According to Maj. Jack Butler, The Salvation Army’s total budget for the year was $140,000. However, a combination of cuts in donations from the United Way and the Griffin-Spalding County Hospital Authority, brought about due to the economy, cut The Salvation Army’s budget for the year in half.
“We were not ever guaranteed every year that we’d get that money,” he said.
As a result of the cuts, The Salvation Army had serious choices to make. In February, the board decided based on Butler’s recommendation that the shelter be closed the first day in April and reopened on the first day of November.
“What is the most critical time?” he asked. “It’s the wintertime.”
However, the more The Salvation Army board thought about the matter, they decided to do everything they could to keep the shelter open year-round.
“We’re not about closing shelters or closing programs — we’re about serving people,” he said.
The Salvation Army enlisted Dooley’s help. Dooley was the spokesman for The Salvation Army’s homeless shelter network in Georgia.
“I called him and he graciously (agreed) to put his name on this,” Butler said. “We appreciate that.”
Two letters bearing Dooley’s signature will be sent out.
The first will be sent to churches in Spalding County, Pike County, Upson County and Lamar County, all of which are served by the local Salvation Army. The goal is for churches to make May 2 a “Sunday of Hope” in which monies collected during the offering will be used to help keep the House of Hope open.
“Also, we’ll be doing an in-house mailing,” he said.
This letter will be sent to those who have already donated money to The Salvation Army, exhorting them to give more.
Butler hopes both letters will be mailed by Thursday or Friday.
The Salvation Army has also sent a 197-page application to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for a $50,000 grant.
“We’re not guaranteed anything,” Butler said.
The Salvation Army will not know if it received this grant until June or July. The Salvation Army needs the money now.
“We at The Salvation Army in Griffin have been very blessed by the support this community has given us over the years, to all our ministries,” he said.