In 2014, The Salvation Army implemented a national program called Quality of Life by Choice (QLIFE) to reduce homelessness and move people toward stable housing. The program moves homeless individuals through a continuum of care that includes short-term housing, case management, and long-term goal-setting. The ultimate goal is to connect the right resources, with a minimum intervention of community resources to stabilize housing. However, when Salvation Army are finally placed into longer-term housing, furniture is not included—and the individuals do not have significant funds for furnishings.
Locally, a supporter of both The Salvation Army Sarasota and Goodwill Manasota connected the two organizations, with the hope that items Goodwill hadn't sold in retail stores could be donated to Salvation Army clients, rather than diverted to salvage operations. Since the connection was made last year, more than 10 individuals or families have benefited from the partnership, receiving items including couches, tables, dressers, chairs and more.
Chris Johnson, director of program services for The Salvation Army Sarasota County, notes that individuals are 12 times more likely to remained housed when they have furniture in their new home.