Debate continues over Salvation Army's new home

Photo Credit: Sara Jane Harris

Columbia City Council unanimously approved a motion Wednesday to create a committee that will recommend where the Salvation Army should locate its new headquarters.

We realize that it's going to be a large group, but we also realize that with good leadership we can move this process forward and get this accomplished, said Councilman E.W. Cromartie.

During Council TMs last meeting on February 24, Cromartie was outspoken against the group's plan to open up a feeding station in the building located in the 3600 block of Farrow Road.Cromartie said the area didn TMt need homeless people loitering around. Surrounding neighborhood and business representatives also shared the same concerns.

Cromartie said he met with Major Richard Jones and Steve Anastasion of the Salvation Army Tuesday. Cromartie said the organization told him it still plans to move forward on their new site but also said it would remain open to the opportunities for partnerships with others in organizing a feeding program for the hungry and homeless in the area.

I feel this is a positive move but it TMs time to come up with a solution, said Cromartie.Kathryn Belfield is the President of the Booker Washington Heights Neighborhood near Farrow Road.Bellfield said she hopes the Salvation Army won't come into another community without first telling the community what they are going to do.

We are not fighting the Salvation Army, all we want is a safe and decent place to live and raise our children, said Bellfield.Isaiah Davis, a dentist whose office is next to the proposed feeding center said he TMs met with neighborhood representatives and local law officials who also oppose the site.

"No one I have spoken to who lives or works in this area is in favor of having a soup kitchen on Farrow Road, law enforcement included," said Davis.

Council members agreed that all neighborhoods surrounding Farrow Road must be included in the committee.The committee is expected to be created and come together sometime next week.

WACH FOX News will update this story as we gather more information.