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The Salvation Army has been active in the community of Nanaimo since 1888. It operated out of the building at 19 Nicol until a new church building was opened in April 1986 on the corner of Bruce and Eighth Street. The Salvation Army continues to provide emergency assistance and the community meal program out of the original building at 19 Nicol Street. In 2007, the New Hope Centre which houses an emergency shelter, transitional housing and halfway house was opened next to the original building.

The outreach of The Salvation Army flows out of the congregation that gathers weekly at church on Eight Street.

The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our world.

We are privileged to be able to offer the following services to residents of Nanaimo and surrounding communities:

– 2 Thrift Stores
–  Community Services
–  Community Meal Program
– 24 bed emergency shelter
– 2 in-house transitional apartments
– 4 off-site semi-independent living beds
– 14 halfway house male beds
– 3 halfway house female beds
– Crisis Response Vehicle/Mobile Food Truck

Our History

On May 15, 1888, six years after Nanaimo became a municipality, The Salvation Army established the Corps and a shared past with the city was begun. Through the early years when Nanaimo was a rugged coal mining town to the present, the doors of The Salvation Army have been open to assist those in need. The original motto of The Salvation Army’s founder William Booth “Soup, Soap, and Salvation” still rings true today.

The first church built in 1893 at 19 Nicol Street was replaced by the new church at 505 Eighth Street in April 1986. The original church has gone through many transformations to provide social and spiritual services to the surrounding communities throughout the decades. In 1953, the building was renovated and a new front was put on the building which can still be seen today. Changes to the main structure allowed for Community Services and administration offices upstairs; and the slanted floor on the first level was redesigned to create a gymnasium which did double duty as a place of workshop and a church hall. In October 1993, the Corps received a grant from the City, and the tiny operation of a two-burner stove and a large soup pot to feed the hunger was replaced with an industrial kitchen and a dining room which now provides 95,000 hot nutritious meals annually.

In July 2007, the New Hope Centre built beside the former church opened its doors to provide residential programs for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The design of the newer building gives the illusion of it being attached to the original structure. There is 24-hour staffing to meet the needs of these programs. The Centre provides laundry facilities and showers for the public at designated times throughout the week.