MADISON COUNTY — The Madison County Salvation Army has decided to delay the special use permit application for the proposed Oakwood location for the New Hope House in Alton. The Salvation Army Advisory Board and officer staff announced the decision on Monday, June 24, 2024.

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"The delay will allow time to find a location that is both beneficial to those who will be served and championed by city leaders and the community," the Salvation Army said in a statement. "The Salvation Army is unwavering on its commitment to create lasting change in the lives of unhoused neighbors in Madison County and to garner community support for this project."

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Travis Widman, a Salvation Army Board member in Alton, explained that the vote for the Oakwood location occurred late last week.

Widman acknowledged that while the board and officers feel confident about their location choice, the decision has sparked meaningful conversations with city leaders who were not previously involved.

"It has created a lot of productive conversation, and I really think it will bring more people to the table to find a solution," Widman said. The Salvation Army Board and staff emphasized their ongoing commitment, closing with the statement, "The call of the Salvation Army continues to be 'If not here then where?'"

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