Pictured here: Missoula Mayor John Engen, County Commissioner Cola Rowley, Salvation Army Missoula Directors Lt. Loreen Hamilton and Lt. Joshua Hamilton, Gayle Gifford, Randy Rupert, and Salvation Army Northwest Divisional Leaders Major Lisa Dickinson and Major Bill Dickinson.
The Salvation Army in Missoula, MT, celebrated the grand opening of its new building, October 16 – 18, 2015. The new building is located at 355 S. Russell Street (behind the Good Food Store).
The Salvation Army was previously located on West Broadway Street. In 2013, the building was sold to Stockman Bank and construction began on The Army’s new site. The land for the new building has been owned by The Salvation Army for many years, and is adjacent to its Silvercrest apartment building (affordable housing for seniors). Construction costs for the new building were funded by the sale of the downtown property and internal trusts of The Army.
Opening weekend festivities were hosted by Lts. Joshua and Loreen Hamilton, directors of The Salvation Army in Missoula. Special guests included Majors Bill and Lisa Dickinson, Divisional Leaders for The Salvation Army in Washington, northern Idaho, and western Montana. Lt. Col. David Hudson, Chief Secretary for the 12-state Salvation Army Western Territory, attended on Saturday.
Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony featured two elected officials – Mayor John Engen and County Commissioner Nicole (Cola) Rowley. While addressing the guests, Mayor Engen praised the work of The Salvation Army, “The notion that they are about meeting human needs here at The Salvation Army is not just a statement, but a fact." He continued, “lives will be touched, and in some cases saved, by virtue that everyone is welcome here at The Salvation Army."
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed tours of the new building and light refreshments. Festivities will continue throughout the weekend:
Friday, October 16
- Ribbon cutting at 12:15pm, featuring Mayor John Engen and County Commissioner Nicole Rowley.
- Open House and light refreshments until 1:30 pm.
Saturday, October 17
- Ribbon cutting at 10 am, featuring Lt. Col. David Hudson.
- Family-fun carnival 10am to 1 pm, including games, face painting, bouncy house, pony rides, and light refreshments.
Sunday, October 18
- Church Service and Spiritual dedication at 10am, followed by lunch.
- Featuring Majors Bill and Lisa Dickinson and the brass band and choir from The Salvation Army in Spokane, WA.
The overall space of the new facility is 11,500 (increased from 10,000 square feet). The facility includes classrooms for youth character-building programs, commercial-grade kitchen and dining hall for community meals, food and clothing banks, a hygiene center (shower and laundry facilities for our homeless neighbors), case worker offices, and a church for Sunday services. The building also include a large room that can be rented at low cost for community activities.
“We outgrew our previous location years ago,” said Lt. Joshua Hamilton. “Fortunately, our old building was in a desirable location downtown, and Stockman Bank purchased it. That purchase enabled us to expand our services in Missoula. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Established in 1894, The Salvation Army Missoula Corps provides services to families in need throughout the community. On a daily basis, The Salvation Army serves families and individuals in need of basic services such as showers, laundry, and emergency food boxes. Seasonally, The Salvation distributes school supplies (this year distributing 1,000 backpacks in conjunction with other community agencies) and Christmas assistance (including food boxes and toys with Toys for Tots to more than 400 families). Through grants and community support, more than 200 families were given rental and mortgage assistance in 2014 which kept them from becoming homeless.
The new building was designed by the Missoula office of CTA Architects. Missoula-based Quality Construction was the contractor.
The Salvation Army relies on donations from the community to provide services to local families in need. Donations can be made online at Missoula.SalvationArmyNW.org.