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The Salvation Army - King County 

Description

The Salvation Army’s King County social services programs help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community meet their basic human needs for safety, food, and shelter. In King County, The Salvation Army offers a comprehensive suite of social services that address homelessness, hunger, and domestic violence. Our programs are designed to meet clients’ immediate needs then encourage and support them on a path toward self-sufficiency. In 2014, King County social services programs served over 135,000 clients.  

Mission Statement
The Salvation Army’s mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.  
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The Salvation Army - King County
PO Box 9219 
Seattle 
WA
98109-0200 
(206) 281-4600 

Major Doug Tollerud 
NW Divisional Commander 

Programs

The Salvation Army - King County Programs

Homelessness
To prevent homelessness among low-income populations, The Salvation Army offers financial assistance to those who are facing eviction because of past due rent or unpaid utility bills. Our emergency shelters provide safety, warmth, and connections to community resources. Clients who are on their way to leaving homelessness may stay in our transitional housing programs from two weeks to two years until they are able to secure permanent housing. Last year, The Salvation Army provided nearly 77,000 bed nights at our facilities and helped 1,300 families stay in their homes through rent and utility assistance.

Hunger
The Salvation Army serves over 200,000 congregate meals annually to all members of the community who are in need, including working poor families, low-income seniors, and the homeless. Additionally, The Salvation Army distributes nearly 32,000 bags of groceries through its largest food bank in Renton, smaller food banks at the White Center and Pike Street locations in Seattle, and a food pantry at the Eastside Corps in Bellevue.

Domestic Violence
At Catherine Booth House in Seattle, The Salvation Army provides a refuge for victims of domestic violence and their children. At this confidential emergency shelter, victims of domestic violence have a safe place to stay and can meet with advocates who will help them create a plan to stay safe and teach them how to access community services. At Hickman House, domestic violence victims and their children can stay in a transitional housing program for up to two years while they adjust to their new lives and find permanent housing. In 2014, TSA served 929 clients through our domestic violence programs.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Individual Success
Cathy has struggled with addiction for much of her life, often neglecting her responsibilities as a mother and role model. A year ago, she came to The Salvation Army for assistance. Through our various programs, we supported her on the path to sobriety and self-sufficiency. This December, we were also able to provide her beautiful daughters with Christmas gifts. Thanks to our donors’ generosity, Cathy celebrated Christmas with her daughters this year – sober and full of joy.

Program Success
To help children struggling with hunger and food insecurity, The Salvation Army Renton Corps offers food assistance through its Backpack Program. The program provides kid-friendly meals and snacks to children in Renton who are eligible for free/reduced lunch so that they do not go hungry on the weekends when they do not have access to school meals or snacks at after-school programs. In 2014, the Backpacks Program gave 444 children access to healthy meals on weekends, when they may have otherwise had to do without.

Current Needs
The Salvation Army is always grateful for donations of goods, time, and money. Specifically, our King County locations have a great need for food and hygiene products. Monetary donations provide clients with emergency financial assistance to prevent eviction and help those coming out of homelessness to secure permanent housing. Volunteers are particularly needed at food banks, for youth development programs, and to help staff special events.

Evaluation

The Salvation Army's Renton Corps (SARC) Backpack Feeding Program is a partnership with the Renton School District that distributes food to children at risk of hunger over the weekends.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
Access to food assistance became more difficult in Renton with the closure of another nonprofit food bank in 2008. With strong local leadership and volunteer support, the Salvation Army’s Renton Food Bank has intentionally set out to fill the service-gap for Renton families and children. The Backpack Feeding Program is a key component of that strategy. Backpacks are filled with 4 kid-friendly meals and 2 snacks per child and delivered to schools for check-out on Friday; they are then returned by students on Mondays. In 2010, the program served more than 250 children each week at four high-need Renton elementary schools.

The Backpack concept allows children who might otherwise be teased about accepting assistance to make receiving food a private transaction. The anonymity that comes with distributing meals in an ordinary backpack allows students to retain their dignity despite the fact that their basic needs aren’t being met at home.

Sustainability
Through efficiencies realized via partnerships and the use of volunteer labor, SARC has reduced the cost of the program from $15 to $12 per backpack per weekend. In terms of numbers of children served, the program expands and contracts based on dollars raised to support the initiative.

In recognition of the Backpack Feeding Program’s effectiveness, the United Way recently awarded the Salvation Army a $25,000 grant to expand the program to White Center schools in 2011.

Collaboration
SARC works closely with the Renton school district, Communities in Schools of Renton, community volunteers, and the Salvation Army’s Renton food bank to operate, assess, and expand the program. Because Communities in Schools already has staff based in partner-schools, using this nonprofit as an intermediary between the Salvation Army and school sites has made the program more efficient and therefore able to serve more children.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
6/10/2012 $150,000.00to support completion of the Basic Needs Center project.
3/10/2011 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/14/2006 $28,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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