Nat’l Salvation Army Week, Part V: Housing
National Salvation Army Week is May 14-20. To celebrate, The Salvation Army Northern Division will publish a special story every weekday of the event. Each story will highlight a topic or service that illustrates how The Salvation Army is Doing the Most Good® in Minnesota and North Dakota. Please help us #FightForGood by volunteering or making a donation.
The Salvation Army houses hundreds of people across Minnesota and North Dakota every single night.
People like Chuck (pictured), live at The Salvation Army’s HOPE Harbor, a 96-unit affordable housing facility in Minneapolis. Chuck was employed for almost 50 years but had to stop working in January after suffering a stroke. He’s been sober since April 11, 2004.
These days, Chuck uses his spare time to paint. He is an incredible artist.
“Every time I paint, I grow closer to God,” Chuck said. “To me it’s a form of worship.” (Read more about Chuck.)
HOPE Harbor is one of 50 housing facilities The Salvation Army operates in Minnesota and North Dakota. Each facility provides one of three housing services – emergency, transitional, and permanent-supportive.
Most of these housing facilities serve society’s most vulnerable populations, such as the Harbor Light Center in downtown Minneapolis, one of the largest homeless outreach facilities in Minnesota (read what it’s like to stay at Harbor Light).
Harbor Light helps people like Brenda, a single mother who once lost everything – including her children – to drugs. With help from Harbor Light, she has become happy, healthy and productive (read Brenda’s story).
“The Salvation Army has been a blessing for me,” Brenda said. “It truly saved my life.”
Another important facility is Booth Brown House, which offers emergency and transitional housing for homeless youth.
A 19-year-old named Isaac recently moved into Booth Brown House after living on the streets since age 14.
“When I wake up every morning, I thank God for being here,” said Isaac, who spent years living out of his backpack. “The hardest part of being homeless is not knowing where you’re going to sleep or where your next meal is coming from.”
At Booth Brown House, Isaac is learning how to be an upstanding young man. He has a job and he is learning valuable life skills.
“(My caseworker) has been showing me how to get around and how to do things that I don’t know how to do – like writing a check to pay rent,” he said. (Read Isaac’s story.)
The Salvation Army also offers services that prevent people from losing their homes. Our rental assistance program, for example, recently helped a hard-working single mother keep her apartment.
“She’d fallen ill and had been forced to take an extended period of time off of work,” said the woman’s case manager, Jennifer. “She works as a waitress and did not receive paid time off.”
By the time this woman could work again, she was almost out of food and could only afford to pay half of her rent. But thanks to The Salvation Army and its supporters, Jennifer was able to give the woman groceries and pay the other half of her rent. Now the woman is back at work and back on track financially.
Safe and sound
The stories below provide more examples of how your donations to The Salvation Army provide safe and secure housing to people and families who are homeless or are in danger of becoming so.
“Key” to a comeback: For Brett Bruvold, the most demoralizing aspect of being homeless in St. Cloud, Minn. wasn’t his lack of food or housing. It was his lack of keys.
Housing programs saves dollars and dignity: The Salvation Army is curbing homelessness in the Twin Cities through an innovative program funded by Hennepin County.
Housing resident has amazing backstory: Many of the senior citizens who live at Salvation Army Booth Manor have lived incredible lives. Alekandr Ryvlan is one of them.
Formerly homeless youth beats the odds: Zarina Sementelli moved into Booth Brown House after enduring a lifetime of abuse, neglect and homelessness. Today she is thriving.
Support our housing programs
Your gift today will provide housing for someone in need. Just $25 provides a night’s stay at one of our shelters, including meals and a shower. In communities without shelters, your gift provides rent and utility assistance to keep people from becoming homeless in the first place. Your gift will be used in your local community, based on the ZIP code you provide.
Join the Fun
To celebrate National Salvation Army Week, we’re hosting nightly trivia May 14-18, aptly named Sal Army Trivia. Are you ready to play? Take a look at our Sal Army Trivia rules so you know what to expect.