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2012-03-14 / National

Demand for Youth Services Rise at Salvation Army Centers as Recession’s Effects Strain Families

Report Finds 81 Percent of Salvation Army Programs Saw Increased Need for Assistance for Services to Youth
Bob Brady– For The Salvation Army Ph: 202-289-4001

 Alexandria, VA (March 12, 2012) – The economic recession and its remaining aftershocks throughout American society have had a major impact on American families and youths across the country according to the new report, “Growing Up in a Downturn,” released by The Salvation Army today.  The report, based on a 2011 fourth quarter survey, found that 81 percent of Salvation Army social service centers in cities throughout the United States have seen increases in requests for youth programs and services, including education, food, arts and theater, athletics and youth ministries. Despite an increase in volunteerism at some centers, many programs were also forced to cut back on services due to the growing need and losses in funding. 

Salvation Army centers, including Corps Community Centers, Ray and Joan Kroc Community Centers, summer and day camps, preschools, daycare and after-school programs, have witnessed the growing need since 2008, when 75 percent of centers first experienced increased demand during the recession. Centers in more than 80 cities, including a dozen major metropolitan areas such as Baltimore, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego and San Francisco participated in the survey. 

“Potentially for years to come, parents across the country may be forced to make hard choices everyday about the welfare and safety of their children,” said Commissioner William Roberts, National Commander for The Salvation Army. “Regardless of their troubles, The Salvation Army will be there to help them through these trying times so those hard choices are a little easier to make.”

 According to The Salvation Army’s most recent annual report,  Salvation Army programs assisted more than 30.2 million Americans nationwide in 2010, up from 28.9 million in 2007. As demand in general rises, The Salvation Army is continuing to provide care and assistance to as many people as possible, especially youths in America who may not understand the full impact of the recession on their parents. Key findings in “Growing Up in a Downturn” include:

 ·       Eighty-one percent of Salvation Army youth programs saw an increase in demand for youth services in 2011, up from 75 percent in 2008.


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