"Anyone at anytime in life can be homeless. It has no race. It has no educational level. It has no cultural level. It is universal,” said Iona White.
Like many hit hard by the economic downturn, Iona turned to the Salvation Army for help.
"It makes a big difference having a roof over your head, clothes to put on, food to eat, just things that people take so for granted," she added.
But times are also hard for the Salvation Army. It’s seeing fewer donations, more people in need, and the busiest time of year is fast approaching.
"We're seeing a lot more people and our donations are down; resources are shrinking so we're very concerned," said Major Mark Smith. "We really need money right now, we really need some cash. I'm worried about paying my staff and keeping the lights on, and feeding these hungry people. It costs a lot of money to do that," he added.
Soon the bells will be ringing and those signature red kettles will take their place outside local stores. Christmas trees will be covered with "angels" depending on donors to make Christmas wishes come true. And holiday meals will be served with all the fixings; a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner for those who might not otherwise have one. And just like Iona White, those in need will turn to the Salvation Army for all of it. And the Salvation Army is counting on a generous community to help them make it happen.
To contact the Shreveport Salvation Army and find out what’s needed most log onto the Salvation Army site or call 318-424-3200.