Building a Pathway of Hope and Dignity in Southeast Berrien and Cass Counties
The Salvation Army of Niles will soon be able to better serve neighbors in need in Southeast Berrien and Cass Counties. After more than 15 years of patience and hard work, construction is scheduled to begin on a new facility this spring, allowing the corps to serve more people, more efficiently.
For the past several decades, services have been provided out of their current building, a former church located at 424 N 15th St. in Niles. Due to its age and condition however, the building has become obsolete. Stairs in the non-handicap accessible, two-level facility are deteriorating, which makes serving seniors especially, unsafe.
When new Corps Officers Majors Nic and Jodi Montgomery were appointed to the Niles Corps several years ago, they knew something had to be done, so they began working to reinvigorate a previous fundraising campaign. Thanks to several anonymous donors and foundations, they were finally able to reach their financial goal of $3.8 million late last year.
“A new facility allows us to build a pathway of hope and dignity for our neighbors in S.E. Berrien and Cass Counties,” said Major Nic Montgomery. "It’s been such a long journey for our donors. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
After months of working with the architects at Abonmarche, DJ Construction was recently selected to proceed with the project. Due to inflation, the size and scope of the building was designed to be modest, multi-functional, and practical for current and future needs.
It will include a commercial kitchen to use for their hot lunch program, a dining room for meals with felllowship and flexible spaces that foster education and can host multiple community venues. Plans also include a client-choice food pantry which will allow people to choose food that best suits their family, a community vegetable garden, warehouse storage for large donations, administration and social services offices, and a chapel for prayer and worship.
While funding for the facility itself has been raised, monies for furnishings, fixtures, and a community prayer garden are still needed. “We are so incredibly grateful to our past donors for starting the race, our present donors for continuing to compete, and our future donors for taking us to the finish line,” said Major Jodi Montgomery.
To join the race and get them to the finish line go to https://salarmy.us/NilesProject to donate.
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for March 19th at the new building’s location at 1707 Miller Dr. Niles, MI 49120. The Salvation Army of Niles hopes to have it completed by the end of 2024.