New drop-in center receives $1 million grant

Army’s new building will aid homeless in housing, education and counseling.


The Salvation Army in Houston, Texas, will open a drop-in center for homeless young adults this spring after receiving a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is taking a new approach to housing homeless young adults between the ages of 18 to 25 years old.

“Right now there are no daytime services like these available for this population in the city of Houston,”said Gerald Eckert, director of social services for The Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command. “There are many good agencies working very hard on various pieces of our community problem of homelessness, including young adults. There are shelters for homeless individuals to stay at overnight, but homeless young adults report they are not aware of daytime resources available for them during normal business hours.”

Through this initiative The Salvation Army will provide housing and offer educational, job training and one-on-one therapeutic support to homeless young adults with an overall focus on trauma recovery using elements of cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing.

“Our hope is that through this new drop-in center we can help them begin to overcome traumatic events and get into and maintain a permanent housing situation,” Eckert said.

On any given night, the Army’s five housing facilities in the Greater Houston region provide the highest number of beds for homeless individuals. In Houston alone, 700 men, women and children find a safe place to sleep at one of the Army’s four shelters in the metropolitan area every night.

“We have been very successful in helping other homeless populations transition into permanent housing situations,” said Major Chris Flanagan, area commander for The Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command. “Part of our reason for proposing and frankly receiving the funding for this program and drop-in center have been our success rates to date.”

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