Yesterday, we (Operations Director Nick Bundra and his son Wilder) had the privilege of visiting with Major Dewey Alderson who runs the Tuscaloosa Salvation Army (see pictures from our Tuscaloosa visit below). Major Alderson came out of retirement in September to oversee the completion of a $6 million dollar shelter being built for homeless men, women, and families, which also includes a special unit for veterans in transition. Major Alderson took us on a tour of the project which comprises 30+ beds for men, 10+ beds for women, 5 units for families, and 8 beds and a classroom for veterans in transition.
The 540 blankets that are being made possible by Alabama Crimson Tide Blanket for a Blanket purchases will be used at the shelter when it opens, projected no later than February 1, 2016, but possibly as early as December 2015. The previous shelter was destroyed in the 2011 tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa.
PICTURES FROM TUSCALOOSA
Wilder visits Bryant Denny Stadium before heading over to the nearby Salvation Army Tuscaloosa headquarters.
Wilder stands outside The Salvation Army Tuscaloosa headquarters where we met up with Major Dewey Alderson.
Major Alderson starts us on a tour of the new shelter that will open this winter for TSA Tuscaloosa clients in need of housing.
Major Alderson leads us down the hallway of the women's section of the new shelter.
The new shelter includes five family units, each comprised of a living area, two bedrooms, and a bathroom.
The shelter's dining room area will also double as the center's chapel until a dedicated building is built on the property for that purpose.
Each of the varying size bedrooms in the men's area will contain beds for several.
High quality community shower and bathroom areas are provided for the clients in the sections dedicated to men, women, and veterans, respectively.
Major Alderson takes a picture with Nick and Wilder outside of the new facility after finishing the tour.
Back at headquarters, Wilder and Major Alderson show one of the many blankets With a Purpose donated that are enclosed in the boxes behind them.