A new billboard sign stands along Airline Highway – to announce to all who pass by that The Salvation Army, serving the Greater Baton Rouge Area since 1905, is still here, still serving strong. Although we never stopped meeting the needs of the community during the 2016 flood, the waters did force us to move temporarily from our long-time home. Renovations were completed in October 2018 on the Administrative and Social Services Offices, the Corps Recovery Center and the Center of Hope Emergency Shelter – it is good to be back!
In May of 2018, we celebrated the opening of a brand-new Family Store on Coursey Boulevard. Eddrick Hawkins, The Salvation Army’s Director of Operations, has focused his energies on efficiently processing donated goods and keeping the Coursey Boulevard and Gonzales stores regularly stocked with fresh goods for sale. Eddrick noted, “The Family Stores sales are vitally important to the work of The Salvation Army. We are really looking forward to the re-opening of our largest store on Airline Hwy later this year!”
Returning to our facilities on Airline has also made it easier for clients to access a wide range of Social Services offered by The Salvation Army. We were especially encouraged to see 13 families participate in The Pathway of Hope Initiative in 2018. Seven of those families have now “graduated” and are living new lives of hope, having broken free from inter-generational poverty.
The 53 bed Corps Recovery Center graduated 83 men in 2018 and continues to accept men seeking support in their recovery from substance abuse. The Center of Hope Emergency Shelter regularly offers room and board to 40-50 homeless men per night.
It is good to see The Salvation Army’s Airline facility busy again – staff, board members and volunteers working hard to meet urgent and long-term needs of our neighbors in the Capital Area, people finding help in their time of need and hope for a better day.