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Some changes at the Salvation Army

Expanded hours, new staff member are among them

WELCOME ON BOARD — Capt. Angela Smith, standing, who serves as corps commanding officer of the Salvation Army of Steubenville along with her husband, Capt. Michael Smith, has a new staff member in her midst with Tia Detwiler, who came on board July 20 as the social service worker there. She replaces Linda McClain, who retired in May. -- Janice Kiaski

STEUBENVILLE — There have been some changes at the Salvation Army of Steubenville, located at 332 N. Fourth St.

What those entail were explained by Capt. Angela Smith, who along with her husband, Capt. Michael Smith, are the corps commanding officers approaching their first anniversary in that local role.

It’s been a nontraditional year, according to Angela.

Last August, the couple arrived in Steubenville to assume their new duties, having come from their former assignment at Toledo Temple Corps. The timing was months into the pandemic, the implications of which involved various restrictions and responses to them.

“We closed the building, and no guests were able to come in the building,” Smith said in reviewing the year. “We had to stop church services for a while and do them online, so it’s been nice to kind of start to slowly open again to be more available for the community.”

With that in mind, the Salvation Army hours have been extended, she said. While the office will continue to be closed on Mondays, the previous Tuesday-through-Friday schedule of 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. is now 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We extended our hours because we wanted to be more available for the community and those folks who might work third shift or those folks who might work second shift, first shift, whatever shift they might work, or if they have children at home, we thought it would be good to extend our hours later in the afternoon, because we all know, we don’t like to wake sleeping children, especially to come to an appointment, so we extended our hours until 4 p.m. to be more available to the community. We are excited to be open more because we are able to help more people,” Smith said.

Heat and gas assistance is by appointment only.

“We also shortened our lunch break because we didn’t need an hour lunch break, so again, it’s to be more available for the community,” Smith added of the switch from the building being closed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Now it’s noon to 12:30 p.m.

The food pantry hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday with guests able to come in and use the Choice Pantry every 30 days.

“I think that with the pandemic restrictions lightening some, it’s been helpful for us to get out in the community more,” Smith commented. “It’s been helpful that we’re able to have some people in the building now. We are able to have our guests come in now and do an interview for the food pantry instead of just doing everything outside so we’re more available to sit down and chat with our guests who come in. We’re more available to have people come in for appointments instead of doing them over the phone or in the parking lot, so it’s been helpful for us to be able to be more supportive of the community in that way, being face to face,” she added.

The Salvation Army building reopened in May.

“It was definitely a first in our Salvation Army career to come to an appointment and not be able to go to our congregation’s home and introduce ourselves, not to be able to have kind of a welcome, it was difficult. We made it through, though. We’re glad to see things are lightening a little bit,” she said.

Another change at the Salvation Army is a new face on staff as Tia Detwiler of Follansbee is the new social service worker. She replaces Linda McClain, who retired in May.

“She is the one who interviews all of our guests if they’re here for the food pantry or for any assistance. They’ll see her first and she’s kind of our front-line person when it comes to guests coming in the building,” Smith explained. “She also assists with packing the food, with Christmas, anything going on internally in the building she’s kind of the right-hand lady.”

Detwiler came on board July 20. She has a degree in psychology and administrative medical assistance and a minor in social work from West Virginia Northern Community College. She resides with her husband, Clifford, a native of California, and 1-year-old daughter.

“I am enjoying it,” she said of her new job.

Another change at the Salvation Army is one in name only as the Shepherd’s Table meal on Sunday is now Sally’s Plate. “In a different community we were in it was very popular,” she said of the name that apparently has its origins in World War I with “Sally Ann” being a name soldiers used in referring to the Salvation Army.

Whatever the name, it is a hot meal available to anyone in the community and is not eligibility-based. “Everyone is welcome to have a hot meal every Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Right now, it is still a to-go meal,” she said. The average currently being served is about 15 to 20 individuals.

The Salvation Army is partnering with the Retired Senior and Volunteer Program through Marti Leake, coordinator for Jefferson and Columbiana counties, to honor volunteers and recruit new ones for new projects.

This will involve a luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 11, Smith said of the by-invitation-only event. “We are expecting about 50 guests, and it will be those who are eligible to volunteer. We’re going to have kind of a thank-you luncheon for them who have been volunteering and to tell them about what the Salvation Army does and see if we would be a good fit for their volunteer needs.”

In September, the Salvation Army hopes to begin fall programming that would include women’s fellowship, men’s fellowship, Bible study and Club 3:16, a Biblically based program for children that includes a craft, snack and games.

The Salvation Army’s phone number is (740) 282-5121. The mailing address is P.O. Box 1226, Steubenville OH

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