Salvation Army concerned about budget cuts

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – One of the agencies that plans to address the mayor’s budget hearing Tuesday evening is the Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama.

It’s one of the social service groups having its performance contract money cut.

But, agency officials said they were surprised by the proposal, because one of the Salvation Army’s programs provides a service in fighting crime.

ZERO SO FAR

Salvation Army leaders said they were disappointed when they heard about how much money the city planned to award the group in its performance contract for the coming budget year.

Katie Emer with the Salvation Army said, “This year we asked for $124,000 from the City of Mobile and, as it stands now, we are one of those agencies that are going to get cut down to zero.”

How was the salvation army going to use that money?

Emer said, “Our proposal for the city focused on our drug and alcohol recovery program.”

MULTIPLE IMPACTS

Salvation Army officials said they believe this program has had a positive impact, first on clients themselves.

Emer said, “We work very closely with the court system, and take many of the folks that may wind up in jail and we bring them here and put them in our recovery program.”

But, in addition, Emer said the program directly helps the city.

She said, “We see them get jobs and become tax paying and law abiding citizens again, and, otherwise, that would have gone to jail and cost the city between 1.5 and 3 million dollars.”

OTHER PROJECTS

What’s more, Salvation Army officials said this program is in addition to helping the city’s first responders after disasters, sheltering the homeless during hurricanes and cold weather, and giving toys to abut two thousand needy children at Christmas time.

Emer said, “We are trying to wait and see how everything plays out because its not all set in stone yet. We’re still waiting for a miracle.”

We’ve reached out to city officials to ask why the Salvation Army wasn’t included the revised performance contract allocations.

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