The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 by a Methodist street preacher named William Booth. Determined to meet human needs in His name without discrimination, Booth began by helping people in the slums of East London. In 1880, The Salvation Army began work in the United States and in a few short years the ministry of The Salvation Army spread across the country, reaching the streets of Fond du Lac in 1890.
The Salvation Army works hand in hand with the Fond du Lac community to operate the county’s largest food pantry, it’s only warming shelter and a wealth of year-round and seasonal social service, crisis prevention and self-sufficiency programs.
We help build Fond du Lac’s tradition of compassionate, practical service by growing and adapting our programs to more effectively serve the changing needs we see.
Need fueled The Salvation Army Childcare when it began in 1973 as Kindercare in St. Agnes Hall, relocated to the Mental Health Center in 1974, and finally came to 237 N. Macy St. in 1977. When the need for our childcare diminished, our doors closed. Today, our dedication to helping children and families develop and thrive is manifested in an expansive array of character building programs and summer camps.
The Salvation Army brought “Operation Back to School” to Fond du Lac in 1989; it’s evolved into the combined community effort that is Back to School FdL.
The Samaritan Free Health Clinic began in The Salvation Army, December 8, 1993, rooted in the needs we identified.
We launched the Brown Bag Lunch in 1993 to help parents struggling to feed their children over summer. 2,600 free lunches were packed and distributed that first year; by 2017, the demand had grown and a record 15,519 lunches were shared.
When Fond du Lac County needed a warming shelter in the Fall of 2016, we stepped up to help. The Salvation Army Warming Shelter opened its doors in Fond du Lac November 1, 2016. Annually, it operates November 1 to March 31.
In a 2016 survey, 337 clients identified skills and resources they needed to take care of themselves and their families, decrease their dependence on community and increase their self-sufficiency. With community support, we’re growing ways and means to deliver those skills and resources through our award-winning Pathway of Hope Program, a transportation program that helps clients get to interviews and start employment, and a life skills program.
We are blessed and humbled by community support that fuels our services.