A letter to our donors, volunteers and friends,

We’re sharing information here for our donors, volunteers, and other friends and supporters regarding the closure of a Salvation Army Correctional Services program in Pinellas County:

The Salvation Army of Florida has had a long-term, beneficial relationship with Pinellas County, part of which was providing a service for Courts & Correctional Services program participants. Our Florida administrative office (Divisional Headquarters) assisted the County for more than 35 years by operating the misdemeanor program, which was reviewed regularly by County officials, in Pinellas County. The Salvation Army’s Correctional Services were provided at no cost to the County.

 

The Salvation Army’s correctional services were beneficial to the County in that many program participants completed community service hours with other nonprofit organizations. This was also a beneficial arrangement for many participating in the Courts & Correctional Services program as they often required additional services. Because The Salvation Army provides individual case management, the correction counselors were able to share information on social services in Pinellas County. Program participants were referred to other agencies as needed.

 

It was the County’s choice to not to seek bids from other agencies for operating the program. The contract included an out-clause the County could have exercised at any time, but did not as The Salvation Army followed all elements of the contract. Our provision of services was not the issue; instead, the County chose to centralize all Courts & Correctional Services and not renew the contract.

 

Recent articles misstated that 12% of the fees were paid to The Salvation Army’s National Headquarters. That is not the case. These were administrative fees for the operation of the program by Divisional Headquarters. The Salvation Army continues to have one of the lowest administrative costs of any large nonprofit. Of every dollar donated, 82 cents go directly to programs and services, rather than administration or fundraising.

 

No donor funds were used in the Correctional Services program; it was a fee-based program, with the fees being set by Pinellas County, not by The Salvation Army.

 

In the last 120 years, The Salvation Army has had incredible, life-changing impact in communities across Tampa Bay. In 2012 alone, The Salvation Army provided:

Approximately 163,000 nights of shelter for homeless men, women, and children.
More than 577,000 meals to hungry men, women, and children.
Emergency assistance, such as rent and utility payments, for hundreds of working poor families.
Backpacks and school supplies to more than 1,000 Tampa Bay students in need.
Summer Camp for nearly 500 low-income and at-risk children.
More than 61,000 Angel Tree gifts and toys for thousands of Tampa Bay children living in poverty.

We will continue to follow our mission of meeting human need in Jesus’ name without
discrimination and our promise of Doing the Most Good to the most people in the most need.

The Salvation Army wishes the best for the Pinellas County Courts & Correctional Services program, its staff and participants, and the Sheriff’s Office as it takes on this new endeavor.

For additional information on Salvation Army locations, programs, and services across Tampa Bay, please see www.salvationarmytampabay.org.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United
States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more
information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:

Dulcinea Cuellar
Divisional Public Relations Director
The Salvation Army of Florida
(813) 340-8465
Dulcinea_Cuellar@uss.salvationarmy.org
The Salvation Army of Florida urges residents to prepare as Tropical Storm Karen churns near Florida’s Gulf Coast

Tampa, Fla. (October 4, 2013) – As Tropical Storm Karen churns near the Gulf coast, The Salvation is prepared to send crews from Florida to the impacted areas.

Currently The Salvation Army has 44 mobile feeding units (food trucks) ready to support those impacted by Tropical Storm Karen. The Salvation Army of Florida also has two semi-truck size field kitchens, five shower units, a communication trailer and a mobile command center. It also has 750 trained volunteers around the state and a 50,000 square foot disaster warehouse in Tampa that serves as the epicenter of operations in a disaster or hurricane.

Salvation Army canteens can prepare and service between 500-2000 meals on site where it is needed the most.

The Salvation Army of Florida is focused on potential flooding from Pensacola to Jacksonville, as several counties in the area continue to be saturated by rain from last year’s Tropical Storm Debby.

Salvation Army units in each community are coordinating with local emergency management for possible feeding or shelter support as needed. Also, The Salvation Army continues to work with locations outside of Florida – in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia to offer support if needed.

The Salvation Army of Florida is reaching out to its corporate partners regarding donations of cleaning supplies. Additionally, The Salvation Army is seeking monetary donations to support our disaster relief by going to disaster.salvationarmyusa.org

“We are coordinating very closely with emergency management throughout Florida. While Karen doesn’t look like a catastrophic hurricane we do have very saturated areas throughout north Florida that we are concerned about,” said Kevin Smith, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army of Florida. “Currently our teams are readying themselves and their mobile feeding units to be ready as needed.”

In Pensacola where Karen is expected to hit the region, Salvation Army Captain Bob Cornett is gearing up for what could be an interesting weekend in the Panhandle.

“We are prepared to respond to the needs as they present themselves Sunday morning, when the storm is expected to make landfall,” he said. “We have teams on stand-by; we’re getting our canteen ready and plan to respond if called.”

The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in the storm’s path to prepare an Emergency supply kit and stay informed to all warnings. Disaster response professionals recommend having a three to five day supply of food and water for each individual of your family as well as flashlights, medication, and battery powered radio.

In addition to feeding, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide:

· Clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies
· Hygiene kits
· Drinking water
· Shower units
· First-aid supplies
· Emotional/spiritual care

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by this or other disasters to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by *text messaging the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.” Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief and sent your local Salvation Army.

At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted. Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident. However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow the EDS team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.

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About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

*A one time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Message & Data Rates May Apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and TMobile. By participating you certify that you agree to the terms and conditions, that you are 18 yrs or older, or have parental permission, and have authorization from the account holder. Donations are collected for the benefit of The Salvation Army by the Innovative Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at igfn.org/t. Privacy policy: igfn.org/p. Text STOP to 80888 to stop; Text HELP to 80888 for help.”