The Salvation Army Red Shield Community Center is a recreation center that serves the youth, family and senior population of Los Angeles. It is a place where people young and old will have opportunities to learn and grow, to build dreams and friendships, and to find sanctuary and hope. From first-time swimmer to experienced athlete, the L.A. Red Shield has something for you.
Located on Union and 11th Street, the L.A. Red Shield serves the local community through a multifaceted program that includes a pool, gym, group exercise studio, dance studio, game room, computer lab, stage and performing arts space, gathering spaces and more. The community center offers tutoring in math, reading and writing; computer education; recreational swim and swim lessons; and sports, including basketball and soccer leagues.
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THE WAYS WE HELP
The Salvation Army Red Shield Youth and Community Center operates in the Pico-Union district of Los Angeles. Our purpose is to guide and mentor young people and strengthen families by providing educational, recreational, and spiritual programs in a positive and safe environment.
Our goal is to encourage all who enter to realize their own self-worth and to work towards personal growth that positively impacts family and community.
In 1929, The Salvation Army established a community playground adjacent to its headquarters building on 832 West 9th Street. The playground was lit at night and was heavily used by youngsters in the neighborhood.
In 1942, seeing the growth of the community and the rise of delinquency warranted an increased program, the Red Shield boys club was organized and housed in a small wood frame building at the rear of the playground. By 1947, the Program was flourishing and had severely outgrown its small facility on 9th Street.
A Capital Campaign was organized by The Salvation Army for the purpose of raising necessary money for the Booth Memorial Center and the Los Angeles Day Care Center, and the funds to construct a new and enlarged Red Shield Center. When all the money was in, the Booth Center and L.A. Day Care Center had met their fundraising goal, but the money raised for the Red Shield was just enough to buy a couple of vacant lots on 11th Street and none to consider beginning construction. The new Red Shield building would cost $100,000 to build.
At this point, the radio industry of Los Angeles was asked to help. Under the direction of The Salvation Army's Public Relations Director, Lloyd Doctor and KFI Radio Station Manager Charley Hamilton, a unique fundraising "gimmick" was devised that proved quite successful. The "gimmick" was the formation of "Committee of One-Hundred Thousand", with each committee member enlisted by an all-out radio appeal by the city's disc jockeys. To become a member, listeners were asked to send in one dollar to be used to construct the Red Shield. Soon local newspapers took an interest and sufficient funds were raised in no time. The first to be built in 1949 was the gym and game room, which officially opened in 1950.
Again the Red Shield experienced tremendous growth and in 1954, the Los Angeles Junior League Girls Club wing was built and the "Harry Chandler Memorial Pool was also built that same year. Once again to accommodate growth, the expansion of the Red Shield continues with the construction of a new two-story building that will house a new computer lab, library and state- of-the-art dance studio.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
THE SALVATION ARMY
l.a. RED SHIELD
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