The Altus Salvation Army is in real trouble. They need $130,000 in just two months or they may have to close the doors. They've come a long way since last year when they could barely fund The Boys and Girls Club. Now, they've grown too big and the facility is unsafe. It's up to the community, now, to help make a difference.
The roof of the building is their biggest concern. Due to all the rain, drought and more rain its collapsing causing leaks everywhere. Captain Ronald Mott says it's simply unsafe. "This particular building has seen its day. It was good in the days when it was purchased. Now we've basically outgrown it - and structurally, we need to move," he says.
It was good 75 years ago - but now the roof is so damaged it's causing more damage to both the ceilings and walls. And, for a place that offers so much help to others, it's time they got some for themselves. "Now we have come to the point where we are asking for help to make a better facility so that we can serve more people," says Mott.
That's why they started Project Hope last year - to ask donors to give money toward a new building. They need $350,000 to move in. As of right now, they have about $195,000. But Mott says their Divisional Commander has now given them a deadline - January 31st. And since the commander says it's not moving fast enough, The Salvation army may have to abandon the area.
"We would have to seriously look at either pulling out of Altus, Jackson County, or reducing this to a smaller service unit," says Mott. "That to me is not an option. We need to have a Salvation Army here." They've been helping to make sure people have enough to eat from their food pantry and money to pay their bills. It's also a safe place for kids to go after school
But, that is another of their problems. "This houses the Boys and Girls Club and we have 150 kids registered, but we're only allowed to have 43 in the building at one time," says Mott. So, they really need a bigger facility. Motts says he has faith they will get the money in time - they just need to get the word out. The new building they're looking at is plenty big - with room for a soup kitchen and all the kids, too. And, it's within walking distance of four schools.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army is still helping the community. This Thursday, they are having a big Thanksgiving dinner at the new site - The Family Worship Center at 1100 North Park Lane. Everyone is invited.
If you would like to donate or help out, call 580-482-8577. Or, send donations to:
Salvation Army - Project Hope
P.O. Box 484