Salvation Army’s new Siler City facility looks to expand services, increase access


SILER CITY — Since 1984, Salvation Army of Chatham County has been providing services ranging from aiding the homeless to feeding the hungry.

The goal of the organization has always been to “do the most good.” During Covid-19, however, the local branch realized it wasn’t able to maximize its services due to the space limitations. 

The pandemic revealed Salvation Army had outgrown its old home at Chatham Trades.

The new building, which the organization began moving into in March, is now officially open as of last Thursday. The organization held a grand opening featuring a tour of the new facility, located at 126 Village Lake Road in Siler City. Siler City Mayor Chip Price III and Cindy Poindexter, president of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, were in attendance for the ribbon cutting.

The increased space hopes to allow for new initiatives, increased access and more services to serve the immediate needs of the most vulnerable in the county. 

“We are thrilled with the new location and look forward to many more years helping the citizens of Chatham County” says Captain Chris Raymer, corps officer for The Salvation Army of Chatham County. “During the last few years, especially with the pandemic, many individuals continued to reach out for immediate needs, and our desire has always been to meet those needs without discrimination. We are grateful to continue serving with this new location.”

This week, we talk with Nathan Lawson, marketing and public relations member for Salvation Army of Chatham County, about the need for the move and some of the services company is hoping to bring with its additional capacity.

What are you most excited about with the new facility in Siler City?

We are most excited about moving into a larger space because it allows The Salvation Army Chatham County to grow its programs and operations in Chatham County. The Salvation Army has always maintained a vision for assisting the most vulnerable in with supportive services to address their immediate needs. That continues to hold true to our mission statement today to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

Rebecca Sommer-Petersen, service center director for Salvation Army of Chatham County, touts the new building in Siler city will lead to increased accessibility and services.
Rebecca Sommer-Petersen, service center director for Salvation Army of Chatham County, touts the new building in Siler city will lead to increased …

Will the new facility cause any changes in operation?

We are implementing a “The Housing Crisis: Pathway to Success” program, which is an expansion of the Emergency Assistance Program. It is a comprehensive collaborative project to assist households in Chatham County at or below the federal poverty guideline with a flexible service delivery that fills gaps of services in the community’s response to homelessness, housing instability, poverty, unemployment, underemployment, childcare, transportation, mental health and substance abuse. Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

What are some of the challenges of getting things started in a new building?

We have spent many days and “person hours” designing the space and moving in equipment to accommodate the expanding programs and staff. Our contact numbers changed, which was challenging in the very beginning because the main number for Emergency Services was attached to a line which no longer receives calls. The number to reach us is 336-763-6400, which is routed directly to our Siler City office. Storage of service items has also been challenging but thankfully several churches and partner organizations have assisted us and now we have a storage building adjacent to our new office space. Our team is very fortunate and blessed to live in a community of engaged service partnerships. 

How long has this move been in the works? Why was moving into a new building necessary for Salvation Army?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our Service Center has seen an increased need of people presenting to us with a housing crisis. As assessments were completed, we realized that people were needing more supportive services to address their housing crisis with long-term case management. Our former office site in the Chatham Trades building served us well for several years, with outstanding hospitality from Executive Director Shawn Poe. The West Chatham Food Pantry is also housed in the building, which is designed to accommodate a variety of service activity. The Chatham County Service Center realized we needed more office space to expand our services and operationally. Ultimately, we simply outgrew our ability to utilize the space available to us in Chatham Trades. We continue to value their partnership and willingness to engage in the common vision to improve the quality of life for those we serve.

The new office is more spacious and has more cubicles than the previous office, how do you plan to utilize that extra space?

The new office space offers a very exciting, flexible opportunity for community service providers. We have the space needed to expand our staff by adding an HMIS Data Quality Specialist, an additional Case Manager/Intake Specialist, and workspace reserved for our collaborative partners on a rotation of office hours for other agencies wishing to establish regular “desk time” to meet with local clients, who are already on site or who have shared case management goals. 

Are there any new initiatives in the works for Salvation Army?

Aside from launching The Housing Crisis: Pathway to Success Program, The Salvation Army Chatham County have two food booths in Siler City located at the Countryside Collectibles Antique Mall at 219 Chatham Square. We have great items for a fraction of the price being sold in both booths such as; assorted food, clothing, toiletry items, nursing scrubs, furniture, and other items to support the general operating costs of our program. We are asking the residents of Chatham County to support our efforts by visiting our food booths. 

For more information about Salvation Army of Chatham County visit  or email Nathan Lawson at 

Reporter Ben Rappaport can be reached at

Salvation Army of Chatham County, Siler City, Housing Crisis, vulnerable populations