Salvation Army builds new facility after April 27 tornado

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Its been five years since a devastating tornado destroyed the Salvation Army’s homeless shelter and church in Tuscaloosa.

But things are starting to looking up.

Officials have rebuilt a new facility located on Greensboro Avenue. Six veterans now live in the homeless shelter.

Larry Northam is happy to now have a warm place to sleep at night. He served four years in the United States Air Force.

“Oh I appreciate it, having three square meals a day and a roof over your head now that it is cold again its winter time. I am just appreciative of it,” Northam said.

There are 73 beds for men and women and fifty extra cots that people can sleep on. The building has a full kitchen and dining area. There is also a laundry room where people can wash clothes.

The Salvation Army also helps folks with social programs to assist them with paying bills and helps them find employment.

Board member Ken Swindle says he is excited to finally be able to have a facility that can help so many.

“If anybody has a problem they can come here and wash their clothes and get a good meal. And they can contact their family and let them know they are ok. We’ve got a social program that helps people who are unable to pay their power bill, the phone bills. So not only are we a homeless  shelter but we operate social services,” Swindle said.

Resident Larry Northam is thankful for the assistance and for shelter.

“It is an excellent facility, I was here when the tornado came through and took the other building away. It is nice here and great to have a place to come too when you don’t have a place.”

The official grand opening for the Tuscaloosa Salvation Army Homeless shelter is next Monday.

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