AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Helping the homeless is a huge mission of The Salvation Army. City leaders are looking for ways to help, too.

One idea is to use funding through the American Rescue Act.

Augusta is in line to get tens of millions of dollars and as WJBF’s George Eskola explains, the Housing and Development Department has plans for a portion of that money.

With a push by the pandemic, homelessness in Augusta is a growing concern.

Housing and Neighborhood Development Director Hawthorne Welcher says it’s an issue that isn’t going away.

“It’s one we sort of brushed it aside a little bit and we’ve talked about it but I’m ready to act on it I’m ready really ready to move on this homeless shelter.”

He’s proposing using two point two million dollars in American Rescue Act funds to build a non-congregate homeless shelter.

The city’s Homeless Task Force calling it a first step.

Commissioner Dennis Williams/Task Force Subcommittee: “We give just a little bit to start not enough to complete so we have enough to come up with a reasonable shelter.”

Commissioner Sean Frantom: “I hope we’re talking to the Salvation Army they’re looking at building a homeless shelter right there by the James Brown Arena working with community partners who do this for a living I think that’s very smart on our end because their the experts not us.”

The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope is in need of pillows, blankets, and towels. The Kroc Center is holding a drive in the hopes of raising enough to keep the shelter stocked for a year.

Captain Jonathan Raymer is the Area Commander and Senior Kroc Officer of Augusta’s Salvation Army.

“People coming in don’t have those things readily available. So, we need those in order to make it to where they’re able to feel comfortable and sleeping and getting some rest in the evening.”

Captain Raymer joins Jennie to talk about ways the Army serves the community and its mission to meet people where there are with love and without discrimination.

The Salvation Army can always use your help! Trunk or Treat is coming up Saturday, Oct. 30th and the Red Kettle bell ringing season starts on Black Friday, November 26 and runs through Christmas Eve.

Call Nanette Hayes at 706-434-3185 for more information and to sign up!