Center of Hope

Drayton McLane Jr. looks on during a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for the future home of the Salvation Army McLane Center of Hope in Temple.

The Salvation Army held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for the only homeless shelter in Bell County, the McLane Center of Hope, at the facility’s site in Temple.

The Center of Hope — located at West Avenue G and Ninth Street — will provide emergency shelter, food, rehabilitation and job skill training for the needy. Individuals who qualify for the program will be placed on a six-month plan to self-sufficiency.

At the ceremony, the Salvation Army’s Maj. Terry Israel introduced Drayton McLane Jr. , who along with his wife, Elizabeth, pledged a $1 million gift toward the project.

“The Salvation Army has nothing that hasn’t been given to us,” Israel said. “We have no product to sell. We approached Drayton McLane for the gift. They’re rich in good deeds, generous and willing to share.”

McLane said the Salvation Army does tremendous work throughout Texas, and is worth investing resources into.

“This is teamwork at its best,” he added. “The city took on this property, and then gave it to the Salvation Army.”

East Bell County Salvation Army Capt. Bill Shafer said the city gave the land to Citizens for Progress, who then gave it to the Salvation Army in July 2012.

Those who donated toward the project include the Salvation Army, Scott & White, and an anonymous gift of $1 million, Shafer said.

The Center of Hope will be the only Salvation Army homeless shelter between Waco and Austin. It will assist those in need by providing clothing, food, counseling, medical evaluations, utility and rent assistance. The 22,000-square-foot facility will hold about 100 beds, Shafer said.

“If people want help, and need help, this is where they’re going to come,” he added.

The Center of Hope will be the housing location for the Salvation Army Disaster Response Team during times of crisis. Construction on the facility will begin this fall, Shafer said.

Mayor pro tem Danny Dunn spoke at the ceremony, saying, “It’s an all too harsh reality in this world that there are others who are less fortunate. The Center of Hope will be a beacon of hope for those who seek shelter.”