As Salvation Army leaves old Iowa building, new use pops up
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — As the Salvation Army of the Quad-Cities vacates its long-time Davenport home at the corner of 6th and Harrison streets, the big brick building is poised to become the next downtown apartment renovation project.
In announcing its own move to a building on Kirkwood Boulevard, Bill Horrell, development director, confirmed this past week that an offer to buy the Harrison Street building has been accepted, with closing contingent on a successful conclusion of the other party’s due diligence.
The Quad-City Times reports that renovating the building for apartments would make sense, as the structure was built for apartments — it was called The Roosevelt — and, in fact, still is configured that way, with 28 to 32 apartments recently serving as transitional homes for homeless families, Horrell said.
But the Salvation Army is changing the way it helps homeless families, part of a nationwide effort that officials hope will address the root causes of poverty and prevent homelessness in the first place, he said.
The goal is to engage families before they become homeless, but if that isn’t possible, then to get them permanent housing as rapidly as possible. Instead of housing them in one big building, homes will be provided at scattered sites throughout the city, including apartments and some long-term motels.
When this change was announced at a news conference in May, the Harrison Street building was housing 75 to 80 people, Horrell said. By Aug. 15, all those people had been moved to other locations, mostly apartments, Horrell said. Federal financial assistance was available in most cases to pay for the rent.
By Oct. 1, the Salvation Army hopes to launch its new model called the Pathway of Hope Initiative and rapid rehousing program in which families accepted for help will need to work on goals to make them self-sufficient.
The program will be administered from the Salvation Army’s new quarters at 100 Kirkwood Blvd., the former Molyneaux Insurance building, at the corner of Kirkwood and Brady Street. Case managers will work with people to connect them to job training, health services, childcare and education and spiritual guidance.
Horrell said the program is “optional” because the Salvation Army can’t require people to take it. “We’ll still do the housing. But we’d like for them to take it. It’s a good program.
“We’re excited about the future,” he said. “We want to spread the good. We want to do the most good for the most people.”
At present, Harrison building/Family Services Center also serves as the site for an evening meal provided by Churches United of the Quad-Cities, and that use will continue until Churches United nails down a new location, Horrell said.
A medical clinic operated by Community Health Care will close, with people referred to its location at 500 W. River Drive.
The Salvation Army has been located at 6th and Harrison for 27½ years, and is commonly called “The Sally” by those who use its services.
An evangelical part of the Christian church, the Salvation Army has been supporting those in need since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from the Salvation Army each year through a broad array of social services.
Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com