Service extension breaks ground in Paso Robles

PASO ROBLES NEW Service Extension unit will be constructed after 30 years of serving needs in the area. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held recently.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Paso Robles, Calif., recently, for the new Service Extension unit that is to be built at 711 Paso Robles Street.

“This is a long time in coming,” said Cathy Ramsdale, regional director of the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County Service Extensions of The Salvation Army. “We have been working for over 30 years in this area and servicing the needs of our clients during a disaster, without the use of a real field office. Having a central office for field workers to report to, clients to get information and/or to receive emergency supplies out of, is crucial during a devastating event.

“First, we operated out of a rented room in the Health Services building in the area. Then, when that room was needed once again by Health Services, we used a youth cottage near a church. The cottage was damaged beyond repair in the ’96 earthquake. Since then, we have been working out of a trailer in that church’s parking lot,” recalled Barbara Mastin, the chair of The Salvation Army Paso Robles unit.

The money to buy the land for the new building, along with money set aside to pay for the maintenance of the San Luis Obispo canteen (mobile kitchen unit), was left in the form of a trust to The Salvation Army by longtime Paso Robles resident, Claude Booker.

“It is very gratifying to know that friends of The Salvation Army, like Mr. Booker, recognized the importance of the work we do, and supported the work with donations such as this one,” stated Lt. Col. Alfred Van Cleef, Southern California divisional commander. “We could not do this great work without the public’s help.”

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