Thursday, July 30, 2009

One of the hardest things many people have to do is ask ...

The Salvation Army DFW is continuing to blog about homelessness in our community. During a recent conversation with Dr. David Woody, Program Services Director, he talked about the circumstances that often lead people to seek assistance from The Salvation Army. Dr. Woody said, one of the hardest things many people have to do is ask ...

Check out this video....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Homeless Teens...

Did you know?

Did you know that one of the fastest growing homeless populations in the DFW Metroplex is teenagers? This can be frightening, since youth are our future.

It is estimated that 1.6 million youth between the ages of 12 -17 experience homelessness in a given year. In Dallas County, it is estimated that nearly 6,000 teens in Dallas County will runaway from home this year.

On any given night, 1,000 teens in Dallas County will sleep on the street.

Floyd Graham, assistant shelter director at The Salvation Army Casa Youth Emergency Shelter, says there many reasons why youth run away. “Overall, there is a need that is not being met for the teenagers. Teens want to feel loved and accepted,” Graham said. “When teens don’t receive that in the home, they often choose to run away.”

Here are several other reasons why teens become homeless:

Violence in the home
Lack of nurture and support from family members
Abuse and neglect

Boys or Girls?

People often wonder which gender is more likely to end up on the street? Graham says that while girls often fall into prostitution or sex trafficking, boys will become involved in gangs.
The Casa Emergency Shelter does not see a specific increase in either boys or girls coming to Casa.

Want to know more about CASA?

Casa provides a safe 19-bed shelter where runaways and troubled youth can stay temporarily. Boys and girls ages 10- 17 experience daily living in a household setting with assigned responsibilities and duties.

Graham says the shelter offers the most basic needs immediately to a runaway or troubled teenager: food, shelter, and clothing. From there, the youth is surrounded by loving and encouraging staff.

The Casa staff works to provide holistic case management, individual, group and family therapy, teach life skills and offers education classes at Casa's onsite school. The overall goal of the shelter is to work in partnership with the teen and teen’s parent(s) or guardian(s) to facilitate and mend broken relationships, so that the teen can return home.

What can you do if you know a teen who is struggling?

If you know a teenager who is considering running away, please call the Casa Emergency Shelter at 214-358-4505 or the Contact Crisis Line at 972-233- TEEN

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Don't Miss The Salvation Army on CNN!

On Thursday July 23 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., CNN’s show, Black in America 2 ( will highlight the travels of 30 teens, mostly from the Bushwick/ Brooklyn Salvation Army corps, who traveled to South Africa for two weeks to do volunteer service in small towns and at AIDS orphanages. The kids traveled with Malaak Compton-Rock (wife of comedian Chris Rock).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Are you surprised?

While it may not come as a surprise the number of people who are seeking emergency financial and food assistance, due to the unstable economy, who these people are will surprise some people.

“We are seeing traditional families, where dad has a full time job and mom stays at home with the three children, people who have never reached out for assistance before, now asking for help,” says Dr. David Woody, Program Services Director for The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command.

“Too often now there is an accumulation of events. Suddenly, dad faces a reduction of hours or a layoff. Then the mom struggles with the hard decision whether to not work, stay at home with the children, or find a job and send her children to daycare, which can be expensive.”

Many of the clients who are struggling for the first time find it difficult to ask for help – which oftentimes can make their situation even worse.

“Sometimes people are embarrassed and ashamed to ask for help,” Dr. Woody says. “There is a strong value that folks feel they should be able to take care of themselves, even if the circumstances are beyond their control.”

Because The Salvation Army noticed their client’s needs changing, the organization now offers services in financial counseling and money management courses.

Carolyn Key, Business Operations Administrator at The Salvation Army in Denton, says her center began to offer these new programs after seeing their clients’ needs change.

“Several of our clients had the same job for 20 years and were making a six-digit income and then were laid off,” Key says. “But they had no idea how to handle their money after being laid off, and now they’re broke.”

The Denton center’s services include individual counseling and classes on financial management, and the center has even partnered with Compass Bank in Denton to enroll their clients in a free checking and savings program called Second Chances.

One of Denton center’s clients who is benefiting from the program is Ken, a father of a 14-year-old, who was recently laid off because of the economy. Ken currently lives in the center’s Transitional Shelter Program and works closely with Key on learning how to budget and save for the future.

“Ken is getting to the point where he can care for his son, and save for their future,” Keys said. “Without our financial counseling services, he would have had very few places to turn to for help.”

For more information about The Salvation Army’s programs or to find a Salvation Army center, please visit us at