The Salvation Army of Helena broke ground on a new $1 million addition to its buildings on Helena's Westside on Monday morning.
The Salvation Army's leadership team gathered with community members to celebrate the first step of the multi-year project.
The new wing will house social services, including an expanded food bank designed for clients to choose preferred items. The new space will also include case management offices, for easier access to case managers in a more secure and confidential setting.
The 2,600-square-foot wing will connect the existing administration building and gymnasium, and a new 10,000-square-foot parking lot will replace the current gravel parking area.
The Salvation Army is still in need of donations, Bill Dickinson, the divisional commander of the Salvation Army's northwestern area, said. The project has been 85% funded, but another $150,000 is still needed to cover all costs.
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The Salvation Army has seen an influx of people in need in recent years. In 2016, Helena's Salvation Army served nearly 4,000 people. In 2017, that number jumped to almost 7,000.
The new space will give people a place to shop for their food instead of taking pre-made baskets of goods, Val Mattfeldt, the social service program manager, said.
At Monday's ceremony, Lewis and Clark County Commissioner Jim McCormick thanked the Salvation Army for the work it does in the community.
"Thank you for everything you've done here and everything you're doing," McCormick said.
CTA Architectural and Diamond Construction are working on the project, which is expected to be completed by the summer of 2020.