To the editor:
This letter is being written as follow-up to recent letters to the editor from Mr. Bob Baird and Mayor Mike Barhorst. Those letters specifically addressed funds raised many years ago by the local Salvation Army corps in a capital campaign. We thank both writers for the history, information, and perspective.
The Advisory Board for the Sidney/Shelby County Salvation Army, along with local leadership, recently met with Majors Ashcraft and Lyle from the Salvation Army Cincinnati Divisional Headquarters. In that meeting, a good overview of the capital campaign funds was provided. It is clear there is a great deal of energy in our community for those funds to be used. There is no disputing the funds are being held for local use. The funds were donated for the purpose of “bricks and mortar” projects and, as the mayor described in his January 25 letter, many funds from the campaign were used for those purposes. The remaining funds are still available for those purposes.
While the idea of a homeless shelter has been raised periodically in Sidney and Shelby County, most folks involved in monitoring the local homeless situation do not see the need for a traditional “drop in” shelter of that nature. That said, there may be other housing needs for families or individuals who, for a variety of reasons, find themselves in need of housing for short periods ranging up to a few months.
Presently, the Advisory Board and local Salvation Army leadership are embarking on a needs analysis study to determine the un-met needs in Sidney and consider options to best utilize the funds designated to serve the community. This study will be a significant undertaking and, out of it, we hope to arrive at a few ideas that can then be studied for feasibility and sustainability. Any projects undertaken must be proven to be long term economically viable from an operations standpoint, as well as effective at meeting community needs.
The Salvation Army remains true to its mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. We are greatly appreciative of the interest in and support of the local Salvation Army. We are also always interested in new Advisory Board members; interested persons may contact the Sidney Salvation Army office.
Lts. Joseph and Chastity Hansen, Corps Officers
Todd Miller, Advisory Board Chairman
Sidney Salvation Army