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On September 1, 1905 the Salvation Army opened its first shelter in Florence, Alabama


From the Florence Times September 1, 1905 – Salvation Army opened a shelter

A Very Creditable Institution Is To Be Opened In Florence In The Near Future By The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is contemplating opening what is known in their ranks as a Shelter, a place where a bed and bath can be furnished for the small sum of 10 cents. The Army has 200 of these institutions in operation in the United States at present, which furnishes nightly accommodation to about ten thousand people. Many of these institutions are in the smaller towns as well as in the larger places, and are proving to be a great factor among the working people. A man who works at common labor for a dollar a day cannot afford to pay very much for his lodging, if he does he will necessarily have to allowance himself on his food and clothing. The Army’s object is not to pauperize any one, but means to alleviate those who try to help themselves, and promote those who have lost all manhood and self-respect.

Salvation army logo

Salvation Army of Florence

Credit to Florence

This shelter will be a credit to Florence from many different stand points, first it will be a place where the wayfarers who come into Town with limited means, can lodge until they can find employment and get a permanent place to stay. It will run to accommodate farmers who come from a long distance to do their trading, and are compelled to remain over night on account of not being able to make the trip in one day. Many times these people come from 15 to 20 miles, which renders them utterly unable to made the trip in one day, and many times, they are compelled to sleep in wagon yards or drove out to the edge of the town and camp because they are not able to go to a hotel. This institution will be equipped so as to have accommodation for ladies as well as for men, and by this farmers, who brings their families, will be able to get room and lodging for 40 or 50 cents for them, and a free bath in connection.

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This will not necessarily take patronage from any other lodging house, but will rather increase matters, it will enable those who can’t afford to put up at a standard price house (as the old saying goes) “to see the inch before their nose.”

The Union block has been selected in which to open this Shelter. It is centrally located, and will be a suitable place for it. The Army hopes to be able to have it in operation by the middle of October this year. It will take about $150 to put this institution into operation, and its real value will be worth more than one thousand dollars to the city and county.

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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One comment

  1. Wow, has the Salvation Army really changed, back then it was to help the WORKING MAN. 10 cents a night for a cot and a hot shower. Today most of them appear to be places of long term lodging for the (too lazy to work) homeless population, yet they do not charge them anything. Want the proof, look up Daytona Beach (FL.) News Journal recent articles about the Salvation Army’s Shelter there. I am not against giving a HAND UP to those in need, but giving a HAND OUT to those who do not even try, I am totally against.

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