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Salvation Army, Wisdom Project start Day Services Program

POSTED: September 15, 2013 11:32 p.m.

The Gainesville branch of the Salvation Army, in conjunction with The Wisdom Project, have announced the start of their Day Services Program.

The program consists of free classes to help people gain financial, interpersonal and general life skills.

“We saw, in the community, that a Band-Aid was being applied to something that needed more than just a Band-Aid,” said Keith Hamilton, director for the Salvation Army’s work program in Gainesville.

“The Day Services Program is the result of our talks with members of The Wisdom Project, as well as community leaders, who were concerned about the homeless and unemployed populations here in Gainesville.”

The program’s first term will start today and continue until Nov. 6. It will consist of two classes on Mondays and two on Wednesdays every week and will be led by local retirees who have completed The Wisdom Project program to become Wisdom Keepers.

The Wisdom Project is part of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Vision 2030 program and is implemented through the Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute. It is designed to tap into the knowledge and experience of the “50 and older” population and encourage participants to use their wisdom to serve the community through action and advocacy.

Sandra Williams is a recent graduate and is teaching two classes on money management for the Day Services program.

“I relocated here from the Washington, D.C., area and I was always involved in community activities,” she said. “The Wisdom Project gave me a glimpse of everything that was here in the Hall County area.”

During the program, participants visited various institutions around the county including schools, hospitals and social welfare organizations such as the Salvation Army. It was during the visit to the latter that Williams and other participants were inspired to help create the Day Services Program.

“They already had a night class for residents on money matters,” she said. “We saw a need to provide assistance to the whole community as well as the residents.

“The idea was that we would have a list of life skills classes that would be available to those in the public who would have a need for that type of course.”

Instructors come from diverse backgrounds and are all highly qualified. Sandra Hoffman is a retired psychologist and served as a past president of the Georgia Psychological Association. William Wares is a doctor of education, and Carol Perkins has a master’s in education, served as chairwoman for the advisory board of Northeast Georgia Health System Inc. and is a retired CEO for Avita Community Partners.

Williams herself worked as a financial executive for the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force.

On Mondays, the program will consist of two classes taught by Williams, “Financial Development” from 10:30 a.m. to noon and “Professional Development” from 1-2:30 p.m. The first will cover basic financial skills for adults such as financial planning, management, goal setting, credit, banking and other topics, while the latter will cover topics pertinent to finding and keeping a job.

“Building Better Interpersonal Relationships,” taught by Hoffman and Ware, will teach participants how to communicate and get along better with the important people in their lives, including young and adult family members, friends and co-workers. In Perkins’ “Life Skills Training,” participants will learn the basics of healthy living, successful employment, consumer awareness, money management, personal relationships and legal issues. Both classes will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays.

“Hopefully, the end result of these classes is that participants will be able to better provide for themselves and their household, and be able to live independently,” Hamilton said.

Classes will be limited to about 25 participants and to 12 for “Building Better Interpersonal Relationships.” For registration, please call the Salvation Army at 770-534-7589.


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