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


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 Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood

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