1. Give us a brief history of your company.
The Salvation Army was started in 1865 by William Booth as The Christian Mission which sought to reach “the least of thee.” It did this by feeding and clothing the hungry and homeless of London, England. Which today in Lafayette is represented by our Men’s Shelter and Soup Kitchen. In Lafayette, we seek to provide “Soup, Soap, and Salvation” to all who come through our doors just as our founder did so many years ago.
2. What would you tell the rest of Acadiana makes you special?
To many on the outside, The Salvation Army is represented by our Store or Shelter. But, what makes us unique to me is that we are a place where people can feel that they belong. This is because of our exceptional staff and the love of God that they show anyone they meet whether at the Men’s Shelter or our store.
3. What are you most proud of?
We recently planted a community garden that has been providing food to our Kitchen. This was a real effort as members from all around the community pitched in to start the garden. Recently a salad was served using lettuce, tomatoes, and other vegetables from our garden.
4. Where do you see your business in 10 years? What are your plans for the future?
I see us continuing to meet human needs in Lafayette by providing Clothing, Food, and Shelter. We are currently in the process of beginning to remodel our shelter and kitchen. This will allow for a more comfortable and efficient dining experience at night. It will also provide more comfortable lodging to the men of who stay at our shelter.
5. 1A is “Focused on Forward” – meaning we are taking an active role of improving the community we live in. Our members are Focused on Forward, too! – What does Focused on Forward mean to you? How is your company Focused on Forward?
To the Salvation Army, Focused on Forward means helping the homeless or those considered “down and out” to move forward to a better life. This could mean moving forward to permanent housing or moving forward to a better lifestyle. The Salvation Army helps the needy in our community by providing dinner 365 days a year to men, women, and children to help them put their best food forward. We provide a men’s overnight shelter, and a men’s back to work (back to life) program to help those who have found themselves homeless get back to work and find affordable, sustainable housing.