AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Augusta’s latest defense in the fight against homelessness is now open. The Salvation Army, along with other leaders in the community, officially opened the doors to its “First Stop Shop”.

Located next door to the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center, the First Stop Shop provides rent and utility assistance, legal aid, counseling and many other services to the public. 

“That is the whole goal of the First Stop Shop is to bring a bunch of different nonprofits that offer different types of services and kind of making it a little easier- a little more accessible to those who might be on the verge of homelessness,” said Major Jonathan Raymer, Area Commander at the Salvation Army.

As we approach the colder seasons, the shop plans to offer great assistance in the event of inclement weather.

“As that moves in and it gets colder, uh, that will help people in staying in their- in their- home as well as helping them with hopefully keeping their heat on,” Major Raymer said.

Major Raymer also says that the work for the salvation army will not end with the shop. 

“We’re looking down the road to, is our Center of Hope as effective as it could be? Are their things that we can do to make that even better? So, we’re really digging into our social services programs, and want to be as effective as possible,” said Major Raymer.

With a mission to work together to meet human need without discrimination, the Salvation Army hopes to inspire with the dignity to give to others.

“So many people who are experiencing homelessness or on the verge of homelessness… feel isolated feel… like the world is against them,” said Major Raymer. “And we want to be able to speak into that and say that it’s not, there’s a ton of people in this community that want to see you succeed.”

The First Stop Shop is now open to anyone in need from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.