Salvation Army & Shelters Work To Keep Cambridge Warm - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Salvation Army & Shelters Work To Keep Cambridge Warm

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. – The cold temperatures can be a major concern for many without adequate shelter or heating.

However, six months after a tragic fire ripped through their thrift store, the Salvation Army of the Mid Shore, known for assisting families in need and the homeless, is back in business just in time for the deep freeze.

"It's been really hard," says Nancy Bartrum-Cook, manager of the Salvation Army's thrift store.

"It was rough, but we made it and we're very excited to have it open again," says Major Brooks Gilliam, cops officer for the Salvation Army.

Now at their new location in the Cambridge Plaza, locals can once again get items at affordable prices, including a variety of winter clothes for as low as a dollar.

"We have a very large selection and some of them are still brand new things," says Bartrum-Cook.

Most importantly, now that the thrift store is back open, the Salvation Army has their main source of funding for their other programs, including financial assistance for rent and utilities, along with a homeless shelter.

"The thrift store pretty much puts money into all of our programs, all of the income generated from that comes into direct assistance for the community," says Major Gilliam.

"There were so many families and things we couldn't accommodate, but now that we are back and open, we can fulfill those," says Bartrum-Cook.

Currently, the shelter only has nine beds. Major Gilliam says by the amount of calls they received Monday morning and afternoon, they expect it to be full at night. He says the Salvation Army recently received approval to get a community development grant from Dorchester County, which they will use to expand their homeless shelter to 28 beds.

However, Major Gilliam says that project will not be complete for at least six months. In the meantime, other local shelters are stepping up their accommodations during the cold, including the Cold Weather Emergency Shelter on Race Street. The shelter normally puts a limit at eighteen people.

"We had to put a limit because our numbers got kind of out of control," says Valerie Nwakudo, shelter coordinator for the Cold Weather Emergency Shelter. "Under these circumstances we won't have a limit and we won't turn anyone away. We will find accommodations for them if we can't accommodate them."

The shelter also plans to stay open during the day, even though they are normally only open from 6:00 PM to 8:00 AM.

"Whenever we have freezing weather or it's too bad to be out well keep the shelter open during the day," says Nwakudo.

The shelter provides a hot dinner and breakfast, and also prepares a bagged lunch for anyone who comes through.

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