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The Salvation ArmyClosing a Salvation Army Family Store – or any other program or service that helps the community – is always a last resort for us.  But sometimes, it simply has to be done.

Last week we announced a decision to close four stores in Washington state: Burien, Renton, Sumner and Puyallup.  

After much soul searching and number crunching, it was decided that the financial health of our Seattle Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) required us to do it.

You see, the money raised by the sale of items donated to our Salvation Army Family Stores is used to support our 22 no-fee drug and alcohol centers (called ARCs) here in the Western United States.

We’re thankful that the stores are a place where budget-conscious shoppers can find what they need, but that’s a secondary mission.  Our primary goal is to operate financially successful stores that provide the funds necessary to offer no-fee drug and alcohol rehabilitation to men and women who need it. That’s always number one.

Some of our Washington state stores were struggling to pay for themselves.  Once that begins to happen, the ARC program which helps 1,200 men and women per year kick their painful and powerful addictions starts to suffer too.  We can’t let that happen.

Major Ralph Hood, the leader of our Seattle ARC said in an interview with the Seattle Times, “Making the decision to close these stores was a difficult one…However, the success of our rehabilitation program depends on the success of the stores, and we simply cannot jeopardize that program.”

There is a bright side.  The flagship Salvation Army store on 4th Street in downtown will remain open. And, after revenues stabilize we’ll begin to look for new ways to expand into other communities with larger, updated stores that will be more convenient for our donors and shoppers and help us raise the revenue we need to care for people in the Seattle area who need our help.

We know you expect us to stay true to our mission AND make good financial decisions.  That’s why we have to close stores once in awhile.  Thank you for understanding.

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