Family Store enlarges Salvation Army presence in Cleveland, Tennessee
By: David Ibata
A new Salvation Army Family Store has joined a corps and a coffee house serving Cleveland, Tennessee.
“We think it’s really going to be a good fit for the community,” said Major Robert Lyle, commanding officer of the Chattanooga Area Command. “We just figure the more we can get The Salvation Army logo out there, the more people see what we do and can come to get help from the Army or be of help to the Army.”
Cleveland is a community of 40,000 people northeast of Chattanooga. It is the headquarters of several denominations including the Church of God (whose Lee University also is in Cleveland) and Church of God of Prophecy. The city also is home to Cleveland State Community College.
The Cleveland Corps opened about 11 years ago, and its Inman Coffeehouse, roughly six years ago. The new Family Store opened Feb. 9, replacing one that closed about eight years ago. State Rep. Dan Howell assisted in the ribbon-cutting, which was covered by a local radio station.
“We’ve had a steady flow of traffic,” Major Lyle said. “Everyone who’s come in has said, thanks for coming back.”
The new store has about 6,000 square feet in space formerly occupied by a grocery. It’s located between an appliance repair store and a church.
It also has generated five jobs; four are held by college students, and one, by an interim youth pastor. The Chattanooga Area Command operates two Family Stores and a warehouse store.
“A family store gives a community a place to support the Army with drop-offs and to do some affordable shopping, and it allows us – if we are able to make a profit at this store – to allocate the money back to the ministry there, including a college ministry, social services and year-round youth programs,” Major Lyle said.