SALVATION ARMY BREAKS GROUND FOR NEW SALLIE HOUSE
Emergency Shelter for Abused/Neglected/Abandoned Children to get New Home
The Salvation Army St. Petersburg Area Command broke ground on October 25, 2007 for a new, state-of-the-art emergency shelter for abused, neglected or abandoned children. The new 11,000 square foot building will be a safe-haven for up to 24 children, a 33% increase in the current location's capacity.
The ground breaking took place following The Salvation Army's third annual Justice for Children luncheon where campaign chairman, Steve Piazza introduced an initiative to raise $5 million to build the facility.
As of June 11,2009, $2,668,507 has been raised, including early gifts from Advisory Board and Campaign Cabinet members. A lead gift of $1,100,000 was donated by supporter, Bob Keelean. The new Sallie House building will be named in memory of Bob's lovely wife Margaret.
Mr. Piazza and his family became involved with Sallie House several years ago on Christmas Eve when his young son decided he wanted to give presents to needy children. After an exhausted day of shopping for presents and searching for a location that would receive and distribute the gifts, the Piazzas were directed to Sallie House. Since then, the Piazzas have been faithful supporters and volunteers for the program.
The Salvation Army's Sallie House is a safe haven for children, infant to eleven years of age, who have been removed from their home because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Sallie House was founded in 1990 when The Salvation Army was presented concerned community leaders realized that when a child needed to quickly be removed from the home, there was no immediate shelter to take them to while their future family life was determined. The Salvation Army stepped up and took action. A one-story apartment building was renovated, furnishings were acquired, professional staff and caring volunteers were recruited.
The new Sallie House, which will result in a 33% increase in the capacity to care for children, a significant improvement in operational efficiency, and a facility designed to dramatically enhance the working environment for staff, the living environment for children, and the overall quality of care delivered at Sallie House.
Sallie House has been recognized nationwide for its innovative program. In 2006, The Salvation Army National Social Services Conference presented the St. Petersburg Area Command with the National Social Services Award for Excellence for its Sallie House emergency children's shelter program.