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Florence City Council to vote on matching funds for possible Salvation Army day center program

The day center program would give the homeless population a chance to take GED courses and to find work.

Posted: Feb 5, 2019 4:31 PM
Updated: Feb 5, 2019 7:42 PM

Tuesday night, Florence City Council members will vote on whether or not to spend money to help the homeless in a possible partnership between the city and the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army homeless shelter located on Huntsville Road can house 62 people a night, but they are only open at night.

"If this funding is approved and like we hope it is, we are looking at offering a couple of days a week a day shelter or a day center type program," said Patricia Clemmons, who works for the Salvation Army in Florence.

Florence City officials said a day center program could cost around $165,000 dollars. Most of the funding would come from Salvation Army headquarters, but the city is considering matching a $38,000 grant from the Department of Economic and Community Affairs, or ADECA.

"We're hoping to be able to offer somethings in house to where they can use our computers to look for work and offer some budgeting classes and GED courses," said Clemmons.

Clemmons said in order for the day center program to happen, they would have to get funding and approval from their headquarters.

"Right now, with the homeless population, we're a nighttime facility, so they leave here and go out into the community going out for work," said Clemmons.

Lonnie Pounders lives across from the Salvation Army's shelter on Huntsville Road in Florence and says he sees firsthand the work they do for the community. He said he hopes the day center program happens.

"I've seen them keep a bunch of people fed and from freezing to death lately with all this weather and everything. If it wasn't for them, there would be a lot of people hurting," said Pounders. "There are a lot of people around here that could use that and take advantage of the services."

If the council members do vote to match the ADECA grant, it's unclear when Salvation Army headquarters could sign off on the day
center. The city council meeting will start at 5 p.m.

We will update you once we learn if city council voted to match the funds.

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