Susquehanna County Interfaith began a new chapter last week, increasing its collaboration with the Salvation Army to open the doors of a new service center in the former First Baptist Church on Jackson Ave., in Susquehanna.
Interfaith Executive Director Cynthia Beeman said the goal for the location is to bring multiple agencies to the facility in order to better provide services that people need.
Beeman said Interfaith was approached about taking ownership of the building from the church earlier this year – not long after Interfaith moved its headquarters and thrift store to the former Montrose United Methodist Church. “If God is opening that door, we need to walk through it,” Beeman told a small group who gathered for the dedication of the new building.
She noted that many times, people in the county in need of services struggle to find transportation to Montrose and she’s hoping the new location alleviates that hindrance.
In partnership with the Salvation Army, and with a substantial donation from the Green Family Foundation, an expanded Journeys of Hope and Pathways program will be brought to the center.
Michael Cipilewski, Salvation Army regional manager, said the Journey of Hope and Pathways program are designed to help people on their way to a successful future and “get past barriers,” whether those be prior incarceration, poverty or addiction. The Journey of Hope – Pathways expanded program will be a deeper level of case management for participants.
He also noted that the Salvation Army and Interfaith have had a close partnership for over 20 years. “When you see the Red Kettle out at the markets, the funds go to Interfaith,” he said.
In the new year, a grief group will begin meeting there, and a teen art center will also be offered. An online store will also be part of the offerings at the Susquehanna location.
“We’re so very excited to be here to make sure people in the community receive support,” Beeman said. “They can come here and not have to drive to Montrose.”
Speaking of the building’s former life as a church, Beeman said, “This building will continue to be a place of light and hope in the community.”