The new Salvation Army building is being used primarily for church services.
By D.A. WILKINSON
VINDICATOR RELIGION EDITOR
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Salvation Army has unveiled a new facility and a new public awareness program.
The new building is at 10 S. Fruit St. on the city's East Side.
The Salvation Army began working in that area out of a house on Shehy Street three years ago.
The new facility is a former medical building that later belonged to the Organizacion Civica Y Cultural Hispana Americana Inc.
S.A. Captain Eduardo Feliz and his wife, Captain Miguelina Feliz, will run the center.
"As of right now, it's mostly church services," said Captain Eduardo Feliz. "Most of our social service work is done at the Glenwood facility, but in the future, we may do it here."
The church service at the Fruit Street facility last Sunday attracted 70 people.
Rufus G. Hudson, the 2nd Ward councilman, said the Salvation Army was an addition to the other 50 churches on the East Side.
"It's one more resource," said Hudson. "We can't have too many. I'm very happy."
The councilman plans to call a second summit of the East Side churches this summer. He'd asked churches earlier to clean up a three-block area around their building as an effort to take back the neighborhood from decay.
Major David W. Lyle, area coordinator for the agency, said the job of the Salvation Army is to make an impact on the lives of the residents.
But Lt. Colonel Norman Voisey, the Northeast Ohio divisional commander, said people don't understand what the Salvation Army does.
"We keep trying to define ourselves to the public, and all we know is that they trust us," said Lt. Colonel Voisey.
The Salvation Army is both an evangelical organization and one that meets the immediate needs of people, said the officer.
Lt. Colonel Voisey said that ultimately, the Salvation Army's goal is provide holistic care for each person in need.
To increase awareness about the mission of the Salvation Army, those at the opening were shown a new video, "Faces of Hope."
Rebecca Keck, the vice chairman of the Mahoning County Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, said development of the video had taken a year.
A speakers bureau will be formed to present the video, she said.
Also during the opening, the local Salvation Army recognized Major Geraldine Knickerbocker, who retired to Youngstown. She and her husband, Hubert, who was also a major, had worked here more than eight years.