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DECATUR, Ala. – The Salvation Army in Decatur is closing its doors starting tonight for a few weeks of renovation work. That means the clients normally served in Decatur must turn elsewhere to find shelter, AC, and most importantly, food, but one nearby nonprofit is stepping in to help.

Volunteers at Hands Across Decatur say they learned the local Salvation Army would be temporarily closing their doors, and they say it’s going to have an impact on the work they do over at their location.

“We expect an influx of more homeless because there will be nothing to eat on Friday, Saturday, Sunday because they normally feed dinner on Friday, Saturday, Sunday during the week,” HAD Executive Director Sue Terrell said.

HAD will feed those who normally frequent the Salvation Army. Although HAD is usually closed on the weekends, volunteers are now making plans to open during lunchtime on Saturdays and Sundays, giving away cold water and to-go meals cooked in-house by volunteers.

“For the most part to feed them we want to give them something healthy because the weather is so bad,” Terrell said.

Terrell said with the pandemic forcing many more residents on hard times, they’ve already been seeing an increase in need even before losing a service partner in the area in the Salvation Army.

“Numbers are going up drastically, when I first started this we’d see 5 to 10 people a week. Now we’re at 80 a week. We see monthly between 180 and 280 a month,” Terrell said.

She said with so few organizations in town that are able to offer help, they could not sit idle.

“Our responsibility is going to increase. We talked about it a lot when we found out this happened yesterday, so we thought we’d go ahead and do it because it has to be done,” Terrell said.

They will start their extra days of work starting July 10. Until then, they are working to gather food, water and many more volunteers to help. To donate goods, call the location at (256) 616-8210 or click here to donate monetarily.