Its mission, based on the international movement that is part of the Universal Christian Church, is to meet human needs without discrimination and to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Salvation Army through its broad range of services touches the lives of one out of every eight people in Northeast Florida.
The Salvation Army began serving the people of NE Florida in 1891. Since that time, we have been providing food, clothing, shelter and countless services to assist those in need. In 1910, we were able to purchase the Church Street property where our Senior Center presently stands. With soldiers returning from battlefields and families losing members to the fighting, World War II brought a major increase in the number of people who needed help. In 1924, The Salvation Army started the Adult Rehabilitation program for men struggling with addictions such as alcoholism and drug abuse. Today, the ARC, located on Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville, houses 125 men battling the disease of addiction. The Senior Center opened in 1955 and remains the oldest Senior Center in the city. The Misdemeanant Probation program started in 1974 and in 1978 the Florida Legislature passed The Salvation Army Act, allowing private agencies to begin charging a cost of supervised fee. In 1985 the Women’s Auxiliary organization of NE Florida was officially chartered. Two years later, the Celebrity Chefs Tasting and Silent Auction was born. To date, the annual event has raised more than 2 million dollars to support The Salvation Army programs. Other milestone events include the start of the Night Feeding Program (still serving dinner 7 nights a week) in 1997, the opening of our 5-Star Child Development Center in downtown Jacksonville in 1998 and Cold Night Shelter in 2001. Growth and expansion was not limited to our downtown facilities. In 2003, a beautiful, new building dedicated to the Clay County Corps was constructed in Middleburg and in 2005, St Johns County Corps opened a new facility on S.R. 207. Currently, St Johns County is building a new home closer to downtown St. Augustine. Most recently, the NE Florida Command assumed operations in Baker and Putnam counties, bringing the total number of counties served to six.
NE Florida continued to grow as a new Century turned. Yet there is still no reprieve from poverty, despair, hopelessness. But we are still here, ‘Doing Good’. We serve over 350,000 people per year now and operate several programs year-round. We go wherever we are needed, supplying essentials – tangible and spiritual, supporting the young and old…providing love in action.