beyond to meet the practical and emotional needs of vulnerable individuals and families in our community. Our donors, volunteers, and corporate partners have been incredibly generous with their support to help us serve others. People have sewed face masks, arranged for large donations to our food pantry, donated cleaning supplies and other essential items through our online Walmart Wish List, helped to pack and deliver meals to seniors, sent notes and ice cream and pizza to our staff to boost their spirits, and provided critical financial support to help us through this challenging time. We appreciate all of you so very much. I saw something online recently that said, “We are one day closer to everything being back to normal again… that’s a good thought to wake up to every morning.” Hopefully one day in the very near future the COVID-19 crisis will diminish, and life will begin to return to normal. Crisis or not, The Salvation Army will be here, ready to serve those who need us the most. God bless you and those you love—

Almost 100 Salvation Army employees are working on-site in programs like the food pantry, day care services for essential employees, and our residential programs. Other staff are working remotely, providing case management and counseling services to at-risk families, support services to youth and adults with

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The Salvation Army of Syracuse, NY


The staff at Booth House have the unique challenge of managing a house full of runaway and homeless teenagers during the pandemic. That means helping all of them with their schoolwork, creating a sense of daily routine, and finding creative ways to keep them entertained while social distancing.

Jean Lathrop, Tanner McKiven and his mom, and Nancy Volk all sewed masks.

The Salvation Army has four emergency shelters and four residential programs open serving more than 150 people every night. Social distancing is challenging in group living situations, and staff are constantly cleaning and working hard to educate the homeless individuals and families we serve about hand washing and social distancing. We are so grateful for all of the sewers who responded to our need for face masks for our staff and the people we serve. Together they have produced more than 300 face makes in all sizes and colors. To date, no one at The Salvation Army has contracted the coronavirus!

Our Cab Horse Commons Early Education Center is open Monday through Friday to care for the children of essential workers. Many of the parents work in nursing homes, hospitals, grocery stores or next door at the Syracuse Community Health Center. Every morning a pair of teachers is at then entrance to greet each child, reassure each parent, and do a quick temperature check to make sure everyone is healthy. This minimizes the number of adults in and out of the center and minimizes unnecessary exposure. Once inside the classrooms, it is business as usual—laughing, singing, playing, and learning. The children are blissfully unaware of all the chaos that is going on in our community, state and nation, and just look forward to coming and playing with their friends every day. A new little girl joined the center recently from another state, and despite a long-distance move, a new home, and new caregivers, by the end of the first day she was part of the family, happily leading her new friends in a game of dress-up.

Jeremiah is a 16-year-old who has been at Booth House since the middle of March. His mom is working from home during the crisis, and was struggling to manage her workload and Jeremiah’s needs. Both agreed respite at Booth House would be helpful. The Booth House case manager, Debi Hobbs, has formed a strong bond with Jeremiah. Schoolwork during distance learning is difficult for him. Debi helps him pull up his assignments and make a daily plan. She has helped him move past giving up and saying “I am just dumb” and to asking his teachers to explain things differently when he doesn’t understand. Debi is teaching him new ways to relax, and they often take a nature walk in the afternoon when the weather is nice. Sometimes they enjoy ice cream or a smoothie afterwards. His mom has noticed the improvements as well and is also working with Debi on ways she can be a more effective parent. Debi Hobbs being interviewed by CNY Central.

In addition to meeting basic needs for food, shelter and clothing, The Salvation Army staff play an important role in meeting the emotional needs of the people we serve. As social distancing became more and more important, the women and staff at the Ethel T. Chamberlain Women’s Residence struggled to find ways to safely interact with one another. Staff decided they would start an empowerment campaign for the residents by printing out and writing inspirational quotes to place on every client door. After the second day of putting up quotes, two clients came to the main office and asked if they could join in. Now clients drop off kind messages to fellow clients and staff members each morning in the main office that are displayed on the doors of the bedrooms to encourage everyone who sees them.

Crisis or not, The Salvation Army will be here, ready to serve those who need us the most. Many older adults in our community survive on limited incomes and struggle with food insecurity. Our senior center provides a hot meal five days a week, along with companionship and social and recreational activities for vulnerable seniors. Crystal Taylor and Patrick Banks typically work in our senior center. During the NYS Pause, they have taken senior services on the road, delivering food and household items to our seniors who are social distancing at home and checking to ensure that they are safe and healthy. Their visits break up the monotony of long days at home for seniors living alone. Crystal, Patrick and a team of United Way volunteers have also been delivering frozen meals to another 100 seniors throughout Onondaga County. A man called us from Florida to thank us for taking care of his mom during this crisis. We had never met his mother before, but she had signed up for meal delivery through the County’s Senior Hotline. She is 85 years old, lives alone and speaks very little English. Her son was trying his best to take care of her from Florida but was having a difficult time getting groceries delivered every week, so the frozen meals and sandwiches from The Salvation Army were all she had. We were able to deliver an extra box of food from our pantry, putting both mother and son’s worries to rest.


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