The Salvation Army has a big impact on Colorado Springs, which has a vast need, said Capt. David Kauffman, the nonprofit’s El Paso County coordinator and corps officer.
“Our mission unfolds a bit more every day,” Kauffman said, “but we really want to serve families in an even greater way.”
The local Salvation Army offers a broad range of programs and services on its mission to meet the needs of all individuals. The Jesus-focused group offers Sunday church services in three sites and many Bible study and fellowship groups, he said.
Its 220-bed shelter serves meals to hundreds of people daily.
“We are doubling our capacity for families in the shelter, going from 40 to 80 beds,” said spokeswoman and special events manager Jeane A. Turner.
“We are also transitioning all of our apartments – 24 units – into supportive family housing units with a program that is called Fresh Start,” Turner said. “Fresh Start is the same program we previously offered for single men and women but will now be offering only for families, in addition to financial, job and other life skills classes.”
Through their Family and Social Services program, The Salvation Army helps with utilities and other needs. The program gave more than $570,000 to needy families last year, she said.
The New Beginnings program helps individuals move from homelessness toward independence and financial stability. “It provides case management, life skills training and other opportunities to help them become self-sufficient again,” said Turner.
Peter Callahan, 36, said he found his way to The Salvation Army’s R.J. Montgomery shelter in March. “I had just gotten out of jail and was homeless. Luckily, a bed opened up at R.J. Montgomery, and I moved in there,” Callahan said.
He said he stayed three months, then moved into one of the nonprofit’s transitional housing apartments as part of the New Beginnings program.
Callahan credits his caseworker at The Salvation Army for helping him find a job and save money. “She really stayed on me to keep looking for work and encouraged me to keep saving,” he said. Callahan said he recently moved into an apartment with a friend and has saved $5,300.
“I feel so thankful to have had housing at the shelter,” he said. “I don’t know how in the world I could have found a job without having a place to stay. Everyone at The Salvation Army really knows what they’re doing to help people in need. I am very lucky.”
“We at The Salvation Army are always looking to see where the needs are for people. We want to meet them where they are and help them get back on their feet again,” Kauffman said. “Our mission is about restoration. We want to care for people in a holistic way: physically, intellectually and spiritually. And we want to do it in a relational way, sharing food and company with them.”