Birmingham Breaks Ground on New Center of Hope
By: Dan Childs
The Salvation Army of Greater Birmingham hosted the Groundbreaking Ceremony for its new Center of Hope with over 200 guests in attendance. Salvation Army leadership was joined by elected officials, donors and local community partners at the construction site for the formal groundbreaking ceremony and spoke about the dramatic difference the new Center of Hope will have on the lives of thousands of individuals, as well as the community and the city.
“This is an important day in the history of The Salvation Army of Birmingham. We’ve been providing services in the city since 1899 and have been in the same building for nearly 50 years,” said Major Bob Parker, area commander. “The new Center of Hope will provide an opportunity to serve those in need in new ways and we are excited about the impact it will make in people’s lives for years to come.”
The Center of Hope will be funded by the $15.1 million Building Hope capital campaign initiative. The 4.1-acre campus will have a 119,000 square-foot building complex placing major Salvation Army programs and services together for a one-stop location to provide comprehensive family, community and social services. The new facility design is centered on the remodeling and restoration of the former Lewis Elementary School, which was built in 1928, and will allow The Salvation Army room for future expansion and growth. The program and services housed at the New Center of Hope will offer solutions to the some of the biggest societal issues and challenges faced today by families, youth, our neighborhoods and our city – problems such as poverty, homelessness, addiction and education.
The Center of Hope will be home to:
- A new Education and Workforce Development Center, a new Salvation Army initiative that will enable residents and the Birmingham community to advance their education and career readiness through basic life-skills training, GED preparation, vocational training,
- A Marketplace Food Pantry, which will provide families and individuals the ability to “shop” for items that they need,
- An increase in transitional apartments reserved for families and individuals as they work toward independence and self-sufficiency: and
- Pathway of Hope, a new initiative that focuses on solving the problem of intergenerational poverty by opening doors to opportunity, building community alliances to expand access to resources in order to create transformational change for parents and their children.