New Program Supports Seniors in West Kensington

“They Feel a Spiritual Joy Here.”

The Salvation Army Tabernacle Corps Community Center, at the intersection of Allegheny Avenue and Mascher Street, sits in the heart of the Fairhill-West Kensington section of Philadelphia.  The largely Hispanic neighborhood is considered one of the poorest in the city, with a poverty rate of more than 62-percent – more than double the overall Philadelphia poverty rate of 26.3-percent – according to the U.S. Census. The once thriving manufacturing community of 50 years ago is now a sea of deteriorating buildings, trash-strewn streets, high crime, drug sales and prostitution.

 

“This is a very tough neighborhood,” said Captain Omar Rolon, Co-Commanding Officer, The Salvation Army Tabernacle Corps Community Center.

IMG_2353The Salvation Army is a place so many here in need turn to for support and spiritual guidance. That’s why every Wednesday, Luce Melendez and dozens of other older residents gather at Tabernacle for socializing, lunch, games, educational workshops and praise. They come for the new Seniors Program, which kicked off in the summer of 2015 with approximately 20 participants. Now it draws as many as 50 people on any given week.

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New Day Program Expanding with newly formed Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force

new day logo 2The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia is joining forces with the Philadelphia Police Department, The United States Attorney’s office, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security and multiple non governmental agencies to form an anti-human trafficking task force in the City of Philadelphia.

“The task force will provide Philadelphia with the resources to address human trafficking collaboratively on city, state and federal levels,” said Jamie Manizaraka, Director of Anti-Human Trafficking and Social Service Ministries, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia.

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Persevering on the road to self-sufficiency

IMG_2439Nancy Strong is a woman who lives up to her name. She has been through a lot in her 50 years and the last four have been the toughest: losing her job, becoming homeless, and grieving the death of a son, all while raising a teenage daughter. But Nancy has persevered and is making great strides to self-sufficiency – with inner strength and determination and some love and support from The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia.

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Medical Mission Trip to Honduras Provides Hope & Changes Lives

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Major Migdalia Lavenbein

The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia’s Captain Omar Rolon and Major Migdalia Lavenbein went to Honduras on a medical mission trip to change thousands of lives. They returned a week later with their lives changed too.

“My mind cannot erase all that I have seen and experienced in Honduras. Quite frankly I don’t want to forget, because I have grown as a person,” said Major Lavenbein. “I suppose it’s impossible to witness suffering and heartache and walk away unaffected by it.”

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Lifting Up the People of Cuba

IMG_1555Four days in Cuba have left a lasting impression on The Salvation Army USA officers and representatives, following an historic trip to the island nation.  So much so, the group intends to return for a mission trip next year. The visit encompassed fellowship with the Cuban people and The Salvation Army of Cuba, spreading the word of the Gospel, presenting the gift of music and conducting much-needed service projects at The Salvation Army Corps Community Centers there. The trip, during the weekend of February 20, is the first time The Salvation Army USA officers from the contiguous US have traveled to the once-closed off communist country in nearly 60 years.

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The Salvation Army Lifts Up the People of Cuba

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The Salvation Army USA visits Cuba

Four days in Cuba have left a lasting impression on The Salvation Army USA officers and representatives, following an historic trip to the island nation. So much so, the group intends to return for a mission trip next year. The visit encompassed fellowship with the Cuban people and The Salvation Army of Cuba, spreading the word of the Gospel, presenting the gift of music and conducting much-needed service projects at The Salvation Army Corps Community Centers there. The trip, during the weekend of February 20, is the first time The Salvation Army USA officers from the contiguous US have traveled to the once-closed off communist country in nearly 60 years.

The Salvation Army USA group included The Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory Commissioners Barry and Sue Swanson; Lt. Col. Stephen Banfield, Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army of Eastern PA & DE; Major A. Philip Ferreira, Director of Operations, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia; 30+ members of the renowned Salvation Army Staff Band; and Aaron Cohen, Advisory Board Chair, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia, among many others.

Since Cuba has been closed off to many foreigners for decades, particularly from the United States, The Salvation Army USA had been unable to visit until recently. Upon taking in the sights and culture of Cuba – a mixture of beautiful aging architecture, deteriorating infrastructure, late-model vehicles, poverty and lack of access to modern technology – Lt. Col. Banfield was especially moved by the spirit of the people.

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Experiences and Impressions from Cuba

A Beautiful Country, Kind People, TSA Ready to Help as Needed

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Revolution Square, Havana

Representatives from The Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory including Commissioners Barry and Sue Swanson, Eastern Territorial Leaders; Lt. Col. Stephen Banfield, Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army of Eastern PA & DE; Major A. Philip Ferreira, Director of Operations, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia, among several other TSA USA officers and representatives, have arrived in Cuba for a historical visit and they are already having quite a memorable experience.

The trip is the first time TSA USA officers from the contiguous US have traveled to the island nation in nearly 60 years. Our group will meet with officials of the Salvation Army of Cuba and government leaders to learn more about the country and the needs of its people. The trip is a way for The Salvation Army USA to bring its goodwill to Cuba and its gift of music from the renowned Salvation Army New York Staff Band.

These are some of their impressions and experiences relayed to our offices in Philadelphia so far, ranging from the travel itself to life in Cuba:

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