Capt. Richard Watts of the local Salvation Army said two of his three shelter overseers are in quarantine because of COVID-19 exposure, and the shortage of workers may cause the Decatur facility to close until Dec. 30.

Watts said he is in immediate need of volunteers to help keep the shelter on 14th Avenue Southwest operating.

He said he will need volunteers to staff the shelter from 4:30 p.m. to midnight or midnight to 7:30 a.m. The first shift volunteers will be more involved with the clients during intake and meals.

The second shift volunteers will help provide security, do some laundry work and assist clients with wake-up.

“If we don’t have people step up, we’ll be closed until the end of the year,” he said. “I don’t want to be putting clients out on the street the week before Christmas if I can help it.” On Thursday night, he said, 16 clients were housed at the shelter.

Salvation Army board member Kyle Dukes Pike said he’s hoping volunteers will step up to help out during the holidays.

“It’s unfortunate that COVID-19 is taking its toll on the Salvation Army, especially at this time of year just before Christmas,” he said. “I have faith in Capt. Watts that he’ll find volunteers to keep the shelter open. Hopefully, some volunteers out there will get in touch with him.”

Watts said he may have to close a few days until he has appropriate volunteers, including their background checks, on board.

Watts said potential volunteers should email him at

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(3) comments

Allen Stoner

We have emailed this again with the correct email provided and it has also been returned as undeliverable. We would like to help, but we cannot get in touch with anyone on the phone as well. Thank you.

Allen Stoner

My mistake. There are 3 s’s instead of 2.

Allen Stoner

We tried to send an email to the email address in the article and It is returning as undeliverable.

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