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Time to celebrate: Salvation Army facilities opening

jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

This weekend the Salvation Army is celebrating the reopening of its only community center and place of worship in San Luis Obispo County.

The center, at 815 Islay St. in San Luis Obispo, has been closed since 2002.

The congregation will be led by Corps Ministry Leaders Juan and Patricia Torres. The couple, from Los Angeles, has been in San Luis Obispo since last October, serving the public and preparing the location.

“People are welcome to come. It is open for everybody,” Juan Torres said.

The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, and provides a variety of social services to anyone in need.

Neither Juan Torres nor Salvation Army spokesman Robert Brennan had an explanation for why the community center previously closed.

However, the Salvation Army’s social service office at the same location remained open throughout the closure to assist the poor.

The San Luis Obispo location serves 40 to 45 families daily with food assistance, and approximately 25 families a month with rent and utility assistance, Juan Torres said.

Those services will continue as usual, and some will expand.

Salvation Army social services sites that provide basic assistance are also located in Arroyo Grande and Paso Robles.

Three concerts

Three performances of the Salvation Army’s Tustin Ranch Band, an English-style brass band, are planned this weekend to celebrate the opening of the center:

The first concert is today at 4 in Mitchell Park, Osos and Pismo streets, San Luis Obispo. It is free. 544-2401.

A concert will also be held tonight at 7:30 at the First United Methodist Church, 275 N. Halcyon Road, Arroyo Grande. Free. 544-2401.

The band will also play in concert and in the procession to the new Community Center at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The procession begins at Grace Church, 1350 Osos St., San Luis Obispo. Free. 544-2401.

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