Steve Powell/Staff Photo 
                                The tables for meals are taken down so this new Salvation Army space on State can be used as a cold-weather shelter. Their only employee, Jenny Roodzant, right, with the help of volunteers, are still providing for Marysville’s needy.

Steve Powell/Staff Photo The tables for meals are taken down so this new Salvation Army space on State can be used as a cold-weather shelter. Their only employee, Jenny Roodzant, right, with the help of volunteers, are still providing for Marysville’s needy.

Despite cuts, Salvation Army still helps needy

MARYSVILLE – When the Salvation Army decided last year to no longer have officers in Marysville due to financial concerns, social services coordinator Jenny Roodzant wondered how the agency would cope.

It’s done quite well, thank you.

The nonprofit agency, which recently moved to 1108 State Ave., is more self-sufficient financially, thanks to the lower costs. And social service numbers are up 40 percent.

With no other paid help, Roodzant is working all the time, so she’d love some volunteer help, especially since Salvation Army will be hosting the city’s only Cold-Weather Shelter this winter. She could also use help with bell ringers at Christmas, since they have to be paid if there aren’t enough volunteers.

Roodzant has faith the community will come through. “I want this to be the hub of social services in Marysville,” she said, adding there are so many groups helping others, but no central agency organizing it all.

She’s so optimistic she wonders about the five-year lease they just signed.

“I’m gonna blow these walls down,” she said of her anticipated growth.

She wants to partner with other groups, such as with the Marysville Food Bank at Christmas. “We’re not in competition,” she said.

Roodzant said even though there are no longer Sunday services without the officers who served as pastors, there is still a Christian presence.

“God put us here,” she said of the new central location in town. She said there are devotionals and prayers, and on Sundays when there are testimonials, “You could hear a pin drop.”

The agency is funded solely by donations and local churches provide a steady steam of support. Roodzant admits some clients can be a challenge. She’s been spit on before.

She credits God with helping her through it.

“I know I’m not the enemy,” she said.

Despite the challenges, “I honestly love these people,” she said. Roodzant runs a tight ship. She’s kicked problem folks out before.

“They can’t disrespect,” she said. “They have to appreciate what they have here. They have to want it and do the work.”

Roodzant teaches a number of basic life classes, such as employment, emotional regulation and budgeting. Home Street Bank provides $100 and teaches them how to watch it grow.

She said many of her clients stopped believing in themselves.

“They’ve been through some kind of trauma and think, ‘I’m not good enough,’” she said. She added that they have a lot of anxiety about the past, so she tells them to focus on the here and now because that’s the only thing they can control.

As their case manager, getting people off the streets is like putting a puzzle together.

Roodzant works almost daily with the embedded social worker team of Rochelle Long and officer Mike Buell. Because they represent police, sometimes the homeless are more comfortable with her, Roodzant said.

“They trust me,” she said, adding what matters is they get into treatment.

Folks also can learn work skills there through the DSHS Workforce intern program.

One client, John Carlson, came there after losing his wife, house and business. He said in a video that Roodzant asked him, “What would your wife want for you?” He said she wouldn’t want him to live in deep depression the rest of his life. So he’s used that to turn his life around.

Despite a thriving economy around us, Roodzant has a theory about why her numbers are up.

“There’s no middle class any more,” she said. “You either have it or not.”

She said she knows a single mom of three with a good-paying job who can’t get housing. She said Section 8 housing should just be a “stepping stone” but once people get on it they stay on it for life.

“Housing is at a standstill,” she said, adding that’s an issue she wants to delve into.

She said one element that is missing is showers. The YMCA no longer opens its doors for that, so she’s looking for other options, like a shower truck. She said she helped four people find jobs last month, but they couldn’t keep them because they had no place to shower.

Roodzant said many of the people she helps are not addicts, but have been through trauma.

“We’re going to walk through this together,” she tells them, “and help you back into society.”

By the numbers

(September)

1,468 – number of individuals helped

714 – meals provided

273 – basic needs (hygiene, clothes)

154 – case management

11 – emergency assistance (utilities, rent)

Programs

Breakfast: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Dinner: Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Sundays 3-4 p.m.; The Unitarian Church serves Monday, Wednesday and Friday lunches (Of 16 meals local churches provide for all but three). Clothing: Available Thursday breakfast.

Laundry: Available 2:15 p.m. Sunday.

Classes: Emotional regulation, Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m.; Community resourcing, and Resume and employment help, By appointment.

Holiday assistance: Adopt-A-Family; Toy and Joy; Holiday Meals; Red Kettle Campaign

Volunteers needed: Christmas distribution; Serving-preparing Community Meals; office help; Red Kettle Bell Ringing Campaign (Choose time, location at Volunteer.usawest.org or call Roodzant at 360-926-2228)

Send donations to: The Salvation Army, 1108 State Ave., Marysville, WA 98270.

More in News

Fences have been put up around Marysville playgrounds to keep kids off. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville leaders concerned as (almost) everything’s closing

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – Within hours of Gov. Jay Inslee’s… Continue reading

DOUGLAS BUell/Staff Photos
                                Lead cook Keina Gowins with Presidents Elementary hands out free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to students and parents outside the school Wednesday. Presidents and AHS serve as central kitchen sites for preparing meals, which starting next week will expand to 12 delivery sites from Silvana to Oso. Right, Arlington Food Bank executive director Carla Gastineau and Mike Simpson, food bank board president and owner of Arlington Grocery Outlet, partnered with the district with their Meals Til Monday program, and gave a woman a box of donated food while at Presidents.
Arlington students won’t go hungry during the COVID-19 school closures

ARLINGTON – Arlington schools are closed through April 24 to help fight… Continue reading

People gather to pick up special allergy meals before leaving Lakewood High School on Wednesday in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Districts taking meals to students since schools are closed

By Stephanie Davey The Herald LAKEWOOD — Children wearing pajamas stood outside… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Letter about coronavirus from Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring

This is an edited version of a letter Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring… Continue reading

Briefly

Beware of coronavirus scams SEATTLE – U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is… Continue reading

Jennifer Thompson, left, and her father Ron Thompson secure a new remembrance plaque to the Oso slide site gate on Sunday, near Oso. Ron Thompson handcrafts a new plaque for the gate every year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Community remembers Oso slide victims, survivors

By Ben Watanabe The Herald OSO — The power of remembering the… Continue reading

Inslee: Stay home for 2 weeks

By Jerry Cornfield and Zachariah Bryan The Herald OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay… Continue reading

Scott Beebe hands out Chromebooks to people in their cars. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville parents anxious to pick up school materials for kids

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – A few days ago Marysville schools… Continue reading

Crews will blow garbage into the street and sweep it up over the next few weeks. The city is asking people to move their cars, trash cans and recycle bins when they come around to help them do a thorough job. (Courtesy Photo)
Marysville shuffles workers due to virus, seeks public’s help for sweepers next week

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe. MARYSVILLE – From working from home to teleconferencing… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Marysville leaders’ trip to D.C. productive

MARYSVILLE – City leaders recently obtained advice on how to get more… Continue reading

City Council works toward financing new Fire Station 48

ARLINGTON – The city signed an agreement with Sterling Bank to negotiate… Continue reading