The Salvation Army of Marysville/Tulalip opened in their new location off of State Avenue in July and held a grand opening on Aug. 9.
The new center is at 1108 State Avenue in Marysville.
The former Salvation Army location had both service areas and places for religion-based activities, however local officials decided that the focus of Marysville’s center should be community service.
“We transitioned our model from a core community center to a service extension center and that meant we needed a new location,” said Bill Dickson, Lieutenant Colonel with the Salvation Army and the local divisional commander.
“We didn’t need as much space as we had over there,” said Jenny Roodzant, social services coordinator at the local Marysville center.
The Marysville/Tulalip Salvation Army center will continue to provide the services it did at the old location with increased capacity and room.
“Our programs are growing and there’s a couple of new ones,” said Roodzant.
That means programs like the Christmas adopt-a-family and back-to-school supply drives will continue there.
The center also holds classes to help with budgeting, emotional relationships and job skills.
“We’re helping people get employment, how to do cover letters and how to do an interview,” said Roodzant.
Free meals continue at the location from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
Those have been well-attended so far at the new location. “We have a full house, we’re packed,” said Roodzant.
“They’ve been open for a few weeks and people have been receiving help. We’ve already increase our capacity for our meal program,” said Dickson.
As a recent addition to some of those meal times, a laundry truck comes to the center to help people clean their clothes.
“I’m working on getting a shower truck coming here, too,” said Roodzant, who added that it is a logistical challenge in Marysville because there is nowhere to drop the water where it will be treated.
A clothing closet is also a part of the center.
“That’s not really open to the community. We’re targeting people that just got out of jail or looking for work. We want to come around them and support them,” said Roodzant.
The primary goal of the center is to help people get back on their feet, she said.
“I think it’s a vicious cycle. People come out of treatment and they don’t know how to survive so they just go back. If we can show them how to get back on their feet, maybe we can stop that cycle,” she said.
Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring thanked the Salvation Army for their work.
“We are genuinely grateful for what the Salvation Army does. Everyone in the community knows the difficulties around homelessness we’re dealing with,” he said.
“We spend some city money on it, and we have some very effective city programs, but government cannot and should not be the entire focus of solving this problem,” he said.
Salvation Army officials said they are excited about the location that is more visible.
“It’s more accessible to people,” said Dickson, who noted how close it is to State Avenue bus routes.
“People see us more often,” said Roodzant, “so we have a lot more people coming in.”
There’s also plans for a clearer sign in the future, “so once that happens we expect even more,” said Dickson.