The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 in London England by a Methodist minister, William Booth, and his wife Catherine. The Booths left their church to preach to those unwanted: alcoholics, prostitutes, gamblers, and the wayward and homeless.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.--Mission Statement
During the 1880's, the Army turned toward social reform understanding the connection between poverty and pathological behavior.
By the 1900s, the Army had spread around the world. The Salvation Army soon had officers and soldiers in 36 countries, including the U.S. This well-organized, yet flexible structure inspired a great many and much-needed services - women's social work, the first food depot, the first day nursery and the first Army missionary hospital. During World War II, The Salvation Army operated 3,000 service units for the armed forces, which led to the formation of the USO.