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Groundbreaking day for Salvation Army project

From left, Salvation Army commissioner Susan McMillan, Fortis CEO Barry Perry, St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen, Maj. Rene Loveless, Premier Dwight Ball, Minister of Veterans Affairs Seamus O’Regan, and Lt.-Col. Eddie Vincent at the groundbreaking ceremony for The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope on Friday.
From left, Salvation Army commissioner Susan McMillan, Fortis CEO Barry Perry, St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen, Maj. Rene Loveless, Premier Dwight Ball, Minister of Veterans Affairs Seamus O’Regan, and Lt.-Col. Eddie Vincent at the groundbreaking ceremony for The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope on Friday. - Joe Gibbons

Not even the cold March winds on Friday could keep people away from the groundbreaking ceremony for The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope.

The Centre of Hope will provide 20 affordable housing units, mental health services, drug addiction programs, a health clinic, a food bank and emergency disaster services.

St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen said he is happy to break ground on this project.

“The city of St. John’s is very grateful to The Salvation Army for the work that they do in this city and throughout the province. They provide a lifeline to those in need,” he said.

The centre will be crucial to the city, Breen said.

“With our growing population, there is an increased need for mental health, housing and drug addiction services. To meet these demands, we need to work together.”

Susan McMillan, territorial commander and territorial president of women’s ministries for The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda, said she has nothing but positive thoughts for this project.

“The Salvation Army has been watching it very closely and we’re very pleased that this project will be moving forward,” McMillan said.

Support in the province has always been appreciated, she said.

“The Salvation Army has been blessed to have the favour and the trust of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Premier Dwight Ball said he knows the impact The Salvation Army has on the province.

“Today it’s about breaking ground, and I would argue that this is something The Salvation Army does every single day. They change lives,” he said.

The Salvation Army touches a lot of lives, Ball said.

“No matter where you go in our province, every single community, you will see a presence of The Salvation Army.”

A total of $14 million was raised for the project. Construction is set to begin in the spring, with the facility expected to be operational by 2020.

The Centre of Hope is part of the Faces of Hope campaign that was launched in April 2017. The campaign invites residents of Newfoundland and Labrador to “be the face of hope.”

More information about the Centre of Hope can be found online at thecentreofhope.ca.

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