SALVATION ARMY TO BUILD APARTMENTS FOR HOMELESS
(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – The Salvation Army of San Bernardino will build eight new apartments for families transitioning out of homelessness, thanks to a one million dollar forgivable loan just approved by the state.
“This is amazing news for our community,” said Captain Steve Ball, San Bernardino corps officer. “We’ve been dreaming of this day so we can help more people move off San Bernardino streets and transition into brand new lives.”
The apartments will offer a stable, transitional home where eight families( as many as 36 individuals) can stay for up to two years, receive counseling, find jobs and save money for permanent housing.
The major of the city of San Bernardino agrees it is good news. Although the city hasn’t yet formally approved the plans, it is helping The Salvation Army get through the approval process.
“The Salvation Army’s plans for the homeless are very, very needed,” said Kent Paxton, director of Operation Phoenix, and leader in the city’s effort to assist The Salvation Army through the approval process. “A recent survey showed that San Bernardino has more homeless people than any city in the county,” Paxton added.
“The San Bernardino City Unified School District counted 1,700 homeless children in the district,” he said. “Those children belong to families, some of whom will benefit greatly from these apartments.”
The California Department of Housing & Community Development awarded The Salvation Army a $1 million loan on July 16. This loan won’t have to be repaid if The Salvation Army completes construction of the shelter and fulfills the program requirements over a 10-year compliance period, said Adriana Mattox, a funding consultant with Hill & Associates, a firm that helped The Salvation Army obtain funds.
Sheltering up to 96 homeless people every night is just one of the many ministries The Salvation Army of San Bernardino currently offers. Others include serving dinners six nights a week to up to 200 people, helping emergency workers in disasters, providing spiritual counseling and training, operating youth mentoring programs, and working to improve the lives of homeless people within the community.
“None of the money we are about to receive can be used for these other programs,” Capt. Ball said. “While the money for our apartment project is wonderfully received by The Salvation Army, it’s important to understand that the many other programs we operate need continued support.”
The Salvation Army will build the new transitional apartments on the same property where it will soon relocate its emergency shelter. It is still working out the design of this shelter, but Capt. Ball expects it to house 60 to 80 people, with room for an additional 40 more during cold weather months.
It plans to also remodel some of the new shelter’s rooms for single women and families with children.
Adult Rehabilitation Center, a separate branch of The Salvation Army, currently operates the Tenth Street shelter as a residence for men in recovery from addictions. The Salvation Army of San Bernardino operates a shelter at 746 W. Fifth Street, primarily serving homeless women and children, but also married couples.
In October of 2008, Adult Rehabilitation Services will move its men’s residence to a new building on Doolittle Street, and the Salvation Army of San Bernardino intends to move its services to Tenth Street.
The Salvation Army San Bernardino Citadel Corps has helped residents of San Bernardino, Rialto, Grand Terrace, Highland, Bloomington and Colton since 1887.
The homeless shelter and meals program is at 746 W. Fifth St. in San Bernardino. For more information, call (909) 888-1336.
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