Rogers discussed the various programs available through the Salvation Army, as well as how the organization implements its mission statement through the programs.
There are currently 14 spots open in the Salvation Army’s internship program for high school and college students. The internships last 350 hours and interns are asked to serve out the entire time. Rogers explained that the internship has three levels and is intended to give students a feel for the workplace and an overall sense of professionalism.
“One of our interns at the Inman Street Coffeehouse has come a long way,” Rogers began. “The first time he answered the phone he said, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ Now he knows that it is important to not only sound professional, but to also make a connection with the caller.”
According to Taylor, the Salvation Army is concerned with identifying and meeting needs while restoring dignity and pride. Through the birthday party program parents under financial strain may receive items like cake, party decorations and a toy for a child’s party.
“Our goal is to get parents to give these things to the children without us being directly involved. We [Salvation Army] will provide the items, but it is the parent that the children see them coming from,” Taylor explained.
The second part of the Salvation Army’s plan is changing the mindsets of individuals who seek help while still providing ongoing care.
“One of our major focuses is convincing the person in need that they are worth it. We try to tell them that they can learn and grow and that life isn’t over,” Taylor said.
A part of changing people’s mindsets is providing practical life skill courses. These courses teach the importance of job placement, writing a resume, and internships.
Additional programs use lighthearted methods to remind people of their worth. Recently, Cleveland’s Salvation Army hosted a prom for moms who may have missed their own. Prom dresses were donated for the occasion. According to Rogers, the ladies “were giggly and acting like kids,” while sorting through the outfits. Prom night included child care, food, a date if needed, and dancing the night away.
“When someone asks us for money for food, we are making their day better, but it will not help to change their life,” Taylor explained. “We try to help with utilities, medication, shelter, food, and clothing while connecting them with other networks, as well.”
These other networks are nonprofit agencies throughout Cleveland including, but not limited to, The Caring Place, Bradley Initiative for Church & Community (BICC), Neighbors in Need and the Family Resource Agency.
Taylor announced the local Salvation Army corps is running low on diapers for its Diaper Bags of Hope program.
“We have plenty of diapers for the smaller sizes. We are running out of the larger sizes like 4, 5 and 6. My guess is that people forget that sometimes children are not potty-trained by the time they reach those sizes,” Taylor said.
Other services the Salvation Army in Cleveland offers include: addiction counseling, aid in finding a long-term residence, Bible studies, Sunday night services, community choir, counseling and vacation Bible school.
For more information, call 423-308-3467 or visit Salvation Army’s coffeehouse on Inman Street.