The Salvation Army will welcome families to its new Shield of Hope emergency family shelter starting March 6. The project, a partnership with the City of Chicago, is the nation’s first rapid-response emergency homeless assessment and response center addressing the needs of families in crisis.
Through an innovative service model, the Shield of Hope will triage and assess families who are homeless and help them find more stable living situations within 14 days. When necessary, the facility will be able to provide shelter for as many as 75 family members if they’re unable to find shelter elsewhere. The Shield of Hope will support a continuum of care that advances the Army’s promise of serving those in need, while ensuring they maintain their personal dignity.
“We are committed to providing these essential services to residents of Chicago who are most at-risk and in need,” said Lt. Colonel Charles Smith, Salvation Army Metropolitan Divisional Commander. “Not only will The Salvation Army provide a safe and welcoming environment for families to live during emergencies, we will help them restart their lives by giving them the tools and resources to begin again with hope and joy. We will shield them from doubt and darkness.”
The Shield of Hope provides:
- 20 Bedrooms with Private Bathrooms
- Laundry Room
- Counseling, Support Services and Life Skills Training
- Assistance Obtaining Permanent Housing
Families staying at the Shield of Hope will also have access to an array of services at the Freedom Center (which is across the street):
- Social Service Programs
- Recreational and Educational Programs for the Entire Family
- Nutritious Meals and Snacks
- Treatment for Substance Abuse
The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony is Tuesday, March 6 at 10 a.m., and will feature comments from The Salvation Army and Chicago political and civic leaders. There will also be tours of the facility. To request an invitation to the grand opening or for media inquiries, please contact Shanna Schwarze, Director of Communications at 773.205.3254 (office) or 773.885.3433 (mobile).