New Salvation Army Freedom Center to provide solutions to addiction, crime and violence, while emphasizing prevention
The Salvation Army is relocating the Freedom Center from its home of 36 years at Monroe Street and Ashland Avenue on the near West Side of Chicago to a 6-acre site at Chicago and Christiana Avenues in West Humboldt Park. The Salvation Army will break ground on the project on April 28, 2013, with construction projected to be completed by the Fall 2015.
The Salvation Army embarked on the major undertaking of building a new Freedom Center as the current facility at 1515 W. Monroe neared 100 years old. The aging structure has become far more expensive to maintain and repair than to replace, creating an economic necessity, as well as programmatic incentive, for a new building.
The new Freedom Center campus will include a Salvation Army Corps Community Center, the Harbor Light Center and the Pathway Forward program. It will also serve as the base of operations for the Mobile Feeding and Outreach Program.
For more than 70 years in two previous locations, The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center has provided compressive recovery services and treatment for people seeking to overcome alcohol and substance abuse.
And, since 1975, The Army’s correctional services program, known as Pathway Forward, has assisted more than 20,000 men and women make the transition to freedom and to the community following a period of incarceration.
Now, these programs, plus a new corps community center, will be moving to the new Freedom Center campus. The community center on the new campus is expected to serve an estimated 22,500 people, including many youth, through a variety of social services, programs and activities. The Freedom Center’s Pathway Forward and Harbor Light Centers will serve an additional 1,500 people each year.
The new, modern 160,000-square-foot Freedom Center is not only architecturally significant but will better meet the needs of the programs and those whom we serve. It reclaims a 6-acre former industrial site with a total transformation, including environmental remediation. The campus, consisting of several interconnected masonry clad structures with beautifully landscaped courtyards, will be in keeping with the aesthetic of the mixed residential and retail neighborhood surrounding it.