The Salvation Army S.A.F.E. Campus

In 2002, The Salvation Army approached NCI and explained their desire to improve their services for displaced two-parent families and single fathers. What began as a few questions became a mission for Jerry Neeser that involved over five years of working hand-in-hand with the local Salvation Army administration. Together they had to find the land, raise funds, battle the local planning and zoning authority over issues sometimes as minute as nomenclature, raise more funds, convince the three community councils with jurisdiction (the property intersects all three) that they were improving their neighborhoods rather than devaluing them, and finally, design and construct not one, but two new facilities in a quiet, campus-like setting. The McKinnell House is a 28,000 sq. ft. facility that temporarily houses displaced families, and it was designed with enough food service capacity to prepare and deliver all of the Salvation Army’s food programs area wide. The Cares for Kids center is a 6,000 sq. ft. facility providing services very similar to those of the McKinnell House, but it is available to young children only. NCI constructed the two houses as heavy-duty commercial buildings with an exterior and interior design that creates a home-like atmosphere. They were finished and occupied several months ahead of schedule, and were completed for less than the GMP. In addition to in-kind donations from NCI and most of the subcontractors and suppliers, Jerry Neeser decided to return a portion of the NCI profit and overhead to The Salvation Army as a thank you for their service to the community.