The Salvation Army in Winston-Salem, NC, has been part of our community since 1907. Caring for the poor and indigent of the city was the initial focus of The Army. Early intervention services included shelter, food, and clothing for the poor and homeless of Winston-Salem. Over the 111 years, the services and programs offered by The Salvation Army have grown from meeting the basic needs of people to many enrichment programs, but the outreach to those who seek a safe, caring, and compassionate refuge continues at the Salvation
Army’s Center of Hope, where single mothers, single fathers, parents with children and single women have temporary emergency housing.
Since 1935, The Army has operated a homeless shelter in some form when it was known as a “transient lodge.” The Center of Hope, as it is now known, has been in its current location at 1255 N. Trade Street in downtown Winston-Salem since 1992.
Bob Campbell, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for The Salvation Army of Greater Winston-Salem, has said, “The Center of Hope serves families and individuals, giving them housing with the goal of enabling residents to return to permanent housing as soon as possible. In 2017, the average stay for a family was 54 days. Residents receive three meals a day; The Center of Hope also serves a community breakfast 365 days a year and Sunday dinner to all who are hungry.”
One of those served by the Center of Hope during a time of need is Marcia Christopher, who had run out of options.
Marcia and her four children had been living in a one- bedroom apartment with her mother and a sister in New York City. Although she had a job, Marcia needed a better place to live, so she moved her family to Winston-Salem, where they lived with another relative while she searched for work. Marcia was forced to leave that residence for her and her family’s safety due to domestic violence. The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope became a refuge for Marcia as well as her children. It was at the Center of Hope that Marcia met case manager Jemmise Bowen, who counseled Marcia to take time just to breathe, slow down and realize that everything was going to work itself out. And that is just what happened…
“I had an interview and got a job at Bib’s BBQ. I also found an apartment with the help of case manager, Na-Twan Robinson. She took me to a place I had never seen before and when we moved in, I literally had everything I needed: beds, furniture…everything. When my kids saw the apartment they said, ‘Mom, this is ours? This is where we are going to live?’ When we moved, I knew we had found home,” Marcia commented. For Marcia and her family, The Salvation Army and the Center of Hope were a stepping stone to a better life.
To continue helping those in the community like Marcia Christopher and her family, the Center of Hope needs support from the Winston-Salem community. “The Center of Hope is funded by multiple sources, including the United Way, various grant sources, private donations, and the Hands & Hearts of Women Luncheon, which will be held on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, from 11:30 am -1 pm at Bridger Field House at Wake Forest University’s BB&T Field. The event will feature moving stories of the work of the Center of Hope from a former shelter resident who has returned to self-sufficiency, and a video of the Center of Hope, depicting the vital services provided to families in crisis. It will be a time of sharing, not only about the work we do, but the rewarding difference we make for those we help,” stated Bob.
Tickets and sponsorships are available at www.SalvationArmyWS.org, by clicking on the link on the home page.