​We Hear You, Pickens County: Now We Need You!


“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall.” Isaiah 25:4 (NIV)

We recently received the results of our Mission Planning Study, which was conducted by The Bridge Consulting Group, an outside consulting firm. This consulting firm completed an evaluation of Pickens County’s current social service programs and identified gaps in services being provided. They also completed an assessment of the current services The Salvation Army of Pickens County provides and determined which services and programs we either need to expand or add on in order to meet Pickens County’s needs.

We want to share these results with our neighbors and outline our plans for moving forward together. You can access the full written report here, andyou can view the recorded presentation by The Bridge Consulting Group here.

So Now What?

The Mission Planning Study assessment is the first phase in a four-phase process required by The Salvation Army. These phases include:

  1. Mission Planning Study
  2. Strategic Plan
  3. Feasibility Study
  4. Capital Campaign

So now, after we have completed the Mission Planning Study and have the community’s direction to pursue an emergency shelter, we move onto the next step: the Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan involves expanding our Advisory Council with members of the Pickens County community. These Advisory Council members will help us develop a plan for where to locate the shelter, whether to build or renovate, who the shelter will serve, what programs the shelter will provide, the initial and on-going costs associated with the shelter proposal, how we will we pay for these costs and how we will keep the community informed/engaged in the process.

We need experience and passion from Pickens County residents who will join our Advisory Council and help shape the Strategic Plan over the next few months. Members will serve on one of the following committees:

  1. Property and Facilities Committee
  2. Program and Services Committee
  3. Finance Committee
  4. Community Relations and Development Committee

This is where the rubber meets the road!

We require individuals from health care, government, business, religious organizations, social service agencies, education and more to join with us now!

This opportunity will enable us to serve the community by leaving a legacy, a thumbprint, on Pickens County for years to come. Ideally, we would like five members on each of the four committees. This volunteer structure will help share the load and ensure no single committee shoulders more of the burden. Once the committees have been adequately populated with local, experienced members, we will schedule several workshop days to iron out exactly what we as a group recommend for physical structure, programs, costs and public communication. The results of these collaborative workshops will be shared with the public upon completion. All hands on deck--this is the time to get this done together!

We are fortunate to have access to reports from other recent assessments, and we can use these reports to guide our decisions involving shelter model, structure and programming. These reports include, but are not limited to, the 2019 South Carolina State of Homelessness Report and the South Carolina Housing Needs Assessment August 2019. These sources, along with others, will help direct the who and what of our Strategic Plan.

If you are interested in serving or know of someone who would be a good fit for this challenge, please email me here.

The four phases The Salvation Army requires us to complete will help protect our investment and avoid potential pitfalls. Is it fast and easy? No, it is not. But most things of value are not fast and easy. Taking time to plan this community initiative together will serve us well down the road. Please consider lending your time and talent as we take this next step. We need you, and together we can.

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