Salvation Army of Greater Hickory and High Country Introduces New Shelter Director

Cheri Bennett

HICKORY, NC (September 7, 2023) ⇒ The Salvation Army of Greater Hickory and High Country is excited to introduce the new Shelter Director for its Shelter of Hope Homeless Shelter.  Cheri Bennett stepped into the role August 1.  Ms. Bennett has been serving as a case worker at the Salvation Army Crisis Help Center since January of 2022 and started working with Transitional Housing residents in January of 2023.  Ms. Bennett has her Associates of Applied Science degree and is currently working on her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Appalachian State University.

Ms. Bennett states “I am looking forward to building on the foundation that has already been laid and making positive changes in the program.” The Salvation Army has operated a homeless shelter since 1986 in Hickory and is currently the only homeless shelter for men, women, and children in Catawba County.  The current facility is a 94-bed program designed as an emergency shelter to provide a safe place for individuals who do not have a place to call home.  There is an initial 90-day allowance for all individuals.  Their stay can be extended to 6 months if they enroll in the Stepping Up Program, which includes in depth case management to help move them from homelessness into permanent housing.

Bennett believes in family.  “On Labor Day we had a family Cook Out.  My goal was to encourage fellowship with one another.  Many of our residents don’t have families in the area and my hope is that they will discover a family amongst each other.  As a mother of 5 boys and a large extended family I feel that having a family offers hope and encouragement to people.”

When asked what she thought the community should know, Cheri said “That the people who walk through our doors every day are just that, people, just like us.  They are someone’s brother, someone’s mother, someone’s daughter, someone’s family.  They just happen to be facing different circumstances than those of us who have a place to call home.”

The Salvation Army is a global nonprofit organization founded in 1865 by Catherine and William Booth. Every day the Salvation Army of Greater Hickory and High Country strives to meet human needs in His name without discrimination throughout Alexander, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, McDowell, Watauga, and Wilkes County. We offer unique, local programs, designed to meet the specific needs of our community. Local programs include Homeless Services, Hunger Relief, Rent and Utility Assistance, the Boys and Girls Club, Worship Services, Christmas Assistance, Family Thrift Stores, and Emergency Disaster Services. To support your local Salvation Army, and the Shelter of Hope please send contributions to P.O. Box 1167, Hickory, NC 28603, or donate securely online on our Salvation Army of Hickory website For a tour of our campus contact Andrea Beatty at 828-322-8061.

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