Megan Parker, program coordinator at the Salvation Army, has been hard at work preparing new programming that the Salvation Army has piloted this past year. Most of which have been classes and events for the youth of the area, but Parker has been recently engineering a curriculum for adults. The adult classes will start session with a hygiene course that is set to open March 10 at the 14th Street Community Center.
The course will run six weeks and will cycle around and start over after completion.
The cleaning class will cover a new topic each week and will be taught by a volunteer social worker. The class will not only cover basic cleaning, but will also teach recipes for homemade cleaners made by general household items, for those who have trouble affording cleaning supplies.
The Salvation Army will be partnering with the Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority (PMHA) to present the classes. The two groups have a long standing history of work together, dating back to the 1937 flood. The organizations have been working together a lot recently, especially with the youth programming that the Salvation Army started last year.
“We are hoping to get that history back with the Salvation Army and we look forward to working with them more and more,” Executive Director of PMHA, Peggy Rice said. “Also, we always want to offer more and more for our residents at PMHA and Mark Ferreira is working hard at increasing the Salvation Army’s presence and starting these programs.”
PMHA is required to perform detailed, annual inspections of their property called Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS). During these inspections, they also check on the resident’s housekeeping.
Rice said that they don’t often have too many issues with residents that aren’t easily fixed, but said that the new classes will be a requirement for those at risk of failing their checks. In the past, PMHA has offered a checklist of what the at risk residents need to work on, in which they would return in 30 days to check for changes in living habits, before they would face eviction. Rice said it is important to teach methods and habits that correct the issue and keep it from happening in the future.
Rice stated that PMHA very rarely has to resort to eviction and that the resident has to be completely non compliant in sanitation for them to be evicted.
“The Salvation Army is actually going to help us with these individuals that have issues. The class will be open to anyone in the community, but we are glad to have the opportunity to have our residents join,” she said.
The Salvation Army is also happy to be working with PMHA and helping those who need it.
“We don’t want anyone to be kicked out or to be homeless,” Parker said. “This is a way that we can help them out.”
The cleaning class is the first of a series of adult classes that the Salvation Army is going to offer. Salvation Army Lieutenant Mark Ferreira said that he would like to have a financial class start in a few months. They are in the process of making the proper connections and planning for the specific need of the area. The financial classes will range from basic money management to saving for college and housing.
Anyone can register for the cleaning classes by contacting Helen Adams at PMHA. Adams can be contacted at 740-354-4547.
Joseph Pratt can be contacted at Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287 or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.