Salvation Army's Bed and Bread making nighttime runs as COVID-19 creates space problems

There's still about four more weeks of winter but hopefully, the coldest weather of the year is done. For some in Detroit who have nowhere to go overnight during a global pandemic, the Salvation Army is still fulfilling it's mission as best it can.

We've heard it for months now: masks, wash hands, and social distance. Those are the three best tools we have to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But how does social distancing work at a shelter? By reducing the number of people the shelter can take in.

As a result of the pandemic, the Salvation Army has started to see more and more people on the streets.

As the winter months moved in and temperatures continue to drop, the Salvation Army decided to add trips to its daily nighttime Bed and Bread program so the population can get the services they need.

"The Salvation Army is going out and we're meeting people in the darkness of night and when it so cold outside, we’re giving them very basic human needs of a hot meal, we're giving them coats and warm items they can wear, toiletries, and also a message of hope that we see you," said Jamie Winkler, Executive Director of Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Harbor Light Syste.

Many who are in need of help have nowhere else to go and Winkler recalls a woman who really needed help - and not just for herself.

"I remember serving a woman who was laying down on the very cold, saturated ground and when she got up it was very evident that she was pregnant and that was very hard to see," he said.

While the shelters have reduced capacity, the Salvation Army is still working to get people off the streets. 

"When they see the Bed and Bread program come and they see the shield of the Salvation Army, they know there is hope," Winkler said.

And you can help the Salvation Army increase its reach by donating to its yearly radiothon, which you can donate to now. 

"You can text 'bread' to 24365 because the Salvation Army is out 24 (hours), 365 days helping the  most vulnerable population in Detroit