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Center of Hope: Salvation Army's new facility to open 2021

Posted at 5:22 PM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-04 18:34:35-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Salvation Army Coastal Bend has held a fundraising campaign for the past five years.
It is for their new facility called the Center of Hope. It will replace their current offices located on 521 and 513 Josephine St.
"It's going to replace our administrative offices," Capt. Patrick Gesner, the commanding officer of The Salvation Army Coastal Bend. "As well as our family and children's shelter. As well as our veteran shelter and our kitchen and dining room."
Construction has started near 1802 Buford St. next to other Salvation Army facilities.
So far phase one of the project has cost $6.1 million.
"It's all kind of the old fashioned way," Gesner said. "We go and sit down with people and ask them if they would prayerfully consider donating to this project and so we've got some good responses from it. We are still taking donations for the building because it's not fully funded yet."
Gesner said the new building would not be possible without a large donation from a couple out of Austin of which the new center will be named after: Sara and Dick Rathgeber.
Gesner said they also plan to start fundraising for phase two of the project -- a men's dorm. He said that will cost between $2-3 million.
"Our goal would to get phase two built within the next two years," he said.
The new facility will house a staff of about 35, Gesner said.
He said the new facility is energy efficient and will be built to sustain lower maintenance costs.
"So when someone donates to us they usually want that to go to services that we provide," he said. "So the less money that we have to spend on property upkeep, or anything like that, it's more money that can go into our programs to helping people that are in need."
The Salvation Army Coastal Bend has been serving this area for the past 100 years.
"This building was built in the '70s, the middle building was built in the '60s and the building back there was built in 1950," Gustavo Perez, business operations manager for The Salvation Army Coastal Bend said.
Gesner said they hope to have phase one completed and open in 2021.
He said if they cannot raise the entire cost of the project they will take out a mortgage -- so they are still accepting donations.
If you would like to donate you can visit The Salvation Army Coastal Bend's current administrative office located at 521 Josephine St. You can call them at (361) 884-9497.
The Salvation Army Coastal Bend Facebook.