Salvation Army Shelter remains closed after more unexpected delays

The Salvation Army Shelter closed during Hurricane Harvey and has remained that way due to a slew of problems.

The Salvation Army has faced many setbacks as they work to reopen their shelter. Newscenter 25 previously reported, the path to reopen Victoria’s Salvation Army Shelter has been a long one, due to damages caused by Hurricane Harvey.

The first issue they had to deal with was fixing the roof, but during the repairs, Major Laura Martin retired, causing a minor setback while the Salvation Army searched for a new leader. Once they found their new leader, Captain Kenny Jones confirmed the roof was repaired, but then the drains needed a fix. Captain Jones felt confident the shelter would be ready to reopen on April 1.

“Well, initially, I had said the 1st, and you know that was somewhat ambitious,” Jones said. “But, I really thought all of the cards were in line to get that done.”

But, that plan of opening on April 1 is delayed once again, because of plumbing issues.

“As soon as we can get plumbers in, we got one small issue in the men’s shower and one small issue in the kitchen.” Jones said. “Soon as I can get those taken care of we are ready to reset a new date.”

Jones believes these are easy fixes but the issue is that plumbers are not available.

“I didn’t realize that we are still looking at people who are backed up from Harvey,” said Jones. “It’s amazing because here we are with the same issue. We are backed up from Harvey, so a lot of folks don’t understand how impactful that event was for the entire Southeast part of the state.”

Busy and unavailable plumbers are not only affecting the homeless, but the situation causes a domino effect.

“A lot of these folks are having to stay on people’s porches, staying in churches, staying in the backyard of churches or backyards of some of the community service organizations,” Jones said. “It’s not just us that is affected by this, it’s all of those who we have a relationship with everyday who serve those that are homeless.”

Captain Jones said it’s disheartening and hard to explain his feelings of not being able to serve the community.

“It’s frustrating, you know, I myself have been on the streets, and I know what that’s like,” said Jones.”Even though it’s not a permanent solution to their housing, at least they know they can come here at night to be safe and out of the elements.”

Jones adds the shelter is actively looking for a plumbing company who is not too busy to help them.

“If there is a plumbing company wanting to call us, call us on the main line at 361-576-1297,” Jones said. “We would be glad to have you come out and take care of this problem for us.”