After much study and planning, the Salvation Army is going to change how it helps the homeless in the Quad Cities. Monday Army leaders announced instead of operating an emergency homeless shelter, they will help families stay in their apartments and homes.
Quad City Coordinator, Major Scott Shelbourn, says the new approach emphasizes prevention.
"We'll continue to house families as we have for 25 years, we're simply changing the way we'll house them. We'll re-focus our efforts to prevent homelessness in a pro-active manner rather than than waiting for families to become homeless before helping them."
It's based on a national program that's been successfully helping families in other cities for about six years.
Shelbourn says a program called Pathway of Hope will help families avoid becoming homeless by helping them set goals and find financial support.
"Through individualized case management, families have the opportunity to engage in personal and spiritual support allowing them to work toward becoming self-sustaining."
Currently 30 families are living in the Salvation Army's emergency shelter in Davenport, and he thinks the new program will be able to help more families, and at a lower cost.
The schedule now calls for the shelter to stop accepting new clients July lst, find current shelter residents places to live by August lst, and fully implement the new program by October lst.