The homeless problem is not going away, but it’s getting better, according to a longtime Salvation Army professional.
“We still have homeless individuals, but I see a different face,” said Maj. Steven Woodard, commander of the Salvation Army in Springfield. “There are some people that I have not ever seen again – I serve them one time, and then I don’t see them again – so that’s a success story, one individual at a time.”
Woodard, who has more than two decades of experience with the Salvation Army, accepted more than $2 million in city and state funds to help renovate a former Springfield office building into a shelter. The building will eventually have 78 beds, Woodard said, and keep homeless families intact rather than separate men and women.
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The city funds are from tax increment financing. The state funds are from the capital construction program.