HALO experiences volunteer shortage amid coronavirus pandemic

Noble Horvath

SALISBURY, Md. – In Salisbury, the HALO shelter is in desperate need of volunteers after losing nearly 600 during the coronavirus pandemic. “We are desperately needing volunteers for all aspects of HALO,” said the organization’s Executive Director Celeste Savage. They say they’ve gone from 600 volunteers to only 60. And […]

SALISBURY, Md. – In Salisbury, the HALO shelter is in desperate need of volunteers after losing nearly 600 during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are desperately needing volunteers for all aspects of HALO,” said the organization’s Executive Director Celeste Savage.

They say they’ve gone from 600 volunteers to only 60.

And with a 24-7 operation 365 days of the year, the shelter depends on people who donate their time to keep their programs and services running. So with fewer volunteers, they’re being met with a lot of challenges.

“We’ve had challenges where we’ve only had a certain amount of people during the day, so we’re kind of double helping each other out,” said Denise Brown, a volunteer.

On top of that, they say it’s harder to welcome in more guests at the shelter and they aren’t able to fully operate their cafe.

“We can’t open it fully yet because our volunteers have not come back, so we have a serious need for volunteers in that area,” said Savage.

To make matters more difficult, the shelter is in the middle of building new showers and a restroom for men and they need volunteers to help out.

“The more volunteers that we have come on board with us for this project the quicker we’re going to be able to get it done and the other help too is that it’s going to help the cost,” said Savage.

Ultimately, people who 47ABC spoke to say helping to keep the shelter going is worthwhile.

“I feel like it’s my mission in life that now I can afford to volunteer my time and I really get a lot of it and I hope other people will too,” said Brown.

If you’re interested in volunteering at the HALO shelter you’re encouraged to reach out to Celeste Savage by emailing her at Volunteer@Haloministry.org.

Click here for more information about HALO in Salisbury.

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