Salvation Army has raised $9 million

Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — While the Salvation Army of Wake County serves over 90,000 people a year, the waiting list for its 34-bed downtown shelter totals 70 women, with children, who do not have a place to spend the night.

The Salvation Army aims to change that by transforming the former Edwards & Broughton Printing plant at 1863 Capital Boulevard into a 41,000-squarefoot Center of Hope.

Scheduled to open in the fall or winter of 2011, the center will include a 92-bed shelter for women and children, as well as the agency’s administrative offices, both now on South Person Street downtown.

The Salvation Army in February launched a capital campaign to raise $12 million to replace and expand its existing facilities and cope with growing demand for services.

Chaired by James F. Goodmon Jr., vice president of the New Media Group at Capital Broadcasting Co., and his mother, Barbara Goodmon, president and executive director of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, the campaign has raised $9 million.

With the average stay totaling roughly 90 days, women at the shelter are assigned a case manager to work with them on securing housing and child care, building their resumes and securing jobs.

And in the face of the troubled economy, the shelter is seeing women with college degrees who have held full-time jobs but have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced and may not have the money to pay their rent or buy food, says Paige Bagwell, director of operations and communications for The Salvation Army.

“We are seeing a different type of client, people who have never had to ask for help before,” she says.

The agency also is turning away at least 150 people a week who are seeking assistance with emergency needs such as food or paying bills in the wake of cuts by Wake County in some of the services it offers.

In addition to Christmas activities, including distributing over 46,000 new toys and gifts to kids, over 7,000 winter coats for kids, delivering gifts to about 20,000 prisoners, and raising nearly $314,000 through its Red Kettle Campaign, the Salvation Army visits 100 to 150 senior citizens a week and feeds 175 people a night at its soup kitchen.

The total raised so far in the capital campaign includes pledges of $2.5 million from Judy D. Zelnak and Stephen Zelnak, chairman of Martin Marietta Materials, and $1 million from the Fletcher Foundation.

And since February, the campaign has received pledges of $500,000 each from Wake County and the city of Raleigh; gifts of $200,000 each from the BB&T Charitable Foundation and the Stewards Fund, which made a challenge grant the Salvation Army met; and gifts of $100,000 each from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Cardinal Trucks International, and the Temple and Carol Sloan Foundation.

The new facility, which will be served by a new city bus stop, will be named the Judy D. Zelnak Center of Hope, and the shelter will be named the Barbara A. Goodmon Women & Children’s Shelter.

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