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HELP NEEDED: Rochester Salvation Army asks for masks and bottled water

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- While we continue to see more things return to normal, at least partially, the ongoing pandemic continues to hit vulnerable populations especially hard.

Those experiencing homelessness have had an especially difficult time due to many organizations and facilities normally there to help being closed down.

The Salvation Army has been a beacon of light for those experiencing homelessness and or a tough time.

Now, with the pandemic driving up the number of people coming to its building the need for supplies is at an all time high.

Rochester Salvation Army Corps Officer Maj. Lisa Mueller

"Every service we offer is seeing an uptick," Rochester Salvation Army Corps Officer Maj. Lisa Mueller said.

Maj. Mueller said the uptick is higher than what they've seen in the past few years.

While the staff has been able to help out as much as they can, there's one especially huge need right now where they could use some help from the community. That's masks.

"Trying our hardest to make sure everyone wears them," Mueller said. "In fact you know we make everyone put one on when they get in here and we are going through at least 50 packs a day. We see about 80 to 100 unduplicated people every day because a lot of people come in and out and don't need to spend the whole day here."

Maj. Mueller adds while all masks are welcome, there is a specific kind they need.

"I've had a couple donations of fabric masks but for this population, disposable is best because we don't have good access to laundry facilities," Mueller said.

Rochester resident Jim Pen

Outside of the Salvation Army Adult Day Center KTTC spoke with Jim Pen and Jesse Owen. They're temporarily experiencing homelessness and say obtaining a mask is not difficult.

"You just step into the door and there's usually one somewhere," Pen said. "Well surprisingly just about every agency that I deal with have masks available," Owen said.

Rochester resident Jesse Owen

Maj. Mueller adds its not just masks they need, they also need bottled water to hand out.

"What we can do, those of us that aren't experiencing this. Give them a mask, give us a bottle of water. For those of us who are doing it just help make things a little bit easier," Maj. Mueller said.

Donations can be made at the Adult Day Center Building located at 115 1st Avenue NE.

For the Salvation Army donation list, click here.

Ubah Ali

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