History Across the Region

 The Salvation Army began its work in Washington, DC, and surrounding communities more than 114 years ago, a few years after arriving in America from London, England, where today it maintains its International Headquarters. From the start, The Army in Washington, DC created programs to feed the hungry and the poor, shelter the homeless and provide counseling and support to those people most in need of help.

As needs grew so did the number of locations and variety of services available to the community. The earliest locations were in downtown Washington, DC, on or near Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. A year after opening in DC, a location opened in Alexandria, VA. Additional locations–today known as “Corps”–were opened in Washington, DC in the Shaw section of Northwest and Anacostia in Southeast.

Today, The Salvation Army remains in these neighborhoods with the Sherman Avenue Corps in Northwest Washington and the Solomon G. Brown Corps Community Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE. Expansion areas in Suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia came about as the needs of the community grew; thereby, creating a major metropolitan area.

 In 2006, the region became the National Capital Area Command and encompasses Washington, DC, the city of Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William counties in Virginia; and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland. Multi-cultural assistance is provided through the Landmark Korean Corps, in Alexandria and the Arlington Hispanic Corps.

Homelessness and Substance Abuse

Early Salvation Army efforts to address chronic homelessness and unemployment led to the opening of the Industrial Home. There, men learned trades while performing tasks to help offset their meals and lodging. Eventually, the program transitioned into the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC). The programs gained momentum with the opening of the Harbor Light Center in the early 1950s. Harbor Light provides comprehensive services to men and women fighting substance abuse and homelessness.

Reaching out to Women and Children

The Salvation Army has a commitment to provide housing to women and children dating back nearly 90 years. In 1921, the Evangeline Residence began offering low-cost room and boarding to working women. Several decades later, the Emergency Home opened to provide women with children a sanctuary while the mothers sought employment and a permanent place to live. This program evolved into two comprehensive transitional housing programs with 28 apartment units in Washington, DC, and a half dozen in Alexandria, VA.

Centers for Worship and Service

Most Salvation Army Corps offer emergency programs including food, clothing and rental assistance, help for the elderly and disabled, youth activities and holiday help. Every neighborhood Corps has worship space for spiritual nourishment providing church services across the region throughout the year.


Major Steve Morris is The Salvation Army National Capital Area Commander and his wife, Major Wendy Morris, is the Coordinator of Women’s Ministries.


The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command is connected to the community online at http://www.SalArmyDC.org, and through social networking, keyword SalArmyDC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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