Resource for News Media and the Public
The Salvation Army Social Services
In this new century, The Salvation Army is serving more people in the USA than ever before. We are already seeing large increases in the number of Americans seeking the basic necessities of life – food, shelter, and warmth.Nearly 30 million people received help from The Salvation Army in 2008. The brief review listed below will quickly show the magnitude of the mission facing The Salvation Army in communities throughout the United States.
Salvation Army social service programs help meet the basic needs of daily life for those without the resources to do so themselves. Often, the programs provide food, shelter, clothing, financial assistance to pay utilities, and other necessities based on the need.
Emergency Assistance Program—Washington, DC— The Emergency Assistance Program provides eligible Washington, DC residents with financial and material assistance for rent, food, utility bills, clothing, furniture, and transportation. In 2004, almost 150,000 people received help with these basic needs.
Lied Renaissance Center—Omaha, Nebraska—The Lied Renaissance Center is nationally recognized because of its uniqueness and functionality. It stands as the world’s largest social services agency under one roof, featuring a broad and diverse offering of 24 programs, from child day care to services for the elderly. More than 160 people who might otherwise be living on the streets live instead at the Center, and more than 100,000 are served annually thanks to the generous donations of the people of Omaha.
Casework and Counseling
Casework and Counseling are components of many Salvation Army programs throughout the United States. Whether it is financial planning and job placement for a young, single mother living in a Salvation Army transitional facility, health care and residential assistance for a family dealing with disease, or counseling and advocacy for a victim of spousal abuse, The Salvation Army is with those it serves every step of the way.
Alegria—Los Angeles, California—The Salvation Army Alegria is a one-of-a-kind, low-density village style community for homeless and low-income families affected by HIV/AIDS. It is one of the largest programs of its kind anywhere in the United States. Located on 1.6 acres in the Silverlake district, Alegria offers families 16 units of transitional housing, 28 permanent housing units, a 70-child daycare facility, educational classes and round-the-clock staff. In addition, 24-hour staffing provides intensive services, including full meal services, transportation, vocational services, and private outdoor playgrounds.
Turning Point—Washington, DC—The Turning Point Center for women and children seeks to break the cycle of chronic homelessness and joblessness for single mothers and their children. Families may stay up to two years in safe, furnished apartments while learning the skills to become self sufficient. The mothers are involved from the beginning in decision-making about their futures and must be enrolled in school or be employed while in the program. Services including case management, crisis intervention, individual and family counseling, advocacy, and independent living skills classes which prepare them for the road ahead.
The Salvation Army has been serving America’s youth for 126 years. Each corps community center has religious and character building programming for young people such as Sunday school, troop programs, music classes, athletics, arts and crafts, camping, and familial services intended to help the parents break the cycle of homelessness and crime so that their children will have a brighter future.
Camp Sebago—Standish, Maine—The overall purpose of camping at Camp Sebago is to care for every aspect of the camper's life. This includes provision for the spiritual, educational, nutritional, social, and recreational needs of each camper through creative, healthy experiences in cooperative group living in an outdoor setting. Children come from local Salvation Army corps and/or social service programs; scholarships are available for those in need through the generous donations of the local community. For many, camping with The Salvation Army opens up a whole new world as it is the first time they will be away from the city.
The Learning Zone—Norwalk, Ohio—Drawing from all local elementary schools, The Learning Zone targets the often overlooked academic “muddy middle” – students who could really blossom with a little more attention and support. Meeting twice a week, students divide their time between a computer lab, one-onone homework time with a program volunteer, and a special third activity, such as a visit from a local string quartet.
Besides the Red Kettle and bell, thrift and family stores stand as an icon of The Salvation Army. The proceeds from the sale of America’s clothes, furniture and donated cars at over fifty percent of the Army’s stores support Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers specifically, a place where men and women receive the care they need to overcome the struggles of addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC)—With 120 centers across the nation, the Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARCs) focus solely on defeating substance abuse and comprise the largest resident rehabilitation program in the United States. Individuals with identifiable and treatable needs go to these centers for help when they no longer are able to cope with their addictions. They receive housing, nourishing meals, and necessary medical care, and they engage in work therapy. They also benefit from group therapy, spiritual guidance and skilled addictions counseling.
Each year, thousands of older adults are served by The Salvation Army through a myriad of programs. At Salvation Army community centers, seniors may find educational classes, adult day care, hot-lunch programs, and the “league of mercy,” a community care ministry that sends Salvation Army volunteers to hospitals, nursing homes, and directly to the homebound to provide a listening ear, a caring heart and a helping hand. Seniors are also offered camping trips to Salvation Army camps adapted to meet the needs of older adults and senior residences for those on a fixed income.
Silvercrest Senior Centers—Located in eight states throughout the country, The Salvation Army operates Silvercrest Senior Centers, apartment-style communities ranging in size from 22 units to 257 units, for low-income seniors. More than just housing, Silvercrest buildings provide access to spiritual and social events at the local Salvation Army corps and residents are encouraged to participate in community oriented activities and recreational programs at the center. Residents pay only 30% of their income for housing and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pays the difference. More than just housing, Salvation Army Silvercrests provide an affordable home and a community for seniors who often find themselves impoverished and alone.
The Brown Bag Program—St. Paul, Minnesota – For more than a decade, the St. Paul Citadel has worked to minister to low-income seniors through the Brown Bag Program. Each month, nearly 200 seniors receive two bags of nonperishable groceries for just one dollar, along with a menu tailored to the bags’ contents. “Many of the seniors in the area live on a fixed income,” says program coordinator Landis Dean. “And many are being eaten out of house and home by dependent children and grandchildren. The idea is not only to get them food, but also to give us the opportunity to have that personal one-on-one contact.”
The Red Kettles and bell ringers are perhaps the most visible community-wide Salvation Army program. However, during the holidays the results from the nickels, dimes and dollars put into the kettles provides needy families with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, gifts for children, coats and shoes for kids with none to wear, and visitation to the elderly and imprisoned who have no one to care for them.
Adopt a Family—Great Falls, Montana—Families who are in desperate need of basics such as food, clothing and household items during the holidays are placed in the care of the Army’s Adopt a Family program. Each family creates a wish list of items and is matched with a volunteer donor team. Businesses, families and school groups adopt families in this program, generously meeting the family’s needs and instilling hope in those who have none.
Angel Giving Tree—Each Christmas, The Salvation Army can be spotted in malls across America standing next to Christmas trees decorated with little angel tags. Each tag holds the Christmas wishes of a child whose family is being served by The Salvation Army. It is through the public’s generosity that these children have gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.
Human and Sexual Trafficking
The Salvation Army is actively involved in fighting the international crime of human and sexual trafficking. The battle is fought on two fronts: shaping public policy in Washington, DC, as well as providing basic services and advocacy for victims. It is estimated that nearly one million people are sold across international borders each year, having been bought and transported in slave-like conditions for sex and labor exploitation. The United States is one of the largest destination countries for trafficking victims from over 50 different countries.
Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center
In 1998, Mrs. Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, donated $90 million to The Salvation Army to build a comprehensive community center in San Diego, California. Her wish was to create a center, supported in part by the community, where children and families would be exposed to different people, activities and arts that would otherwise be beyond their reach. Completed in 2001, the center sits on 12 acres and offers an ice arena, gymnasium, three pools, rock climbing walls, a performing arts theatre, an internet-based library, computer lab, and a school of visual and performing arts.
When Mrs. Kroc passed away in October 2003, she left $1.5 billion – much of her estate – to The Salvation Army, by far the largest charitable gift ever given to the Army, and the largest single gift given to any charity at one time. Mrs. Kroc was very specific that the money not be used for current Salvation Army programs but rather 50% go to the building of community centers across the nation, patterned after the San Diego center, and 50% into an endowment to maintain the centers. While the endowment will not cover the full cost of operating these centers, The Salvation Army is confident that Mrs. Kroc’s example will inspire the support of those in the local areas to partner with us in support of Mrs. Kroc’s vision.
Mrs. Kroc's gift was by far the largest charitable gift ever given to the Army, and the largest single gift (at the time) given to any single charity at one time. This money was to be used for creating community centers in underprivileged areas. Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers are funded in part by this benevolent gift and in part by special fundraising efforts of The Salvation Army. In keeping with Joan Kroc's wishes, The Salvation Army and the communities that will receive these centers must work together to support the centers' creation. This is reflective of the Kroc's emphasis on the value of hard work. Her vision was to ensure that all people had access to resources that would enable them to work and help them to reach their full potential.
The first Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center was established in San Diego in 2002. A total of 26 Kroc Centers were constructed and are open and operational. Thanks to Joan Kroc's gift, Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers are now active across the USA.