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Concord Salvation Army to operate shelter, soup kitchen

CONCORD — The Salvation Army of Concord will assume responsibility July 1 for the night shelter and soup kitchen now operated by Cooperative Christian Ministry.
The two organizations decided recently to restructure their 25-year partnership to increase availability of resources for individuals and families facing homelessness.
The Salvation Army has provided the facility, utilities and upkeep for The Samaritan House Night Shelter and Soup Kitchen, while Cooperative Christian Ministry (CCM) has provided staffing, volunteer coordination and program services. To ensure non-duplication of services, the organizations collaborate to provide financial and food assistance to help individuals stay in their home and prevent homelessness. Both nonprofits approach their services to people in crisis from similar faith perspectives.
To increase the availability of resources, The Salvation Army of Concord will take on responsibility for the staffing and program services of The Samaritan House Night Shelter, currently operated by CCM, on July 1. CCM will continue to staff and operate the weekday Soup Kitchen during a transition period to follow.
The shelter and the soup kitchen will remain open throughout this time. The same basic services to those in need will continue.
“We are so appreciative of the program CCM created and look forward to working with their partners and volunteers,” said Maj. Jerry Lyles, the Salvation Army’s commanding officer.
Both organizations need continued support of the community through volunteers and funding.
They are urging the community and local government to invest more time and resources in initiatives that will solve homelessness in Cabarrus County.
In the past 10 years, the community lost its two major employers and suffered from the national recession, the effects of which included a major loss of jobs, failure of the financial and housing markets and high foreclosure rates. Regional economic, employment and housing projections indicate the potential for several more years of housing-related crisis in Cabarrus County.
This past January, the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported an increase of unemployment in Cabarrus County. Lastly, the annual Point-in-Time count of homeless individuals performed in January showed a 50 percent increase in Cabarrus County.
Families facing homelessness reflected the fastest rate of increase.
“Cooperative Christian Ministry is committed to collaborating with our partners in order to create new solutions to the problems that our community is facing,” said Ed Hosack, executive director. “The Salvation Army is an excellent partner and this change will allow CCM to focus our attention on expanding and developing services to address some of the unmet needs.”

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