Salvation Army opens extra beds to clear Daytona homeless camp

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Chaos turned into the road to recovery for dozens of people who once called the Volusia County Administration Center home.

Out of 106 people who left Beach Street Friday night, 76 people went to the Salvation Army, 30 people went to three hotels and as of Monday afternoon, 66 people remain at the shelter.

"We used to call it the wall," said Greg Hancock.

Greg Hancock lived there for almost two months.

"I got up here as fast as I could. I got bunk No. 8," he said.

But not everyone was anxious to be placed in a shelter or a hotel, even getting arrested for it.

"A lot of people suddenly wanted to be in our program after the situation from Friday night and thankfully we had already done the foundational work with a lot of those," said Mike Cornell, of the Salvation Army.

Cornell said once they filled the shelter, his staff quickly found three hotels to place the rest. Cornell said the goal is to keep those people off the streets by going through the shelter's bridge bed program.

"Our job starts now. We're transitioning them to permanent housing opportunities. We're here to transform peoples lives," said Cornell.

Hancock said he's grateful for the opportunity.

"I think it's a good thing because it is designed as a bridge for us to get back into permanent housing especially when you're thinking of, well, what are my options. What am I going to do tomorrow?" he said.

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