ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The recent homicide at Abilene’s Salvation Army and an altercation that broke out in front of Love and Care Ministries has shown how important it is for nonprofits to prepare for unexpected events.
These nonprofits provide help for those experiencing homelessness, or other difficult situations, and may be unaware of what situation could arise with the intake of new people. Mark Hewitt, Executive Director of Love and Care Ministries, said he believes these incidents arise out of anger that stems from living on the streets.
“Whether you chose it or you didn’t choose it and you sleep on the street, you don’t wake up very happy,” said Hewitt.
He believes anger motivated the recent altercation that prompted a police response. Hewitt shared that they have experienced many altercations in the past.
“Sometimes you’re not able to help everybody,” Hewitt explained.
Love and Care Ministries trains employees to know what to do if someone is angry and cannot be helped.
Other local non-profits, like Salvation Army, have also had to deal with violence, such as a recent homicide.
“I had a gut feeling that it was going to happen eventually,” said an anonymous woman who is currently being housed at Salvation Army. She said she has seen an uptick in violence at this location and attributed it to an increase of substance abuse.
“I’ve been seeing a lot more fights recently,” the women recalled. “I would say that over fifty percent of people staying at Salvation Army are doing drugs or drinking.”
Hewitt said he doesn’t think they have seen more violence or substance abuse. He explained that the altercations are just a part of having a ministry where you welcome anyone in need and they plan to help everyone they can, regardless of these incidents.
“It’s getting harder and harder for the poor. It’s getting harder and harder for the homeless, and so, we just continue to love them,” Hewitt expressed.
KTAB/KRBC reached out to Salvation Army, but have not received a response at this time. We will update if more information becomes available.