The Salvation Army Central Virginia Expands Community Impact with Chamberlayne Avenue Relocation

In the January City Council Meeting, The Salvation Army of Central Virginia was approved for relocation of its Area Command to 1900 Chamberlayne Avenue (Eternity Church), which will allow the organization to expand its homeless services, including doubling client bed count and increasing access to critical services.

By moving to a one-story building, The Salvation Army will be better equipped to serve disabled individuals in need of housing. Additionally, the nearly 50,000 square feet of space will more than double the amount of available beds, increasing from 55 to 97. This expansion will allow The Salvation Army to continue the decline in homelessness by increasing the access to safe shelter.

“We’re excited for the potential impact this new facility will have on people who are experiencing a housing crisis,” said Major Donald Dohmann, Area Commander, at The Salvation Army of Central Virginia. “In order for The Salvation Army to continue doing the most good, we need to evolve as community needs evolve, and this is the perfect opportunity for that.”

The relocation will include the move of all administrative operations, case management services and emergency housing into one facility, enabling more comprehensive care for clients. The Salvation Army will continue serving the Richmond community through their Adult Rehabilitation Center, Boys & Girls Club Program and Citadel Corps church.

The Salvation Army has been serving Central Virginia residents in need since 1885 and has been located at 2 West Grace Street for 40 years. By moving Area Command under one roof, The Salvation Army hopes to strengthen their focus on serving the community and advocating for people seeking a path to self-sufficiency.

Dennis – A Veteran Overcoming Adversity

Dennis is a veteran who served our country during the Vietnam War.

Dennis

Dennis is a veteran who served our country during the Vietnam War.

For more than two years, he has been a full time employee with McGuire VA Medical Center. He maintains an apartment in Richmond. His willingness to overcome significant adversity is an example.

“2011 was a changing year in my life; it started out depressing but turned into amazing.”

After his military career he began working in hospitals where he remained until 2008 when he was laid off after 15 years as anesthesiology technician.

“More people were coming out of school with nursing degrees and the tech positions were getting squeezed out.”

Without a steady paycheck Dennis lost his home and was forced onto the streets. Depression set in and Dennis found himself turning to external sources for comfort.

“I became clean the day I entered The Salvation Army in fall 2011. I didn’t want alcohol anymore. God led me to the Army and the Case Managers helped me get perspective and overcome the challenges caused by my choices and how I was living. My faith is very strong and that is what keeps me going. The generosity, the compassion of the donors I’ve experienced personally and I see every day amazes me.”

Dennis’ Case Manager helped him secure a place in the Comprehensive Work Therapy program at McGuire VA Medical Center where he has worked full time since 2012.

“You can’t think negative, you won’t get anything done.”

David’s Story of Service & Perseverance

When David served in the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War, he worked alongside Chaplains to help families in the states deal with casualties.

He has a degree in journalism, won a paid internship as a writer in New York, worked with Popular Science Magazine, graduated Union Seminary, was Executive Director of an Urban Mission, served 20 years as a pastor and survived cancer.

In 2006, he was wrongly convicted of a crime. During 6 years in prison, he participated in on-site ministry led by Shelter Director Dan McManus. After multiple court interactions, his innocence was acknowledged in 2012. He was released and The Salvation Army welcomed him.

“Dan has taught me to have a sense of gratitude for the blessings I have. My stay here has reminded me of the value of relationships with Christ, family and friends. It has made life worthwhile.”

David became Head Monitor in the Shelter, helping other residents meet their needs. He is now employed as a Manager with Crisis Stabilization House, a place where veterans address their mental health issues.

“The Salvation Army is a great investment. The contribution to the restoration of people has major impact. The Army cared about my future and provided opportunities to make that happen.”