The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast opens first of a kind facility in Florida.

St. Petersburg – On Friday, September 16, 2022, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast Clubs hosted a grand opening with a ribbon cutting celebration at its new youth programing facility located at 3800 9th Ave North St. Petersburg, FL. 33713.

This will be the first Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Florida. This robust location is equipped to support approximately four hundred community youth and plans to host family-focused programing after traditional operating hours.

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast will partner with Sallie House and Children’s Village to provide foster care youth with memberships free of charge. The facility will continue house staple Salvation Army programming and activities including School of Music and Arts (SOMA), Character Building, and Sunday worship services.

“We are honored to partner with The Salvation Army to support even more youth in the Tampa Bay region as we work diligently to reach our goal of supporting 40,000 youth annually by 2025,” stated Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast CEO & President Freddy Williams. “In collaboration with the great Salvation Army team, our staff will support kids by providing early literacy and workforce development programing to support community members’ academic and professional success.” The new location will provide job opportunities with competitive pay and appealing benefits to Tampa Bay professionals, positively impacting the Pinellas County economy.

For many decades, the partnership between The Salvation Army and The Boys and Girls Club has been committed to serving youth in the United States. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that this longstanding tradition will continue here in Saint Petersburg.” said Captain Veronica Conley. “With a shared vision and mission, we are confident that this faith-based club environment will provide the necessary resources and services to equip young people for their future. We genuinely believe we are ‘Better Together’.”

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast is currently accepting new members for the afterschool program open weekdays from 2pm to 6pm. Please contact Club Director Shea Branham-Medina at sbranham-medina@bgcsun.org to learn how to register your child.

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ABOUT THE SALVATION ARMY

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

 ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF THE SUNCOAST

Mission:  To provide high quality out of school time Club experiences proven to ensure our young people, especially those who need us most, are on track to graduate from high school with a plan, demonstrate good character and citizenship, and live a healthy lifestyle. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast serves over 21,000 youth across Pinellas County. For more information call 727.524.2427 and visit online at www.bgcsun.org.

The Salvation Army of Lakeland breaks ground on the expansion of the George W. Jenkins Community of Hope

Lakeland, FL – On Thursday, September 15, 2022, at 9:00 A.M., The Salvation Army will break ground on their semi-permanent transitional housing for families with housing insecurity needs.  The current site of the George W. Jenkins Community of Hope village will add an additional 20 rooms to its existing emergency shelter, 12 new apartments for transitional living, 13 houses for supportive housing, and a community and worship center to serve the community.

Despite the lack of affordable housing and post pandemic eviction moratoriums families experiening homelessness may find semi-permanent lodging at the only family shelter in Central Florida.

A correlation exists between stable housing and increased graduation rates in Polk County, especially in the emergency shelter, which opened seven years ago. According to Captain Jeremy Mockabee, homeless children in Florida have an 88% chance of progressing to the next grade level. “If you’re an average income family and everything is fine with housing, you have a 96% chance of progressing to the next grade.” Families whose shelter services are facilitated through the Pathway of Home initiative have a 99.6% progression rate. “We are not just babysitters,” said Captain Mockabee. Students staying in shelters are provided with a curriculum, and Polk County school teachers tutor them after school and monitor their progress.

Aside from providing emergency shelter and resolving housing crises, Pathway of Home provides free services such as life skills classes, financial planning, referrals to other community agencies, transportation, and child-care support, as well as case management support focused on sustainable housing. As part of the Pathway of Home initiative, semi-permanent, transitional housing provides families with the opportunity to achieve self-sufficiency, financial independence, and home ownership.

For more information about the Hope for Home expansion at the George W. Jenkins Community, or about The Salvation Army please call Captain Jeremy Mockabee at 863.393.5548, or visit our website at https://salvationarmyflorida.org/lakeland/

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About The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy , The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood