New Multimillion-dollar Facility in St. John’s Boosts the Army’s Capacity to Serve

Ches Penney Centre

On December 1, 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, The Salvation Army’s Ches Penney Centre of Hope in St. John’s, N.L., held its grand opening. The long-awaited, multimillion-dollar facility brings the Army’s ability to serve the vulnerable to a whole new level.

“Our assistance is needed now more than ever, and we stand ready to meet the needs, “ says Major Rene Loveless, divisional secretary for public relations and development. “The demand for food assistance, mental-health support, emergency housing and addiction services has never been greater.”

For more than a century, The Salvation Army operated programs on Springdale Street in downtown St. John’s to meet community needs in the best possible way. At the new location, a five-storey building, we have greater capacity and opportunity to welcome all people who come through the doors, and to be a transforming influence in the community. The services and essential care offered include 20 permanent supportive housing units, health care, employment training, mental-health and addiction services, a kitchen and dining area that serves up hundreds of hot meals every week, and an expanded food bank with refrigerators and freezers.

“Our assistance is needed now more than ever, and we stand ready to meet the needs.”

“A year ago, at our former location, community food lines would see up to 100 people a week. Now we feed close to 700 people a week and the number keeps growing,” says Major Loveless. “In recent months, demand at the food bank has increased almost 100 percent. People who were infrequent guests are coming more often and staff say there are many new faces.”

The Centre of Hope has the potential to improve the lives of thousands of struggling families and individuals. By responding to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people, personal growth, empowerment and sustainability become real possibilities.

“The centre is a beacon of hope for anyone who has nowhere else to turn,” says Major Loveless. “We are grateful to our generous donors and community partners who have made it possible for us to provide a supportive environment, with wrap-around services, that so many people desperately need.”


by Linda Leigh