On November 21, 2013 Captain Burleigh of The Harrisonburg Salvation Army announced to the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County community due to significant ongoing funding shortfalls the future of its shelter is under a ninety day feasibility review.
Decreased governmental funding is impacting nonprofit social services providers, including The Salvation Army’s shelter in Harrisonburg. Along with decreased funds going to social service programs, the Federal and State governments are targeting the remaining funding into alternate housing programs, not into homeless sheltering programs. Though the Harrisonburg Salvation Army has been reallocating funding from other services, the shelter budget remains in a deficit position.
“Our shelter is the most costly service The Salvation Army provides in Harrisonburg. It costs nearly a thousand dollars a day to house and feed sixty to seventy people every night,” says Captain Duane Burleigh. “Due to a lack of funding from government programs the shelter is experiencing an annual deficit of $125,000. As we cannot continue to experience such a shortfall in operational funding we are entering into dialogue with various segments of the community regarding the program’s design, funding and feasibility of the shelter. We are confronted with questioning if it is fiscally viable for The Salvation Army to provide shelter services to the homeless individuals and families we are serving.”
The Salvation Army’s year-round shelter located at 895 Jefferson in Harrisonburg opened over twenty-five years ago. With current bed space for seventy-two homeless people, the shelter has the capacity to shelter twenty-eight men, sixteen women and twenty-eight people across five family rooms. The shelter runs at over 90% of capacity throughout the year. Since the shelter opened it has provided over 530,000 nights of shelter. »»»more