The Salvation Army began in London by Evangelist William Booth. This crusade was started to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, homeless, hungry and the destitute by going into the streets and ministering directly to the people. Among the first converts to Christianity were thieves, prostitutes, gamblers and drunkards. Booth preached hope and salvation to the poor and down trodden people of society. He wanted to lead people to Christ and get them in a church for more spiritual guidance. Many churches rejected Booth’s converts because of their checkered pasts. Not to be deterred, Booth remained steadfast in his mission and continued giving spiritual direction to these new brothers and sisters in Christ. He encouraged them to save people like themselves and it wasn’t too long that the new converts were leading people to Christ and were a living testimony to Booth’s mission (The Salvation Army - History of the Salvation Army. (n.d.).
While reading the printers proof annual report, Booth came across a statement stating that his group “The Christian Mission is a volunteer army.” From this report Booth changed the name from volunteer army to Salvation Army which formed the basic foundational deed of The Salvation Army. The first Salvation Army meeting was held in America, in Philadelphia, 1879 and it was met with glowing reviews. 148 years later The Salvation Army is globally with service in 126 countries (The Salvation Army - History of the Salvation Army. (n.d.).
October 18, 1900 the Salvation Army began its work in Memphis Tn. Captain and Mrs. Clarke was the first full time officers and with the backing of 5 local churches they were able to spread God’s word and serve the poor, the organization grew rapidly over the next several years. The Salvation Army opened a Men’s Service Center, the Evangeline Residence for employed women of the Bluff City, Sally House (shelter for homeless men and boys) and a lounge service for men and women called the Red Shield Club. In 1943 the Station Wagon opened throughout Memphis. This was a forerunner for the mobile feeding canteen and the volunteers used to serve hot chocolate, donuts and coffee. Abe Plough spearheaded a campaign that led to the purchase of the YWCA building on Monroe. This buildings 100 bed dormitory was ideal for housing homeless men, women and children. This building was in use until it was sold in 1997 for Auto Zone Park (The Salvation Army - History of the Salvation Army. (n.d.).
With the sale of the Monroe building, the Salvation Army needed a new home. The Kemmons Wilson family led a campaign that raised $7 million to aid in the construction of the Purdue Center of Hope. This center is located at 696 Jackson Ave and opened in August 2000 marking the 100th anniversary in Memphis. This facility houses the Memphis Area Command, 3 women’s shelters and emergency family services (The Salvation Army - History of the Salvation Army. (n.d.).
The Salvation Army of Memphis was awarded a Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in 2005. When Joan Kroc passed away she left in her will a donation to the Salvation Army. This donations sole purpose is to maintain and build the Kroc Centers across America. The Memphis Kroc Center opened in February 2013. This center brought various economic groups together and this also offers a variety of programs that involves art, education, recreation and worship. The Salvation Army is a non - profit organization, that relies on the donations made from corporations and individuals to be able to provide their services to their clients (The Salvation Army - History of the Salvation Army. (n.d.).
In the Purdue Center of Hope, it houses 3 individual shelters these are; The Single Women’s Lodge, Emergency Family Shelter and Renewal Place. The Single Women’s Lodge can house up to 20 women. During their 90 day stay the women are provided safe