Salvation Army temporarily ceasing white flag operations due to COVID-19 concerns

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Salvation Army of the Sandhills has decided to temporarily close its cold weather shelter due to COVID-19 concerns.

Leaders acknowledge it was a difficult and untimely decision.

The Pathway of Hope Shelter on Alexander St. fills a tremendous need, especially during the winter months.

The Salvation Army has been operating shelters at limited capacity in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, but spiking case counts prompted officials to close altogether.

"Unfortunately because of all the testing and the positive tests from our homeless and our staffing and others, the city and the county agreed that we should just not do it," Corps Officer Major Tim Grider told ABC11.

The organization is continuing its outreach efforts online, but Grider is concerned about the impact of their decision on homeless people who may not have access to medical care and shelter.

They are trying to help by encouraging people to make donations and the 220 E. Russell St. location to provide assistance for shelter residents while the facility is closed.

"Gloves, caps, scarves, coats, blankets we are utilizing those for those who are coming to us in that need," said Grider.

Grider is hoping people will donate to The Salvation Army's Red Kettles this month to help people in need.

"This is a time more than ever we all have become part of a community," said Grider. "Everyone is a bell ringer, everyone has to be involved."
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