Salvation Army Shelter in Need of New Beds for Guests

WHEELING – Typically sleeping at least 25 guests per night during the frigid winter, the Wheeling Salvation Army’s beds receive a lot of wear and tear.

“We have 35 beds upstairs and about 10 cots downstairs for those who cannot make it upstairs,” said Maj. John Blevins of the Salvation Army. “The beds are not that old, but they get a lot of use.”

Blevins appreciates the generous donations his organization receives throughout the year, particularly during the holiday season. In addition to providing shelter to those in need, the Salvation Army distributes food, clothing, furniture, personal items and other materials to those less fortunate.

“We thank everyone who remembers us,” Blevins said. “Anything someone can give is appreciated.”

However, Blevins knows that providing temporary shelter to those who have nowhere to go may be his agency’s chief mission. He said the Salvation Army accepts anyone in need of a place to stay, but said those who do must complete a registration form for the protection of all guests.

He said those staying in the shelter typically must leave at 7:30 a.m. and return at 7 p.m., but exceptions are made in the case of extremely cold temperatures.

“We really get a variety of people here, including some people who are from out-of-state and are just traveling through the area,” he said.

“We see a lot of people who are in a transitional situation while they are trying to get housing.”

Blevins said the shelter’s wooden beds are showing signs of age, as some are supported by stacks of books to keep them elevated from the floor. He hopes an organization such as a hospital or nursing home may be willing to donate some of their used beds to the Salvation Army.

“We are hoping to get some new metal beds, but we just don’t have the money right now,” he said. “We also need some new sheets and blankets.