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Our Impact During the Pandemic Image

Our Impact During the Pandemic

Built on compassion, community, and hope

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Dear Friends,

Your compassion and boundless generosity made all the difference to us this past year. When COVID-19 brought our country and economy to its knees, Salvation Army officers and staff remained on the front lines meeting basic human needs with love and support. 

Your support empowered us to rapidly expand our emergency food program in Greater Cleveland through our five Corps Community Centers. Your support kept our programs operating 24/7 at the Salvation Army Harbor Light Complex, including the largest emergency family shelter in Northeast Ohio. 

While the worst of the pandemic could be coming to an end, we are prepared for a recovery that will take months, if not years to overcome. Be part of the solution with us. We are at our best when we come together as a community. As the largest social services organization in the United States, we stand ready to serve. 

We invite you to review below the impact we’ve had in Greater Cleveland during the pandemic. And, please let us know if you have any prayer requests. These are challenging times for all of us. 

Majors Thomas and Kathleen Applin, Divisional Secretaries
Greater Cleveland Area Services

We provide hope to families and the most vulnerable in our communities.

The Salvation Army’s approach to feeding the hungry is based on the local needs of each community we serve.

  • 907,366 nutritious meals served
  • 10,159 home-delivered meals to homebound Seniors
  • 173,850 individuals served emergency food through our five Corps Community Centers

Our doors are always open to anyone without a place to call home.

  • 165,281 nights of shelter provided by all Salvation Army residential programs
  • 188 unique families stayed on average 40 days at our Zelma George Emergency Family Shelter
  • 51 human-trafficking survivors received 2,670 nights of shelter, respite, and direct support
  • 750 adults struggling with addiction received care in our Substance Abuse Recovery Program
  • 718 men and women achieved re-entry into society through our community corrections program

Neighbors in need turn to us for hope and assistance.

  • 1,446 families received utility assistance
  • 101 seniors enrolled in socialization programs and resources
  • 4,636 children and 1,972 families received toys for Christmas

(Audited figures reflected to the nearest 000s)

Feeding Our Neighbors Who
Are Hungry

Food insecurity has only gotten worse since the pandemic began and more families have turned to us for the first time. When demand for emergency food spiked (March 16 – Sept. 13, 2020), we responded:

• 510,000 meals provided – twice the number compared to the same 6-month period the prior year.

• 13,156 individuals sought our help for the first time – almost 1 of 3 served.

Kristin Warzocha, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, described The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland as “A shining star in terms of food distribution.” Listen to Kristin describe our partnership at a virtual forum on July 14, 2020.

View Video 

Lt. Bolton distributing bags of food at Miles Park Corps.

Housing Families Without a Home

On any given night, up to 350 clients (of which some 25% are children) are housed and cared for by a staff of approximately 120. Our staff has worked on the front lines every day during the pandemic, providing quality care, love, and hope to all Harbor Light clients.

Drawn by children in our care at the Zelma George Emergency Family Shelter at Harbor Light in downtown Cleveland.

Learn About Our Shelters

Providing Hope and Assistance At Christmas

Our community partners and volunteers went above and beyond to help us collect and distribute toys to 4,636 children. Additionally, more than 1,900 families received food to enjoy as a Christmas meal when picking up their children’s toys. Over 9,000 toys were collected from over 60 local and national corporate partners.  

Bags of toys packed by volunteers are stacked in The Salvation Army East Cleveland Corps’ chapel awaiting distribution. 

View a behind-the-scenes look at our toy warehouse and the process for packing toys for thousands of children.

Behind the Scenes 


Thank You for Your Support!

Generous donors, foundations and corporate partners help us transform lives every day. We pledge to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us. The Salvation Army is recognized as one of the most efficient nonprofit organizations in the country. Moreover, 90 cents of every dollar donated locally is allocated to assist people right here in Greater Cleveland.

Help us continue to make an impact!

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