The Salvation Army Homeless Shelter of Knoxville, Tn. MISTREATS & DEMEANS their homeless clients.
Until recently, I had thought The Salvation Army Organization to be an upstanding, caring group of Christ-like individuals. That was until I had a friend fall down on his luck & after several health problems & losing his job, he had to seek shelter at the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter,located at 409 N Broadway ,Knoxville ,Tn.
As of today, he has been staying there for 4 weeks. I was shocked , to say the least, when I found out the terrible things being carried on by workers at this facility!
First and foremost I should note that there is a charge for staying at this shelter. This fee is $10.00 per day. This is not a fee that is based upon ability to pay therefore whether or not one is employed is not taken into account. (My friend is unable to find work due to ongoing medical treatment, without medical insurance, it is of course impossible to receive the treatment needed for mid stage colon cancer). This daily fee if unpaid , adds up day by day, and since his time there, there has been 2 men kicked out of the shelter, unable to return.
The SA website claims to have a program available which provides job training & employment placement. There is a building directly across the street from the shelter , that is for this purpose. However , in the past 4 weeks that my friend has been there, this building has never been open. When he asks the staff about this, they simply say that "the lady for that is not in today..."
The SA army claims to offer meals per day & so the $10.oo fee is of course to help offset this expense. However, at least 3-4 dinners per week are merely plain broth & if lucky ,a small dinner roll. This would not be a chief complaint if such large quantities of food were not being thrown away on a weekly basis. Examples being, 15 pounds of ribeye steak (uncooked) with yet another 2 days before expiration, cases of fruit (& we're not talking over-ripe fruit that has gone bad). These are only a few examples.
The clients of the shelter that volunteer in the kitchen are the ones that are told to carry this food to the dumpster out back. They are told that they absolutely can not keep anything that is being thrown out. If caught doing so , they will be kicked out of the facility. Needless today, so many of these people are still hungry at night, so they try to salvage whatever they can from "throw aways".
Each night , clients "sign up" if they want a brown bag lunch for the next day. Each day numerous clients watch as a particular cafeteria staff woman ,not so discreetly, takes several items from each lunch sack & places them in her personal pink oversized purse & then makes a trip to her vehicle & comes back with it obviously emptied out . Clients do not speak out against this for fear of losing the only shelter they have. This particular woman also curses (severely) at clients who raise any question as to the missing food . Again , intimidation prevents these SA clients from out.
Several clients ,including my friend, have been forced to attend AA meetings on the 3rd floor of this shelter facility. When my friend explained to them that he does not, nor has he ever had an alcohol or substance abuse problem of any kind, he , along with several others , were forced to join this meeting. This is not a mandatory meeting for all clients. These members of each meeting are pulled at random to fill vacant spots.
While doing research on the SA , in the course of the past few weeks, I must say that I , unlike before, would never give to this organization again . They are far from "Christ-like" & it is very apparent the money taken by the general public and/or gov't/state grants etc. are highly misused. The programs that they claim to make readily available , in order to help citizens become self-sufficient , are completely & utterly BOGUS!
There are no reports to hold The SA accountable to what their mission statements say they are & do. In these times of security uncertainty & large scale fraud, this should not be overlooked. I have come to find out, through thorough research, that some large organizations, who regularly solicit for money, often use their funds for political motives or "overhead costs".