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Organization - The Salvation Army

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The Salvation Army
Last updated on July 8, 2013


The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Programs include homelessness, substance abuse, and housing for women and children.

The Salvation Army was founded in London, England in 1865. Methodist minister William Booth left the church to preach as an independent evangelist in the slums of London's East End. He wanted to "preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in His name without discrimination."

Booth organized The Salvation Army church by military rank. Missions or churches became ?corps?, members became ?soldiers?, ministers became ?Officers? and Booth was the ?General?.

In 1880 The Salvation Army came to New York City and by 1885, The Salvation Army began helping those in need in Richmond, Virginia.

Since then the Army has grown with many programs in Central Virginia including the Adult Rehabilitation Center, The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, Christmas Assistance programs, Citadel Corps, Emergency Shelters, Family Services, Travelers Aid Services and Volunteer Outreach.

History of The Salvation Army In DC

The Salvation Army began work in Washington, D.C. in June 1885, five years after the organization officially arrived in America from its home base in London. From the beginning, the Army in Washington established programs that have fed the hungry, sheltered the homeless, and provided counseling and support to those most in need of help.

Needs grow

Neighborhood locations and the variety of services offered have developed as the city and its needs grew. The earliest locations were in the old downtown, on or close to Pennsylvania Avenue. The Army also opened a location in Alexandria, Virginia in 1885. In the early 20th century, work was opened in neighborhoods such as Shaw in Northwest Washington, and in Southeast, where the Army has been ever since. Expansion into other cities and counties in Maryland and Virginia occurred with the growth of Washington to a major metropolitan area.

Homelessness and substance abuse

Typical of early Salvation Army programs was the Industrial Home, opened in 1903, which addressed the problems of chronic homelessness and unemployment. Men learned trades while working for their lodging and meals. This program eventually became the Men's Social Service Center and later the Adult Rehabilitation Center. These programs, strengthened by the opening of the Harbor Light Treatment Center in 1951, became increasingly sophisticated, providing comprehensive services to those fighting the twin problems of homelessness and substance abuse.

Housing for women and children

Providing housing to women and children in need has been a long standing commitment of the Army in Washington for eighty years. In 1921, the Evangeline Residence was opened to provide low cost rooms and board to working, women. In the 1940's, the Emergency Home was opened to provide women with children a sanctuary while seeking permanent homes and jobs. This program has evolved into the Turning Point that will expand into a large and comprehensive transitional housing program with the opening of a new thirty unit apartment building in June 2000.

Centers for worship and service

Neighborhood Corps Centers for worship and service throughout the region have offered emergency support, food, counseling, activities for every age group, and spiritual nourishment for 115 years. Renewing The Salvation Army's commitment to the Washington area, the Army opened its newest and largest center in Gaithersburg, Maryland in March 2000. More than ever, The Salvation Army is dedicated to helping those most in need in the National Capital area as we begin the new century.

Contact people:

 Liz O'Dell, 202-756-3906, (email)
Brittney Drakeford, Administrative Assistant, (202) 756-2615, (email)

Main office number: (202) 756-2600
Office fax number: (202) 756-2660


 The Salvation Army
2626 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20036
This location is handicap accessible
(See a map)

Web Site:


   Nearest Metro/Subway Stop: Foggy Bottom,
  Walk distance (in minutes): 15
Last updated on July 8, 2013

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