The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia’s headquarters on Conshohocken Avenue was a flurry of activity the week of June 27, with the sound of power equipment echoing through the hallways. Teens with the faith-based group, World Changers, traveled from across the country on a mission trip to perform community service. The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia was one of the local agencies blessed with their help for four days.
The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia is partnering with Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia to provide valuable legal counsel, as well as prayer, for those in need. This new free legal aid clinic at The Salvation Army Temple Corps Community Center, located at 1340 Brown Street, marks the first such program through Christian Legal Clinics in North Philadelphia. The partnership kicks-off with a special Expungement Clinic on Saturday, May 14, 9 am – noon, at The Salvation Army Temple Corps Community Center.
“The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia is committed to doing the most good in the community,” said Major A. Philip Ferreira, Director of Operations, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia. “This new free legal aid clinic in North Philadelphia allows us to provide hope and an opportunity for individuals to create a better life for themselves.”
There were mountains of cases outside The Salvation Army’s Greater Philadelphia Operations Center filled with thousands of pounds of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce and dinner rolls. It all needed to be loaded into trucks and hauled to three Salvation Army sites before dawn on Thanksgiving morning for distribution to local families later that day. Among those up to the task – Team Rubicon!
“They moved, they lifted, they lugged,” recalled Major Susan Ferreira, Associate Director of Operations, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia.
Team Rubicon is a national agency that links veterans with volunteer opportunities in disaster response situations. The organization reached out to The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia in the fall of 2015 to give local vets a way to give back to the community during the holidays.
The Salvation Army Tabernacle Corps Community Center, at the intersection of Allegheny Avenue and Mascher Street, sits in the heart of the Fairhill-West Kensington section of Philadelphia. The largely Hispanic neighborhood is considered one of the poorest in the city, with a poverty rate of more than 62-percent – more than double the overall Philadelphia poverty rate of 26.3-percent – according to the U.S. Census. The once thriving manufacturing community of 50 years ago is now a sea of deteriorating buildings, trash-strewn streets, high crime, drug sales and prostitution.
“This is a very tough neighborhood,” said Captain Omar Rolon, Co-Commanding Officer, The Salvation Army Tabernacle Corps Community Center.
The Salvation Army is a place so many here in need turn to for support and spiritual guidance. That’s why every Wednesday, Luce Melendez and dozens of other older residents gather at Tabernacle for socializing, lunch, games, educational workshops and praise. They come for the new Seniors Program, which kicked off in the summer of 2015 with approximately 20 participants. Now it draws as many as 50 people on any given week.
The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia is joining forces with the Philadelphia Police Department, The United States Attorney’s office, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security and multiple non governmental agencies to form an anti-human trafficking task force in the City of Philadelphia.
“The task force will provide Philadelphia with the resources to address human trafficking collaboratively on city, state and federal levels,” said Jamie Manizaraka, Director of Anti-Human Trafficking and Social Service Ministries, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia.
Nancy Strong is a woman who lives up to her name. She has been through a lot in her 50 years and the last four have been the toughest: losing her job, becoming homeless, and
grieving the death of a son, all while raising a teenage daughter. But Nancy has persevered and is making great strides to self-sufficiency – with inner strength and determination and some love and support from The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia.
“I didn’t want to be homeless. No one chooses this. My thing is I needed a job. I was patient and everything came out positive,” she said with a smile.