GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Salvation Army in downtown Gulfport is on the move. Officials with the organization say they have closed on a large parcel of property on Highway 49 in North Gulfport.
The current location on 22nd Street in downtown has become overcrowded and inefficient. Maj. Beth Sturdivant said moving the command center into an old existing building should begin after the first of the year.
That building will have to be renovated first.
In addition, plans are in the works to build a new Center of Hope on the Highway 49 property. It will be about 20,000-square-feet in size and will also offer transitional housing.
The total price tag for the move, the renovations and the Center of Hope is about $7 million. Most of that money will be raised through donations.
Sturdivant says the Center of Hope will be built in stages and take about three years to complete.
Meanwhile, staffers and volunteers at the downtown Gulfport center say they are excited about the move. With a much larger building, they'll be able to offer even more programs for the disadvantaged among us.
Doug Walker is covering the story and will have more later today on WLOX News and on WLOX.com.