WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — The Salvation Army of Palm Beach County is already seeing an increase in the number of people needing help due to coronavirus concerns, and it's preparing to help any way it can.
Major James Hall and his wife Leisa Hall have worked for the Salvation Army for decades, helping out with hurricanes and disaster situations all over the country. This new epidemic is creating unique challenges.
"I don’t think any of us have seen anything like this ever in our lifetime. In anybody’s lifetime," said Leisa.
This means the impact it could have on the organization and the community is still unknown.
"This is different. You can sustain high levels of intensity for short periods of time. This is elongated," explained Major Hall.
The Salvation Army currently helps more than 10,000 people in Palm Beach County with food, rent, utilities and residential programs. It's expecting the number of people needing help, to double.
"We're anticipating a huge influx of people in about two to three weeks," said Hall, "We're concerned about that. We're concerned that we're not going to have the resources to meet the need."
In order to meet the growing needs of each person during this pandemic, the group is constantly coming up with creative solutions.
It's already implemented a huge once-a-month food distribution drive-thru, provided more access to computers and internet for students who now need to learn online through its school programs, and has mobile home units being placed within its residential locations for staff to stay if quarantining becomes necessary.
Community partnerships so far have been able to provide the Salvation Army with the tools needed to help others. Hall says they're committed to making sure they continue to do so.
"How many people are going to be helped? Everyone that we can," he said.
If you would like to help by donating food, the Salvation Army says please place enough food for a family of four in a pre-packaged box so that it's ready to go immediately to a family.
Cash donations are the most helpful and can be made here.