Sally Ann is set to expand its footprint in Chilliwack.
Salvation Army Chilliwack reps confirmed the recent purchase of an adjacent property, the former Budget Car & Truck Rental site at 45748 Yale Road, next door to the Care & Share Centre.
“Given what I understand from lawyers and everyone else involved, yes, we are now the current owners of the former Budget property,” said Major Larry Farley, executive director and pastor at Salvation Army of Chilliwack.
The existing Sally Ann building has served them “well” for the past 30 years in ministry efforts.
“But we have, for 28 years, had our eye on that property next door,” Major Farley underlined.
When it came up for sale on the market, they moved decisively toward the purchase,
“taking advantage of the generosity of the previous owner.”
Although he declined to comment on the final purchase price for the Yale Road commercial property, its assessed value is $504,400, according to online data from BC Assessment.
A new facility for the local Sally Ann is definitely in order, he says.
“Yesterday wouldn’t be too soon.
“We want to improve the service that we provide and the atmosphere in which we do it.”
The need for a new facility is driven by a sharp increase in the number of programs they provide, and the burgeoning size of their clientele from marginalized community members.
About 160 meals are served a day in the soup kitchen and the shelter is at 140% capacity. Every year, thousands get in line for emergency food hampers.
“People are just finding themselves in desperate need,” says Major Farley.
Three decades ago the space housed a thrift store, kitchen and a few offices. Since then they’ve added eight to 10 programs to serve the needy on a variety of different levels.
They felt they had to act swiftly.
“We feel we have to address this issue,” he says. “It won’t double our space but it will give us some real flexibility for sure.”
Expansion plans are not set in stone yet, however. A building committee was struck only six months ago.
“So we are just in the initial stages, and the purchase of the building will be the first step.”