Housing authority’s support aids The Salvation Army in Griffin, Georgia
By: David Ibata
A partnership of The Salvation Army and a local housing authority has created a walking track, enjoyed by senior citizens and other neighbors in Griffin, Georgia.
Years ago, the Army had purchased the land for its corps from the Griffin Housing Authority, and the deal included vacant land behind its building.
“When we arrived in 2016, one of the things in our brief said, ‘Be sure to contact the CEO of the housing authority about the walking track,’” said Lieutenant Paula Blevins, who with her husband Lieutenant Timothy are corps officers in Griffin.
“Robert Dull, the CEO – a wonderful man, and a big supporter of The Salvation Army – wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle and help boost the fitness of the community,” Lieutenant Paula said. “They felt the open field beyond our property would be perfect for residents of the subsidized apartments and senior mid-rise units next door.”
Now, 2½ years later, the corps, authority and Spalding County recently had a ribbon-cutting and ceremony of dedication for the quarter-mile asphalt track. There are fitness stations, a gazebo, a covered pavilion and, in the spring, a community garden to be installed by University of Georgia students. The housing authority paid for the track and will be responsible for its upkeep.
Also, next to the gazebo, the Spalding Collaborative – a local social service organization – put in a Little Free Library in a colorful, weatherproof box. Griffin has about 20 of the libraries, affiliated with the national Little Free Library nonprofit. For information about the group: https://littlefreelibrary.org/.
“You can borrow a book, read it, bring it back, or replace it with another book, and the sponsor – in our case, the housing authority – always makes sure there are books in there,” Lieutenant Paula said.