DONATIONS are being solicited by the Quincy Salvation Army to raise the final $75,000 needed to build an emergency shelter and family services facility.
The appropriately named Changing Lives Campaign will cap off a $2.2 million building project at the northeast corner of Fifth and Broadway. When completed, the complex will house the only emergency shelter within 100 miles that can accommodate families and individual women or men.
More than a dozen stores in and around Quincy will have paper shelters that shoppers can put their names on, with a minimum donation of $1. Campaign organizers hope those donations will complete the fundraising goal and allow for a groundbreaking this summer. Construction should take 10 to 12 months, with the former Inman's Gallery housing the family services facility and a new addition providing shelter for up to 14 people.
The Salvation Army's director of development, Patty Douglas, has seen thousands of people helped by the shelter. It is a ministry that aids about 300 people each year.
The shelter helps those who are homeless or displaced by fire, flood or other emergencies. The shelter also offers life skill classes to help get people re-established with work or suitable, affordable housing.
The family services facility can provide food and clothing or pay rent and utilities for those in danger of becoming homeless. Douglas said prevention is more cost-effective than providing housing once someone becomes homeless.
Clothing and, in some instances, furniture can be provided through a voucher program with the Salvation Army Thrift Store. In addition, local schools recommend students or families for vouchers through the thrift store.
Under terms of Joan Kroc's bequest, none of the money being used to build the $24.5 million Kroc Community Center can be spent for the shelter or family services facility. However, a series of successful fund campaigns have raised more than $2.1 million toward the project.
During her 14 years at the Quincy Salvation Army, Douglas has seen thousands of lives changed. She has seen the community repeatedly respond to vital needs as well.
Shoppers will be reminded of the campaign when they see paper shelters displayed at local stores. They will see how even small donations can accomplish big things.