Who We Are

Who are we?

We’re the shoulder to lean on when you can no longer stand. We’re the hand that pulls you up when you need to get back on your feet. We’re the arms to embrace you when you have no one to turn to. We’re the hearts that are always open when you have nowhere else to go.

We are the Greater New York Division of The Salvation Army, and for over 130 years, we’ve dedicated ourselves to doing the most good for the men, women and children in our area who need it most.

Our Mission

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

History

The Salvation Army’s services of evangelism and social action began in East London, England in 1865 by Methodist minister William Booth and his wife, Catherine. The Booths’ desire to share the gospel took shape amidst a city ridden with poverty and despair. They quickly set aside their conventional church methods to meet the people where they lived and toiled – on the streets. Their socially-conscious work was aggressive and innovative, venturing where few churches were willing or able.

In March 1880, George Scott Railton and Captain Emma Westbrook, accompanied by six female soldiers: Alice Coleman, Rachel Evans, Emma Elizabeth Florence Morris, Elizabeth Pearson, Clara Price and Annie Shaw, brought The Salvation Army to the Greater New York area.

The Salvation Army has a long history of providing services to adults in the Greater New York area. In 1891, The Salvation Army opened its first men’s food and shelter depot in Greenwich Village, and an equally large shelter for women, The Daybreak, opened in the Bowery. From these two facilities, the Army’s adult programs have grown and developed to meet changing needs.

Currently, The Salvation Army Social Services of Greater New York (SSGNY) manages an extensive network of 46 social service programs designed to assist vulnerable adults, families and children: community centers, homeless shelters and outreach programs; soup kitchens, food pantries and mobile street feeding; foster care, group homes and adoption services; residences and programs for the developmentally disabled; AIDS casework centers; employment training and many other programs.

What We Believe

Many know The Salvation Army through our Red Kettles at Christmastime, or through our thousands of Family Thrift Stores. And surely, it’s programs like those that help us feed the hungry, clothe the needy and house the homeless. But ever since William Booth founded The Salvation Army in 1865, our central mission has remained the same: bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the downtrodden and lost among us. We are, before all else, a church, and spreading the Word is our most important service.

The Salvation Army is a Christian ministry that provides services to anyone regardless of religion, beliefs or lack thereof. We are called to serve in Christ’s name without discrimination and value each person as God’s creation who is loved beyond measure.

Despite our record of service, we know rumors of LGBT discrimination persist. See our response to these accusations here.