Q:  How did the current Sallie House get started?

A: Sallie House was founded in 1990 when The Salvation Army was presented with a critical need:  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. 

Q:  How did Sallie House get its name?

A:  The name plays off the first syllable of Salvation Army, and is a reference to women who ministered to the needs of American military men at home and abroad during World War I. In the program, female Salvationists became known as "Sallies" as they served donuts and coffee in the frontline trenches and elsewhere. They became a symbol of love and caring that has endured through the years.

Q:  Who uses the Sallie House? 

A:  The Florida Department of Children and Families has contracted out its child protection and foster care programs locally to the Eckerd Youth Alternatives. That private, community-based care organization now works directly with The Salvation Army in placing children at Sallie House. The process begins with the sheriff's offices in Pinellas and Pasco counties making the often tough decision to remove children from their home.

Q:  What are the needs facing these children? 

A:  Sallie House is a safe, calm, loving place where children can take their first steps toward hope and healing.  The goal is for these children to not only be safe, but to experience normalcy. 

At Sallie House, each child is provided a clean bed, freshly laundered clothes and regular meals.  A loving routine begins to replace the chaos.  There is someone to sit with them should they wake up in the middle of the night, to help with a homework problem, to step in when frustration boils over into hitting or crying.  There is a loving caregiver always available to gently instruct them in the kinds of things most of us take for granted - how to wash hands before a meal, how to take turns, how to tie a shoe, how to say 'please' and 'thank you.'

Q:  Doesn't the government support this program? 

A:  The Florida Department of Children and Families has contracted out its child protection and foster care programs locally to Eckerd Youth Alternatives. That private, community-based care organization now works directly with The Salvation Army in placing children at Sallie House.

While the State of Florida provides a portion of the cost of meeting the needs of the children we care for at Sallie House, the limits of the state budget means that the cost of their care consistently exceeds the reimbursement we receive.  To provide the full level of care these children require, The Salvation Army relies on the generosity of this community to help us provide the very best care for these hurting children and give them what every child wants and needs: love, encouragement and hope for the future.

Q:  Why doesn't the State of Florida pay for the additional buildings and equipment? 

A:  State dollars are not typically used to fund building projects.  However, state funds are allocated to us to help curtail the everyday expenses associated with caring for the children.   The cost per day to care for a child in Sallie House is approximately $156.00. The state pays approximately $110.00 per day/per child.  The Salvation Army makes up the difference. 

Q:  What are the Sallie House staff positions and responsibilities? 

A:  On any given afternoon, a staff of 8 is on hand to help fill the needs of the children of Sallie House. 

  • Program Manager - Oversees budgeting, scheduling, supervision, disciplinary issues and daily operating procedures.
  • Community Based Care Coordinator - Provides individual and group therapy for children as needed, and completes intakes, assessments and discharges of all children placed at Sallie House.
  • Life Skill Coordinators - Oversees the direct care for the children by assigning groups, planning activities and outings, distributes medications accordingly, and documents all pertinent information regarding each child.
  • Life Skill Facilitators - Provides direct care for the children inclusive of basic needs, educational stimulation and age appropriate affection and nurturance
Q:  What is the Sallie House Endowment Fund?  What are the future plans for these funds?

A:  Donors may choose to contribute to either capital fund to build the new Sallie House or to the Sallie House Endowment Fund.  The Endowment Fund will secure the future of Sallie House by providing operating funds from the interest earned.

Q:  Who else is giving to this campaign?

A:  As of June 11,2009, we have raised $2,668,507 toward our $5 million goal, which includes early gifts to the campaign from our Advisory Board and Campaign Cabinet, with a lead gift of $1,100,000 from our dear friend Bob Keelean. The new Sallie House building will be dedicated to Mr. & Mrs. Robert Keelean.

Q:  Why should I give?

A:  The children who come to Sallie House are all our children.  They aren't any different from your own or the child next door - it's their circumstances that are different.  It is a tremendous and serious setback to a child when parents let them down.  To be further let down by the community while in this vulnerable state of mind practically guarantees a crippled, if not totally failed future.  We must help!

Q:  How much of my money will be going to overhead expenses? 

A:  When you contribute to "Operation Safe Haven," 100% of your generous donation will go to building the new Sallie House.  Overhead expenses are covered by The Salvation Army's general fund.

Q:  Did the St. Petersburg Salvation Army receive any funding from the Joan Kroc gift?

A:  No. The generous donation from Mrs. Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald's Restaurant founder, Ray Kroc, was restricted for the construction of new community centers and to partially endow those programs.  It cannot be used to offset current operating costs or to construct facilities for other services. 





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