Majors Curtiss and Sandy Hartley arrived in Columbia in early July, the new administrators of the Central Missouri Area Salvation Army.
Technically, Curtiss Hartley is the area coordinator, and Sandy Hartley is the business administrator.
The Hartleys have been Salvation Army officers for more than 30 years. They've served corps appointments in Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin. They've served in Papau New Guinea and at the national headquarters in Virginia, at divisional headquarters in Michigan and most recently in Kansas City.
"We represent the (Salvation) Army here — directly — in Columbia and Jefferson City," Curtiss Hartley said Tuesday as he visited the Center of Hope in Jefferson City.
He said the two aren't yet certain what geographic area of coverage they are responsible for.
"As coordinators, this is a new position for us," Curtiss Hartley said. "It is a unique position for the Army."
On the divisional level in Kansas City, the Hartleys assisted with the 22 corps (branches) in the area.
In Columbia, they will assist with corps there and in Jefferson City.
Corps officers each offer a pastoral role for churches at Salvation Army sites.
"We serve a mentorship-type role," he said. "We oversee the shelters, social services programming, and the two thrift stores in Columbia and one in Jefferson City."
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The thrift store in Jefferson City is at 718 Michigan St. Its hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays.
The thrift stores in Columbia are at 23 E. Walnut St. and 1304 Parkade Blvd.
The Jefferson City Salvation Army Center of Hope, at 927 Jefferson St., celebrated its 20th anniversary in May 2019. The facility serves as a shelter, kitchen and pantry, and a site for social service and housing programs.
It has remained at capacity since the May 2019 tornado left scores of Jefferson City families homeless.
The center serves thousands of meals every year. It hasn't been able to serve meals inside since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it provides to-go meals at a side entrance.
In 2017, it distributed 26,000 meals. Overall, it has provided more than 717,600 meals and about 270,000 "bed nights" (when a person is sheltered in the center overnight).
All of that use is taking a toll. Previous administrators said The Salvation Army would have to consider raising money for extensive repairs or replacement of the center in the not-too-distant future.
"I know that there has been some discussion (about a capital campaign) and some work done," Curtiss Hartley said. We've talked with the advisory board about exactly what the issues are."
But the work is far out on the horizon, he said.
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"We're getting a handle on what work needs to be done and what work needs to be put into place. One of the challenges we face with that is how COVID has changed the landscape of where we're at," he said. "COVID, as a whole, has put a stop to any capital improvement projects that were going on."
In Jefferson City, United Way support for The Salvation Army is an important leg for continuing to provide services, Curtiss Hartley said.
"I'm aware that it is a great relationship and they are a great support," he said. "We're very grateful for how supportive the United Way is for The Salvation Army in Jefferson City."