After years of fundraising and planning, the walls of a new Salvation Army community center in San Diego’s East County were raised Thursday, marking a milestone in the construction of the site that will soon serve tens of thousands of people per year.
The Salvation Army’s El Cajon Corps celebrated the “tilt-up” of the walls on its nearly 30,000-square-foot community center located at 1011 E. Main St. The center will be home to a food pantry, social services center, gym, youth center and meeting spaces for senior nutrition and youth classes – including after-school, recreation and character development programs.
The Salvation Army has been raising millions of dollars for this project for the past five years. Now, the old lot along Main and North First streets will be transformed into a hub for locals in need, ultimately offering a different approach on a food pantry.
“What it means is, instead of just giving them a box of food, they’ll actually be able to come and shop – assisted by our staff and volunteers – and pick out the food that’s best for them,” Colonel Lt. Lee Lescano with the Salvation Army told NBC 7.
Volunteers told NBC 7 they are looking forward to the new center which will help alleviate space at the current Salvation Army center in that area, which helps feed 1,500 families in the East County every month.
Construction on the center is expected to be completed by late July or early August 2019.