In these cash-strapped times, when ever-tightening government budgets mean there’s less money available to spread around, word that The Salvation Army is close to opening a new community center is welcome news indeed.
As cities look for ways to continue to provide services for residents and activities for their children, the new center will open its doors to educational, musical and artistic programs or other activities, such as workshops to help families deal with crises.
Area churches have been providing manpower to help with labor in the renovations, and volunteers would help lead the classes or workshops once the center is up and running.
The Salvation Army has owned the property where the center will be located for several years. The dialysis center that had been housed there vacated the property, and it is being converted into a community center that is expected to open before summer.
The Salvation Army has had a vital role in Imperial County for decades. It traces its history to 1865 on the impoverished streets of London, when London minister William Booth founded a church for the city’s poor, who would not be welcomed or feel at home in traditional churches.
By the turn of the century it had spread around the world, and today it continues to reach out to those in need or without homes, in addition to its regular worship services. Besides feeding the hungry in widely publicized meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas, the agency operates thrift stores and provides meals for those living on the streets who are willing to pass through its doors.
Local Salvation Army Capt. Jerry Esqueda hopes the center will be “an open door to bring the kids for a safe haven, to build confidence in themselves and leave options for dealing with life on life’s terms.”
We can’t imagine a better use of an empty building.
THE ISSUE: Salvation Army opening a community center
WE SAY: This is a brilliant idea in these fiscal times.
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