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DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The Salvation Army in the Quad Cities is changing its approach to helping homeless families by intervening earlier and trying to get them into permanent housing more quickly.

Salvation Army Quad Cities coordinator Major Scott Shelbourn told the Quad-City Times that families may be housed on an emergency basis at an extended-stay motel before moving to an apartment instead of staying at the organization’s Family Service Center in Davenport.

The Salvation Army will stop accepting families into the center on July 1. Families currently living there will be moved to permanent housing in August. The group also plans to work with landlords to provide families with rental assistance.

Shelbourn said there are about 30 families living in the building’s emergency and transitional housing options.

Families will be encouraged to follow the organization’s nationwide Pathway to Hope plan, which includes working with case managers who help individuals become self-sufficient by connecting them to job training, health services, childcare, education and spiritual guidance.

“It’s optional,” said Bill Horrell, development director for the Salvation Army. “We can’t require them to take it. We’ll still do the housing. But we’d like for them to take it. It’s a good program.”

The organization hopes to be relocated to a smaller facility and have its new approach in place by October with its Family Service Center building up for sale. The Salvation Army has been located at the building for nearly 30 years.

The group is an evangelical part of the Christian church that opened in 1865. The Salvation Army helps nearly 33 million Americans annually through a broad range of social services.


Information from: Quad-City Times,