A Pretty Taxed Army
Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 08:48PM
An Unnamed Baldnobber

Those of us that routinely bypass downtown Branson, by cutting off of East 76 at Wendys,  know that The Church Army (CA) has a marginal thrift shop a block or two along the route leading to the Bridge.  Not being a long term resident, I didn't know the scope of The Church Army.  I now know that it is much more than a mere thrift shop. Apparently last evening this Branson based Non-Profit Organization had a gathering at the Hilton attended by a reported crowd of 500+, a mixture of staff, clients and benefactors, I was told.  Further, to my surprise, I was told that CA's client/residents in Branson number somewhere over 200.  A quick check at their website clarified that the client/residents are those disenfranchised by drugs, alcohol, incarceration, etc. Where do all of these "clients" live, I wondered.  Today, I still don't know the full answer but I did learn from a young man working in the Old Branson neighborhood that he lived at a small, poorly maintained, old bungalow just down the street from the CA thrift shop, along with 9 other CA clients.  I verified it to be accurate that each of the 10 clients pays CA seventy five dollars weekly for this shared residence reported to offer 2 baths one refrigerator and wall to wall beds.   It is Saturday and hardly a day to quiz the CA staff, but it seems like a "rack rate" slightly above the Hilton.  I need to have this explained more fully! 

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