‘Center of Hope’ opens as new emergency shelter in the Shoals

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - It’s a place where those who have fallen on hard times have the opportunity to get back on their feet.

Words of encouragement hang through-out the Center of Hope in Florence. It’s an emergency shelter operated by The Salvation Army of the Shoals.

“They not only are just giving them a sandwich and a bed, they’re to reach down deep into their lives and to make a transformation so that they won’t need a shelter for the rest of their life,” said Major Don Wilson with The Salvation Army of Huntsville.

Wilson helped cast the vision for the 60-bed facility during his tenure in Florence.

He said their mission is to show people there is hope waiting for them. The men, women and families who come to this facility are desperate. Wilson said when people are desperate they lose hope and make bad decisions.

“Here they are seeing that people are investing in them,” stated Wilson. “We hope that by people being invested in them, working to improve their lives but also give them an atmosphere of care and concern and accountability.”

Major Wilson said the men and women who walk through these doors are experiencing hardships which most will never understand. He said they are scared and need the encouragement The Salvation Army provides them.

“This gives them a place of safety, security, peace, calmness,” Wilson explained. “This is not only for men but it is going to be for women and families that are just having a tough time in their life.”

Through the generous contributions of the entire Shoals area, Monday’s ribbon cutting took place in front of a debt free facility.

The Center of Hope Emergency Shelter is located at The Salvation Army of the Shoals facility on Huntsville Road in Florence.