Salvation Army of Roanoke suspending its afterschool program

Captain Ken Argot says loss of federal and state funding has the non-profit making tough choices about which programs to keep

August 22, 2011

ROANOKE, Va. — The Salvation Army of Roanoke is suspending its afterschool program.

Captain Ken Argot says loss of federal and state funding has the non-profit making tough choices about which programs to keep.

The Salvation Army says it wants to provide a smooth transition to the families who use the program at the Community Center.

Here is the full news release:

(ROANOKE, VA) August 22, 2011 – The Salvation Army of Roanoke announced today that it is suspending operations of its Community Center, including its Afterschool Program, due to a lack of finances for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

“The Salvation Army, like all nonprofit organizations, is facing reductions from many federal and state funding sources,” said Captain Ken Argot, Corps Officer. “As we adapt to smaller budgets we must make choices about the programs we provide and where we are making the greatest difference.”

During the school year, The Salvation Army spends an average of $6,500 in salaries and benefits per month to operate the Community Center. Income from Afterschool Program fees averages less than $2,000 per month. The Community Center receives no dedicated funding beyond The Salvation Army’s own investment, and the organization cannot continue to run a deficit and keep all of its programs open. The Salvation Army also operates Roanoke’s only domestic violence shelter Turning Point, the Red Shield Lodge for homeless adult men, and provides emergency financial assistance and disaster relief programs. Funding for those programs comes from the United Way of Roanoke Valley, grants, foundations and individual donors.

The Salvation Army wants to provide a smooth transition to the 12 families who use its Afterschool Program.

“We are working with the Presbyterian Community Center and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia to ensure that families enrolled in The Salvation Army Afterschool Program have access to quality, affordable afterschool care,” said Captain Argot. “The Presbyterian Community Center, the Boys & Girls Clubs and other local organizations offer excellent programs, and in this uncertain economic climate it does not make sense to duplicate services.”

The Salvation Army is establishing a task force to work with its neighbors in Southeast Roanoke to find out if there are gaps in services and if it is feasible to deliver those services through the Community Center.

“We want to reopen the Community Center with programs that the community needs and wants,” said Captain Argot. “We also want to ensure that future programs have the appropriate funding.”

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